They’re not always easy, and maybe you’ve even found yourself:
– Experiencing imposter syndrome as soon as they ask about your fees.
– Tempted to throw out a lower price than you meant to just book the client
Well, if you’ve done any of these, you’re not alone.
Consult calls can be tricky, but they don’t have to be “salesy” and you DON’T have to undersell yourself in order to seal the deal…We promise.
Here are 6 tricks to keep in your back pocket (or directly in front of you!) for complete confidence during a consult call.
- Seek to understand
Your very first goal during this call isn’t to explain what you do and answer logistic questions. As a therapist you’re most likely already great at listening and validating–so use it! Summarize and expand on what they just told you so they’re sure you heard them and would know how to help them. Let them know it makes sense they feel this way or are struggling with something in particular. Be on their team! This makes everyone more relaxed and comfortable to move on to the next step.
- Offer some value
Your potential client may or may not be familiar with therapy. Offering a small exercise or experience you would do in a session can be a great way to show them what it’s like working with you. Maybe you offer them a reframe, do some motivational interviewing, use a CBT technique, or ask a meaning-making question. It doesn’t need to be extensive, just a little preview of what kind of work you do. The client may be pleasantly surprised you’re willing to offer something so helpful for free!
You can also add in here how you’re trained in a specific type of therapy that is proven to help with their issue, modality, or population. Make sure they understand how you’re a good match for them specifically (and if you’re not it’s a good time to refer them to someone who would be!)
- Let them know you’ve worked with someone similar to them in the past
Although every client is unique in their experience, chances are you’ve worked with someone who’s been struggling with a similar issue before. Let them know how you’ve helped someone with their issue in the past and walk them through what it looked like and the progress that client made. This is reassuring to the client as they may feel like they’re the only person in the world experiencing what they’re going through. If they can envision someone else moving forward, it can help make therapy feel less daunting and more doable.
BEFORE any pricing gets put on the table ASK them if what you’ve given them so far (understanding, a therapy preview/how you could help, social proof) sounds like what they’re looking for. If they say yes, there’s “buy-in” meaning they’ve assessed everything you’ve said so far and have decided it’s worth their time and money. You’ve also let them know others are willing to pay for your services and have found them worthwhile (remind yourself of this as well to help work against imposter syndrome!)
- IF they’ve said yes, then give them your fee–confidently!
This is key, don’t make this part emotional or say your price like you’re doubting yourself. You know what you’re worth and you know others are willing to pay it. They’ve said yes to your offer already, all you have to do is let them know the price. Immediately offer just a few openings in your calendar and let them decide how they’d like to proceed.
If there’s push back on the price and you have a sliding scale this could be a time to slide it down a bit. If they’re wanting to know how they could get reimbursed with insurance let them know you’ll do everything you can to make sure they have the information they need.
- Congratulate them!
Deciding to reach out to a therapist is difficult. Taking care of ourselves isn’t always prioritized, and choosing to spend the time and money on healing is a huge step towards progress already. Acknowledge their bravery and commitment to investing in themselves and their relationships!
Good Work! You’ve booked a client with confidence, compassion, and were able to stay aligned with your worth as a clinician.
Write a few of these tips out in front of you before a call, or post it somewhere you’ll see it often to help you remember.
Now go out there and do great work!
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Watch our latest video where John talks about this topic in more detail!
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