When we all first got into the wellness field, it was to reach and touch more people. It was to bring holistic healthcare options to the same stage as Western medicine and to make it more accessible. But…
You’re struggling to make a living in your business!
This is what I’m so passionate about. We CAN NOT have wellness practitioners leaving the industry because they can’t make a successful living. No money in their checking account and wondering what in the hell they are going to do next. That will not help elevate this wonderful industry!
So today I want to talk about the fact that your client close rate should be triple what it actually is today. All you need to do is follow 5 Steps to Open and Close New Clients with a conversation. That’s it!
My old career was in sales and finance. Oh ya, super sexy! I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh… is this going to be my life?” If you don’t know anything about working as a financial analyst, your day is pretty much spreadsheets and databases, along with phone calls you don’t want to receive. You pull all nighters at the end of the quarter and at the end of the year and it’s just not very glamorous.
Literally… the FIRST opportunity I had to jump ship, I said “Hell Yes”! Which led me to sales. And I was green. No experience, nada. But I’ve come along way!
The whole point of this little story is to say it was an adventure. There were ups and downs and learning curves, but not it’s for your benefit, because I can save you so much time!
I can get you over the hurdle of learning how to do this in the next 10 minutes, not the next 10 years!
Sales is about people. Relationships. It’s about matching what you have to offer with a person that needs it. It’s showing them how you can take them from point A to point B. That’s it!
When I was in sales in the corporate world, before meeting with a client or a prospect, I would PREPARE! But when I started my acupuncture clinic, all of those sales skills I had learned totally escaped me. I would just start showing up and throwing up!
You know what I mean. You meet with a potential client and you just start vomiting words all over them. You’re not prepared and soon they are looking at you like a deer in the headlights.
Soon, I got smart. I start thinking about what the foundations for sales were again. I thought about how I could be much more effective for my business and start making money.
If this was a struggle for me, I know it’s a struggle for you. And I see it happening day after day, week after week, with my clients.
I recently had a client tell me straight up that she’s struggled with these conversations when she is trying to talk to people about her business. She has felt unprepared and feels that she just starts saying too much. She gives them all kinds of info, but knows that she’s totally overwhelming people and fumbling all over her words. Nothing is coming out gracefully.
And than she’d get a polite, “No, thank you” and would walk away from the conversation without a clear next step.
This is where that formula comes into play, in order to open and close the conversation and get that next sale. If you’re prepared, everything is going to change for you!
YOU ARE SELLING!
I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to be “salesy”. You don’t want to be pushy. But there is a way you can do this that won’t feel icky, pushy or sleazy, but I’m going to give you some tough love on how to get there.
You chose to be in business for yourself.
Let me run down these 5 Steps to Open and Close New Clients to triple your close rate:
Focus on them, not you!
No more showing up and throwing up. It’s about having a conversation where you’re asking them questions. Dive in! Understand what they’re struggling with and what they truly desire. Ask questions and it will earn trust.
Determine if they are a fit for you.
Not everyone is going to be your ideal client and that’s OK! Turn those people away. As you’re talking to them, you want to assess if it’s somebody you can help. If you don’t know the answer to that, keep asking the them questions, than decide.
Assuming they are a good fit for you, tell them how you can help them.
Talk with them about the journey you’re going to take them on! How you are going to move them from Point A to Point B and what your role will be during that process. Tell them how you’ll support them!
Answer their Questions
They may have some questions about tactics, along with additional questions that you haven’t discussed. Make sure to give them the opportunity to ask their questions!
Close the Sale or Clearly Identify a Next Step
They might say, “Great, I’ve got all the info, how much does it cost.” You say, “It’s $5,000. What form of payment works best for you and let’s get a start date on the calendar!” You literally move in to close the sale.
Or, they say, “Great, I have all the info I need and understand the cost. I’d love to work together but I need a few days to think it over.” You say, “Perfect, let’s get our calendars out and schedule a follow-up chat, so we have the time planned to answer additional questions that come up for you.
A HELL YES or a no. But do NOT walk away from this conversation without a clear next step!
This is the formula that is going to use to improve your client close rate. You can literally triple it and all you need to do is follow this formula to open and close the conversation.
I want to talk to you about the fact that increasing your price is guaranteed to make you more money. Not only that, but it will also get you better results for your clients! Don’t believe me?
