[Webinar] What to do when your internal events just aren't producing for you

Webinar Overview

If you have stopped doing birthday parties, parents night out, adult socials and other internal events to promote your business, you probably did so because you're not signing up any new members and you figure WHY BOTHER!

When you fail to get results, it doesn't mean that the activity doesn't work, it means that you're missing that special ingredient that successful owners use that allow these events to produce consistent and measurable results. Mr. Bill Storm is known in the industry for his expertise in making marketing and enrolling new members fun and easy

Video Transcript

Moderator (Moira)

To speak to us today on the topic of "What to Do When your Internal Events Just Aren't Producing for You." Bill Storm has helped many businesses grow and is known in the industry for his expertise of making marketing and enrolling new members both fun and easy. Without further ado, let's begin today's webinar.

Presenter (Bill Storm)

Thanks Moira, I appreciate it. I appreciate everybody from Championsway having me on today. I'm going to keep this to an enthusiastic 20-30 minutes. At the end I'll have my contact information if you need more help for your own individual situation. Please feel free to reach out to me and I will be glad to help you.

The front page here I have "Make the Transformation Into The 1% Club." I want to define what I mean by that. The 1% Club, that's the doers, those are the people that want to make things happen. They're the ones that bypass what the masses do, really making a difference. I'm looking for people who want to be champions, not only on the map, but also off the map.

So today's topic is going to be focused on "What to do when your Internal Events just aren't producing results anymore." I work with hundreds and hundreds of school owners every week and I get very similar conversations going with them. They usually start out something like this, "I just don't do birthday parties or buddy days or parents' night out or those kinds of things anymore, because they just basically are a waste of my time. I don't get any new numbers out them."

So that will be the topic today. Hopefully by the time that we're done today, you're going to see things in a different light and you would give those a go again because they just are so powerful. I'll explain why in just a minute.

This is one of my favorite quotes, I just love this. Many years ago, famed college basketball coach, John Wooden, said "It's what you learn, after you think you know it all that really matters." This is so important. As martial artists, we can all understand this, right? How often have you heard it said that the learning begins after you get your black belt? Well it's the same as true in business. While you're learning the business, you may have heard some of the ideas, but it doesn't mean that you can't execute the ideas at mastery level. So what we need to do is we need to take a look at the different things that are available to us, the tools in our toolbox, if you will, and see if indeed we're using these at a mastery level. Can we actually pull them off? Can we make them work when it counts?

So let's take a look. What's the goal, first of all, for any kind of internal event? There are actually a couple of goals, but I pinpointed this as far as new member enrolment goes. But really, with any event that you have, you want the event to be incredible. You want it to be the best experience that your existing students have ever had. We call that the Sticky Factor. That's what makes people want to come back for more. That's what allows them to choose or want to choose to spend the time at your Doe Joe, at your Doe Jane, at your school, at your academy, rather than any other choice of other things that they have to do. You know what I'm talking about when we talk about this, because we all have those people that we call Doe Joe rats. They're always there, they love being at the school. The reason that they love being at the school is because you make them feel great.

That being said, if you make them feel that good, it only makes sense that they're going to want to share that feeling with other people that they know, other people within their circle. So our goal then is to get two new students every time we do an internal event, whether it's a birthday party, a parents' night out, a most enthusiastic student party. Any of those kind of things, we're going to shoot for two. The reason I'm saying "shoot for two" is because, six years ago, I did a study and I looked at how many marketing activities someone did versus how many new students they enrolled. When I averaged it all out, generally you would enrol about two new students per marketing activity that you did. So it was very easy, it became mathematical to me. If I want 20 new students, I needed to do 10 activities because 10 activities times two new would be 20 new students. If I wanted 30, all I needed to do is up my marketing efforts and do 15 activities.

What do I mean by activities? It could be 15 of anything. It could be you go up 15days in a row in VIP people with Ninja Turtle tickets. It could be you do 15 birthday parties in a given month. It could be five birthday parties, a buddy bash, a parents' night out, a promotional booth. It can be any of those things. Now obviously we're all at different levels in our school. So a school that has 50 students has very different marketing needs, or the amount of activities that they need to do is not the same as a school that has 600 students. They're two total separate animals. But the great thing about it is it's all scalable. The rule still applies.


Now what challenges do we face when we do an internal activity? The first one, and the most important one, is parents dropping off their kids so we never have a chance to wow the decision-makers. This is the same issue, isn't it? When we do a school talk, you go in and you talk to a bunch of kids. It all seems like it went so well and then nobody signs up. Well, there is the problem. You're not talking to the decision-maker. You haven't given that presentation to the right people.

