When you know you get great results for clients, it can be hard to understand why someone doesn’t want to book an appointment with you, when they need the exact service you offer.
Perhaps you’re getting plenty of enquiries. Maybe there’s a lot of polite interest. You may even be getting a healthy number of visits to your website or people picking up flyers. But for some reason you can’t put your finger on, the interest isn’t translating into paying clients.
Your inner critic puts in an appearance
“Not enough people know I exist. There’s too much competition out there. It’s impossible to stand out. I need to advertise. Maybe I’m not cut out to be a holistic therapist after all. It’s because people think I’m too expensive.”
When you’ve worked so hard to get your business off the ground, it’s entirely normal to feel frustrated and self-critical when perfect-fit clients don’t flow to you. After all, you are actually trying to help them. Most therapists in this position find themselves assuming that price is the issue here. Some take their prices off their website, or give on-the-spot discounts to wavering clients. Others try luring new clients in with special prices or freebies – only to discover they can’t then sustain a viable business this way.
Here’s something I want you to remember
Someone could come across what you offer, see it’s a perfect fit for his or her needs and still not buy. Sometimes it’s a question of timing. But very often it’s a matter of safety and of risk. They’re scared that if they buy from you they’re going to either lose out on something they have or they won’t get something they want.
Their risks (whether perceived or justified) can be anything from having to explain their purchase to a partner. The fear of looking silly. The fear of spending money and not getting the results. The fear of getting their hopes up only to be disappointed (again). The fear that the therapist may talk too much. The fear that they won’t be able to get a parking space. The fear of being sold to. The fear of not knowing the cost or really understanding what a particular treatment could do for them.
The majority of therapists are totally blind to this
Therapists haven’t asked themselves, ‘What might be risky or scary about making this purchase?’. Often we’re so close to our own businesses that we find it impossible to understand why someone wouldn’t want to book. If this sounds like you, ask someone you trust, “Why wouldn’t you call to book an appointment with someone like me?” then capture each response in a list. Or consider asking clients who already know and trust you, “What hesitations did you have about booking before you became a client?’
Your marketing needs to make it safe enough for people to make contact
It needs to reduce the risk and make it safe for potential clients to move forward. Here are 5 of my top tips for doing just that in a no cost way.
Make sure your voicemail or email address is personalised for your business so potential clients know they have reached the right person. And remember that what goes on social media stays on social media. It’s fair for people to assume that however you come across online, or how you respond to people in person, is exactly how you’ll come across as a therapist with clients.
- Put your prices on your website
Be honest about how much you charge so the potential clients who make contact have already decided that your price point is a fit for them. You’ll also be far less likely to waver on price if you’ve publicly declared how much you charge.
Include testimonials from previous clients on your website – when people can see their own situation reflected in someone else’s words and feedback, they are far more likely to move forward, to feel safe.
- Simplify everything
Make it easy for people to buy from you. If information on your site is out of date, if links aren’t working or if it isn’t clear how people go about taking the next step, the chances are they won’t. They won’t feel safe. On every page of your website ask yourself, ‘What action do I want people to take next?’ Then gently guide them in that direction with a very clear Call To Action (e.g. ‘Click here to discover why I do this work’, ‘Fill out the form below to request a call back’, ‘Call this number to book your appointment.’)
- Be transparent and real
Be open about who you are and aren’t a fit for. You won’t be right for everyone and that’s OK. People will admire your honesty and integrity. Use blogs on your website to communicate your philosophy and approach. Share your story on your About page. Explain why it is that you do what you do. Did you go though a similar struggle to your ideal clients? Share that. You’ll be meeting your potential clients with empathy and understanding and making it safe for them to connect with you. You’ll be giving them an opportunity to get to know you from a safe distance and ultimately lowering the risk of them making contact.
About Lisa Barber
Lisa Barber helps complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists to get more perfect-fit clients and to set up their businesses for the long term. Her video course, ‘How to Market Your Holistic Practice’ is currently available for FHT members. For affordable, DIY marketing techniques and smart, sleaze-free strategies that work, click here to get her online video series.