When I was first getting started, I was probably a lot like you. I was doing all sorts of discounting for friends and family and was trying to get anybody and everybody I could in the door. My strategy was initially to cut the price to bring them through the door. Otherwise, they just didn’t want to come see me, right?
What happened was the opposite. They didn’t flood through the doors because I cut my price. A few people would come in, a friend here, a friend there, maybe my mom or brother. But the problem was that once they’d come, I struggled to get them to come back. I got that initial visit and maybe I got them to come back a couple times, but it wasn’t consistent. It was a struggle to get them to follow a treatment plan and do that work at home. As an acupuncturist, it’s kind of like a 50/50 relationship. You can really accelerate those results if you get your clients to be taking action at home. I just struggled to keep them invested in their well-being.
Let’s be honest. It’s not only a challenge for new practitioners, it’s also a challenge for seasoned practitioners! I’ve seen this time and time again. My clients coming to me, they’re five or ten years in business and are still asking if they lower their price by $5, will it increase their client numbers when things get slow? That’s the mentality. My business is slowing down. I need to get more people in the door so how about I drop my price by five bucks and magically, more people are going to come in. If only that were true!
Seasoned practitioners are also thinking that they cannot raise their price. Everybody resists me on it and I would say it’s more than just resistance. It’s a literal arm wrestle to get them to increase their price, because of fear! Which is a false fear, because the fear is actually charging what you’re worth for your services! What are you afraid of:
You’re going to lose clients.
Deep down inside, you just don’t see the value that you’re bringing to the table
There’s a fear that you’re going to be way above the market price, which will cost you clients
There’s so much fear around the money. The issue isn’t the money, right?
Not owning your value because that hamster wheel that you’re on is causing your confidence to creep down and plummet and that’s a really, really, really bad train to be on. The fear is masking what’s really going on. You’re afraid of having too high of a price, too low of a price, increasing your price, asking for full price, whatever it is, the fear is masking what’s really going on – self-doubt.
It doesn’t have anything to do with your price. The real problem is you don’t know how to bring clients in the door and the truth is that actually increasing your price is going to guarantee that you make more money in your wellness business! AND, you’ll get better results from your clients. I know you’re like, “Say what? I don’t even know what you’re talking about, Michelle,” right?
How Increasing Prices Is Guaranteed To Make You More Money
Here’s why this is important. You want to aim for a number of clients that you need to run a profitable wellness business, which builds your confidence. This will help you get the money you want and the money you need. Confidence goes up, so you’re standing up a couple inches taller and you’re starting to be attractive to the right type of clients.
The ones who are ready to invest in themselves and looking to work with a practitioner that can deliver that amazing outcome that you offer.
You’re going to start attracting the ones that are willing to pay and do the work at home. That’s amazing, which actually means better results!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I can’t charge more because “fill in the blank”. You’ve got a hundred million excuses. Whatever it is that you’re telling yourself, it’s your fear showing up. Don’t let the fear win! Every single client I’ve worked with, I’ve worked with hundreds of people, that have raised their price are still in business today.
These practitioners are actually making money in their wellness business and are seeing clients who are engaged and invested!
When I was in my acupuncture practice, my mentor told me to raise prices. I about fell out of my chair, but I did it! It didn’t shut my business down and I was happier making more money. My clients that have raised their price are happier. They’re more confident and are getting the right clients in the door. The clients are happy, invested and are getting results. Better results mean better testimonials and more referrals which means more business. Increasing your price is guaranteed to make you more money with better results for your clients even if you lose a few. Because they may have not been your right client to begin with.
You might be asking yourself, “How do I go about charging more because I’m way too low, I’ve been discounting, I’ve been giving it away, and I’ve been fearful to go up even five bucks in my business? How do I go about raising my price from wherever it is today?” Here is the recipe you can follow and apply to your business or based on your unique situation.
1. First and foremost, Post a Notice.
Most people don’t post that rates will be going up, but I find that it makes you feel more comfortable. I recommend putting a sheet of paper up in your entryway, wherever you’re greeting your clients, wherever you’re checking them out and rescheduling them and put a notice there.
2. Set the Date of Rate Change And Post it For a Month
Choose the date on the calendar. Create the notice. Put it out for a month ahead of time. If people bring it up, tell them in a matter-of-fact tone and let them know.
