Discussing Fees Initially
Kristin I., Illinois
I started doing quite a bit of work on Facebook to advertise myself and have had a great response from people who have taken my early childhood classes. However, they always want to immediately know what my fees are; I have run into the same problem with a couple of people on the phone regarding this. Since I am recently through the training, I know that this is addressed there, and I should probably go back and review it. In the meantime, do any of you have some creative phrase you use that helps communicate the importance of the FIS without putting people off by not stating your fees?
Also, regarding the FIS, I have had a difficult time getting people to attend even when they say they are interested. Do you ever do one-on-one FIS? It seems like that could be a huge waste of my time, but on the other hand, if they don’t come to the ones I schedule, I’m not getting any new students either.
Pam M., Canada
I too have done an FIS with one person. Never a waste of time doing it for one, as I look at it as practice in refining my skills and who doesn’t need that from time to time. If you are a new teacher , it’s a good way to build your confidence as speaking to a large group isn’t always an easy thing to do.
If you get just that one student and that person tells someone and so on and so on….before you know it your studio will grow!
Julie M., Canada
Kristin, in public affairs they taught me to always answer the question or risk having people think you are hiding something. When you answer, say it like you are proud of it (never apologize).
Here’s how to formulate a proper response. You want to use your response to bridge to a message. Every question you answer is an opportunity to get a message out.
Answer + Bridge + message = response
Instead of just telling them everything, try to use a hook. The intent of the hook is to engage the other person into asking more questions.
Here’s an example:
I’m glad you asked about my fees because that tells me that you want value for your money and you are likely interested in results. I charge $$$ and my students develop a long lasting relationship with music unlike anything you’d see in more traditional methods. Would you like to know more about how we do it?
Hopefully the answer is yes so that you can tell them about the FIS.
I often book the one-to-one session at least a week away and I inform them that I may be booking someone else for the same session. It happened many times that I receive a call from another family and I manage to book them at last minute into an existing session. If not then I still run the session one- to-one.
Elizabeth B., Australia
I think any SIS for any number is worthwhile, and those people that come to your SIS, you are already half way there with enrolling them to your classes. If they make the effort to come then to my way of thinking and what I’ve read about sales and marketing etc.., they are already almost committed to buy and the SIS is for them to check you out really and to reassure themselves that it is right for them. Hope this helps and good luck with building your studio.
Ruth M., Washington
I am the type of person who would gladly teach for free. I also have to pay my mortgage and take care of my family and so I need to ask for money. This is my very strong opinion about it. Do not hesitate for even an instant. He who hesitates is lost, especially if you are an easy mark like me. At the beginning, against the good advice of SM teacher advice, I ended up offering discounts to students etc. This was always a disaster.
Only take students for whom the price is worth it. What I mean is that there will always be territory issues. If they can talk you down on price, they will try to talk you down off everything else.
Charge what you charge with a big smile like it is the bargain that it is.
Laurie Richards, Nebraska
I agree it’s not a good idea to state your rate right off the bat, no matter what it is, because the caller is comparing apples to oranges if all they consider is price. A good way to get in more information before talking about price is to return their question about price with the question, “What are you looking for?” Then you will get at least some minimal information from them, and you can more naturally steer the conversation toward what the SM curriculum offers.
I wouldn’t refuse to give rates, as I think it looks like you are avoiding the question. As a consumer, I personally would be put off by that.
Terah W., Kansas
After much debate with myself about sounding totally upfront for all the same aforementioned reasons, I decided one day to do what was spoken about during some of training which is start with, “Well, in all fairness, I have to tell you what your lesson tuition will include because you get substantially more from Simply Music right out of the gate. The SHM’s, although a separate cost than the tuition fee, are a remarkable value and are at the real heart of the magic of this program. Can I just take a minute and start from the top?” Maybe not these exact words, but laced with enthusiasm and based on the fact that they usually have instigated the conversation, they almost always reply in the affirmative.
Then I figure I have about 2 minutes–I try to give them enough info to make them want more. I also try to get back to telling them the tuition cost BEFORE they ask a second time. This tells them that Yes, I am taking an opportunity to tell them more but that I also respect them and their time. Then I pause (even if I am tempted to keep babbling!!). It encourages polite questions and sometimes you can get a lot of info to them so that even if they perceive your cost/tuition as ‘high’, they at least will have an idea that if they were expecting “ordinary” piano lessons, this is not what Simply Music is. Give a little; get a little–both directions.
Usually, they have more questions at that point even if they are feeling like it’s too much and they aren’t interested. So, at the very least, you’ve had a chance to get some info out. The questions can lead to a real change of heart or a referral or at least a friendly exchange of conversation.
As for one-on-one FIS’s, I think it’s a great way to ‘practice’ doing them. Then when you get a few more folks at an FIS or a large group, you are a lot readier!