Studio Business

Building Your Studio: What to Say on the Phone

When potential students’ parents call, do you struggle with figuring out what to say on the phone?  What information are they looking for, anyway?  This post offers some ideas and suggestions.

First, offer basic information about your studio.

The idea is to give them some details about how you run your studio, without overwhelming them.  Some ideas:

  • How often and how long are lessons.
  • About other studio events: i.e., group lessons, the Spring Recital, the Christmas Party, the Summer Music Camp, etc.
  • About other perks of your studio: i.e., lending library, SAT testing, lab time, incentive programs, etc.
  • A little about yourself: how much you enjoy teaching, how long you’ve been teaching, what your teaching philosophy is (in a nutshell), or what your goals for your students are.
  • Cost of tuition (save for last whenever possible), and what forms of payment are acceptable.  Specify whether or not the cost of books and materials is included.

Offer Sources for Further Information

Once you’ve given them general information about your studio, you can then:

  • Direct them to your studio website.  There, they can perhaps find more studio information, your bio, pictures, audio files or videos, and forms/handouts such as your Studio Policies.
  • Offer references.  Talking to happy parents of current students is a great way to learn more about the studio.
  • Offer a free trial lesson/interview with no obligation.  This not only allows the parents/student the chance to meet you personally before making an obligation, but also allows you the chance to meet the student before officially accepting them into your studio.

Before hanging up, be sure to ask if they have any other questions.  And always thank them for calling, whether or not they sound interested in taking lessons with you or not.

Tip: If you are like me and get a little shy/nervous on the phone, try making yourself a little list to keep by the phone. =)

What kinds of things do you make a note of telling potential students/parents?

Photo Credit: tylerdurden1 | CC 2.0

improving as a teacher, Studio Business

Building Your Studio: How to Inform Parents About Your Tuition Rates

When you get a phone call from an parent of a potential student asking about studio information, should you inform potential students of your rates first, or should you tell them about your studio first?

I know a fellow teacher who does not answer the “rates question” – even when specially asked about it – until the end of the phone call, after she has told them about everything her studio offers.  She chooses to emphasize the quality of the music education she offers in her studio before informing the parent of the rates.   Not a bad idea!

Other teachers are very upfront and prefer to tell parents their rates first thing.  There is no harm in either method.  Personally, I am somewhere in the middle.  Unless specifically asked, I save the rates information until the end.  Regardless of where you stand, it’s a good idea to plan in advance how you are going to deal with the “rates question” when the potential student calls.

How do you like to handle the “rates question”?

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/publicdomainphotos/ / CC BY 2.0