Want more clients? This strategy will help you increase your client base! On your ads, especially your craigslist ad, advertise that you offer a free hour long trial lesson. This will help to get you the face time that you need to make the sale. To make the most of this strategy, make sure you have a tutoring portfolio because it’s an essential cog in this sales machine.
Here’s what to do
You have a meeting set with your prospective client. Great! Dress nicely for the meeting and bring your portfolio with you. If it’s a parent and child, talk to the both of them about what services you offer, what your rates are, and examples of why you are a good tutor and why they should hire you. Make sure to also get to know the clients personally. Perhaps ask about how they found out about you (for marketing records), what experiences they’ve had with tutors in the past, and what they are looking for in a tutor now.
After the meet and greet is finished and you’re ready to move on to tutoring, pull out your tutoring portfolio and hand it to the parent. Tell her that this is a collection of letters of recommendation from past students, parents, etc. for her to look through while you tutor. This is critical because hiring a tutor is an emotional purchase and parents typically are worried about the quality of the tutor and how good of a match the tutor is with their child. This portfolio of recommendations reduces the parents stress and helps to prove that you are a quality tutor worthy of working with their child!
Ask for the sale
Asking for the sale is essential. When your free tutoring session is over, tell the parent and student the following (or a very close variation): “The free lesson is a way for both of us to get to know each other and see if we work well together. I enjoyed tutoring you and getting to know you and I think this will be a successful match. What day would you like to schedule another session?” Of course, don’t lie if you don’t think it was a good match. In my opinion, it’s better to have no client at all than a client who you won’t enjoy working with. It’s important to ask when to schedule the next session rather than “Would you like to schedule another lesson?” because asking “when” already answers ‘yes’ to the “Would you like to schedule another lesson?” question.
If you did a good job during the session, you will land the client pretty much every time because you prove to them you tutoring ability and you reduce their stress and worries with the portfolio of letters of recommendation.
This free tutoring lesson strategy goes best with having a tutoring portfolio. If you want to improve your sales even more, I recommend giving your leads documents that describe your services, rates, policies, etc. I have turned my own documents from my tutoring business into Microsoft Word templates that you can purchase, download, and use for your own tutoring business. They’re available here.