When potential clients ask you to make a recommendation, how do you answer?
For example, this question came up on one of our calls last week, when we were working on talking to prospective clients on the phone. The “client” asked his practice partner: “Do I need to come for classes or for private sessions with you?”
The “practitioner” on the call answered with a lengthy description of what classes look like, including how long they are, what to wear, what to bring, where to park…
I’ve also heard people answer that question by answer by outlining the philosophical or practical differences between private work and group work.
Answers like this leave potential clients more confused than they were before they asked the question!
Why? It’s simple really–
When people call you, they expect you to be an expert.
It’s logical, isn’t it?
The problem is that an awful lot of hands-on practitioners need help with claiming their expertise. They don’t know what it is, and they don’t feel comfortable even hinting to their prospective clients that they have any… but consider it from your prospect’s standpoint–
What’s the incentive to work with you if you are not an expert?
Here’s a quick solution to letting people see your expertise:
Step 1: Understand the question.
First let’s look at a similar situation.
Imagine that you have a tooth that needs attention and you call your dentist. By some miracle, the dentist answers the phone instead of the receptionist, and it becomes clear that there are two possible solutions: a crown or filling. You know there’s a difference between them, including that one takes more time, is more expensive, and means something different about the state of your tooth.
What would you really want to know if you asked “Which one do I need?”
- That the dentist has clairvoyant ex-ray vision and can see the state of your tooth over the phone?
- Whether you’ll need to make one appointment or two?
- How bad you should feel about your tooth-brushing habits?
- How much it’s going to cost?
So now, coming back to your practice…
Is your experience like that of most practitioners–that most people would rather be touched and get your undivided attention than be in a group where they might feel like they’re on their own and not getting as much of “you” as they want. For many many people, the deciding factor is how much classes cost versus how much private sessions cost.
It would be reasonable to assume that this simple question can be translated as “How much is this going to cost me?”
It’s unlikely that the person wants to get a lot deeper than this at the moment… whether they’re talking to you or to the dentist!
Step 2: Respond in a way that shows your expertise.
It’s probably impossible for you to answer this question at this point — that’s why it seems so much easier to talk about something else.
Coming back to our dentist… it’s unlikely you’re going to him or her to answer that question on the phone.
Why? For the same reason anyone who is, in fact, an expert, wouldn’t answer you over the phone… to make an honest recommendation, you need more information than you can get over the phone.
Here’s what you can say instead:
“It’s really impossible to answer that over the phone. I won’t know until we have a session together because there are a lot of variables that can only be considered when we’re in the same room.
My recommendation would be to come for a consultation, and in that time, we can get clear on what you’re really looking for, what working together would be like, and what my best recommendation for you would be. Would you like to do that?”
From this, the prospective client gets it that you aren’t going to make a hasty decision, or one based on money. In addition, it’s clear that you’re going to make a recommendation–and you’ve already set the stage for it to be taken as the recommendation of an expert.
Expressing your expertise on the phone is crucial to getting clients who commit to doing what it takes to get the outcomes they want. That’s the kind of help the Heart-to-Heart Program is designed to give you.
If you’re ready to claim your expert standing and don’t know how to do that, check out the Heart to Heart program right here.
If you need more clients, I hope you’ll get the help you need soon, because too many people who need you are still hurting!
If this article stimulated your thinking, get email updates—it’s free!