An Interview with Master Kirk Pelt
President of the martial Arts World Organization with over 5400 Students
Senior Master over the 6000 sq. ft Martial Arts World Headquarters
Hall of Fame Inductee and Top 10 AMS school owner for 15 years
Master Milroy: First, tell me a little bit about grand openings. You’ve done a lot of these. This grand opening you’re doing is on a very small budget. Can you talk us through what your strategy is? Then let’s get to how you guys are promoting with the Enrollment card system.
Master Pelt: Thank you, sir. You know, with any grand opening, our primary goal is to get as many new clients signed up as fast as possible. That is the general goal for any martial arts professional who is opening up a school.
Specifically, our strategy and goal was to sell 1,500 to 2,000 enrollment cards before the school opened. The strategy going in, while all the permits were being done as the build-out was taking place was to reach that goal. Everything we did had our staff focused solely on the promotion of the enrollment card. It was amazing.
Master Milroy: Okay, so let’s drill into that. Your strategy was 1,500 to 2,000 Enrollment cards – and we’ll define that here now — before the door swings open. Give me the quick rundown if I don’t know what the enrollment card promotion is, if I don’t know how it works, if I don’t know what it is.It’s something that AMS has been working on for a couple of years now, right? Walk us through the A to Z on that. How does it work? What is it? How do I deal with that?
Master Pelt: Absolutely, sir. It’s an offer, but it’s more than an offer. The offer is five weeks of martial arts classes with a free shirt for $10.99. So for $10.99, each potential new student can have five weeks of scheduled unlimited classes whenever we open the door.
The reason, in my opinion, this is the best promotion or advertising I think that we’ve ever had in our industry is because of two major benefits: Number one is that the person selling it is making some money, so there a great incentive to get them promoting your school. Number two is that it highly motivates the commitment level of prospects coming and taking advantage of the offer more than anything we’ve ever done before.
Master Milroy: As compared to any other cold leads where somebody fills out a ticket or fills out a form at a carnival or something like that, you’ve data-mined in some way. At least now they have some skin in the game. They’ve paid some money.
Master Pelt: Absolutely, sir. I want to add, there’s another level to that. Once we’ve accomplished selling the enrollment cards, it’s critical to let all the readers know that it’s the system of utilizing it. We sold it. It’s more of a qualified lead. Like you said, it’s in the game. There’s investment so that the percentage of them coming in is naturally going to be higher.
Throughout the whole process, whenever we’ve gotten our information from selling the Enrollment cards; we’ve gotten their name, their address, their telephone number, their email; on a daily basis we’ve been connecting with them via email, sending pictures of the process of the build-out and our preparation for the grand opening. So we’ve been in daily connection with them. Of course as well as a Facebook connection with them, so we are building that rapport even deeper.
Even now for the last three weeks, we’ve been calling and talking to them. As a result of emails that we’ve sent out and other messages proceeding the opening, we’re receiving 10 to 20 calls a day telling us how excited they are about starting. So building that rapport continually even after we sold the Enrollment card is in a big part of the promotion system.
Master Milroy: So if you don’t mind, maybe walk us through a real quick synopsis. Describe to me real quick what your plan is for opening day. How does this roll out?
Master Pelt: Well how it works out is pretty solid. We have a target date where we’re done, we’re open for business, so for the next four to five days, going forward in the grand opening day, we’re going to call every lead, every enrollment card that was filled. We’re going to call and start scheduling appointments for all of next week.
We’re going to literally sit down and call every single lead and email to set up the appointments for them to come and take advantage of their trial course next week in class. So throughout the whole week — Monday we’ll have seven classes that will run on a daily basis. We’ll put 30 to 40 leads in a class or 30 to 40 appointments per class and roll it up Monday through Saturdays, continuing, so we have distinguished all the leads and got them on a trial.
Master Milroy: Okay. Great. What do you think of this? What do you think is the next big piece of this that might be useful if this isn’t the one?
Master Pelt: Like I said, sir, it all goes together. We try and hit the large points in the process with the enrollment card that’s why it’s proven now. It’s so powerful. The next step of course is, with follow-up, getting them to do class. The last piece of that is what I talked about at the very beginning, is to get as many people, your goal, which is as many people enrolled as soon as possible in your new location; so with those 400 students or 500 students that have come in the door, enrolling 300 within the first two months, that’s the direction.
So it would be the upgrade. Once we’ve got them in class, we have to teach a phenomenal trial lesson and when they come, they receive the t-shirt. That’s their benefit for coming. They receive a t-shirt to practice in. Then we upgrade the student with a free uniform, so a very easy transition to upgrade two to three weeks in of them doing these five weeks.
Master Milroy: Well, great. Is there anything else that you would want to leave us with? I really appreciate the time.
Master Pelt: No problem, sir, and thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to share. We’re extremely excited. If I would have to leave anything with everybody, it’s that the critical point is that we got out in our community. We only went primarily in the shopping center where this location is, and a half-a-mile radius is the farthest we went from our location in promoting.
You just have to get out. We approach people in the parking lot. We approach people on the sidewalk. We had the ability to put out some tables in front of a few businesses in shopping centers that allowed us to set up and talk to people. You don’t have to go far. The beauty of it is these people come here anyway. You’d see them nearby, so they’re going to be your natural clientele to pursue because they’re coming to this area already.
Master Milroy: Thank you. Any specific questions that our readers might have about that stuff, again, send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org or call your customer service representative at 1-800-275-1600