From the Advisory Team: Their Best Holiday Success Tips

By Member Solutions

The Holidays are here — and retail sales are on the rise. Are your new student enrollment and retention numbers trending upwards too?

We asked the Member Solutions Advisory Team to share what they do to attract new members and strengthen retention during the busy Holiday season. Here’s what they had to say …  Continue reading


1 Simple Technique to Improving Member Sign-Ups, Retention, Upgrades, Pro-Shop Sales & Event Attendance

By Alexandria Buzzell

facebook groupsIn case you missed it, Facebook has become a major part of running a Martial Arts school — enabling you to build your brand, increase community engagement, and get the word out about your business through targeted ads.

One of the most effective ways to build your school is through student groups created on Facebook.

The value of a student group is incredible! Through these groups, you’re able to: increase sign-ups, strengthen retention, facilitate upgrades, increase pro-shop sales, improve event attendance and increase business page engagement.

Cleary these are all important aspects of running your Martial Arts school. Learning the basic techniques will allow you to take full advantage of this valuable resource.  Continue reading


How to Turn Martial Arts Mat Chats into Anti-Bullying Educational Opportunities

By Peter Trikilas

Martial Arts studios, dance schools and day cares look forward to the back to school season more so than any other time of year. It’s one of the most important times for our businesses.

Yet for millions of children worldwide, returning to school is simply terrifying.

A few months back, I read an article on Yahoo about how the number of teenage and adolescent suicides spike at the end of August and beginning of September. It’s no coincidence that this is when all students go back to school. Students return to an environment where being socially accepted can literally mean life or death.

As business owners and professionals, we have a responsibility to make sure we mentally, physically and emotionally prepare our students for hardships. Although October is National Bullying Prevention Month, it’s important to prepare our students year-round, so that they may be better equipped to face challenges.

In this article, I’ll cover four different types of bullying and how to address bullying through mat chats held during Martial Arts classes.  Continue reading

Selling Insights: How Do You Prove Your Case to the Skeptical Prospect?

By Andy Gole

The Tale of the Sunny Day Used Car

Did you ever buy a used car? If so, do you remember what the weather was like that day?

Over 20 years ago, I bought a used VW Squareback for $900 on a beautiful sunny day. It was a great car; it met my budget and did what I needed: 25 miles per gallon, 4 doors, hand crank moon roof, 30,000 miles on the odometer. There was only one problem: I bought the car on a sunny day.

Several months later, I was driving the sunny day used car in the hills of Binghamton. It was not a sunny day; the rain was pouring from the sky, pounding on the roof of the car. It was raining outside the car, and as you may have guessed by now, it was raining inside the car as well.

I had made this classic mistake: I bought an old used car on a sunny day.

The car had rust and sheet metal perforations in the body, which weren’t obvious till it poured “cats and dogs”.

Imagine how I felt that day – 3 inches of water in the driver’s well; I was cold, wet, uncomfortable. I felt stupid.

This experience was so searing, it led to the family proverb: “Never buy a used car on a sunny day.”

Now, I know that you have never done anything as foolish as buying a sunny day used car. But all of your prospects and clients have done so; they have bought their own version of a sunny day used car. As a result, they are very skeptical when we sell to them; in fact, they don’t believe what we say.

So buyers hesitate in making commitment. They are concerned about being defrauded again. This makes it necessary for us to have a strong program to substantiate our points in a sales call.

We need to be “loaded for bear” with press releases, articles, testimonial letters, case histories, before and after pictures, etc. And we need to prove early in the sales process. When prospects listen to our statements, they classify them as either facts or opinions. Opinions they can safely ignore. We need our statements to be taken as facts; facts on which the prospect will act.

This much may be fairly straightforward. What isn’t obvious is how such skepticism will affect their openness with salespeople. Prospects may wind up saying things we want to hear, at the moment, but which are not necessarily related to closing a sale.

Salespeople may be skeptical as buyers (say, when you buy a car). But are you as skeptical when you persuade? Do you make it a point to test a prospect’s answers, as you may test a new car or computer? This is crucial to achieving sales success. You need to be a skeptic. Many salespeople fail because they don’t test the information provided by a prospect.

The best evidence is to watch what a prospect does, not what the prospect says
. Look for evidence that the prospect is engaged in “getting to know you.” Examples could include: visiting your facility, checking references, introducing you to other team members.

Otherwise, you might just wind up “buying” a sunny day used car.

Andy Gole has taught selling skills for 17 years. He started three businesses and has made approximately 4,000 sales calls, selling both B2B and B2C. He invented a selling process, Urgency Based Selling®, with which he can typically help companies double their closing or conversion ratio.


The 3 Ps, Bullying Prevention & YOU: Going Beyond the Public School Classroom

By Korbett Miller

g--marketing-blog-all_blog_images-optimized_images_forblogposts-child_bully-resized-600It was like an episode from the old Batman series “Boom! … Pow! … Crack!”.

There I was, just a young boy, minding my own business, standing out in front of Christiancy Elementary in Michigan, when this young guy named Allen (who happened to be a grade below me), said “I heard what you said about my mother!”, and then proceeded to give me one of the worst beatings of my life.

What’s amazing is that this happened several times more, even after I approached my teacher.

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Help! Looking for Bullying Prevention Tips to Incorporate into Martial Arts Classroom

By Member Solutions

Client Question: This question is for the Advisory Team. With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, I want to make a special effort to incorporate bullying prevention curriculum into our lessons.

Any suggestions or recommendations on what to add to a lesson that has worked for you in the past?  Continue reading


4 Ways to Make a Difference During National Bullying Prevention Month

By Marlee Aversa

“One in every four students is bullied. The end of bullying begins with you.” – PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. This is a time when you, your staff, your students and community can unite to raise awareness of bullying prevention. There are many ways to get involved and show your support. Start with these simple activities and resources … Continue reading


Take Charge(back): How to Handle Payment Disputes & Prevent Chargebacks from Happening in the First Place

By Ursula Carter

“What do you mean they’re disputing the charge? … They signed a contract!”

Chances are you’ve run into this circumstance before. One of your customers has contacted their bank to dispute a charge. It can seem like an invasion on your bank account, causing unneeded work and aggravation on your part to settle the situation.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize payment disputes. Let’s talk about payment disputes, why we get them and how to prevent them.

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From the Advisory Team: Their Best Back to School Advice

By Member Solutions

school-busIt’s here! The busiest time of year for Martial Arts schools … the Back to School season. This is the time to fill your school with new students and secure a healthy bottom line.

And it’s critical that you do so. According to Frank Silverman, Executive Director of the Martial Arts Industry Association (MAIA), “80% of Martial Arts schools live or die based on Fall enrollment results.”

How will you make sure your business thrives? We asked our Advisory Team members to
share their wisdom.

Question: What’s your best advice — marketing or otherwise — to ensure a successful Back to School season?

Continue reading


New Chip Cards, New EMV Rules for Merchants: Are You Ready?

By Steve Pinado

Whether you realize it or not, a major change is happening in wallets throughout the U.S. Perhaps it’s already happened to your wallet. If it hasn’t, it soon will.

The magnetic stripe credit card you’re used to using to make purchases has been – or will soon be – replaced by what is called a chip card.

Actually there are a bunch of names for it: chip card, smart card, smart chip card, chip and PIN credit card, chip credit card. And you’ll often hear the cards referred to as EMV chip cards, EMV smart cards, EMV cards.

Continue reading