Get More Music Students With The Telephone
The telephone is a powerful marketing tool. It brings your marketing face to face with your market. Before that first call, your ideal customers (who comprise your market) experience good and bad messages that are broadcast both by you and their friends who talk about you.
Making Your Brand Come to Life
Your brand comes to life for the first time that you and a customer are on the phone together. Sure, an email exchange is a good start, but the telephone allows you to make a connection and an impact in a way that you can’t over email.
Two Types of Marketing
There are two kinds of marketing.
Message-based marketing. This is the message you broadcast to your customers or clients.
Experience-based marketing. These are the experiences received by your customers or clients, as well as the emotions that these experiences ignite.
Connecting Via Phone Call
A phone call is what connects the message to the experience. Up until this point the customer has been listening to you and absorbing your marketing language. The telephone is an opportunity for you to listen to them. It helps you understand what they need, hope, and want. You need to ensure that they feel heard and understood.
Testing The Marketing Messages of Other Franchises
I was getting ready to do a podcast on music education franchises. What a school of rock, Bach, general music, or arts does to market themselves. Maybe there are some other ones out there, but those are the ones that I was researching. I examined their marketing. Some had really nice things going on there, while others did not. They were not as effective as their competitors. To see how they marketed themselves on the phone, I figured I should call each of them as a test.
Calling Different Franchises
I called two different locations of each franchise to see if they did anything differently. To start with, I contacted the school of rock here in my market, and then one in another market, just to see if the experience was different. Overall, I spoke to a total of around eight different locations between these different franchises.
Two Approaches Between Them
There are two approaches that I noticed between these different franchises. The first is for their sales techniques that involved saying how long the lessons are and how much they cost. I called up and said, “Oh, I’m inquiring about music lessons.” They’d respond with, “We offer 30-minute lessons and 60-minute lessons. 30 minutes are 150 a month and the 60-minute lessons are 225 a month.” The second approach started with me calming saying that “I’m calling about music lessons.” And they would say, “What would you like to know?”
Examining The First Approach
I want to talk about the problem with these two different approaches. The “how long and how much approach” is the equivalent of going to a restaurant and having him tell you “it’s $30, or the steak is a quarter-pound and this is how much” in response to your question about the steak special. They just told you about its measurements. That’s not what you want to know.
What You’re Really Asking
What you want to know is: How is it prepared? What does it taste like? You want to experience a little bit of the end result. You want the waiter to say something that’s going to allow you to see into the future. You want to know what that steak is going to look like and taste like. You need to know how you’re going to feel after you eat that steak. You don’t want to hear about the price or the steak’s measurements. While that might impact your decision, it isn’t the first thing that you need to know.
The Problem with Their Approach
When you say to your waiter, “Tell me about the steak,” you’re not asking about the price. If you asked about the price, you’d say, “How much is the steak?” A lot of these music studio franchises I called came right out on the price. The problem with this is that it leaves the customer asking themselves, “Do I want to spend this kind of money?” They haven’t placed any value on it.
What They Should Focus On
If you come right out on price, the customer starts doing math in their head. When I call these franchises and the first thing they say is time and money, they’re not getting to my heart. I’m not focusing on my feelings. They’re not getting me to focus on what it is that I want for my child. This is a problem because the whole point of music lessons is to improve my child’s life. That’s what they should be focusing on.
Issues with The Second Approach
Also, the franchises that came out and said, “What is it that you want to know about lessons?” are also missing the mark. I heard that twice where I said, “Hey, I’m calling about music lessons.”. Asking what is it that you’d like to know does not build confidence from the perspective of a potential customer.
What Should Happen
When you call any business, you want to position them in your mind as the experts. You also want to sit back and you want to let them drive. To go back to the restaurant analogy, when the waiter comes to your table and says, “Okay, let me tell you about tonight’s specials,” you think ”Oh good, we’re going to get a show. We’re going to hear about all these delicious dishes.” On the contrary, saying, “What do you want to know,” is the equivalent of going to McDonald’s. The guy behind the register says, “What do you want?”
Where The Franchises Go Wrong
The problem with all of these music franchises that I called – all eight or nine of them –
none really had much of an answer. They would trip or stumble a little bit on that question.
They would start talking to me about what the child is going to learn there. “They’re going to learn how to read music. They’re going to learn about music theory. They’re going to learn scales.” The average parent doesn’t know what any of that means. They might have a general idea, but I don’t really care about that. It’s not the point.
What Does This Mean for You?
I wanted to know what’s it going to be like for my child. Again to go back to the steak, I don’t really care about the temperature that the oven is set on. I want to know what it’s going to taste like and what my experience is going to be. What does this mean for you? If you have any competition in your market, there is a good chance that they are not having a lot of impact on the phone.
How You Can Beat the Competition
This is a great way to outmaneuver your competition. Even if you don’t have competition in your market or you’re not that worried about them, you still need to keep this in mind. What you’re doing on the phone is important, because the telephone is the beginning of your relationship with that customer. You want to make a strong impression. Wouldn’t it be great if people called you and they thought to themselves after they got off the phone, “Well, I heard this studio is really good and they have a good reputation, but I didn’t expect it to be like that, because they were really good on the phone. Wow. The person I spoke with really had an impact on me. They gave me a whole new way to think about music lessons. I’m really excited to go there. My excitement level was a seven before I called and now I’m at a 10. These guys sound great.”
A Great Example of a Good Interaction
That’s a great way to start a relationship with a new customer. If you want to learn about good sales skills, pay attention. The next time you go to your doctor, they come into the exam room, sit down and say, “So what seems to be the problem?” They look at your chart before you come in and see that you’re there because of a sore throat. However, they don’t come in and say, “I see here on your chart that you have a sore throat. Here’s what you need to do.” Instead, they come in and they say, “What seems to be the problem?”
What You Need to Do
This is an invitation for you to talk. The doctor fastens his or her seatbelt and then lets you talk. You tell them about your sore throat and how you came home from work on Thursday and were starting to feel a little tired and you woke up Friday not feeling well. The entire time, your doctor’s just sitting there taking notes, listening carefully. They allow you to just talk. Once you’re done, the doctor responds with an answer. That’s exactly how you should be conducting yourself on the phone. Ask a question; identify the customer’s needs, hopes, desires, pains or fears. Listen carefully, and then offer your solution. Of course, your solution is going to be one of your products that connect directly to their personal desires.