8 Tips To Boost Your Schools Retention
8 Retention Tips To Keep Your Students Coming Back For Years
Here are 8 quick tips to boost your schools retention...
1. Use your student’s name
There are still instructors out there who refuse to learn their students names. Learning your student’s names should be one of your first jobs. People appreciate the effort you make in memorising their name and it makes ever interaction more personal if you use their name instead of “hey you”.
2. Give them a nickname.
Once you have learnt a student’s name, give them a fun nickname as soon as possible. Giving a student a nickname makes them feel part of the “in crowd” and makes them feel special which boosts retention. Just make sure it’s flattering: not “Fat Dave” for example.
3. Spend time with them
We like people who spend time with us, chat with us and take an interest in our lives. So take time before and after a class to chat with your students. Especially the ones on the edges who don’t engage with the group much.
4. Set up your syllabus for success
Most martial arts syllabi are “bottom heavy” that is the syllabus is loaded with techniques, drills and combinations at the lower grades. This makes taking the first belt stressful and unpleasant as the student struggles to learn the requirements. Better to make the first grade simple (maybe 4 or 5 techniques) so that new students enjoy the grading process and have a positive first experience. Save all the hard stuff for later.
5. The “Cheers” Effect
For those of you that remember the American comedy “CHEERS” what happened every time Norm entered the bar? That’s right everyone would shout “Norm” as he walked in. Wouldn’t your students like the same emphatic greeting when they enter your school? I try to do this for my students. It makes them feel welcomed.
It’s a great idea to mentor new students on their first few lessons. That means choosing a training buddy (who is usually a slightly higher grade) to help out the new person during their first few classes. Have a few keen mentors who like helping out new students. Don’t choose high grades to mentor new students. They hate babysitting beginners.
7. Where have you gone?
You should track your student’s attendance. That way you can send a “We Miss You” text or call when they miss one week. This really helps keep your school front of mind and shows students you notice if they haven’t turned up.
8. Public praise
As soon as possible publicly praise a new student:
“I just wanted to say that it’s Johns first session and he did great tonight. He picked everything up really quick!”
How good does John feel now? People are starved of praise these days.
And one bonus extra
9. Use NLP
This is an advanced tactic. NLP teaches skills for creating rapport with strangers. Two ways to do this is to “match” and mirror”. Now this doesn’t mean you copy them, it means you match their style of communication and posture.
So when I’m with a fast talking student, I also talk fast. When I’m with a slow thoughtful talker I also slow my speech and speak more softly. This creates a good feeling between us because we all like people who are like us. As long as you are well trained in this method this makes the new student feel more comfortable.
There you go, 9 retention tactics you can use in your class tomorrow.
Try them and let me know how they go for you.
If you’d like to learn another 38 methods to keep students for longer please consider attending my “Retention Seminar” in March.
Details can be found here: