For many, deciding to see a therapist isn’t an easy choice. Prospective clients, who are seeking help, may feel fear, shame or even anxiety when reaching out to a therapist for the first time. For some, it can feel incredibly overwhelming and exhausting just considering the idea about discussing their deep dark secrets with a complete stranger and on top of that pay hundreds of dollars to do so.

This is why it’s so important to build a foundation of trust and understanding with prospective clients first before asking them to put money on the table. And there’s no better way to achieve this than with a free consultation.

Now, I know there’s a lot of opinions out there on whether or not to add free consultations into a private practice business model.

But my opinion is that they are integral.

In my business, free consultations are a part of its foundation, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today in my therapy or business coaching practice.

If you’re new private practice or you’ve been considering adding free consultations into your private practice business model, you may be wondering how a free consultation could benefit your practice on a financial level because after all, they’re free.

Here’s why you should offer free consultations in your private practice:

Determine Client Fit

Firstly, it’s important to recognize that an initial consultation will not take the same format as a typical therapy session. Because you likely haven’t yet received consent for service and you won’t have much time to get a full clinical history, the consultation is simply a meet-and-greet where you and the client determine if the therapeutic relationship is a fit.

In the consultation, you’ll be able to offer the prospective client a chance to get to know you and your approach. Better still, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about them and see if their needs align with your skill sets, expertise and passions.

Not only does this give you more control over the kind of clients your practice serves but also provides better management to the flow of incoming clients and bookings; giving you more confidence in your approach and ensuring you can deal appropriately with your client’s need the challenges your client will present to you. It’s also a great way to structure your future therapy sessions with your prospective client before they even commit to working with you, shaping their understanding of how therapy works within your private practice.

As therapists, we have an ethical duty to ensure that any client, prospective or otherwise, receive the best possible care for their specific needs. And sometimes that also means we need to provide referrals for other therapists or services when we cannot meet the client’s needs.

Bridge Prospects Into Paying Clients

When a prospective client first stumbles across your private practice through your marketing efforts, whether it be through your website, blog, Psychology Today profile, social media, or wherever, they might be a little apprehensive and may have a lot of questions.

That’s where a free consultation can help.

For some, this might be their first encounter with therapy, except for what they’ve learned from watching the Sopranos. A free consultation can help develop the therapeutic relationship, answer any burning questions, and alleviate any fears regarding the therapy process before the client ever has to put money on the table.

Think of free consultations as another strategic device in the marketing toolkit. Websites, paid advertising and Psychology Today profiles are all forms of marketing that cost you, and a free consultation is no different. Instead of paying with dollars you’ll be paying with your time in order to sell your therapy service, and ultimately get a paying client.

I look at free consultations to be the final step of the marketing process where prospective clients decide to either work with you (or not).

Really, free consultations are a win-win solution for therapists and clients alike. That’s why it’s so important for the consultation structure to flow so that clients move towards booking a paid session with you.

If you’re looking for a proven process that gotten me clients over-and-over again, grab my 9 step-by-step Consultation Script Kit with verbal prompts and script to help you bridge free consultations into paying sessions, purchase your Consultation Script Kit (or any other digital product at my Designer Practice digital template shop)

Check the Designer Practice Digital Template Shop by Clicking Here

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