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Massage Today
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04

Understanding How to Turn Consults Into Clients

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC and Michele McGrew

Have you ever met someone you knew you could help, but you held back from offering your therapy because it felt awkward or "salesy"? We get it. As a big-hearted healer, you probably cringe at the idea of selling your services.

And that can make conversations with potential clients uncomfortable. Or worse, you might not have them at all.

The problem is, when you hold back, you also miss out on the positive impact — and the generous income — that are natural byproducts of your healing gifts. And the person you could have helped stays stuck in pain and frustration. Now, imagine you had an easy way to invite potential clients to work with you that allowed you to stay focused on service rather than sales. Here's one that's generous, authentic and actually feels good to offer: It's called a Breakthrough Session and is a complimentary phone consult you give as a healing gift to potential clients.

Don't be fooled here. We're not talking about your garden-variety phone consult, where someone calls and asks questions like, "What do you charge?" And you stammer out an answer. A Breakthrough Session is a 6-step business strategy you can use again and again to convert potential clients into paying clients. It's the key to filling your practice with clients you LOVE, without feeling like a used car salesman.

lady on the phone - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The Cost of Staying Stuck

When you begin these conversations by allowing your potential client — we'll call her a guest — to give voice to her most pressing problems or pain, you act as a witness to her journey. And, according to author and intuitive Carolyn Myss, that's the most profound gift you can give another human being.

So, give your guest space to explore her pain and how it's impacting other areas of her life, like her children, her marriage or her career. Be willing to go deep, asking with light-hearted curiosity and compassion, "What is this really costing you?" Then hold a therapeutic presence as she follows the ripple effects of what her pain is costing her into every area of her life. This may even be the first time she's ever made this connection, so it can be an eye-opener.

Once your guest shares her feelings about the pain or the problem she's facing, take a moment to reflect that back to her in her own words. Resist the urge to put your own spin on things. This allows her to feel fully seen by you and it helps you feel certain that you understand where she's coming from. What's more, when people believe you understand their pain, they subconsciously credit you with the solution. And that alone puts you in a powerful position to be the healer she hires to help.

Create a Clear Picture

Of course, as a compassionate healer, the last thing you want to do is leave your guest in a state of pain and hopelessness. Now, you want to ignite her imagination by helping her paint a picture of what she wants her life to look like and feel like on the other side of her pain.

Try one of our favorite questions: "If I could wave a magic wand and your [pain, problem, challenge] was gone in an instant, what would your life look like then?" Then give your guest time to talk about all those activities she'd love to do that she can't do now. Does she miss gardening? Morning yoga classes? Lifting her grandkids onto her lap? Remember, your help represents more than pain relief. It improves her whole life.

As always, invite her to connect her vision to how she'll feel when she's there. Then, just as you did with her pain, reflect that back to her in her own words, staying focused on the big payoff that's possible when she's feeling vibrant and well.

Ask The Magic Questions

Once you've witnessed your guest's pain and held the space for her desire to unfold, ask her these two magic questions: "How were you hoping I could help you with this?" And, "On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is it for you to solve this?" They instantly create a bridge between your guest's problems and your expert help.

By asking her how she's hoping you can help, you're able to relate your services directly to her needs, so she instantly understands the value of what you offer. And the second question allows her to see how important her health and well-being really are, so she can finally make a decision to change.

Give Your Guest Hope

Of course, it's impossible to guarantee that anyone's life will change with your help, because every client responds in a unique way. What you can do is share stories about other clients with similar issues who have had successful therapeutic outcomes. When you do that, you bring to life what your guest believes is possible when she says yes to your services. And by engaging her mind in reaching a solution, the healing has already begun.

So feel free to demonstrate your expertise by sharing one or two of your favorite client-success stories. Be sure to include the results your clients experienced and how those results impacted other areas of their lives as well.

The "Aha" Moment

At this point in the Breakthrough Session, you've witnessed your guest's pain, you've elevated her into a higher vision of what's possible on the other side of that pain, you've helped her make her health a priority and you've given her hope that something better is possible. Now, to help her embody the value you offer, this is the perfect time to ask her what breakthroughs or "aha's" she experienced in the course of your conversation. You may hear things like, "I had no idea this was affecting my job so much." Or, "I just thought I had to live with this pain. I didn't think it was possible to move past it."

Whatever your guest comes back with, simply receive it. Then lead her to the next step with this simple transition question: "If I could help you go even further with this to powerfully move from where you are now to where you want to be, is that something you'd like to hear about?"

Offer a Solution

If your guest is someone you know you can help and you truly want to work with, it's time to offer her your therapy. But here's the key: People don't care about what you do, they care about how you can help them. So, when you're talking about your work, stay focused on the benefits, not on your process or modality.

Once you've shared a few possible outcomes your guest might enjoy when she makes the decision to work with you, ask her if she'd like to hear the investment. (Notice we didn't say price, fee or cost. That's because people naturally expect an investment to have a healthy payoff.)

Finally, share your investment with confidence. Then STOP TALKING. Let the value of your therapy resonate with your guest. Give her time to stretch into the improvements you're offering. Then get ready to schedule her first hands-on session. This is the moment your potential client becomes a paying client. And you become richly rewarded for doing the healing work you love.

Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.


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