I’m going to use a word you probably won’t like… “sales.” Ewww…
Most tutors and educators hate this word because it brings up connotations of sleezy salesmen or manipulating people to buy things they don’t want or perhaps just a lot of pressure.
Some sales teachers try to tell you that everything in life is sales. This isn’t true and, honestly, it’s probably another reason why people inherently don’t trust salespeople .
So what really is sales?
Sales means an act of exchanging something for money
(Definition from the Cambridge Online Dictionary)
Any time you part with money and get something in return it is sales. While it isn’t everything in life, it’s quite a major part of it. Examples of sales include buying food, train tickets, concert tickets, pens, school fees, petrol… I’m sure you can think of more.
Funnily enough, this includes working in any job where you get a salary. You’re paid in exchange for your time or, more ideally, the results that you produce. So I’m afraid, you can’t avoid sales
The problem with the above definition of sales is that it doesn’t say what level of exchange. So often we are promised the world and then end up with something inferior. Some of these we even accept quite freely, like the advertisement of a burger and the actual burger that you get.
This is why you shouldn’t undercharge yourself. If you do, you will attract the type of people who are never satisfied and can become a problem. It’s the same as buying something and getting a low quality product, just in reverse. Many of these people are trying to cheat you and it’s just the way they operate in life. This is the reason that charging more attracts better “customers” (sorry, another word you won’t like but it just means a person who gives you money in exchange for something), they are simply people who want to be fair and get what they pay for. There are exceptions to this rule, and sometimes people are in some financial hardship, and I have no problem helping these guys. Use your judgment.
Better than undercharging is offering free classes. Especially if you are starting out and not feeling very confident. You can offer something like 1 to 3 free classes and then say you charge after this. You will get a lot of students and while you’re not getting paid, you will learn a lot and many of them will turn into paid students. Just make sure you say very clearly and put it in writing even if it’s just a text, that you do 3 free classes then it’s $60 an hour or whatever you want to charge.
The key is to ensure that you deliver a result that is better than what is asked for. The best way to do this is to delivery an outstanding result but even things like charging for 45 minutes and doing an hour of tutoring or perhaps printing out notes or questions for your students to do. Don’t overdo it though. Saying you’ll given them support outside of class can open the door to a lot of work and again, you’ll start attracting the wrong type of customer.
So don’t be afraid of sales, just don’t be a sleezy salesperson
Now that you know something about sales, I can show you what to say to get more students!