At the moment, you have around 6 clients in a typical week. These are: 4 clients for smoking cessation (2 hours work and £250 each for a single session) and two for other changes (1.5 hours work and £75 each, but clients have an average of 4 sessions).
This means an average of 11 hours a week.
Your goal is to work 3.5 days a week (24.5 hours), so the task is to create another 13.5 hours of work. Also, you don’t want a “revolving door of smokers”, so it is important to promote the other services.
When someone goes to a hypnotherapist, there
are two things they care about: one is the likelihood of success, the other is
Looking at your practice, you have an 80% success rate at smoking cessation - far higher than the 30-50% of your average competitor and well above the expectation of the general public. On the other hand, your prices are far higher than the majority of your competitors.
So, your selling strength is your success rate. At the moment, you don’t really promote this. We need to find a way to get this message out.
I suggested in our session that you could test
offering a guarantee as this would make you unique in your market and would take
away the key fear of your prospects. However, you’re reluctant to do this, so
we need to promote the success rate in other ways.
At the moment, you use two forms of external marketing:
The first is “stop smoking” leaflets that are placed in the waiting rooms of doctors and dentists. These are very well written and produced and generate around 20 enquiries a month.
This is something that’s working well and I think you should identify other places you place these leaflets. One suggestion is in public libraries in the more affluent areas of town.
Also, you could try putting them through people’s doors in the better off areas. This might produce a good response.
And, as such an important part of your business is coming from these leaflets, it’s important that you make sure that the doctors and dentists offices always have a supply of leaflets. You told me that they sometimes run out and you don’t replace them for months. When this happens, that’s a marketing resource that could be working for you, but isn’t.
You need to schedule the time each month to make sure that they’ve got enough leaflets.
The second piece of external marketing is your Yellow Pages ad. Your YP ad isn’t very good. It looks like a business card. However, it does emphasise your specialisation in smoking cessation (unlike your competition who typically list all their different services) so, at the moment, you’re getting a decent number of enquiries.
I’ve put together an alternative ad and it’s attached to this email. My ad emphasises your selling point (success rate) and should bring in more enquiries than your existing ad.
You tend to get 3 types of enquiry for smoking. One is from the leaflets, one is from the YP, the other is via referrals.
The referrals are closing at a high rate (which is to be expected). However the others aren’t.
Price is the big sticking point and you’re finding that, when someone calls up and says right off the bat, “how much?”, you almost never sign them up.
There’s a principle in selling that says “talk about the value before you talk about the price”. When someone wants to know price straight away, you need to re-direct the conversation so they can see the value first.
If you can show them that they smoke 20 a day and that means £1,800 a year out their pocket, £250 doesn’t seem so much. If you can show them that you’ve an 80% success rate when they were expecting around 30%, that increases your value.
If can talk with them about why they want to give up smoking and get them to really associate with the reasons why they want to quit, they’re going to be more motivated to go through the “pain” of putting down the money.
If someone immediately asks about the price, I’d respond by saying:
“let me ask you, how many do you smoke a day? … 20, so you’re spending around £5 a day of cigarettes? … so, that’s approximately £150 a month or £1,800 a year … This habit is costing you £1,800 year after year? So, let’s assume you keep smoking for 10 years, that’s £18,000. £18,000 would really make a difference in your life, wouldn’t it…. And money is probably not the only reason you want to quit , is it? …”
It sounds quite manipulative. However, this person is calling because he wants to stop smoking. It’s your job to help him see his options in the right light. He’s far better off paying £250 to become a non-smoker and saving £18,000 over the next decade than spending £18,000 on a habit that ruins his health.
One problem with the price is that the person simply doesn’t have the cash right now. If so, you could consider allowing a person like that to pay you in installments. They could pay one third now plus give you two post-dated cheques for the rest.
Of course, you could get stiffed on those cheques and not get the remainder of the money. However, in the situation you are in where, for every hour you’re not in front of a client, you’re not getting paid, I think it’s worth the risk.
Most of the time you’ll get paid in full and, for the other times, you’ll have made £85 for two hours, which is better than nothing.
The same goes with the guarantees. If a client is willing to pay your fee, but only if you’d guarantee your results, I think you should agree. Give him a 60 or 90 day guarantee. You’ll keep the money most of the time and you’ve got enough “dead” time that you can afford to take this gamble.
Another way to increase your closing rate is to follow up on the unconverted enquiries. Your telephone service captures their names and numbers. When someone doesn’t sign up, it’s worth calling again a week later and having another go.
