Canadian Music Trade - August/September 2017 - Page 31

To use an example from Gamber, say a six-year-old was signed up for beginner piano lessons. In his store, young beginning piano students were taught by Mary, and Mary had a few titles that she preferred for her lessons. “Before the [first] lesson, we’d say, ‘Get here 15 minutes early and there are books we’re going to get you set up with so you can be successful.’ We would sell the books and then they’d walk into their lesson and they’d be ready to go and Mary would be happy that the kid had the right books. Mary didn’t have to sell the books and she didn’t have to explain, ‘Why do I have a technique book and a lesson book and a song book?’ It was done for her, and Mary didn’t have to wander out on the floor.” It’s a win-win-win situation for the student, teacher, and store. Gamber says MI retailers should condition their students to understand from day one that the right materials make lessons more productive and successful, and that their store is the source of those materials. Using established print materials also aids student retention, Gamber says, because it provides a measurable way of showing parents, who are likely paying for the lessons, that their child is making progress. You can tell the student’s parents, “‘We finished book one and we did this and we finished this easy Star Wars book’ and the parents are going, ‘Oh, this is awesome,’ because that is the only way they know if the kid is learning,” Gamber says. Of course, some parents may take issue with being told they must pay for lesson materials after having paid for the lesson it- self. To this complaint, Gamber responds to them, “Have you ever gone to college? And did you have books?” or even, “Did you ever take a cooking class?” The suggestion, obviously, is that most for- mal classes of any kind require students to buy course materials and music lessons are no different. “As soon as you say something simple like that, they go, ‘Oh yeah,’” Gamber attests. On the flip side of the equation, selling lessons to existing or prospective print customers, Gamber says there are a few things he has done that work well. For starters, find out which titles your teachers prefer to use and what they think are the best for differ- ent instruments and experience levels. “You can say, ‘This is a book a lot of our guitar teachers use and they have a lot of success with what we do.’ I used to actually have, underneath the racks with the books, a space without a book that had the flyers for the guitar teacher above the books that they like to use,” recalls Gamber. “I would waste the blank rack space and have an 8 x 11-in. flyer and say, ‘Here’s the teacher that uses this book’ and some of the fun stuff he did and a link to the video on our website and all the info.” When dealing with a new player who was in his store look- ing for a beginner level book, Gamber’s usual response was, “A month of lessons will get you off on the right foot versus having Pete Gamber to come in six months from now and someone has to redo the way you’re putting your thumb around the neck of the guitar and now it’s in the way.” A third of the time, Gamber estimates, that person would immediately ask for more information about the teacher and program. “I’d get a lesson signup just because I asked and it was because they came in looking for a book.” It’s a simple thing to do and the worst thing that happens is they buy the book and leave. In that case, stuff a flyer into the book. “Guess what I’d see in about a month? Someone coming back in and saying, ‘I was a little confused. Remember me, you sold me the book? Thanks for giving me that flyer and I went and looked on your website and saw the teacher talk about what he does and do a little a demo,’ and off they went,” Gamber says. This method can be applied elsewhere, too. Gamb W"FW0RvVBRFR6R7VvvW7FFVRv6RrFvWBFV"wVF"GVVBgFW"b6VRFW6( @rrFGVRFV"wVF""FW"7G&vVB7G'VVBN( 0&WGGvBF6FFW6VBW6R6RW762"FP&VFFW'FVBFRfRG2&VFr&B7G'VVG0GW&rFR&6F666V6( ėN( 26ǒFrFfW&ॖRrFW6RVRrFrFW( &RvrF&P&Vvr&BBBbFVF( BWfVrRFV6W762BRfR&VFVB&"FW6RF'W&B&6vBBFVfǖW"W"6FV6W" vGvBFV6W#( ХFR&rW76'fW6ǒ2F( B77VRFrW7RЦ6ǒF( B77VRW"7GVFVG2&RW&66r&2BF@W"&B7W7FW'2&RW&66rW7622v&W"62( vPWfW"FbGrFBFvWFW"BN( 2ƖR6W&FRFW'BЦVG2WfV67F&W2FBǒfRF&VRVVW26VrFW&R2F2VFFf6b( FN( 2vW&RFR&0&^( BFWW7BF( B6V7B( Ф֖6V&R2FR6V"VFF"`6FW62G&FR4DU42E$DP3