Client: I don’t know how universal this is but I have the sense here in Israel where I am that the cost of a lesson is something that is… it doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the product. So it’s kind of just like a… I don’t know exactly how to say this. It becomes an issue in and of itself. People are always physically focusing on the price involved, pretty much here, is what I feel.
For example, I mentioned to a teenage student of mine recently how I was really excited about how in the fall I was going to have this accelerated program. I thought she’d be a really good fit for it, and she’d make so much progress. I tried to highlight the advantages of it to her. And her response was basically like- “Oh, that’s so smart, because you could earn more per class, you could earn more per hour.” Something like that. And I feel like that was like her… she wasn’t trying to be rude, it was just kind of the mentality here. Just kind of like- “oh, I totally see why you would do that”. Not even about the piano lesson stuff.
I think that… because she said that, that kind of got me thinking. Also other parents obviously have been commenting on over the years commented on prices, it’s a really big thing. Basically I feel like highlighting the cost of a lesson can be an advantage in a way for me, in that they’re getting a whole hour for the same price as a half hour.
But on the other hand, I feel throughout the training we don’t want to focus on the price of the- because we talk about how they’re not paying me for my time, you know what I mean? They’re paying for the results. So trying to figure out how to balance all of this with the cultural money thing. The people just kind of focus here, how to maybe use this to my advantage or am I supposed to just brush over it, you know. And try to get people out of that mindset of its not about what you’re paying me for per minute. Does that make sense?
Daniel: Oh, it totally makes sense. So, what I would say… you’re already going mentally where I’m going- My natural reaction to this is to say… Okay. This is not what I would say to the client. But this is the internal frame I would take. “You’re going to move faster through your books. You’re going to have better results. You can quit if you want because you oppose me making more money and being paid what I’m worth. But, it won’t make a difference to me at the end of the year because I can replace you with someone else. But this could change your child’s trajectory. This could change your child’s life, potentially.” If I’m starting with that frame… that changes how I respond to these people.
I’m going to go maybe a level deeper here and say this. There was a coach I worked with once… that I was… I’m not gonna get into all the details of what my hang-up and struggle was. But I was basically saying I was having a real hard problem with this and all these things. And he said something really profound to me. He said, “What you resist, persists.” Which I know this sounded kind of cutesy or whatever. But I’m really pushing this here, is that the more you focus on the money aspect all it’s doing is re-enforcing their focus on it.
Someone has to break the cycle and it’s never going to be your client. It’s always going to have to start with you. What I’m saying is that if you take that frame of… and truly believe, which I know it is tough to do when you haven’t seen it yet. I mean, I want you to borrow against my confidence. I want you to look at the observation videos, go back and look at the alumni, and see all that. But you will never be- that will not breed the confidence in you that this really, really works until you actually see it for yourself. I get that.
But when you know how well it works and you hear people saying things like, “Well, it should be less money.” Again, I doubt that I would say this to a client, but I would say “Is it really worth less money if they’re getting through their books faster? I actually was considering raising rates because students are doing so much better now.” And you know, all these things. Again, would never say that to a client but if you take that approach, it changes you and then it changes how you do it.
To answer your question- to get really practical, I would not start becoming a music lesson accountant and showing them how much more value this is for them, and drawing charts and graphs, and showing how many pages they’re passing, and how much this is worth more money, and all this. I would just say… My line to them would be… whenever they say- “Oh, that’s interesting. I designed this program to help kids get through their books faster, to have less stress practicing at home. I figured I would give them an hour instead of a half an hour like we were doing. I just didn’t want to raise the price, and that’s how I did that. I thought that was a good idea”. And then just not say anything.
Or maybe have some sort of wrap-up. If I was thinking… if I had maybe had a little time to think about it. I would probably have one more sentence after that last sentence there, that kind of puts the ball back in their court. That’s kind of an awkward trail off and even hearing myself now, I’m like… “yeah, it feels like there needs to be one more little sentence there”. I probably have to think about it to do it, but a lot of times in the moment I’m also kind of gaging the body language of the person I’m talking to and I can tell when they’re responding. A lot of times in the moment it kind of comes to me what I need to say to them because this is a relationship. I hope that helps- I hope that’s helpful.