When I started my tutoring company, MyGradeBooster, in my late 20’s I didn’t have a background in business, marketing, or sales. All I knew was how to teach. I had a lot of learning to do. To help me be successful in starting up and growing my tutoring business I started reading and researching. I borrowed as many books as I could on sales and marketing books from the library and tried to implement the strategies I read. One of the strategies I saw popping up regularly was to approach other businesses and partner with them.
I contacted the largest educational consultant in the city that helped high school students with their university and college applications. Since they didn’t offer academic tutoring I thought they would be a perfect strategic partner. Somehow I managed to convince the founder of the company to meet with me. At the meeting she told me she was impressed with my persistence. We talked about how her son attended a private school and I should be targeting private school parents, but then she then told me that if she found my website online she wouldn’t sign up her son for my services.
I was taken aback and felt uncomfortable but kept my composure and asked her why. Her reasons had to do with lack of credibility, testimonials, or adequate information. Direct negative feedback is hard to hear. I wanted to defend myself but I resisted the temptation. I merely thanked her for her helpful suggestions. Then I went home and started working on my website. In a month I had updated my website with a video testimonial from current clients, more information about our tutoring methods and strategies, and worked on gaining credibility for the company through business recognition and awards. That one negative comment made me more motivated and determined to succeed as I implemented her suggestions for improvement.
Today, MyGradeBooster is an award-winning tutoring company with authority and credibility in the education community. Feedback is a powerful tool to help us continually grow and develop. It’s difficult to clearly see our own strengths and weaknesses and usually it takes an outside perspective to paint a clear picture. I didn’t have to take the feedback, I could have easily dismissed it and let my ego get in the way. But instead, I decided to see her as a target client and take her feedback as a gift to improve myself and my business.
Effective feedback can substantially boost our performance and put us on the road to success. Get in the habit of seeking feedback from those you trust and respect, especially if they are your target market. And as hard and discouraging as negative feedback is, set your ego aside and work on improving your game. With hard work and dedication to improvement, you’re bound to be successful.