A Fall From Grace... A Story Of Bewilderment, Uncertainty and Doubt
As Grace remembered those times a wave of sadness came over her. After the rush of new patients when she qualified, it had settled into a trickle.
There were never enough new clients to give Grace the sense that things were really taking off, and certainly not the numbers to make her feel safe enough to quit her regular job.
Grace glanced across the room at her certificates. Immediately they sparked of a flood of memories about her training. The people, the hours of studying, the weekends away from home. And all the dreams.
The endless conversations they'd all had about how they'd build their practice, what they wanted to treat and how their new life would be.
It was an exciting time, a brand new phase that would allow her to feel complete and do what she wanted.
The trickle of new clients occasionally looked like it was building, only to dry up a few weeks or months later.
All of this was starting to make her doubt her ability as a therapist and if she made a difference. Was it her?
The years were rolling along and her dreams were gently fading.
Grace had been to some hard hitting seminars on how to market and sell what you do. She's trawled the internet, posted her name on countless Find A Therapist sites. She'd even spent a small fortune on advertising in a Doctors surgery. Nothing seemed to make a difference
Grace is typical of many gifted practitioners who start to believe that a lack of new clients is either down to their skill as a practitioner, or their ability to understand the rules of how to market and sell.
The way that we are told to market, promote and sell what we do as Health Practitioners isn't broken, it never worked!
The reality is being good or even brilliant at your therapy doesn't guarantee that you'll have a busy practice, or help lots of people.
Practitioners with consistently busy practices do certain things that other practitioners don't do, and doesn't normally involve selling.
I'd like to share with you why for over 25 years I had a six month waiting list to see me as a new client, which at one point reached a ridiculous 2 years wait.
(And I only advertised once in 1987)
I want to challenge the idea that in order to have a consistently busy practice, you have to know and actively follow the standard rules of how to market and sell a service.
In fact I think if you're a health practitioner following the standard way of marketing and selling a service is one of the worst thing you could ever do if you want a consistently busy practice. Let me explain.
Most people tend to think differently about their health and their health practitioners than they do about any other service.
They think their health issues are more complicated than they are, and that if a health practitioner isn't busy, they aren't any good.
As soon as a practitioner or therapist starts to market their practice, the One Message they are sending out to the world is... I'm not busy.
And in most peoples minds that means they're not very good!
It's not true and it's not fair, but that's the message you're sending out to everyone - loud and clear. I'm not busy, which means I am not very good!
Doomed to Failure
The sad fact is... If you follow the conventional marketing, promoting and selling strategies of the very best conventional marketing experts, you'll be doomed to failure. And...
If you follow most of the marketing advice given out by experts from the coaching, consulting or speaking industry, you'll be on a constant merry-go-round of marketing and selling what you do.
Promoting and building up a health practice is fundamentally different from promoting and building up any other service, and if anyone tells you anything different, then I'd respectfully walk away. Quickly.
There are three things you need to do to have a consistently busy practice
Become Irresistibly Attractive. When this fully authentic state is reached new clients are naturally drawn towards you, and it keeps you firmly in their mind long after they have finished seeing you.
Tip Market In Your Direction. Flow & Movement happens with ease if there is a slope or a gradient. Tipping The Market creates a flow towards you by being your most natural and authentic self.
Have Meaningful Moments of Connection. These moments are where you get, keep or maintain your client relationships. Moments that send a message to the world about who you are and what you do.
This path suits our profession, feels natural and authentic and never let's people know that you're not busy. This style of marketing happens in our clinics and our conversations, so it means you can spend more time doing what you love, and less time doing something that doesn't suit you.
The best consistently busy practitioners often aren't aware they are doing the BIG THREE, but everyone I have observed is doing some part of this.
My Next Event
If you'd like some practical help to learn about how to have a consistently busy practice by being your authentic self, then click the button below for details of a unique event I am running in March 2016.
I'd like to share with you a simple but profound method to attract new clients, it's called The Study, it's one of my absolute favourites.
And the reason for that is...
You get lots of new clients in one go, no one knows you're not busy and you're seen by everyone as an expert in your field!
Mary Tonner... "Finally I have met someone who gets it!"
" As a practitioner I’m obsessed about getting to the root of a problem, what’s really going on.
For me if it doesn’t add up I won’t rest until I find the answer and how to solve it.
It’s what makes me good at what I do.
So I was really struggling to understand why following, the “ best” advice out there, about how to build a consistently busy practice, just wasn’t working.
I spent lots (and lots) of time and money, attending courses where I realised that I know more than most of the “tutors”, and that they had absolutely no idea how marketing a Health Business needs to be totally different to mainstream marketing.
Then I met Nick. At the end of our session I finally understood that it wasn’t me.
What I’d been told was the wrong advice for a health business and it was never going to work, no matter how hard I tried. Nick’s approach to practice building is unique, based on 35 years of experience, and goes against everything I’d ever been taught.
Nick understands it, he’s “got it” and finally I am getting it too.
Thanks Nick! "
About Nicholas Haines
I have recently retired after spending 35 years as a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and running a busy Complementary Heath Centre in Nottingham (UK). In 1988 I Co-Founded The Northern College of Acupuncture where I still Chair the Board.
I have always been passionate about health and have written and been published on the subject, as well lecturing nationally and internationally.
I am the CEO of Five Institute, where we use modern Chinese Energetics to enable change makers worldwide to be even more awesome, shake things up and make more positive things happen for all of us.
I am also a Founding Member of ATL-Europe (The Association of Transformational Leaders in Europe) where I serve on the Wisdom Council.