I was watching a YouTube video about the Dead Sea scrolls, when the videographer asked the archaeologist in the shot, Guy Steibel, “How did you decide to become an archaeologist?”
“Ask my mother!” he joked. “But It started with curiosity… At the end of the day, it’s the soil, it’s being out in the desert… we’re like kids, we like to play in the soil … and being paid for it… I mean, what can you ask for– more? There’s something genuine here.”
The curiosity of a somatic practitioner is about people, not about soil and antiquities…
But however you look at it, what grabs us starts with curiosity… an inherent human trait that drives people regardless of the particular context that each of us finds personally irresistible.
Marie Curie wasn’t a business coach, so we’ll forgive her for her terrible “Get Clients Now” advice: “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
When you’re a hands-on practitioner talking to a potential client, you need to be more curious about that person than you are about any idea or concept or modality you’ve ever come across!
I know that you’re curious about people on some level… and there are lots of different levels. But at the heart of it all, you can’t possibly enjoy making your living by working with people — let alone touching them — if you aren’t curious about things like…
- How did they get the way they are?
- What’s in involved in the injury that brought them here?
- What kinds of things will help them?
- What would happen if we tried this?… or maybe… this?
- What’s the best way to approach the transformation they want?
The list is endless.
But do you notice something interesting about these questions? They’re all about ideas, not about people.
This is the kind of curiosity that serves you well once you have a client — but it doesn’t help you get clients.
To get clients, you need to be curious about people… and let them know it!
Develop the kind of curiosity that makes the other person more interesting to you than what you have to say about yourself… more interesting than getting a new client… more interesting than hearing yourself talk.
It’s about making your connection with the person more valuable than getting a ‘sale’
It’s about going deeper, exchanging information that changes lives… finding the common interests that allow you to create heart-felt connections, establish relationships that last a lifetime, transform the people you work with, one session at a time.
The problem is that most practitioners get really curious about people only after they’ve already committed to working together!
Is that how it is for you?
Well, the good news is that your curiosity is a big part of what makes you a good — even great — practitioner — a terrific resource for vast amounts of information and endless connection.
But it’s hard to get clients if you don’t exercise your curiosity in people before they become clients.
Being curious about people is an essential practice-building skill.
Unfortunately, if you’re afraid that being curious makes you pushy or that asking questions is invasive, then you’re missing out on using one of the your natural gifts to help you bring more people close enough to you, that you can help them.
The truth is that our clients love to talk about themselves, and your curiosity gives them the chance to do exactly that. More than that, it gives them a chance to tell you what kind of help they need. And it also gives you a chance to find out if they could be a good fit for what we do.
The problem is that we’ve been taught that curiosity is socially inappropriate... or we’re concerned about prying, afraid to speak first — we all have our own stories about why we don’t do it.
Whatever your story is, if you’re holding back your curiosity, you’re probably losing clients left and right.
The next step
To become more at ease being curious about people, think of someone you recently met and ask yourself:
- What draws me to this person?
- What do I want to know more about?
- How can I express my interest and my caring without making the person feel weird, or sold to?
- What is my intention in talking to this person in the first place? How does that color what I say, what I do, they way I feel about myself?
- What would feel more natural?
Practice every day for the next week — ask someone you know one question that goes deeper than you normally would go — leave a comment about what happens!
Being appropriately curious about people — in a way that leads to getting more clients — is just one of the skills you’ll develop in the Heart-to-Heart program. What you learn about talking to people will change your practice — and your life — forever!
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