So you’ve told people you are now tutoring. You’ve also handed out business cards and mentioned it on social media.

Before too long – the phone rings.

Be ready!

Have a pen and paper with you. Be confident.

Most likely the caller will start with stating their need, such as, “I have a child in 5th grade who needs help with writing…”

First and foremost – listen. Tutoring is all about meeting the needs of others.

Once you hear what the need is, be honest with what you can provide. If the call is for a student in elementary or middle school, most likely, you’ve got this! You can always review material before you meet for the first time. If the need is for a high school level course your comfort level may vary. For example, Algebra 1 and 2 may be no problem. On the other hand, Chemistry takes a base of knowledge that can’t be reviewed or learned in a day or two. Be honest with what you are comfortable with and the level to which you can provide excellence.

Your goal is always to set your client (and yourself) up for success.

Your conversation might go like this:
Caller: “Hi, my name is Susan. I got your phone number from Pam who tells me you are a tutor.”
You: “Yes, that’s correct. How can I help you?”
Caller: “I have a son in the 5th grade who needs help with writing. He has only been getting a one or two on his writing assignments (on a scale of 5) and needs someone to help him with punctuation. His teacher also comments on his papers that he does not use transitions between paragraphs.”
You: “I can help with that. Let me get a little more information…”

If the need is for something you are unable to provide at that time, politely tell them the subject is not one you currently tutor in. Then if possible, refer them to another tutor who can. (It’s really helpful to know other tutors in your area so you can refer people to them and vice versa!) The caller will appreciate the honesty and the connection.

Remember your goal: To help your clients and build a positive reputation, so be ready when the phone rings!

Stay tuned – Part 2 of this series will detail other information to gather in that first phone call before meeting your new student!