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Are you a smart fisherman?

Last Tuesday my phone rang with 2 new inquiries for class – not unusual, but the way the people on the other end was a little weird. (Was there a full moon that night?)

First time I answered the phone I was greeted by a woman with a very abrupt, “How much is class?”

The second time it rang the next lady was equally abrupt and simply asked, “Where are you?”

Neither of these people said, “Hello” or anything like that, just right to the point with their question. I suppose I could have answered them but I didn’t…

Why?

Well there are 2 reasons.

Firstly, I was brought up to always introduce myself before asking for information. So when these 2 gruff women began the conversation with their very direct questions with no introduction I was a little irritated. Before I volunteer information about my classes, I like to know WHO it is I’m talking to. Just plain and simple courtesy would have been nice…

Secondly, instead of answering their questions immediately, I like to fire a question right back at them – this allows me to take control of the conversation.

I suppose I could have answered their questions with “Class is $X / month” and “32295 Mission Trail, R1 – right near Albertson’s at the south end of the Lake” but that would have put the ball in their court.

They would then have all the information they asked for, and I still wouldn’t know who it was I was talking to. It would also leave them with the option of saying, “Thanks” and simply hanging up. Maybe if I was lucky they might have asked more questions for me to answer. Either way the ball would still be in their court.

When someone calls it’s critical that you take control of the conversation. YOU KNOW everything you need to tell them in order to get them to your school. Often they don’t know what to ask, or necessarily have a clue about martial arts. So it’s your job to take control and EDUCATE them, and gently lead them through your phone script.

But if you simply give ONE WORD ANSWERS to your prospect’s questions, you leave them in control to end the call. You don’t want that!

Next time someone calls and starts firing questions, fire one of your own right back at them to lead them into your phone script.

For example…

Caller: “How much is class?”

You: “Is it for you or your kids?”

Caller: “My kids”

You: “How old are they?”

etc….

Example 2.

Caller: “Where are you?”

You: “Do you mean the karate school?”

Caller: “Yes”

You: “Ok, sure. Let me ask you are you interested in classes for you or your kids?”

Caller: “My kids”

You: “How old are they?”

etc….

Make sense?

Think of this simple fishing analogy – your ad is the worm; your prospect is the fish. When they bite it’s your job to reel them in before they jump off the hook and take your competitor’s worm instead. A smart fisherman would never let a fish nibble and then hope it simply jumps into the boat – they do everything possible to catch it, before it jumps off the hook.

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