Do Potential Clients Know What You Do?
You know, but do they know?
As hypnotherapists, we find there are huge misconceptions about what hypnotherapy is and isn't. Sometimes these misconceptions act as a barrier to people coming to see us.
The range of therapies available to the public is vast, each with its own nuances and (possibly) underlying philosophies. It goes without saying that you are well acquainted with the benefits and techniques of your own therapy, but do potential clients understand exactly what you do?
Pretend to be an alien
Imagine you are an alien, newly arrived on earth, (Debs is writing this - she's a Star Trek fan, but don't tell any of her clients) and you have a bad back. Your travelling companion is suffering from anxiety caused by inter-galactic turbulence (Ed: how can you have turbulence in a vacuum?).
You're both seeking help and so you do some research on available therapies. You have a pile of leaflets from different therapists and you've viewed their websites. How are you going to choose?
You want someone professional, so you knock out dog-eared or messily designed leaflets. You also strike off anyone whose website is incomplete, difficult to navigate or untidy. You have high standards, so you also eliminate anyone with poor spelling or grammar, after all, if they can't produce good quality promotional material, then they're not likely to be any good as a therapist (aliens are renowned for being judgemental and unfortunately some clients can be too and we need to maximise our catch rate).
Are you friendly (or even human)?
You want someone you know you'll feel comfortable with, so you only select material that has the therapist's photo so you feel a bit more relaxed, and then you sift through eliminating people you don't think will suit your personality - maybe they're too strident looking, too fluffy or they're frowning at you!
So, you're left with a selection of possible therapists, each practising different types of therapies - how are you going to choose?
Now you look at the content of the material. It will probably contain:
- A description of the therapy in general terms - 'a non-invasive holistic treatment... meridians, muscles or mind stuff... stimulates the flow of energy...CBT....'
- A list of conditions or problems the therapy can help.
- Some background information about the therapist.
- Maybe some background about how the therapy developed.
- Contact details of the therapist.
But what exactly do you do?
So far, so good. But there's something missing. Remember you're an alien and you're new to all this. You're anxious, possibly worried and/or in discomfort. So many of the therapies seem to help the same conditions and have a similar underlying philosophy.
- What you actually want to know is:
- What will the therapist do to me?
- Will they give me therapy at the first session or is there an initial consultation?
- What should I wear? (alien-speak for: Will I need to get undressed)?
- Will I be sitting in a chair, lying on a couch or on a mat on the floor?
- Will it hurt / be emotionally-charged?
- How many sessions will I need?
- What will we talk about (if it's a talking therapy)?
In other words - what does the therapy look like in practice? An actual example we have is one of Nic's sisters. She'd put her back out and was considering going to a Chiropracter and asked Nic 'do they treat you fully clothed or will I have to undress'? (It was a male therapist). The more you plainly explain, the more you are likely to draw people in.
Take action to review your material
Debs took a random sample of therapists' leaflets and only about 1/3 of them addressed these areas. Take a look at your leaflet and website - would a passing alien be able to work out what happens in a session? If not, you could be losing potential business to other therapists who do explain what they do.
If you amend your leaflet now, it's all done and dusted next time you come to reprint - you don't have to reprint now!
Review your promotional material now
Nic & Debs