I'm a dad, I've got two kids. If my kids have a presentation in school and they come home from school and I ask them how their day went and what went on, they just say "It's good," then they're off because they're busy. They want to go talk to their friends. They've got homework to do. They don't expound on that at all. Other examples: I'll take my kids to different parties all the time. I'll my son off at a soccer party then I'll take my daughter up to some movie night or something like that. The same thing happens: nobody tells me that I have to come in so I don't. I'm just the taxi; I take them here, I take them there. They come back out. I said "How'd you do?" they said "It was fun." That's the end of the story. They put their headphones on, they listen to music, they start playing games or whatnot.

We go through all this activity, but the problem is we didn't solve for the challenge. If you're going to have good success, you have to deal with the obstacles first then work our way backwards to make sure that we get the results we want. How do we do it? We change our approach. This is a great quote. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." We need to do something different. So what do we do? What do we do that's a little bit different than having a party, than sending the kids home with a flyer or making a follow-up phone call, that goes something like this: "Hello sir, this is Bill Storm over at XYZ Karate. Hey, listen, your child attended one of our kids' birthday party this weekend. It was really great, everybody had a great time. So we're just following up to offer all the kids 30 days of lessons with a free uniform and wanted to see if you'd like to schedule the first class."

Mistake, absolutely terrible! Nothing was good about that, except for the fact that at least the outgoing phone call was made to try to stimulate some business. The trouble with that approach was it was all about me. It was all about what I wanted for the school. It had absolutely nothing to do with the child, with the parent. I didn't build any rapport. It was just flat out awful. So if you're looking to be that 1% Club, you're looking to be that world-class person. That's who you truly want to be, a champion on and off the mat. Let's take a look at a little bit of different approach how I would do it so you could see the flow of it. The first thing we need to do is we need to set the expectation with the student's parent, first and foremost.

So let's say that Billy is going to have a birthday party. Well knowing that I want to have the best birthday party I can for him, but also knowing that I want to make sure that the guests that Billy brings in, bring their parents, I need to pre-frame Billy's mom and dad. So I go up to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I say "Hey Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I'm so excited about hosting Billy's birthday party. We're going to do something really cool during Billy's party. We're going to do the cut-the-cake with a sword. That's going to be a lot of fun. We're going to have some games, we'll do pizza. All that stuff - that's going to be fun. However, what I'm going to do is I'm going to teach the kids a routine. During the last 15mins of Billy's party, we're going to perform for all of the parents.

So what I need from you is this. As you invite the kids to the party, I need you to let guest parents know two things: there are no drop-offs. We can't do carpooling or parents can't just pull up and drop the kids off. If they're going to participate in martial arts, then they're going to come up the matt, I must have them come in. I need them to sign a waiver and give me their emergency contact info. Plus safety is always first for us, and I'm not going to release the child to someone unless I have their permission; I need to know who I'm releasing the child to. Number 2, I need you to let them know that the kids are going to be learning a routine, a demo, if you will, and at the end, we're going to perform that for them. So I need to make sure that they can come back at 1:15 for example, 15 minutes early before the party's done, so they can be the huge raving fans, they can be the cheering section and really give the kids a lot of energy. The more energy that we have at the end of the party, the cooler it's going to be. So can you do that for me?"


So I have set the expectation upfront of what I need them to do. Now I need to make sure that I follow-up with that student's parents, make sure that they follow-through. I'm going to inspect what I expect from them to make sure they follow-through to do that. That is huge.

Here's the sample demo, I just included this. If you're trying to take notes mad, you know don't even worry about that. If you email me at the end, or text me at the end, I'll send you this presentation so you can have it and use it for staff training or whatever. So something really easy that you could teach in a demo - It could be a blocking pattern: inward, outward, upward, downward - really easy. Punches: single punch with a kiai, then two punches, then three punches with a kiai at the end. Four-count kicking: front kick, front kick, side kick, side kick, set. Flying kicks: you can be creative with this and then you spotlight the birthday boy or girl. If you teach something else like jiu-jitsu or something like that, it doesn't matter. You can do something in the similar format - Something very simple - very simple defense. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's easy to learn and the kids are going to be able to perform it at the end. Then, of course, everybody claps and cheers and it's a big deal. Then if you really want to make it over the top, you can have some sizzle time or you could have your demo team or some of your superstars come out and really light it up and make it super exciting. So the kids and the parents just go, "Wow that's just amazing!"

Now here's the next part. Don't just go through the motions. I see this all the time, I even see this at top schools around the country when I go visit or when I attend some of their birthday parties. They're going through the motions. They just have somebody on their team do the birthday party. The person who's doing it is just going through the routine, they're teaching the kids. Sometimes it's even a good party. They're having fun, they're jumping over targets, and they're cutting the cake, and smiles and all that stuff. But the person who's running the party doesn't understand the objective. They're just going through the motions.

So what are the two objectives? Number 1, the party has to be the best party that that child has ever had, that's first and foremost. There's nothing that sells you more than the feeling or the experience that you give someone else. Number 2, this is the most important part, is you need to build rapport with each and every guest so they want to come back.

