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Easier to Hire than Fire: Should you accept every potential client?

July 17, 2018

Heads up:  what I'm about to say might seem a bit offensive.  My apologies from the start. 

 

You should not just accept every potential student that wants to take lessons from you.   Here's why:  its a lot harder to get rid of a student than add a student.

 

There, I said it.  

 

You kind of agree, though, don't you?

 

The problem is this:  in our goal to increase our income we often look past red flags that crop up in our initial discussions with potential students.  I can tell you that I have done that before and EVERY SINGLE TIME, I have regretted it.

 

Just in case anyone is getting uncomfortable, let me give you an example from my life outside of piano.  My husband and I own a house that we use as a rental property.  We have found it to be very rewarding and worth the extra effort of being landlords.  

 

Except for when its time to get new tenants.  Oh my goodness, the screening work is incredible.  Sifting through applications, calling references, running credit.  It takes forever.

 

But we go through the hard work of screening potential tenants because we know that it is so much easier to get someone in the house than to get them out.  

 

Your business is the same way.    You can gain all the clients you want, but usually ceasing a relationship with a student is messy, complicated, and can be potentially very damaging to your business.

 

Naturally, piano students (in particular, the parents of piano students) do not like being told you will no longer be offering them piano lessons.  Coming from their point of view, would you like that?  Of course not.

 

So, save yourself that headache, and save them that embarrassment and anger, by screening your clients on the front end.  

 

You may have opening for more students, but repeat after me:

 

I have openings for the RIGHT students.

 

And who are the right students?

 

1.  Students who actually want to take lessons, instead of who are being forced to take lessons.

2.  Students who agree to your policies.

3.  Students who have the time and space to give attention to piano.

 

Notice that I didn't say anything about musical ability.  Notice I didn't say they had to be dedicated to practicing 1 hour per day.  Notice I didn't say anything even about personality.

 

But, when your intuition tells you that you should be hesitant about a particular student?  Listen to it.  Listen to that intuition.  

 

Trust me, you'll be glad you did.  

 

 

 

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