It happened again. Someone came up to you when you didn’t have your therapist hat (or business hat) on and asked for advice or about possible services. As you're talking to them, you have this out of body experience and are watching yourself fumble through your conversation. After you're done talking and they walk away you think to yourself, "Man that did NOT go how I would like!"
I want to share with you my "script" for these situations. This is especially useful for all of my fellow introverts hiding in extrovert clothes or people who have a bit of social anxiety, (or any anxiety). I thought I would share this with you because this is definitely a tactic that really helps me. I believe and hope it helps maintain a leadership role, maintain my composure, and gives me a little bit more time to think.
So let's unpack that scenario we were just talking about. Picture that you're at the gym and somebody approaches you about working with you. You're just coming out of "workout mode". You're on personal time. This persons comes up to you, and you completely panic. I've done it too! You start talking and it just sounds like gibberish. You HOPE for a good result.
I still definitely have trouble with this, but this script has helped a lot, so here's how it goes:
Potential client: Hey! My friend told me that you are a therapist and I've been having pain in my shoulder. I was wondering if you could help me or I was wondering if you could offer a couple of tips and tricks.
Instead of immediately going, "Oh yeah sure! Tell me about your shoulder pain. Does it hurt when you do this?..." You end up having this really long, drawn out conversation.
My go-to is to tell that person:
Me: Absolutely! I've worked with a lot of people who have shoulder issues. Tell me a little bit more about what's going on."
Usually the person will tell you a little bit more about their problem in about 30 seconds or so, it's not typically a long story. I ask for a little bit of context to see if it would be helpful to continue the conversation. Then, the key thing that I use if I, on the inside, am panicking a little bit about what to do when I'm talking to this potential client, I will say:
Me: "I have definitely worked with patients who have that kind of problem. I'm unable to talk right now, but if it's okay with you, maybe we can exchanged numbers. I can give you a call tonight and we can talk through it a little bit more. I have some ideas that I'm happy to offer you."
I would hope most people would be open to that. This way it really helps you not panic or get tongue-tied. Then, what I've done and why this is helpful is it gives you time and space to come out of personal time mode and go into leadership/therapy role without having to switch in one second. I know that's definitely a little bit difficult for me. It gives you a bit of space and time.
Then, you can go home, write out a few questions that you want to ask them on the phone. That way when you go to call them, it purposely slows down the sales process and workflow. It really helps you maintain the authority in the conversation and you can speak a lot clearer. With a clearer mind and message, it helps to point them in the direction that helps them best, whether it's working with you or not.
I use the example of at the gym because that's where I am most of the time, but maybe it's at a party, your PRN job, or somewhere where you were not in "practice owner" mode or "new patient" mode. Having this conversation and purposely slowing things down can be helpful so that you can gather yourself and present yourself well. You may also feel like you need a guide once you get on your call (or even better, you've never met and they found you online!) I outlined my conversations during discovery calls in my blog post How To Answer The Phone When Someone Calls Your Practice.
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