How To Lose A Client In 5 Easy Ways

MYOB Counselor helps you “mind your own business!” This month, we’re learning about why clients buy. 

“Excuse me, can I talk to you about your haircare?”

“Let me put this lotion on your hand!”

“Do you want to see this toy? It runs forever!”

I don’t know about you, but when I get attacked by mall kiosk people, I want to run like the wind. I get it, they’re just doing their job, but it makes me so uncomfortable to have my space invaded. It puts me in whatever the OPPOSITE of a buying mood is. As in, I want to take my money, run home, lock the door and not talk to people.

Like, ever again.

Pushiness and personal space invasion is why I don’t buy from most mall kiosks.

But what about our clients?

Why might they not want to buy from us?

I doubt you’re chasing them down the street, yelling “Let me help you! I can talk to you about your problems…I do EMDR!”

So it can’t be that…

What then?

Let’s look at 5 things you could be doing to lose your clients before they buy. 

1: Leading With “Me” Not Them. Many of us lead with the “I” in our marketing, not “you” the client. To illustrate how common this is, I typed a random zip code into Psychology Today and took a survey of my first page of results. Of the 20 therapists on page one, only 4 started their profile by addressing the client. The rest started with “I” or “My” or some variation of those.
This is a huge mistake because when your client is shopping for a therapist, they are thinking about their problems, not you and your credentials. When they encounter therapists with “I” centered profiles, at best they aren’t having their needs and concerns addressed right away. At worst, they feel like it’s all about the counselor, not about them.

Quick Fix: Consider rearranging your profile or your welcome page to start with a QUESTION for the client, rather than your professional bio. You might ask something like “Are you tired of _____? Are you worried about _________?

2. Using Only Fancy Counselor Language. Try to read this sentence: I subscribe to Karl Jung’s theories, and so in our therapeutic relationship we will explore the paradigms of the unconscious mind so you can experience the full depths of self-actualization. Did you nod off in the middle? So did I – and I wrote it! When you write marketing material you are not trying to reach other counselors. So don’t write in language only other counselors would understand. Use simple words, and metaphors. Paint a word picture that anyone can grasp. And save the fancy counselor language for your next conference.

Quick Fix: Here’s a simple template for what you do. I help ________ (who) _________(do what) so that they can ______ (simple benefit to the client.) That’s it – you’re done.

3. Using The Wrong Photo. 
They’ve actually done research – there’s a right way and a wrong way to take a professional photograph. When it’s not done correctly, it can make clients see you as less likeable, capable and influential.

Quick Fix: Read the article linked in the text above, and consider re-shooting or adjusting your professional photo accordingly!

4. Projecting An Unfinished Or Low-End Image. When you’re starting out, I absolutely recommend starting small. Sub-lease your office space, focus on one or two marketing activities, and keep it financially manageable. But even when doing that, make sure you aren’t coming across as less than professional. Some of the ways I have seen counselors do this:
Having an unprofessional website. If your website is slow-loading, has low-resolution pictures, if the text is wonky – that can really make potential clients concerned. Fair or not, an unprofessional website can make clients leave before they call. A professional domain name (without “wix” “wordpress” etc. in the title) is $10-$20. If you don’t feel confident or have the time to DIY, $59/month isn’t a lot to pay for getting this done for you.
Your office doesn’t have to be expensive, or even only yours, but is it clean? Organized? Private? I challenge you to stand in your office today and try to look at like you’re seeing it for the first time. Does it come off as professional to you?
Callback time: Do you return most new client calls within one business day? If not – why? That’s a huge piece of your income and it doesn’t look like you’re very committed to your business if you don’t call clients back in a timely manner.

Quick Fix: Evaluate your business from an outsider’s perspective. What could you do to make it appear more professional to your potential clients? 


Don’t lose your client by having an unprofessional website!

5. Skipping The Call-To-Action. In your marketing, you want to end each piece with a clear next step for potential clients to take in order for them to start a relationship with you. Many counselors write fantastic blog posts, or record engaging videos, but lose potential clients because the clients don’t know what they should do next. Reminding the client of your phone number, offering them a free consult, encouraging them to subscribe to your email newsletter, etc., can go a long way towards keeping the clients you’ve attracted with your great marketing.

Quick Fix: Write a call-to-action for a popular area of your website. 

Follow these simple quick fixes, and you can turn client losses into client wins!