What Your Clients Think of Your Pricing | Ep 224

Why Your Students Wish You Charged More

I want to share a revealing pricing experience I had that sheds light on how your clients and prospective students think.


Initially, I found a nearby bike shop with positive Google reviews, assuming expertise and professionalism. Upon arrival, I discovered the braking system on my daughter’s bike was broken. The repairman quoted $258 for parts and an additional $50 or $60 for labor, surprising me as I had assumed the total covered labor. Despite my lack of knowledge about repair costs, I was ready to overpay based solely on trust in the shop’s reputation.


What Most People Think Music Lessons Cost

Quite often, people have an idea as to how much the music lessons are going to cost.


I think a lot of parents figure music lessons fall somewhere between $100 to $200 a month and hitting that mark would likely meet their expectations. They may not extensively research pricing, prioritizing factors like convenience and reputation.



Social validation also plays a significant role, as parents tend to choose music schools where others in their social circles go, seeking validation in their community. This emphasis on status and identity influences their decision-making process.



But here’s the thing: lots of music school owners set their rates for music lessons based on their own wallets, not what their customers can afford.


Discovering the True Value of Music Lessons

Back in the early 2000s when I first started running my music school, I thought $75 a month for lessons was fair game, but I was wrong.



It took me a while to figure out that I shouldn’t just set prices based on what I could afford. You see, as we grow financially, our whole view of money changes.



Take those folks cruising around in fancy cars and raking in six-figure salaries – they’re all about quality, not just the price tag. So, don’t sell yourself short. Your clients might be willing to pay more than you’d expect for top-notch music lessons.


Some parents approach music lessons with the mindset that they might be unaffordable. They inquire about pricing expecting it to exceed $75 a month, only to find it’s double or more, straining their budget.



While it’s natural to want to accommodate everyone, running a business requires financial sustainability.



If you focus on catering to the majority who can afford lessons, but keep scholarships in the mix for those who can’t, you’re setting yourself up for the long haul.


Are Your Lessons Just a Commodity?  

Consider whether parents perceive music lessons as a commodity or a transformative experience. Just as one might opt for cheaper ketchup but splurge on preferred peanut butter, parents weigh the value of music education. If they view it as essential for their child’s growth and potential, they’re willing to invest.



Your pricing communicates the value you offer, positioning your school as the best choice for parents seeking quality education for their children.



If parents believe in the transformative power of music lessons for their child’s development, they’re more likely to prioritize quality over price. However, if they view music lessons as merely a trend or fail to see their value, affordability becomes a primary concern. Many parents do recognize the benefits of music education for personal growth, making pricing a tool to communicate the quality of your offering.



Higher prices often pique curiosity and suggest higher value, despite initial shock.



Handle Pricing Concerns with Confidence

A lot of music school owners stress out about setting prices because they’re worried about how customers will react. But, truth be told, small price bumps usually don’t cause a big uproar or make clients jump ship. Even if they’re a bit surprised at first, most clients roll with the changes without making a fuss. Comments perceived as negative may simply reflect surprise rather than genuine dissatisfaction. When potential clients express shock at prices, it’s an opportunity to emphasize the value of your services, highlighting the expertise and quality of your instructors.



At the end of the day, your prices should tell people what they’re getting out of those music lessons, guiding their decision-making process.



Your Prices Help Parents Feel Like They’re Being Good Parents.

Your pricing reflects your confidence and belief in the quality of your music lessons. Customers are drawn to confidence, especially when they lack knowledge about the service. Just as I trusted the bike repairman’s expertise despite my ignorance about bike repair, parents trust in your pricing as a reflection of your confidence in providing a valuable experience. They’re willing to invest in their child’s growth and happiness, whether it’s through therapy sessions or music lessons. Communicate your confidence in your services to parents, assuring them of the value they’ll receive for their investment.

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