Cancellation Policies may sound unexciting, difficult to understand, and just a plain waste of time. But in today’s podcast, I’d like to convince you otherwise! Cancellation policies are simple to create, easy to explain to you and your students, and will save you hours of frustration and lost income! Want to find out more? Listen to the podcast my friend! 🙂
Remember – You’re in control.
- We tend to point our fingers at everyone or everything around us when we are faced with problems in our business. Like when we are faced with too many cancellations, we tend to look at our student(s) and think: “It’s their fault that I’ve got so many cancellations this month, and it’s their fault I’m not making enough money as a result.”
- Finger pointing is not the way to create positive change in your business.
- Pointing our fingers at others, or at events outside our control robs us of the ability to change things!
- Remember: you’re in charge of your business. The problem of too many cancellations is first of all – your problem! That’s the bad news. The good news: You’re also the solution to this problem!
Change needs to happen at the beginning of your business relationships.
- Needs to be part of your sales process.
- Be sure you’re qualifying your students – filtering your prospects to make sure they are a great fit for you to work with.
- Filter step one: make sure your prospect has time to work with you!
- Don’t ASS-U-ME – it makes an ass out of you and me – don’t assume that just because a student wants to work with you, they have the time to work with you! They may not! It’s your job to find out!
- How? Share how you organize and give your classes. How long are your classes, and how often? Tell your prospect up front and make sure they can agree to this BEFORE you start working together.
Important! If your prospect doesn’t seem able to commit to your basic class requirements, you need to feel free to thank them for their time in meeting with you, but it just won’t work out for them at this time. (What is your basic class requirement per week?)
Basic Qualification Filters for Your Sales Process
- Filter your student based on how much you charge. You can do this by explaining right from the start, how much your fees are.
- Charge for blocks of time together, and in advance. (Try to move away from charging per hour rates – like you work an hour, then ask your student to pay you for that hour.)
- Filter your student on need to work with you – do they really need to be there? (Remember: don’t assume they need to work with you!)
- Look to work with students who WANT TO be improving their English skills.
Create Your Cancellation Policy
Write like you talk – your policy doesn’t have to be complicated or in legal jargon.
Explain your rules about how you will handle cancellations.
You’re not asking for permission to set rules – this is your business, and it’s your job to set how your business works. Your policies are a big way to creating that structure.
Consider an 8 hour cancellation notice. If your student cancels with 8 or more hours notice to your class, you will be happy to reschedule.
If they cancel with less than 8 hours notice, they will be charged for class. Class will be considered given, and no reschedule options given.
Pay attention to your students – some students are honest, and may not be trying to take advantage of you – you can offer some flexibility with them.
Make sure your students – yes all of them – sign your policy.
Keep a copy for yourself, and give a copy to each student.
Make sure you read over the document with your students present – and ensure they understand how it works. Ask them: do you understand this cancellation policy?
Today’s Podcast episode is brought to you by the e-book: 3 Simple But Powerful Sales Secrets Every Freelance ESL Teacher Must Know to Find New Students. If you haven’t already, please grab your copy today!
Some of What You’ll Get Out Of The Book
- You’ll learn how to stop competing on having the lowest price.
- You’ll learn how to differentiate yourself from every other English teacher in your area.
- You’ll get a clear idea of who your IDEAL student is and why you should stop working with EVERYONE who wants to take class with you.
- You’ll create a sales process that will help your prospects become your clients – instead of you pushing them!
- You’ll apply the ideas presented in the book to get your first student. (Or 50th!)