Are you unconsciously pushing clients away from working with you?

November 17th, 2010

I bet you are reading the title to this article and thinking, “no way”, however you may be doing, and thinking, some things that may actually be pushing your clients away from working with you. Read this short article and see if you’re unconsciously pushing away your clients and how you can put the welcome mat out on your practice!

So how do you know if you are pushing your clients away? Here are some signals to look for.

1. You don’t have systems in place.

You may be thinking ‘systems’? What’s a system, and why the heck would I need one? If you don’t have systems in place you’ll be spending so much time and energy on doing things again (and again), you may feel exhausted and overwhelmed when a new client comes along.

How do you know if this is problem for your business? Ask yourself if you would feel overwhelmed and stressed out if your business were to double? If the answer is yes, then it’s likely you’re pushing clients away.

Systems are ways to repeat a series of actions to achieve a specific result. As a creative pioneer, I hesitated creating systems because I thought I would be bored! What I realized instead is that a system acts like a bookend and allows the flexibility and freedom to play within the structure.

So here are areas you can create systems for your business. Create systems for follow-up, for client conversations, for your intake process, after networking and speaking events. Once you do so you’ll have a repeatable system that takes the guess work out of what to do or say, and you’ll be able to focus your energies elsewhere.

2. When the phone rings you get nervous.

Yes, a bit of nerves may be common, but if you’re feeling anxiety about taking on new clients this may be a sign that something else is going on. Take a minute and check-in to see what’s underneath the nerves. Do you feel like taking on another client is too much, do you feel concerned you don’t know enough to help this person, are you worried about being overwhelmed with more paperwork and filing insurance for your clients?

When you identify what your anxiety is about there is an opportunity to make changes. If you’re not sure about the underlying feeling, take 15-minutes and write words or draw images of what you’re feeling. You get clear quickly, so you can shift your energies to welcoming new clients.

3. You’re really busy with lots of things, but they are not activities that put you in conversations with potential clients.

Is your office activities and business a distraction from connecting with clients? If so, then you are likely to take on more projects and stay really busy doing and redoing things (and checking and rechecking your emails). Instead, shift the focus and put your efforts and energies on connecting with and engaging in conversations with your potential clients and referral resources.  The cool thing is once you create systems (see #1) then, you’ll have the exact process to connect and follow-up with your potential clients.

4. You terminate with clients before they are ready.

My therapist friend and I had a great conversation the other night about the length of working with clients. She spoke candidly about having clients she worked with for years, and how early on in her career she would feel compelled to move clients out of her practice. Now she realizes that clients continue to come to sessions (year after year) because they value having someone fully present listening to them. She realized it was her  ‘stuff’ that wanted to move people out of her therapy office.

So how do you respond to termination? Even if you work in a short-term or a program model, do you provide the option for maintenance sessions or follow-up check-ins?  If not, you may be missing out on an area to further support your clients and you may be unconsciously pushing your clients away.

Are you ready to take action and receive instant access to tools and information to help you accelerate your practice so you can help more clients?

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