Most practitioners are thrilled when new clients knock on their door. Want a virtually foolproof formula for getting more new clients? Here are five key techniques to get clients to say yes to working with you (and make more money while you’re at it).
- Do the work
Do you have what it takes to make it as a nutrition professional? With your current skillset, do you make a profound difference in every client you work with? Do they talk you up with their friends and family?
Within every healing art – from conventional medicine to acupuncture to chiropractic to functional nutrition – is the understanding that to be the best in your field, you have to keep learning and you need lots of experience. So do the work – pursue your education in advanced clinical skills so you have more tools. And then put them to use, working with as many people as possible, learning firsthand about biochemical individuality, and racking up multiple successes. Remember, results refer.
- Find their truth
Our first job with a potential new client is to create validation and connection. We do this through active listening and determining why they are ready to work with a nutritionist. What is their big motivator? What’s holding them back? When I hear a truth bomb, I’ll often stop the client and say, “What did you just say?” Or I repeat back what they just said to make sure we both recognize the significance and importance of what was said. We “win” with our ears and our conversation has to leave them feeling like “she gets me.”
- Be true to your values and morals
In our work with clients, helping them make hard changes with their diet and lifestyle and getting them to take a handful of supplements every day is not easy. Let’s face it, some people just aren’t going to do what you ask of them. They either want a magic bullet or they are attached to staying sick because it somehow serves them. Don’t want to wait to find out if either of these are true. You’ve got to “go there” in your very first conversation. That means your prospective client needs to understand what working with you will involve. They need to know what hard changes you’ll be asking them to make. And they also need to know what it’s going to cost them – right up front. So don’t be afraid to lay it out for them – tell them exactly what working with you entails.
Along these same lines, know your non-negotiables, your deal-breaker scenarios. And don’t be afraid to turn a client away if your intuition is telling you it’s not a good fit to work with them. Our spidey-sense is almost always right and telling the client upfront that you’re not the right practitioner for them will save everyone massive grief later on.
- Walk the talk
Do you practice what you preach? Do you eat a pristine diet (at least 95% of the time)? Do you get adequate movement (aerobic, strength training, AND stretching) every single week? Do you take targeted supplements (we all have inherent strengths and weaknesses and we need to support those weak areas)? Do you continually work on your health? No one today is perfectly healthy – there have been too many generations eating processed food and the world is too toxic for anyone to be unaffected. I know, I know, working on our own health can feel like a fulltime job, but we need to model the way for our clients. Our clarity, not to mention vitality and joy, is wildly contagious. They’ll want what you have.
- Charge what you’re really worth
While few of us enter the field of nutrition to get rich, the reality is that what we have to offer has profound value. Helping a client get their energy mojo back is incredibly gratifying. Supporting a struggling couple to finally conceive is priceless. And then there are the clients with debilitating autoimmune conditions – getting to the root cause and unwinding it into remission is life-changing. Our skills do indeed change lives.
And yet, so many practitioners struggle to make a decent living. Some don’t have the required skills to be successful with enough clients to get ongoing referrals. If you don’t help them, they’re not going to refer anyone your way. For these practitioners, their practice will limp along, they will struggle to build momentum, and they will begin to lose confidence in themselves.
For other nutrition professionals, there is an inherent belief that clients aren’t willing to pay much for their services so they simply don’t charge what they’re really worth. If that statement resonates with you, consider that it’s not your job to determine what anyone else can afford. Your job is to be a master healer and charge what you’re truly worth. Having been in private practice for over twenty years, I’ve, of course, raised my rates many times over the years. There wasn’t a single time that I didn’t wince quoting my new rate to a client. There also wasn’t a single time anyone flinched in shock at the number. When you know what you’re worth, charging more sets you apart from the others. When you charge what you’re worth, clients realize it’s like anything else: you get what you pay for.
Start employing these five tried and true principles and watch your practice blossom. If you’re looking to add to your clinical toolbox, the Restorative Wellness Solutions Mastering the Art & Science of Gastrointestinal Healing starts September 1st. This course won’t be offered again until April, 2021. You can register here.