I don’t think there’s much to do here. It doesn’t quite fit with your business.
At the moment, you tend to not get repeat business. Someone who stops smoking, doesn’t tend to come back for some other service.
This doesn’t make sense to me. Most people have a number of things they want to change in their lives.
I think you should do the following:
At the moment, you offer a free follow-up session for smokers. However, you leave the ball in their court: they’ve got to contact you to say it hasn’t worked.
Whenever you work with someone, book them into a free follow-up session 2 months later. This session can be in the guise of doing any quick “tidy-up work” that might need to be done.
You should also call clients a week after their session and find out how they are getting on. It shows that you care them and not just about their money.
Two months later, in their scheduled follow-up session, you should make sure they’re happy and collect testimonials. You should take them through a list of other problems you work with. There’s a good chance they might have one of those problems. As you’ve already helped them, they’ll be predisposed to trust you to fix this other problem.
Also, if they’re a 20 a day smoker, they’ve probably already saved £300 (i.e. more than your fee) since they worked with you and are saving around £35 a week, so they’ll have more spare income than they had before you helped them.
You should expect that a decent percentage of these clients will sign up for something else.
Another idea for re-selling is to collect client information including their address and birthday. Then, a few weeks before their birthdays, send them a birthday card plus a £25 off voucher and say something like:
“With your birthday coming up, you might find that you’re thinking about your life and how you’d like it to be in the year to come.
If there’s a habit or behaviour you’d like to eliminate, or if there’s something you want to motivate yourself to do or if you want to feel better about something in your life, I’d love to help you make these changes.
I’ve attached a £25 voucher that will give you a third off a session with me (except smoking cessation).
If you’d like to use it to book a session with me, give me a call on ……..”
You’re getting around half your clients form referrals at the moment, but you don’t have a referral system.
This means, you should be able to get far more referrals.
The first thing that you can improve here is that you don’t tell people about any service apart from smoking cessation. You mentioned that you have a hypnotherapist friend in England who has a leaflet that explains all the different services. You should create a leaflet too (you could copy hers).
Then, after you meet with a client for the first time, you can hand him/her a few leaflets and say:
“I know in your life, you have people you care about and that these friends will have things in their lives they want to change – habits, behaviours, fears and phobias, or maybe they want to change they way they feel about something that’s happening or has happened to them.
This leaflet lists all the different problems I work with so, if you know anyone who could benefit from working with me, please give them one of these leaflets so they know where they could get help.”
You can also say something like: “there are good hypnotherapists and, unfortunately, bad ones. My success rates are around 80% for smoking cessation and over 90% for other problems. However, there are some hypnotists who only have around 30% success. If you mention the benefits you got from hypnotherapy, please make sure you mention my name so they know who to come to, rather than allowing them to go to a therapist who’s unlikely to get results for them.”
If you combine this with an offer to meet with their friends and family for 15 mins for free to discuss hypnotherapy, their problem and whether hypnotherapy could work for them.
You could say: “most people don’t understand hypnosis and they’re not sure if it could work for them. Part of the reason my success rates are high is that, over the years, I’ve learned to spot people that hypnosis isn’t going to work for and I don’t work with them. If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s thinking about hypnotherapy, I’d happily meet with them for 15 minutes, free of charge and without obligation, to talk about the change they’d like to make in their life and whether hypnotherapy is a good choice for them.”
You can also go through this process in those 2-month follow up sessions with smokers and when you’ve finished working with non-smoking clients.
You can also, from time to time, send discount vouchers to you past clients. If you send them 5 “25% off” vouchers and tell them they can give these vouchers to their friends and family.
It should be quite easy for you to see a rapid growth in your practice.
At the moment, you’ve got a lot of spare time and you should be putting that into your marketing. The first steps you should take are:
(1) re-write your telephone script so it closes a higher percentage of enquiries
(2) put together a leaflet that advertises your other services and hand this leaflet out to your clients
(3) capture client information so you can follow up with birthday cards and referral offers
(4) make sure the doctors and dentists have plenty of leaflets and talk to libraries and other places about displaying them,
(5) start booking 2 month follow up sessions and making the 7 day follow up calls to smokers.
(6) Following up on the leads you didn’t close
(7) Try a leaflet drop
(8) Offer to meet for free with the friends and family members of clients if they are trying to make changes in their lives
Between them, these 8 steps should grow your business significantly.
I’ll call you in a few days to discuss this plan and make sure you understand how to implement it.