So I look at my guest list and I think about it as I'm going through the party: Have I spoken to this child? Have I made this kid really like me yet? Have I found common ground with this kid yet so they want to come back and see me? I need to methodically go through that with each and every child that's there. If you have a ton of kids and you have more than one staff member, you have a meeting with your staff ahead of time and you say "Listen, here's the objective. I want you to handle this list of kids and I'll build rapport with this list of kids. At the end we'll be able to go through our closing routine and have a lot of success, because we have targeted the kids and made sure that we really built a really good strong relationship with them." Is this just for kids? Absolutely not - the same thing holds true for adults. There's no difference whether you build a rapport with the child or whether an adult, you're still building rapport. You're making them feel good, you're making them like you. That's the whole goal.

Get a YES. This is your next objective. You have gone ahead and you've built rapport with each child. Now you need to tell them that you want them to come back and take a class with you. They don't know what you want unless you tell them. Here's a great picture of my buddy Sean Haley and you can see this little girl absolutely loves him. She's really giving him a big hug there, she obviously loves him. He did a great job building rapport with her as he always does. So I would go to Billy and say "Damn Billy, you are such a cool kid. I absolutely love having you here today." Sorry, the guest would be Eric. So I would say "Eric, you are such a cool kid. I absolutely love having you here today at Billy's party. You are so funny, I would love to have you come back and take class with me next week. Would you like to do that?" Well if I did my job and I built rapport with him and Eric thinks I'm super cool now, he's going to say yes. If he says yes, I'm halfway there. I'm almost home-free because now all I have to do is I need to go approach Mom and Dad.

You can see it has nothing to do with money. It has nothing to do with an incentive. It doesn't have anything to do with "If you do it now, I'll give you X amount of dollars off thru this some special." It's got nothing to do with that. It all has to do with the way I made this child feel. Now I need to do the same thing here. I get down to the brass tacks.


After I built rapport with each and every child, it's time to show the parents, the audience, what you're all about. So the performance at the end gives the parents the opportunity to see their child in action, actually enjoying the martial arts. You need to make a huge deal out of this performance. It has to be big time, it has to be show time. You get out there and just light it up.

You can see these kids in this picture. Their form isn't so hot, obviously you can see the way they're holding themselves. But it doesn't matter, as long as the child looks like they're enjoying themselves. As a parent, if I look at my child doing something and then at end, what's going to happen? You're going to say to your child "Did you like this? Is this something you might like to do? Is this something you think you might like to keep doing?" You're looking for that response from your child. If I've done a good job and really built it up, and built rapport, the child's going to be shaking their head, "Yeah I loved this! This is really cool Mom, this is really cool Dad."

At the end, we did a performance. Everybody's clapping. I give a round of applause. I say some great things to the kids. Then I simply ask them, I go, "Guys, how many of you guys had fun? Raise your hand." If you raise your hand, the kids are automatically going to raise their hand. So that's a yes. The parent may not realize it but subconsciously that's the first yes that the child is making to start your program. It's the first yes in their mind that they're going to take action and enroll their student or their child in your program because their child is saying "Yes, I loved this."

Now, the offer - Right now the Ninja Turtles, this is so easy. This is like a group kind of close. What I'm going to do is I'm going to get into an individual close. So the group close is something like this, "Parents, many of you may not have ever thought of martial arts as an activity your child would really enjoy. But as you can see through their performance of the martial arts, it's super cool and a whole lot of fun. If you're interested in finding out more about our program, we have a table setup in the lobby. Mrs. Storm over there, she would be glad to answer any questions you have. Just so you know, normally we start out all our new students with a 2 lesson trial program. It's only $29.95 and we even give the kids a free uniform. But to make sure it's something they'll really enjoy, if you'd like to schedule your first lesson today, we're going to give you a special discount. You can register today, it's only $10. By the way, we also have our next parents night out coming up on August 8. The theme is Super Soakers. I'd love to invite your kids back to participate. All they need to do is bring their biggest baddest Super Soaker and a towel."

Now why did I throw that in there? I threw that in there because I want to show them, that's it's not just about enrolling their child, but also all the other cool activities that we have coming up. I'll use something like Super Soakers or whatnot, because the kids get all excited about that, that's a lot of fun. So that would be type of a group close. Of course, you'd have a table set up, you have your friendliest person over there at the desk to allow people to sign up.

Here comes the individual approach. You need to pay really close attention to this point. The first people that you're going to talk to are the ones that you feel are the strongest leads that you have, the ones that you have the best rapport with. In this case, I'm giving you a real live example. At my son Billy's birthday party, he had his buddy Eric Baker and Eric is a really funny kid. He tells hysterical jokes. He's just a real fun kid to be around. After I asked Eric if he would like to come back and take a class, of course Eric said yes, he thought I was super cool. I said "Eric we just need to go ask your mom and see what day would be good. Okay?" He says okay.

