How to Sign Up More Students in Your Martial Arts School

In All, Business, Marketing, Membership Based Business, Sales, Super Kicks Karate by Don Alley6 Comments

Any time I talk to other martial arts school owners or instructors, I’m always asked the question, “How do you recruit so many new martial arts students? How do you get new members month in and month out?”

And almost without fail, every time I tell them that it’s the VIP process, their body language screams at me, Welllll shit.

And I think the reason for that is people want an easy fix. People want an easy way to always enroll new students that doesn’t involve “selling” or “hustling”. They want an ad they can post on Facebook, or some ninja secret about how to drive a ton of people in the door. They want to hear that I’m in a kickass location and people just pour in the door every single day. (I’m in a great location, and they don’t.) They want to hear that I have a really awesome birthday party strategy. ANYTHING other than taking a clipboard outside of the school, and talking to every single human being that comes my way.

The reality is, I’ve never found a more perfect way to control the amount of new students I get, other than the VIP. If I need new students, I go get them. If I want to enroll a higher number of students this month, I increase our appointment goal. I train CIT students to do it too, so I have more help. VIPing is the ONE thing that works EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

And I honestly think it’s bizarre that we, as martial artists, of all people, are so resistant to the idea of selling, or asking people to become our student. This idea that we are scared of stopping a stranger, or afraid of bothering someone is completely foreign to me, because we have the best product in the world! Our shit is awesome. We forge leaders. We instill respect. Families learn to defend themselves, AND get fit together. We teach kids how to set and achieve goals. We show them what it means to persevere. To work hard. We become role models. I could go on and on.

How then, do you have an issue with going outside of your school and inviting every single person you come into contact with to come in and try a free private lesson? Consider that the people who need your help the MOST, are probably the LEAST likely to actually come in and join. Think about that. If someone lacks confidence and is afraid of trying something new, what’s the likelihood of that person walking into a KARATE school and asking good questions and signing up? Isn’t that where they kill people and hit them with sticks?!? We must take full responsibility for the success of our school, and every single day, go out, shakin’ hands and kissin’ babies.

Consider this:

When you VIP, you get to show people what it means to be a martial artist. You get to demonstrate the confidence that we teach. If you do it right, they get to meet a friendly, cordial, martial arts instructor, in full uniform. They see your smile. They witness your confidence. They see how genuine you are. They see the authenticity you bring to your program.

And the best part of this process is that it’s free. It costs you nothing but your time. All you need is a clipboard, guest passes, and a drive to fill your school. That’s it.
So, as of this writing, it’s Saturday at 9:40pm, March 11th, 2017. This afternoon in my martial arts school, we enrolled 4 new members. Two families, actually. We count a family of 2 or more as just two. Two separate contracts, 6 payments of 249 each. We added $498 per month to our billing, and these families were stopped outside by one of my trained staff. They were VIPed. And they were ecstatic about enrolling. The best part? That puts us at 22 new members for the month. On the 11th. Not bad, huh? Our goal this month is 40 new members, and we are well on our way. No Facebook ads, no groupon, nothing fancy. Just a clipboard, business cards, and a script. Want the script we use? Download it at the bottom, and let me know if you have any questions. Happy to help.

Don Alley
Don Alley is an artist and entrepreneur. He is known as the karate guy, the preschool guy, or the video guy. He runs Super Kicks Karate as the chief instructor in Ashburn, Center Stage Preschool, and Lucky You Media. He is also the co-founder of Testudo Addiction Recovery, a non-profit organization serving families across the country.


    1. Author

      Hi Mark! Not sure how I missed this comment, please accept my apology! I’d love to help and offer some encouragement if you’d still be open to hearing. Text me and let’s connect: 4344017900 Talk soon sir!

  1. Amazing that I was just talking about doing this last week. I have been in business for 15 years and felt that I shouldn’t bother people walking by. After reading this I will be taking your advice and implementing this right away. Thanks for the inspiration

    Owner/Master Instructor

    Blake Bannister

    1. Author

      Hello sir! Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing a comment! 👊 This method of recruitment still works for us, and is part of our bread and butter. I’d be happy to share more with you if you’d like about how we consistently hit our enrollment numbers. Text me if you’d like, and let’s connect! 4344017900

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