Most singing teachers dread telling clients that they’re upping their prices. But there is a way to do it with confidence and authority. Read on to discover how.
Every singing teacher reaches a point where they need to increase their prices. So how do you deliver the news to your students?
For a how-to guide on nailing this necessary task, BAST Training spoke to Mark Peacock from PriceMaker, a company that advises businesses on pricing strategy.
Mark acknowledges that pricing is an emotional subject: “I know it’s scary. But take heart from the fact that every business has to do it, and if you don’t, you’ll be going backwards in profitability.
“Don’t be afraid. I promise that if you’ve got 100 clients, three might object and leave, which will be as bad as it gets. You’re far better off with 97 clients at higher prices than 100 clients at low prices.”
Getting the price right
Before you notify your clients of your new prices, you’ll need to figure out how much you’re going to charge. Mark explains how to do this five minutes into the latest episode of the Singing Teachers Talk podcast. (LISTEN HERE)
Once you’ve sorted your pricing structure, here’s what to do next.
1 Give notice
Give your customers plenty of notice (Mark recommends doing this via email) before making a change. For example, you might notify students this month about raising your prices in the New Year.
“Good business practice is to give customers a month’s notice at the very least, but longer if you can,” Mark says.
“The more notice you give, the more the client will feel ‘okay, they’re not ripping me off’. It shows that you’re coming from a position of strength. You’re saying ‘we’re confident about our business, and we’re giving you plenty of notice. If you choose to go elsewhere, we’ll be very sorry, but these are the terms that we need to operate our business on’.”
2 Rehearse what you’ll say
Be prepared for face-to-face conversations about your price rises. Practise what you’re going to say to ensure you come across as professional and confident.
“Build up your confidence so that you’re not tripping over your own words,” Mark explains.
“To do this, you need to coach yourself. Practise talking about your different price offerings on a Zoom camera or in front of the mirror. Get used to saying your highest price first. Always start with your premium offering so that you’re coming down the price ladder.”
3 Value yourself
It’s human to doubt yourself (everyone does). But it’s important to focus on the value you provide as a singing teacher – it’s why people keep coming back to you.
“Don’t be a little mouse and sit in the corner saying, ‘I’m not going to do it because I’m too scared’,” Mark says. “Be polite but avoid using negative language. Only use positive or neutral language in your written communications.
“Don’t use expressions like ‘I’m sorry’, ‘unfortunately’ or ‘sincere apologies’ because it sets the wrong tone. What you can say is: ‘As you’ll be well aware, many businesses are experiencing increasing costs at the moment, and our business costs have increased by X per cent over the last year. Therefore, as of next January, we will be putting up our prices or rates by X’.
“You need to treat it as a sales exercise and emphasise the positive reasons why a client should continue to work with you. Provide a list of four to five reasons why people should continue to work with you and finish by giving them options on what to do next. If they have queries, they can call you or go to the FAQ section on your website.
“Be open, transparent and honest with your communications – that’s the best approach.”
Hear the full podcast interview with Mark, where he also explains:
- How to develop a complete pricing strategy.
- How to deal with a student who says they can’t afford your new prices.
Our Blog Post: Putting A Price On It – The Art of Setting Your Fees