Massage Today Get the Latest News FASTER - View Digital Editions Now!
Massage Today dotted line
dotted line

dotted line
Share |
  Forward PDF Version  

Holistic Wealth

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC

About the Columnist
Other Articles

The Phone Consult: Five Compelling Tips for Success

It's every therapist's dream — you wake up to a calendar full of clients who magically appeared on your schedule after they clicked a booking link on your website. Sure, it could happen. But chances are, if you specialize in any kind of unconventional modality, it's going to take a conversation to get someone from your site to your table.

That's why you want to get really good at facilitating powerful telephone consults. The kind that inspire people to invest in themselves — even if they have no idea how you do what you do. So print this article out and put it by your phone. Then use these five tips the next time a potential client calls.

One: It's all About Pace

Ease into the conversation and feel your way around. Then match your caller's pace. You may think your caller wants to understand your work. But what she really wants is far more fundamental. She wants to feel your energy and get a sense of whether she believes she can trust you to touch her. So focus on building rapport by matching your caller's pacing.

The Phone Consult: Five Compelling Tips for Success - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Remember, she may be feeling anxious, and even wary. The last thing you want is to overwhelm her nervous system any more than it already is. So notice her breathing. The length of her pauses. The speed of her speech. And match them with your own. Subconsciously she'll feel like she's in a safe space with you, and there's no better outcome than that.

Two: The Invitation

Invite your client to give voice to her pain. For some practitioners, like Craniosacral Therapists, asking for a potential client's health history may be frowned upon. But here's the thing: Inviting your caller to talk about her pain isn't for your benefit. It's for hers.

"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." — Teddy Roosevelt

So give your caller room to share her frustrations and concerns. Let her talk about what motivated her to call you in the first place. It's only when she's sure you fully see her that she'll let down her walls and trust you to take good care of her.

Three: A Package Deal

Don't offer your caller a session. Offer her an "Evaluation Package." I think we can all agree that after one session, your modality may still be a mystery to your client. And the truth is, she may not be able to accurately evaluate its effectiveness. That's why it helps to offer her a particular kind of package. One that encourages her to notice her improvements in a follow-up phone call that's built in.

Read more about this Evaluation Package — and how to put it together effectively — in "Turning One Session Into Many."1 Then whip one up and offer it to the next potential client who calls. It'll give her the space to share her experience with you. And it'll give you the opportunity to answer her questions. And invite her into the next hands-on session.

Four: The Change-Up

If your consult doesn't end with a new client, then change the ending. Let's say you facilitate a great consult. But for whatever reason, your caller still says no. That's okay. It doesn't mean she'll never become a client. Only that she's not one now. What's important is that you don't create a story around what this means about you.

So after the conversation, spend a few minutes reviewing it in your mind. Except this time, imagine it ending exactly the way you wanted it to. Run the scene over and over again until you feel like you do when a new client says yes. Then let it go. By conditioning your brain for success, you'll feel better with every phone consult you go into. And that confidence is incredibly attractive to potential new clients.

Five: The Comfort Zone

Get comfortable with your caller's discomfort. This may be the hardest part to learn. After all, it's ultimately your job to help people feel more comfortable, not less. The challenge is, your caller may never fully appreciate what you offer until she experiences it herself. So in the consult, get comfortable with her discomfort. Know that once she gets a taste of your skills, she still may not understand why it works. Only that it does. And that she feels better for it.


  1. Desjarlais S. "Turning One Session Into Many." Massage Today, Aug 2016.
dotted line