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Debbie pearce & Nicola Griffiths Debbie pearce & Nicola Griffiths
The Key To Success

A Marketing Lesson

Lessons Learnt from a Seemingly Simple Exercise

This is an auspicious year.  It’s 10 years ago that we began our training as Hypnotherapists with the renowned Clifton Practice.  We very nearly trained on the same course – only a family wedding coinciding with the first training weekend prevented Debs from joining the earlier intake in 2007. Being now very old, we tend to reminisce and we both agree that one of the most difficult parts of the course was a seemingly innocuous exercise set by our lecturer, David Newton, during the first weekend.

He asked us to request brochures from 5 hypnotherapists in our local area.

On the face of it, it sounds very simple. In practice it turned out to be quite a challenge.  Neither we nor most of our fellow students felt comfortable posing as prospective customers – ‘secret shoppers’ if you will.

However, such was our passion for the course that we overcame our squeamishness and ‘got on with it’.

And what a revelation it turned out to be.

It’s only with hindsight that we appreciated the purpose of the exercise was not to obtain brochures from 5 hypnotherapists. No, it was far more useful than that. In a style worthy of Lord Sugar, we had been set a Market Research task.

Debs came across her notes from the exercise the other day, and the lessons learnt are just as relevant today as they were 10 years ago. Although in those days it was far more usual to request written literature than it is today, the principles still apply to electronic communication:

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 1:

Result:                  BT standard message.

Action:                  Debs left a message to ask if he would send some information.

Outcome:             No brochure received.

Learning:             The BT Answer 1571 message does not present a professional image.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 2:

Result:                  Line engaged.

Action:                  Debs chickened out and never rang back.

Outcome:              No brochure received.

Learning:               Possibly a thriving business.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 3:

Result:                  Elderly lady answered. Wrong number but she keeps getting calls.

Action:                  Debs asked the online directory to remove the incorrect details.

Outcome:              No brochure received.

Learning:              Need to ensure details on professional registers are accurate and up to date.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 4:

Result:                   Automated message “This number does not receive incoming calls”.

Action:                   Debs was relieved she didn’t have to pretend to be a client.

Outcome:              No brochure received.

Learning:               Make sure own phone line is active.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 5:

Result:                   BT standard message.

Action:                   Debs left a message to ask if he would send some information.

Outcome:               No brochure received.

Learning:                The BT Answer 1571 message does not present a professional image.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 6:

Result:                  Hypnotherapist answered, asked how she could help, explained how they work and invited Debs to make an appointment.  Debs asked for a brochure and was directed to their website.

Action:                   Debs tried to access the website but it failed to load.

Outcome:               No information received.

Learning:               Remember not everyone has access to the internet (not relevant now, well very rarely anyway). Make sure website loads in a timely way.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 7:

Result:                  Hypnotherapist answered, asked how he could help, explained how he worked, volunteered the cost without being asked. Very friendly, caring, gave advice about confidence, plenty of reassurance and invited Debs to make an appointment.

Action:                   He was so kind Debs didn’t have the nerve to ask for a brochure.

Outcome:               No brochure received, but that was not the hypnotherapists fault!

Learning:                Good to engender trust. Good to volunteer the pricing information.

 

Phone Call to Hypnotherapist No 8:

Result:                    Answerphone message stating therapist’s name, but not that she was a hypnotherapist. She sounded tired.

Action:                    Debs left a message to ask if she would send some information.

Outcome:               Brochure arrived with a lovely note confirming she could help, her fees and availability.

Learning:                Answerphone message better that standard 1571. Message needs to be more upbeat. Good idea to include a friendly note with the information.

 

By this time, Debs was getting concerned that she didn’t have leaflets from 5 therapists and so ‘cheated’ (or so she thought) and went to several therapy centres in the area to harvest their brochures.

In hindsight there is another lesson to be learnt: whilst it can be disheartening to see that there are several other therapists providing the same therapy that you do in your area, don’t assume that they are all actively practising, or that their contact information is accurate and up to date.

It subsequently transpired that the hypnotherapist who did actually send a brochure with the friendly covering note was a former graduate of CPHT, who no doubt had been set this Apprentice style task and, like us, vowed to do better.

Professionalism is so important. Nic goes out of her way to help people who come through to her clinic even if they haven't got the type of therapist the client needs.  She will refer them to a competitive clinic. But then she gets her clinic a good reputation and people are far more likely to refer to her.

Take Action, one of the keys to success is to provide a first class service to all prospective clients, regardless of how they contact you.  

 Nic and Debs

 

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