Get More Students in Your Group Music Classes
Are you wondering why people aren’t signing up for your group music classes? A lot of music studios struggle to fill their group music lessons. Parents have this dream of what private lessons are going to look like when they sign up at your studio. Perhaps, that fantasy is that their child loves their lessons and they’re coming out of their lesson room with their books and a smile on their face.
They’re also forming a good connection and relationship with their teacher. Their child goes home and they spend some time each day at their instrument and they’re practicing. That’s the dream the parent has prior to signing up for the lessons. That’s the best-case scenario. That’s what the parent is hoping for.
Getting Past the Fantasy of Private Lessons
When they call you up for private lessons and you say to them, “well, let me tell you about our group music classes…” Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, wait a minute. Not that your group music lessons aren’t great, but that’s not a part of the fantasy that they have. They’re dreaming about their child sitting alone on stage at the piano dressed in their Sunday’s best performing to a supportive crowd. They aren’t envisioning their kid in a room with 10 other students and their child not receiving the attention that they assume that they would get. By pitching the group music class you’re totally going against the grain of what they want…or rather what they think they want.
Parents aren’t interested in music lessons. What they want is for their child to experience personal and emotional growth through music lessons. If they can’t achieve this result through music, they’ll look elsewhere. I.e. dance, gymnastics, martial arts…
Make a Personal Connection Before You Pitch Your Group Music Lessons
If you can articulate your customers’ desires better than they can, they’ll be that much more likely to trust you. If they perceive you as a trustworthy expert, they’ll be more likely to be open to any recommendations you make.
The more that you can show them that you understand them, the more receptive they’ll be to your recommendation of group music lessons
I know a lot of studios try to close the deal and make the sale via their websites or over email. If your music studio just offers private lessons that can work for you. But if your studio maybe has a little bit more to offer, then getting on that phone and making a personal connection is essential.
Starting Off the Conversation with Questions
When I start a sales call, I want to get the customer talking so I can figure out what it is that they’re hoping for when it comes to music lessons. My opening question typically will be, “what inspired you to seek out music lessons?” or “how did you pick the piano as the instrument that you want your daughter to learn?” These questions will typically get the floodgates open. Parents love talking about their kids and you’ve given mom permission to talk away. It’s important to listen carefully because mom is going to reveal to you what her specific hopes and dreams are.
The more mom talks and the better you listen, the better you understand where she’s coming from. You should only suggest your group music class if you truly believe that your class is really going to better offer or provide this parent with what they’re looking for.
If they (your customers) perceive you as a trustworthy expert, they’ll be more likely to be open to the recommendations you make.
Paint the Picture of What They Want
If you’ve successfully positioned yourself as an empathic trustworthy expert you’re now in a good position to pitch your group program. For example, you could say “A lot of kids come into their first music lessons and they perceive it as being something that’s hard to do. I want Rachel to come into her first class and fall in love with the idea of playing an instrument. It’s important that she feels successful on day one. It’s important that she feels that music comes easily to her. Rachel’s instructor will focus on creating some quick wins for her. I want her to walk out of her first lesson thinking, I can do this”.
Mom’s most likely thinking, “yes, I want that too. I didn’t think about that. This guy said some things I hadn’t thought about, but I want all those things for my daughter.” At that point, you transition your pitch to recommend Rachel for your group piano class.
Show Mom the Value of Group Music Classes
“In the group class, on day one, the teacher is going to focus on getting everyone in the group to play together. The way we teach is that we focus more on the experience. We want our students to experience music, to get them some easy wins, and then build on that. From there, we transition into skills, such as note reading and music theory.
We really approach our music lessons in the same way people learn a language. They listen, they imitate, they speak, and then they learn to read. That’s exactly how we approach it in our group piano classes. Also, the social dynamic in the group allows the kids to learn and develop the skills that they’re going to need in life for working within a group in general.
Some kids always pick things up faster than others, and everyone’s going to have to rely on each other to grow as a team. Not only would Rachel be learning about music, but she’s going to be learning about leadership and teamwork. Those are the character traits that we work on. We want kids to be confident. We also want them to feel good about themselves, but we also want them to learn a0bout leadership and teamwork that is inherent to the group experience.
Getting Mom to Focus On Her Child’s Desire
After describing what overall life skills my studio wants kids to learn, I ask “Does this sound like something Rachel might enjoy?”That’s forcing mom to get out of the dream or fantasy mindset that she first thought of because you’re painting an entirely different picture.
When you ask “does this sound like something Rachel would enjoy?” Mom has to disconnect from her fantasy to think about her daughter and how she’ll most likely feel. Mom will hopefully say “yes, this does sound like something that my daughter would enjoy.”
Closing the Sale
At that point, I’ve transitioned to a presumptive close, because I am assuming that mom’s ready to buy. Maybe she’s not, but I’m going to apply some light pressure by saying, “We only have two classes with openings. We have a Tuesday class that has one opening and a Thursday class that actually has two openings. Which of these days would work better for you?”
I’m applying some soft pressure and making the assumption that Mom is ready to sign up. She never said, “yes, I want to do that.” All she said is it sounds like something her daughter would enjoy. This forces her to make a decision. It takes her just a second to check her feelings and decide. Our emotions are ultimately what guides us at the point of sale. We later rely on logic to justify our purchase. If you’ve successfully ignited Mom’s emotions she’s likely to sign up at this point. If there’s any doubt in her mind she’s likely to respond with “you know what, let me talk to Rachel first and I’ll get back to you”
Now I’m going to turn the heat up a little bit and I’m going to say, “ these spots do fill up quickly. Why don’t I at least put a hold on one of those spots for you, and then what do you say we reconnect tomorrow at the same time? Does that work for you?”
Using the Scarcity Close
I’m trying to get mom to commit with a yes. Not an agreement to buy, but to agree to have another conversation. I presented the scarcity close, meaning that I essentially said “hey, there are only two options, and I’m going to do you a favor. I’m going to hold a spot for you, but I can only hold it for 24 hours because these spots fill up quickly.”
Then ask for her email so that you can send her a recap of your conversation. You can use the email to recap the conversation and to try to ignite mom’s emotions again. “I really think Rachel would enjoy either of these classes. These are sweet kids that always seem to leave with smiles on their faces” The further away in time Mom is from the initial conversation, the further away she is from that feeling of excitement. A follow-up email can rekindle that feeling.
Group Music Lessons Should Be a Win For Everyone
If you’re going to offer group lessons in your music studio, you should only do it because you believe it’s the best choice for the child. Plus, it’s going to lead to a better profit margin for your studio. Group classes should be a win for the child, the parent, and your studio.