Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Referrals?
Yesterday during a break between lessons, I checked my voicemail to find three messages from parents seeking a voice teacher for their children. Three inquiries in a week? Completely normal. But three in the span of two hours?
I got my explanation when a teacher from another local studio called and revealed himself as the referral source. He is in the process of downsizing his student load in order to take on other projects, and has been recommending that his students continue their studies with me.
To most teachers and studios, this would be a jackpot situation (literally and figuratively). But when you already have a completely full studio with a growing waiting list, receiving a slew of new referrals all at once is a bit overwhelming.
The good news is that if you find yourself in this situation, your reply to potential students and parents doesn’t have to be “no”.
If you use Studio Helper or Music Teacher’s Helper, you already know that it is easy to offer available time slots to students. Instead of explaining to potential students that they’ll have to wait until a regular studio spot becomes available, my studio adds them as active students and allow them to pick up lessons as they become available.
This is a win-win solution, because not only are the students receiving instruction while waiting in line for a regular spot, but your studio is also filling in gaps where it might otherwise lose income for cancelled lessons.
The biggest complaint I hear from other teachers in their inability to maintain a steady income. There will always be vacations, illness, basketball games, and summer camps getting in the way of or replacing music lessons, which is why the best thing you can do for your studio (and peace of mind for your spouse, in my case!) is to keep the referrals rolling in — even when you can’t offer a regular time slot just yet.