Your Job Isn’t to Sell Music Lessons
Your job as a salesperson isn’t to persuade people to sign up for your music lessons. Your job as a salesperson selling music lessons is to sit down on the customer’s side of the table to better understand their hopes and dreams and to identify which, if any of your products or services, best match their needs.
Yes, you’re a representative of your music school, but during a sales exchange, your job is to be an advocate for the customer. If your product best fits their need, you have a moral obligation to sell it to them. If your product or service doesn’t best meet their needs, you have a moral obligation not to sell to them.
I used to own a rock school. If someone called my music school inquiring about classical piano lessons, I had a moral obligation to refer them to the music school down the road. I had a moral obligation to say no to their money. Why? Because my school’s mission was to empower kids through rock music and ensemble performance. It wasn’t founded on the belief of making money. Making money was the byproduct of my mission. I don’t want to get too sidetracked about the value of operating a mission-driven music school since today’s show is about sales.
In Episode 165, I talked about the importance of rethinking sales. Moving past the bad reputation that sales and salespeople have and discovering how sales, like marketing, is a way of helping people, not taking advantage of people. If you’re interested in helping people through music, I think you’ll obtain a lot of value from this and last week’s episode.
There are only 3 ways to grow your music school
- Increase your rates
- Add new programs
- Sales and marketing
We all understand how important sales and marketing are, yet sales and specifically the act of selling are uncomfortable for so many people. In the previous episode, I mapped out a 7-step framework that can help make the act of selling so much easier. It’s a simple road map you can use on any sales call.
As a music school owner, you certainly understand the importance of sales, but it can be challenging to get excited about working on and improving your sales skills. It’s even that much more challenging to get your office staff excited about working on and honing their sales skill.
How To Get Your Office Staff Excited About Sales
No one likes going through sales training unless they already naturally love sales.
Some music school owners got real pushback from their office staff regarding sales, follow-up calls, and sales training. That’s a real problem if your office staff is refusing to implement the sales techniques that you want them to incorporate into their sales efforts.
Zig Ziglar made me aware that sales are a skill that needs to be developed. A lot of what I shared in last week’s episode is really based on his teachings.
– – – Episode Highlights – – –
In this podcast, I’m going to map out the four different training programs you can do with your office staff.
The First Training: Recording Your Sales Calls
The very first step might be the hardest step for you and your staff. It’s important that you go through this process.
- Record yourself conducting a sales call.
I recorded my sales call and listened to it on my drive home from work. It wasn’t as bad or as cringeworthy as I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t great by any means either. There were a lot of things that I needed to work on.
I noticed I did a better job in the following areas while repeating the process:
- Responding to certain comments by the parent that I was talking to
- Using language that was clearly resonating with the parent
- Expressing empathy
- Conducting a sales call that the prospective customer really enjoyed
I recommend that your staff record themselves in a sales call and share it with you or with their coworkers.
- Have a conversation with your staff.
Ask them what they enjoy and don’t enjoy about selling on the phone. Let them kinda vent or just speak openly and freely about how they feel about it.
- Map out a sales framework
After everyone’s been talking, you can transition with the statement, “Well, I want to eliminate all these negative thoughts about sales.” In Episode 165, I talked a lot about what really sales is.
Sales is about helping people. It’s not about manipulating people. It’s not about trying to convince them to buy something that they might not necessarily want.
You need a sales framework to train people in sales. The 7-step framework from last week’s episode is a framework that worked great for me. Perhaps you could come up with your framework. Tell everyone to incorporate this framework into their sales pitch.
- Allow your staff to provide feedback
Check-in with everybody and ask them questions:
- How do they feel about the framework?
- What do they like about it?
- What don’t they like about it?
- How do customers respond?
- Do the customers respond differently to this new approach?
Talk about how it went over the last week with people using this new sales framework. Maybe some people didn’t use it at all, and that’s fine.
The Second Training: Recording Staff Sales Calls
The second training is a great time to now share with them your story about recording your sales calls and play one of those for them.
- Open the floor for feedback
Share with them a section of the sales call. Tell them what you liked and didn’t like about the sales call that you conducted and then open the floor for feedback.
Critique Your Efforts
Once your employees hear you critique your own efforts, they might feel a little bit more comfortable sharing some feedback as well or just simply agree with you on the areas that you felt you could have done a better job with.
Be Vulnerable In Front of Your Staff
Share with them how you’ve recorded three of your calls and how your pitch has evolved—from sounding a little clumsy at times or delivering a pitch that is not flowing so well to moving with greater confidence.
You’re being openly vulnerable with your office staff. Show them your strengths and your weaknesses, where you needed some redirection or correction in your sales pitch.
- Tell your office staff to record their sales calls
They can download some recording apps and record the call on their phone. They should let the parent know that they’re going to be recording for training purposes. Let your staff listen to it themselves. After doing it twice, let them share with everyone what the experience was like.
- Make notes
Let them make mental notes or even write down any sales phrase they use during these calls.
The Third Training: Sales Role-Play (The Owner Is the Seller and the Staff Is the Customer)
- Write down profiles on flashcards.
In a single card, we wrote down customer profiles and student profiles. It’s really fun, and we would then pick from a hat.
One flashcard would have the mom’s name, her personality type (e.g., a helicopter parent), and her expectations. Then, it has the kid’s profile which shows what the kid was like and why she’s signing up for music lessons (can either be the kid’s shy or struggling in school with poor grades).
- Have the staff pull a card and go through a sales role-play.
Scenario: The owner is the seller and the staff is the customer
It could be a nerve-wracking moment, and a lot of times I might stop in the middle and say “Wait, I need to think about how I’m going to answer this”, and that’s fine.
I was showing I was being vulnerable in front of my staff. I was setting the stage for them because they were going to be doing it next.
- Ask the staff these questions after each role-play
- What did you think I could have done better?
- Was there any language or any phrases that I used that you felt were strong?
- Make notes through bullet points
I list down the phrases that I would say in a sales call that anyone in my office staff would.
The Fourth Training: Sales Role-Play
In the fourth training, the staff is going to role-play with each other. They’re taking turns being the salesperson and being the parent.
- Let them role-play for 20 minutes without you in the room.
- Let them go through the sales role-plays again but with you in the room.
- Let them share their sales recordings with everybody else.
- Reconvene with your staff and review your sales skills every four to six months.
See how everyone’s been doing. Months after going through this training, your staff should be much more confident in their sales abilities.
A Safe Space for Making Mistakes
The key to conducting a sales training like this is for you to put yourself in the position of being vulnerable and transparent, letting your office staff see you stumble during a sales role-play and hear you stumble on a sales call with a prospective customer. If everyone in your office staff can feel safe to make mistakes in front of each other, there’s no reason why you can’t have effective and impactful sales role-plays.