3. Follow Through On It.
You’re going to have to handle a few objections. Some people are not going to say anything, while others are going to be say, “It’s about time.” You’ll be surprised how many do that. Many haven’t raised prices in years, so it’s time to start covering cost of living, right?
Simple and easy. Increasing your price is guaranteed to make you more money with better results. Better results mean more testimonials, more referrals, happier clients, and a happier YOU! That equals a more robust and booming practice, which is what you deserve and of course, making money.
This one item has been coming up for me a lot lately when I’ve been coaching, so I feel compelled to talk about it. How to follow up and increase your business by 50%. That’s right! Simply by doing one thing:
You’ve got to do it the right way, because when you do, you can literally increase your business by 50%!
Does this sound like you?
You’re at a networking event and you have an amazing chat with someone. You put yourself out there, make a great connection with a potential new client who has expressed interest in coming to see you at your clinic.
You exchange information, but for some reason, you never hear from them again. What’s up with that?
She never called to make that appointment.
Or your best friend who is totally into holistic health jumped up and down when you said you were going to school for acupuncture, to learn Reiki, to do cranial sacral therapy, etc. She was the first person to raise her hand and say “I’m going to be your very first client.”
But that’s all it turned out to be. Enthusiasm. You’ve now been in business for over a year and she still hasn’t come in to see you. What’s up with that?
Or you hosted a table or were a sponsor for an event. It was packed with your ideal clients and you chatted with them all. They even were signing up! You had them all set to join your email list and maybe get a nice freebie opt-in and you were confident you were going to have your next two weeks fully booked after your event.
But only one person scheduled. You can’t even believe it because everyone seemed so excited!
If you’ve answered yes to any or all of these, than you need to think about FOLLOW UP!
The problem isn’t that these leads never called you. Or that they may have changed their mind. The problem is that you never followed up with them! Something so simple and you never took the time to do it!
When you follow up, you have to take the initiative, but you also want to follow up the right way. When you do, you’re going to see that 50% rise in your business. 50% more from your existing leads, hell yes!
Remember, people are busy. They have their own lives to manage and aren’t thinking about helping you grow your business. They are putting themselves last and not prioritizing their health and well-being.
We, as healers, see this time and time again. That’s why they are sick in the first place, right?
While you may be thinking that you don’t want to bother them or seem pushy, you need to hear some tough love.
There is always going to be distractions, but it’s your job to follow up and build your business! You’re leaving money on the table!
Let me give you some tips for effective follow-up:
Day 1: The day you meet them
Day 3: Follow up with this new lead
Day 6: Follow up again
Day 10: Follow up again
Day 17: Follow up again
And so on, so forth. Get it? Here’s an example.
So I’m at a networking event and meet Jenny, who is suffering from headaches and I know I can help her. I talk with her about how I could potentially work with her to get her from Point A to Point B and she is really excited. She expresses interest in scheduling an appointment with me, so we exchange info and I go home, excited for the contact.
Normally, this is when you’d go home and wait. You might send one communication but you’d be putting the power in her hands and waiting for her to come to you.
Instead, I’m going to use the steps above!
Let’s say I met her on a Monday. Two days later it’s Wednesday and I follow up with an email and say, “Hey, it was great to meet you! I’m really looking forward to helping you with your headaches. Here is the link to schedule a time with me and if you have any questions, here is how you can get in touch! Done.
I still don’t hear from her. So three business days later, now Monday, I reach out to her again and say, “Hey, Jenny! I haven’t heard from you, but as a reminder, here is the info on how to get scheduled. I know it’s probably not at the top of your priority list, but it’s time for you to start making your health more of a priority. I know I can help you get results. I look forward to seeing you soon!”
Another four days pass and I don’t hear from her again. But I know that people are busy and this is where I know you will say, “Oh, I don’t want to be pushy.” But I’m going to follow my model above and reach out to her, which would now be Friday.
I say something like, “Hey, I know you’re busy and I don’t want to be a pest, but I just wanted to remind you that I can help you with your headaches! Here is a link to get scheduled. Hope all is going OK with you and feel free to reach out if I can answer any questions.”
As a reminder, you’re finding a way to be polite, but assertive. Maybe slightly pushy because showing that you care for someone can seem that way.
If I still don’t hear from her, my next step will be to reach out to her another week later. This time I say something like, “Hey, Jenny! You must have changed your mind or maybe you don’t need any help anymore, right? Just let me know. I’m here for you when you need me!” And that’s it.
