Trial Program Overview
The trial program in its many configurations has been a staple in the martial arts school enrollment process for a very long time. A trial program invites the prospect to come into the school to try anywhere from a single class to a month of classes for free or a small fee.
Free lessons often bring shoppers not buyers and people interested in martial arts who do have the means to pay, so I’m a fan of the paid-for trial program.
When people called our schools, we closed the appointment for taking the trial lessons and used a visit to the school as a fallback if they wouldn’t commit to taking the trial lesson course. This has worked hundreds, if not thousands of other schools and has multiple benefits.
Make the Decision Easy for the Prospect
I have always advocated a two lesson trial program for $19.95 that includes a uniform.
Essentially, I’m selling the uniform for $19.95 and providing the two 20- minute lessons as a bonus.
People who will pay $19.95 to take a two-lesson trial course have already pre-qualified themselves for joining.
By offering the trial program, we’re making it easy for the prospect to say “Yes.” After all, they’ll receive a uniform that retails for $40.00 for $19.95- and get two complimentary lessons.
If you can afford $99.00-$149.00 a month for tuition, then investing about $20.00 won’t take a great deal of thought.
A parent also gets to see if their child is really interested in the lessons without spending a lot of money.
Make the Sale Easy for the Staff Member
Imagine the pressure a newer staff member without much sales training would feel if they had to enroll students into a one-year program without being able to offer a trial program first? If they don’t get the one-year program sale the prospect walks and all the money spent marketing the program to get that person to inquire runs down the drain.
On the other hand, selling a simple trial program for $20.00 would be much easier for a newer sales person to handle both mentally and in reality.
It’s pretty easy to teach someone to offer the trial program with a sample script like this:
“Class times for beginning adults are Monday & Wednesday at 6:00p.m. or Tuesday & Thursday at 7:10pm.
On Saturdays we have a karate fitness class that an extra class that a lot of students enjoy.
All new students go through our introductory course. The course would have you take either the Monday & Wednesday class at 6:00p.m. or the Tuesday & Thursday at 7:10pm. The program includes both classes and your uniform.
It’s a $20 course that’s really that’s designed to give us a chance to evaluate you for placement in our program, and of course it gives you a chance to determine what your interest might be.
We’re starting new people this Monday night at 6:10pm or Tuesday at 7:10; which would you prefer?” (This is the closing question. It must be delivered at the same pace and tone as the rest of the script.)
Kids close: “Our next group of children start this coming Monday at 5:10 and we have room for one more if you would like to get him in there.”
“All of our new students go through our trial program. It’s a one-week program that includes two semi-private lessons and a uniform for just $19.95. This is a great way to have your son try the program to see how interested he is, and for us to make sure he’ll do fine in our classes.”
“The next two opportunities for him to try it tonight at 6:00 PM or tomorrow night at 4:30 PM- which works best for you?”
Not only do you want your program to be successful, but you want your staff members feel confident as they’re learning to present your programs. By offering a short-term trial program, you’ll help them experience success.