Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Tutoring Session - The First Call

The Tutoring Session -
Part 1:  The First Call

The first call is always a fun and exciting time for me.  It's the beginning of a new revenue stream and a great relationship.  During the session, I try to learn as much as I can about the client.  

First, I consider the "first call" a consultation.  It's free whether or not it's an in person meeting.   Whether I conduct a voice or in person consult, I make it a point to inform the potential client that I need to assess the client to determine if we're a good match.  Many people are a bit shocked that I would say no to a client, but it's important for the potential client to understand that I don't tutor "joe whoever" from off the street.  This increases my value to the client and increases my demand. It also let's the client that I'm not just in it for the money.  I care about my client succeeding. The good thing is that I have the gift of gab, so it never comes off as rude.  I need the potential client to realize that I don't need their business, rather I welcome their business.  

Second, I have a series of questions that I ask the potential client:
Sometimes I ask the client (adult student), sometimes I ask the parent.

1.  What is the client's name? 
2. Age, D.O.B.
3. Grade
4.  Areas in need of tutoring
5.  Reason for tutoring
6.  Current school
7.  Behavioral issues, referral
8.  Learning disabilities
9.  How is the relationship between student and teacher?
10.  Who is/are the student's teacher(s)?
11. What type of session would you like?
12.  What concerns do you have? (parent & Client)
13.  What concerns does the teacher have?
14.  What other types of intervention does the client participate in?
15.  What would you like to see happen?

Just a couple of notes:

15 questions is hardly a lot in a phone call.  Typically, the last 5 questions will lead to more questions that will give you a better understanding of your client.  Most of my calls last 15 minutes.  On some occasions, I meet in person with the client (at their request).

I have four types of sessions:

1. Homework Help
2. Concepts and Activities ( I teach a skill and engage the student in activities to strengthen, I          make it clear that I won't work on homework) 
3.  Targeted Intervention (This is typically SAT Prep, State Assessment Prep, etc)
4.  Hybrid (Sometimes I combine one or two of these)

My minimum session is one hour and fifteen minutes, although I quote by the hour.  In tomorrow's post, I will discuss the second part of the phone call concerning the contract and terms of tutoring.

Again, this is just me.  I'm curious to see how other's out there start with a client.  Let me know in the comments below!  Thanks for reading--Randall

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