Find a way to be a little bit pushy, but still really nice about it. And if you don’t hear from her after that, it doesn’t mean it has to completely fall off.
At the very minimum, put her on your automated marketing list, with permission, of course.
By following up the right way, you can increase your business by 50%! Who doesn’t want that?
Lowering your price by $5 won’t get more clients, but I’m 100% confident that having a lead generation process will absolutely lead to more clients! And even better? It’s easy and it works!
I was inspired to discuss this based on a question in my free Facebook community. This person happened to be a massage therapist in the Midwest and did a lot of customized massages, like therapeutic deep tissue, along with incorporating acupressure, Reiki and reflexology. She’s been charging $75 for a one-hour massage for the last four years and up until recently, she hasn’t had any problems retaining business.
However, she questioned her price-point and asked me if she lowered her price to $70, would she get more clients? She knew the average in her area was around $65, so her thought process involved lowering her price to attract more clients.
NO! Absolutely not!
$5 doesn’t matter to a buyer if they already value what you’re offering. Even if you see those client numbers decreasing and it’s killing your confidence, you’re going to start feeling a little desperate. You want more clients in the door!
The mind games start happening because you’re seeing numbers go down, along with your income.
The last thing you want to do is get caught in the hamster wheel where you have no plan, no process and no clients! That’s a huge problem!
Instead, let’s talk about creating a lead generation process, which is basically just a recipe. It’s something you can go back to time and time again and follow step-by-step.
When you have a recipe you’ve never tried before, what do you generally do? You follow it to a T! You measure everything out perfectly. You do everything exactly the way it’s laid out and once you start feeling more confident, you might start experimenting a little bit. Maybe you start adding a little of this or take away a little of that and you make it work for you.
Soon, you may not even have to look at the recipe card anymore!
That’s what lead generation is. It’s a process for your business.
When I was first getting started I was running from process and procedure. I ran from phrases like “lead generation” and “sales process” because I thought I’d just throw everything at the wall and see what would stick. It worked in the beginning to get clients, but I can tell you, it was completely overwhelming. It was exhausting and definitely wasn’t sustainable.
I didn’t have something that was repeatable to go back to and easy to follow. I didn’t know what I was going to do when the ups and downs came in my business.
But now I’m older. Wiser. More seasoned.
Think about it. Why go it alone? Why try to figure everything out the hard way? Why not just take a recipe, practice it, and tweak it until you make it work for you?
Here’s the thing. When you’re going through those ups and downs and need more clients in the door, lowering your price by $5 isn’t going to bring in more clients.
But a lead generation process will!
I want to give you an easy recipe for getting clients in the door. There are four parts:
Use your existing network
Reach out to the network you already have! I call this low-hanging fruit. Reaching out to potential clients that are cold and don’t know anything about you or your business is so much harder. You’re much more likely to get business right away through your network. So make a list of people you’ve worked with in the past who haven’t been in in awhile, people who have expressed an interest in coming to see you, or maybe even partners or other practitioners who said that they may have a referral for you. Make that list!
Invite them into a conversation
Depending on what type of relationship you have with them, it could look and feel a bit different for everyone. If it’s somebody you know well, you’re going to set up that coffee date. If it’s a patient, or someone you haven’t seen in awhile, send out that email. Think about the relationship and what form of contact would make the most sense.
People are busy! Just because you reached out doesn’t mean they will immediately remember to get back to you. Many of us put our health as the lowest priority on our list, so this means you need to remind them! You need to be that little bug on the wall!
Bring them to a decision
That’s right. Yes or no. Follow-up forever until you get that final decision! I know that sounds simple, but 99.9% of you aren’t doing this!
Remember that lowering your price by $5 isn’t going to be bringing more clients in the door, but creating that lead generation process absolutely will!
Are you struggling to be visible to potential clients?
I hate to break it to ya, without clients you can’t be a healer and help people! It’s your job to do everything possible to grow your business, so you can’t hesitate to be visible!
It’s time to stop hesitating to put yourself out there for fear of rejection, being viewed as too “salesy” or even looking stupid in front of your wellness peers. This is your business!
You may not notice this right away for yourself. But, if you have these traits you more than likely have a fear of putting yourself out there.
Are you constantly preparing for any of the following?
