Many therapists offer their services session by session, maybe with a fee per session or per hour, and many of you know that I advocate moving away from the ‘time for money’ approach toward offering your services in a slightly different way which can be empowering for the client and makes good business sense too.
I realise that this subject can be quite contentious and I that there are many arguments for and against, and so I am going to leave that particular debate for another day (and I will revisit this).
So today, I want to talk about a slightly different aspect of packaging.
“What else can I offer clients other than 1-1 sessions?”
… is something I often get asked… and, of course, the detailed answer will be dependent on the particular modality of therapy that you offer, for example, a hypnotherapist may want to give their clients a recording of a guided visualisation.
So, how can you help your clients in more ways than just 1-1 in the room?
Here are some ideas that I hope you will love. Of course, each of these will be more appropriate to some therapies than for others, but you will know which ones resonate.
Something for your client to read through before you meet them, which can give them a more detailed understanding of the subject, if appropriate, whether that is a book, or something you have written up yourself. Anything that helps to prepare them fully
This is something that many hypnotherapists provide, typically in MP3 format as a guided visualisation or meditation.
Why not give them an introduction to their course of treatment on video? This could be a short, personalised video to say hello, or they could be some more detailed training videos, either used as a foundation, or to help them along the way in-between sessions.
Could be before the first session or between sessions. To give you an example, when I see stop smoking clients, I give them (easy) tasks to do for a week before we meet, which start to prime the mind for the changes to come. A couple of days before our session, I will send another couple of tasks, which start to interrupt the ingrained associations and habits that might keep the smoking in place.
This is surprisingly powerful. More than once I have had clients come to the session having already stopped!
In some ways this is a form of tasking. You can provide a blank journal or even a workbook containing specific exercises (depending on what you are looking to achieve). This can be very useful if you are looking, for example, to help someone focus more on the positive aspects of what they are looking to achieve, or celebrate the things they have already achieved.
What could you use journaling for with your clients?
It can be great to catch up by email between sessions to see what has been going well and what, if any, challenges they are having. This can help focus the next session you have with them, but it can also mean the difference between someone doing any tasks you set them, and not bothering! It is also a great way of having your client notice the changes that are already happening – All good!
Everyone loves checklists for something they need to do regularly (or even occasionally). The great thing is that someone has already done the work for you, and all you need to do is go down the list and tick them off. Again, this really depends on your therapy modality whether or not it is appropriate to give to your clients, but if you have something for them to do on a regular basis, then checklists are great.
Why not offer a short ‘How are you doing’ catch up, arranged between each session, or once a month (depending on your package). This can be email, Skype or ‘phone. Include this as part of the package and set the dates and times in advance. This could be just the extra support and motivation your client needs.
Isn’t it lovely to overdeliver; to surprise your clients with something extra that you know will really help them. Receiving a book in the post can be a lovely thing.
How To guide:
If you have taught your clients something when you are together, whether that is a technique or an approach, then giving them the ‘How To’ guide is a really useful addition.
Entry to free events:
Now here there is so much scope. Again, depending on your therapy modality, it may be appropriate to invite your clients to periodic events; whether that is a live, in the room event, or an online training, or whether it is inviting them into a private Facebook group or forum, just for your clients. They could experience the added benefits of the support of a group.
Again, this really depends on your therapy – for example, when working with drug use, this wouldn’t be appropriate because of anonymity, but for a nutritionist, this could be a great bonus. To have your support and the support of the group within a community can really boost motivation and results.
Is there a service or product which complements yours? Could you work together with another practitioner to provide a more holistic service? A good example would be for a drug use therapist working with a nutritionist. Adding the services together in a single package could mean so much more powerful outcome for your clients.
Pick your own and build a powerful, packaged offering
As with everything to do with your business, it is important to pick the right ones.
And YOU are the expert! You are the one who know what combination will serve your clients best.
So, if you are thinking about how to package up your services, what would be the perfect set of services that will give your clients the absolute best results?
How could you use a combination of all these to offer the optimal solution to help your clients experience a powerful transformation they are looking to achieve ?
Would it be, for example, working together over a period of 3 months, with 2 x live sessions and one ‘phone catch up per month, together with journalling or tasks to complete.
Another example could be sending them an introductory video from you in advance of your meeting, giving them some foundational elements, so that they are already ahead of the game when you meet. Maybe you see them once a week for the first month, then twice in the second month and then the final month could be a couple of Skypes plus an in the room session.
Do you see how you can combine all of these elements into a powerful package, according to your own modality of therapy, which gives so much more than just your time, and your client will achieve powerful results.
How do you do it?
I hope this has given you some great ideas and I would love you to let me know how you structure your service and how you help your clients in ways outside of the room – please let me know!