Do You Know What Your Clients Really Want?

May 5th, 2010

handshakeWhen you ask a therapist what they do for a living they say they are a therapist, counselor, social worker, psychologist, marriage and family therapists, etc. Okay, that may be an easy way to identify your profession but it’s not necessarily what your clients are looking for. The problem is when you identify yourself this way you may actually be turning off people from coming to see you. There may be a few people out there who have been looking for a therapist and are so happy to meet you. However, most people are going to politely nod and then go back to their hors d’oeuvers when you introduce yourself that way. You see, when you state you are a therapist, another person may feel uncomfortable (oh no, now I’m going to be analyzed), or they may think, “that’s nice, thank goodness I don’t need therapy”, or “gosh my spouse, child, etc could use some therapy”. So there is an easy way to shift this so that the person you are talking with understands what you do, knows who you work with, and can easily think of someone he/she could refer to you.

First, you need to know who you work with and the results you help them achieve. When you are clear of the type of client you work best with, then you can easily share this. What this does is help the person you are talking with see if they would benefit from your services or if they know of someone who could use your help. People love to connect people together, so when you are clear of whom you work with they will often say, “Oh I know someone who could benefit from that. Can I have your card?”

worldhandsnetworkpeopleSecond, you need to be very specific about the benefits you provide. What are the results your clients get from working with you? If you don’t know the answer, ask your clients. This will help you get crystal clear on the results you help people achieve. People are looking for results not modalities. Research supports that that only 15 % of change is attributed to therapeutic techniques (Hubble, Duncan, Miller, 2006).

Third, you want to convey to your potential clients that you understand them and their problem. Every interaction from in-person meetings to your brochure and your websiteis an opportunity to let your potential client know you understand them. If your website welcomes visitors with extensive information about your modality or uses clinical jargon and terms, or you go into extensive detail about your training, guess what? It’s a big turnoff and your potential client will leave your website quickly because you don’t understand them! (Sorry to those folks out there who talk about accompanying your client during their life journeys and transitions. It may sound poetic but that’s not what your clients are searching for).

Your Assignment: What do well-educated, empathic therapist to do? Do some marketing spring housekeeping.

  1. Clean out all the tired copy on your website and brochures, and freshen it up with what your ideal clients are looking for.
  2. Speak to your clients in the words they would use and ask them what they really want in working with you and how you’ve helped them. So next time you meet someone an networking event you won’t jump to saying you’re a therapist, but instead explain who you help and how you help them. Then watch the referrals start coming in!

nichemoneyIf you need some very clear steps to help you easily describe what you do and the benefits your clients get from working with you, then you are going to want to jump on board the “Niche and Fill my Practice” telecourse  starting May 11th. I’ll walk you through creating your own Niche Blueprint so you can easily share what you do with your potential clients in person and in all of your marketing materials. It’s an easy and fun process that will jumpstart your practice helping you to take action immediately and quickly start to see more clients Resister here:


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