So we walk over and I just say, "Mrs. Baker I wanted to let you know"- and this is really important, listen to this verbiage - "I wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was to have Eric at Billy's birthday party today. He was such a good boy, he had great manners and I thought you would like to know that" How do you think Mrs. Baker feels right now? She's feeling pretty proud of her son. Anybody who knows anything about kids, boys especially 10-13 years old, they're not always the most polite, a lot of times they are a little bit rambunctious. To hear that your son is being a good boy is a big deal.

Now the next part comes up. I say something specific to her so she knows I know her child. I said "You know what? He had me in tears, he tells the funniest jokes." I remember like it was just yesterday. Mrs. Baker says to me, "Oh yeah, he's a real character," and I said, "Character or not, he was still funny and I really enjoyed having him here. Eric actually told me he would like to come back and take a class with me next week. I told him it will be alright, I just needed to check with you first to see what day would be good."

BAM! That is the end of the story. You don't need to offer a special discount. You don't need to say "If you do it today…" You don't need to give them a 30-day pass. You don't need to do any of that stuff. All you need to do is let the parent know that "Your child told me they wanted to come and take a class. I'm just checking to see what day would work best for you." It's as simple as that.


Now what do we do for the parents who leave or the guests that leave and we don't get the chance to talk to them. Well, it works exactly the same way. All we do is make a phone call. So I make the phone call and I say "Hey Mrs. Baker, this is Bill Storm over at XYZ Karate. Hey listen, I missed you the other day before Eric left the party. I wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was to have Eric at Billy's party. He was such a good boy, he had such good manners. I thought you'd like to know that. It was funny; he had us all in stitches. We were just laughing so hard because he tells the funniest jokes."

So you see what I did? I complimented the parent first on their child's good behavior then I said something personal about Eric so she knew that I knew who he was, that I actually remembered him out of all those kids. Then the last thing, I do my close and I just say "By the way, Eric told me he'd like to take a class with me next week. I told him that would be just fine, that would be alright. I just needed to check with you first to see what day would be good."

Now what I would like to do is I would like to challenge you to try that approach. I guarantee you: you will set more appointments by doing that, than by any kind of fancy ad or anything like that or any kind of special offer that you give somebody, because people now like you. They know that you're sincere. They know that you know their child and that the kid just absolutely loves you. You will definitely set more appointments that way.

I really went through this, I got excited. So I'm just going to skip past through this here. Here are a few things - this is just the Don't-Forget list. Make sure you Friend all of the parents on Facebook. If you Friend them on Facebook, they get to check out to see what going on at your school. Obviously ask them to like your page. Make sure your Facebook personal page is super clean, that it's totally professional. I've seen all kinds of things, believe me. So just make sure Facebook page is super clean, there's nothing questionable on there at all.

You want to send home everybody with a prospect folder. It's just that we have really nice folders that we send them home with. You can put some things in there, $100 coupon for enrolment if you like. You can put in a VIP child pass for parents if they want to try the adult class. You can put in guest passes to give out to their friends, flyer for your next social event like your Super Soaker, or put a class schedule in there so they can check that out. We have a nice document called Commonly Asked Questions that answer the basic questions that you hear over and over again. Then you can add in a brochure if you have one.

The reason I like this is because people like to hold stuff. It's nice to get things in the email and you can look at it. But it's nice to have those things in hand that they can look at, like coffee table-type stuff, kitchen table-type stuff. Parents will leaf through those things. I get them for my kids for school. You have a cup of coffee or you're eating breakfast and you're flipping through and looking at some of the material. Plus these folders end up being school folders for the kids. There's nothing better than having your school folder all over the elementary schools in your area.

So I try to keep that short and sweet, just like anything else. Every great athlete has a great coach. I would love to work with anybody that needs help. Again I'm looking for those 1%ers. I'm not looking for tire-kickers. I'm looking for people that really want to improve their schools, improve the experience that they give to their students in their community. So you can text me, there's my cellphone number right there. Give me your name. Give me your email address, just so I know who it is. I'll be glad to spend some one time with you to see if there's anything that I can do to possibly help you. You can also email me right there, if you'd like to get a copy of the slide presentation, I'll be glad to send it out to you in a PDF form as well. So that about wraps it up. I don't know if you do a question and answer at the end of this, but I'm open to do Q&A for anybody that has questions.


Thanks Bill. That was great, awesome webinar. We will be doing a question and answer. So please type your questions into the chat box and I can relay them to Bill. In the meantime, I just wanted to remind you about our webinar next Thursday, August 14 with Dave Kovar. Dave will be speaking on how to maximize the fall season and sharing several of his strategies used by his Kovar Organization. So go ahead and check us out on Facebook if you want to register for that.