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Holistic Wealth

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC

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Turning One Session Into Many

Amy Lewis is a craniosacral therapist whose modality is deep and delicious, but difficult to describe. She was just putting the finishing touches on a new 6-month program that combined cranial work with holistic coaching when she got stuck and called me. "Why would anyone sign up for a program if they don't even get what I do?" she asked. Sound familiar? If you offer any type of transformational modality in programs or packages, you've probably wondered the same thing.

It's different if you do straight massage because most people understand what that is. But let's say you practice light-touch or subtle-energy work that's challenging to explain. Or maybe you blend several different modalities in the same treatment session. In those cases, it can help to let a potential client test drive your therapy. So it's easier for her to say "Yes" to a longer package or program.

Turning One Session Into Many - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark That said, don't make the mistake of suggesting that your prospect "try a session and see what you think." That puts her in the uncomfortable position of trying to figure out how working with you over a longer timeframe will affect her health and well-being. And as wise as her inner wisdom might be, when your client is in pain, stress or dysfunction, she usually won't have access to that still, small voice within.

Instead, offer her a special kind of package that's designed to bridge the gap between an initial session and a longer program. I call it an Evaluation Package. It's a two-part experience that when used correctly, turns one session into many.

The Evaluation Package

Your Evaluation Package should include both of these components:

  1. A hands-on session addressing your client's challenge or concern.
  2. A 30-minute follow-up telephone consult. This is where you'll make a recommendation about your client's best next step.

One of the many things that make this introductory package so effective is its use of preframing. A concept originally derived from the fields of psychology and Neurolinguistic Programming, preframing lets your client know in advance what's going to happen next — and what she should take it to mean.

By preframing the package as an opportunity for your client to check out your work, she won't expect all her issues to be resolved in a single session. And by automatically including that follow-up conversation in the package, she won't only be prepared for your recommendations; she will look forward to them. Which gives you the added benefit of sharing your expert opinion in a way that's comfortable for you, rather than feeling rushed to book the next session the moment your client climbs off your table.

Another important time to use the tool of preframing is right after the hands-on session. Reassure your client that even if she feels different than she thought she would after the treatment, that's her unique healing mechanism in action. This way if she feels worse for a time rather than better, which can happen with modalities like craniosacral therapy, she'll understand that simply means the process is working. And she won't assume the worst.

Phone Consult

There are a few other key factors to consider when you offer an Evaluation Package. First, you need to get that follow-up phone consult on the calendar at the same time your client books the hands-on session. Why? Because the phone consult should take place no more than three days after the therapy session. That way your client's observations and enthusiasm are still fresh in her mind.

Then when you do get your client on the phone for the follow-up consult, be sure to give her plenty of space to talk about what she discovered. A lot of insights probably popped into her mind between the hands-on session and the phone consult. When you give her room to explore them all, she'll begin to see everything that occurred as part of her healing journey. And that alone is a generous holistic gift you're giving her.

At the end, unless you think your client would fare better with a different therapist (or you prefer not to work with her for any other reason), offer her the highest-level of commitment you honestly believe would benefit her. In your heart of hearts, if you believe she'd do best with your 3-month program, offer her that. Even if it feels like a stretch for you.

This is important. If you resist giving her the opportunity to invest deeply in herself because you're not comfortable offering a program that's priced higher than a session or a package, you're letting your insecurity about money stand in the way of your clients' transformation. And the fact that you're in natural healthcare to begin with tells me you've got way too much integrity for that.

If your client still can't make the leap into a program? You can always offer a series of three to six sessions that need to be used by a certain date. This gives her healing process a healthy jumpstart. And it gives you the peace of mind of earning more income up front.

Adding More

Now even though an Evaluation Package is designed to give your client a taste of your work, it's not meant to be a tiny spoonful. In fact, you want it to be over the top. That way you can both sink into the experience. So don't be shy about offering a session that's 75- to 90-minutes long. And to make your Evaluation Package even more compelling, give it a special name. For the best response, choose one that represents the essence of what your clients want most from your work together.

Another one of my clients, Kerry, shifted her business from hands-on therapy to teaching people how to turn their natural intuitive gifts into a superpower. Her Evaluation Package is called the Psychic Illumination Package. How intriguing is that? Another client named her package Rewriting Your Destiny. Notice how both of those titles allude to a big benefit?

And finally, consider pricing your Evaluation Package between $125 and $175. You can always increase the investment as you enroll more people. Kerry charges $250 for her Psychic Illumination Package. And she gets it. Yet these packages are less about generating immediate income than they are about identifying clients who are perfect for your longer programs. That's why an Evaluation Package should eventually be the first step you offer every new client. Think of it as a lovely first date. And enjoy the spaciousness of it. It should feel as good to you as it does to your client.

Once Amy started offering her Evaluation Package, almost all of her clients stepped into either a 6-session series or a 6-month program. And the impact on her life was impressive. She said, "My first year, I not only doubled my income. I went from 50 clients to 20 clients!" As it turns out, making twice as much money with less than half the effort is a healthy outcome for everyone.

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