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You’ve been selected!

Kids s3Does that sound like a positive opener? Being chosen!? Is that something that a parent wants to hear? Maybe it’s not for the top team or as the winner of something but every parent wants to know that their child is being thought about individually.

I remember when my daughter started Elementary (Infants) school. Even at the age of 5 we started to get flyers home from school about out of school activities, sports, music and more. In just here second year we got flyers from 39 different sports. It’s a maze, but we rarely acted on them until we got one or two that were personal invitations.

Now lets go back to that application form I discussed in the last article “What’s on the Menu?” and take a look at big mistake number two. Sending out an application form creates a level of uncertainty for parents and this is bad for business. More importantly it doesn’t show the right level of customer care. That is unless you send it with a letter that reads….

Dear Mrs Nadal, 

We are pleased with the progress and lil’ Rafa has made this session and he has been selected to attend the group at 4pm on Tuesday and also on the group at 4pm on Thursday. Please let me know as soon as possible if he can attend as we try to create groups that have players of similar standards and motivation and we are sure that is the best group for him in the next session. If you are unable to make this please let me know and I will call to discuss ….. 

Hold on! Am I saying that you should write a letter to each child’s parents allocating a particular group for each child. Wouldn’t that take days of work to place each child in the right space? Yes, absolutely, at least the first time that you do it. We did it for 250 kids when I was a Junior Director a few years back! But if you get it right you will get the following benefits:

  1. Players will be in the best group and so make more progress
  2. Coaches won’t complain that a players is the wrong level in the group
  3. Parents will understand that you care about their child and value the customer care shown
  4. Retention numbers will be way higher in your program
  5. Parents will choose tennis over sports with a general sign up, more often
  6. Parents may consider making a bigger commitment, allowing their child to attend more sessions and playing more often
  7. Even when a child can’t make the times you selected them for you will have shown a level of customer care beyond most other sports.

Remember the value of a player in your program! If you have forgotten click here. Last time a parent spent that much on anything they expected a good level of service. What’s more think about the how much this could be if you keep just 10 more kids in your program from session (term) to session as a result of this level of customer care.

Sending out an application form doesn’t show you care or you are thinking about the best place for a child in your program. We are not just selling tennis, we are selling the relationship that we have with each family, and the opportunity to make a child feel that they are truly wanted in the game.

PS. All the facilities that we have worked with that have used this approach have seen better retention in their programs and as a result a growth in program numbers.

This and many other aspects of best practice in Junior Programming will be discussed at the Junior Directors Workshop at College Park, MD, July 22nd – 24th

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