Do you have younger siblings? I did. If you’re like me, you might remember this unique social trauma: Your friends come over to hang out. Perfect, right? It is, except that your younger siblings want to come and “play” too. Ugh. How embarrassing. Worse yet, your mom and dad didn’t understand and were actually on their side. “Try to imagine how it is for them,” your parents say. “They just want to spend time with you!” Good advice. Though, in your 9-year-old haughtiness, that advice was likely overlooked. It’s just hard to duplicate the exact feeling of being a younger sibling excluded from the fun. After all, you’re the cool older one that never has that problem! Instead, you’d say things like, “Let them get their own friends!” Because you just didn’t get it. You weren’t putting yourself in their shoes. Though you may not realize it, you’re probably doing something similar right now. Most therapists I know are empathetic people. But we have a curious mental block when it comes to why we aren’t filling up our appointment book. It usually goes like this: We face a week (or several) when our client load is lower than we’d like it to be. We want to help more people, and, let’s face it, we’re a little worried about paying bills. What’s your first thought, if that’s you? “Why is no one calling me for help?” Why indeed? Why would someone pick up the phone and call a counselor for help? In order to answer that question for yourself, I’m going to ask you to do something that will probably annoy you. Buy something. We want clients to buy our services. But many of us aren’t willing to put the money down on something similar ourselves. So we miss the fundamental knowledge we need to answer the question. “Why would someone buy our counseling services?”
MYOB Counselor helps you “mind your own business!” This month, we’re learning about why clients buy. After reading this article, hop on over to our Facebook group for more discussion and resources.
- What is that moment in a client’s life like?
- Where are they emotionally when they are ready to reach out and call a counselor?
- What are they looking for to help them make a decision?
- What factor makes it “worth it” to them to put the money down and make an appointment?
Think about it.There’s a lot of ways to put yourself in your client’s shoes by buying a service. Here’s some to get you started:
- Therapy for yourself. (If you are private pay, then seek a private pay therapist. If you are insurance-based, then seek out a paneled provider.)
- Business coaching. (I occasionally have openings for one-on-one coaching, if I may offer a self-serving plug.)
- Health or fitness coaching.
- Non-clinical personal growth classes.
- Consulting or legal help.
- The goal of the purchase. Example: An hour of housecleaning buys more time with work or family.
- The perceived likelihood of achieving the goal with the offering presented. Example: I believe an hour of business coaching with ________ will unblock my fears and allow me to be more productive and focused. As a result, I will make more money.
- The act of putting money towards a goal as part of achieving the goal. Example: I paid $250 for a HIPAA consult so I’d BETTER use that information to make my practice compliant!
- Giving oneself permission to care for self. Example: I know lowering my stress level is important for my physical and mental health, which is why it’s okay to have my massage once a month.
- What factors are important to you as you evaluate your options?
- What hesitations do you have when you reach out to service providers?
- What fears do you have about the outcome of your exercise?
- What do you worry family or friends will say about your investment in yourself?
- What excitement do you feel about the possibilities for your future now?