How you’re going to be working with people
Going over your notes
Studying and restudying the treatment plans that you learned in school
Telling yourself you need to take another course in “fill in the blank”
To become more of an expert in “fill in the blank”
The thing is… you ARE the expert! You are the maven in your field, but you need to stop focusing on your expertise and start focusing on what to do to grow your business!
Fear of Rejection
My clients talk a lot about this as they resist going on social media and being visible. They don’t even want to start a Facebook page or posting to it because they don’t want to be rejected.
Maybe it’s not sending up a follow-up e-mail to a lead or to your friends and family because you don’t want to be rejected.
Or maybe you think you don’t know what to say and you let the fear win!?
Looking Stupid In Front of Peers
I’ve felt this way.
It can show up as you not wanting to speak up or speak your mind. You’re afraid to put your opinion out there, especially if you don’t agree with the majority. You shrink. You’re not willing to be visible and you’re afraid you will be judged or they will tell you you’re wrong.
Being Viewed as “Salesy”
This is avoidance. When you’re afraid of this, you start avoiding contacting people or avoiding following up with a lead. Or, you just don’t reach out to anyone. Do you claim you’re just too busy? I see this one often with clients. What is really happening is fear and resistance and ultimately self-sabotage. You’re really screwing yourself because you’re not growing your business and you’re avoiding it for all of these reasons.
Fear is real!
The difference between successful wellness biz owners and those who aren’t? Visibility.
So how can you specifically reach out to people in your network?
Client #1 reached out with a great question about what to say to people.
“What do I say to an acquaintance who I’m talking to and let them know that I help women avoid overeating and show them how to reverse pre-diabetes when they are overweight? I don’t want to feel like I’m targeting or judging them.”
Client #2 asked:
“Can I just reconnect with someone on my list, ask them to meet for coffee without talking about my business until we meet? It feels better and more natural for me. I just want to catch up with them and I genuinely do want to. Is that okay?”
What you need is reassurance because of all the fears that are coming in.
These tactics and tips will help you feel more confident and be more visible.
1. You need to be more clear when you’re reaching out to people.
Be clear on the relationship that you have with the person before reaching out. It will help you identify what you should say to them, how to position it and what to expect in return!
So around Client #2’s question above, yes! Send that email, make that phone call and connect! There doesn’t have to be a lot of pressure around telling them about your business. Just get together!
If you’re genuinely interested about what is going on in their life, they will probably be genuinely interested in learning more about what is up with you. Let the conversation flow naturally.
This is a little different than Client #1’s question above, when reaching out to an acquaintance.
I would say something more like, “Hey, I haven’t heard from you in awhile and I was thinking about you. Actually, I’ve started a new venture lately” or “I’ve launched a new business” or “I’m doing health coaching and wondering if there is a potential for us to partner or cross-refer or help one another in some way, shape or form. Would you be interested in getting together?”
In this scenario, I’d call it out. It will NOT feel genuine if you’re pretending that you want to get together with them and really only want to discuss your business and haven’t chatted with them in years. Be upfront and clear.
So again, be CLEAR about what type of relationship you have with the person you’re reaching out to and go with what feels most authentic.
2. Remember the people you reach out to.
They are busy running around and worrying about all of the things going on with them. They’re not thinking about you and helping you grow your business! So remember, they’re not rejecting you, they just aren’t going to respond right away because they have many other things going on in their lives. You need to bug them a little bit!
That being said, you have to bug people in a really kind and gentle way and you will need to follow up…maybe two or three times before you hear back! A creative way to this is to say, “Hey, don’t know if you saw my email or not. You’re probably busy like everybody else, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m genuinely interested in getting together. Can we find a time in the next week or two?”
That’s it! If you don’t hear back, you could say something like “Hey, are you dead? Are you okay? Just kidding, but I haven’t heard back from you and I’m wondering why. Nudge, nudge. Don’t mean to be a pest, but I’m really interested in catching up with you!”
The big take-away?
You can’t reach out just one time!
Remember, they’re not rejecting you because they don’t respond right away. It’s OK to bug them a little bit because they have a million other things going on, just like you.
3. Persistency wins the day.
It’s a numbers game. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to find a lead and/or client. The more no’s you’re getting, the closer you are to that yes!
You need clients and the number one job you have right now is to do everything you can to grow your business! Growing your business means being visible and reaching out to your network.
Make a list of five people right now to reach out to and follow-up with. Get that definite yes or no, because you deserve to make the money that you desire in your wellness business!