Making sure you have qualified your hypnosis client before you take a booking or start a session will save you a lot of heartache. Trust me. After many, many clients, I've learned the hard way. It's particularly hard when someone close to a potential client really wants to 'fix' their friend or family member by offering to pay for them. But I can tell you that unless your client acknowledges there's a problem, is willing to do whatever it takes to fix the problem and invests in getting a positive outcome in solving that problem, you may find it to be a slog and potential failure no matter how effective a therapist you are.
So how can you ensure you get a positive, successful result with your client each and every time?
Pre-qualify them. But how?
Starting out with your new hypnosis skills can be a little scary. The anticipation of being face to face with a real client can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Pre-qualifying your client is probably the most important thing you can do that will as good as guarantee a successful result for you and your client.
The first thing I do when introducing people to the concept of hypnosis as a client or as a student is to take a considerable amount of time to explain what hypnosis is. This is the most important part of a successful session. Follow up sessions do not need to be as detailed. But this 'intro to hypnosis' conversation could be coming all too late or on deaf ears if you have the wrong client in the chair!
Let me explain; hypnosis is a 'do with' process not a 'do to' process. If it was a 'do to' process it would be regulated heavily. So that means that your client has free will right through the session. This being the case, often we have clients that are saying they are there because they want to be, but truth be told, they're not 100% there for themselves.
For example a client is booked into a quit smoking session. They are there for themselves. Or so you think. In this case the client may also be there because their partner has given them an ultimatum to stop smoking or it's over!
Their partner gave them your flyer with the number to call.
Are they really wanting to stop smoking? What is their motivation to stop smoking? Also are you now going to be the enemy?
This is the same for people that have paid for a friend or family member to attend a session with you. Often it is the friend or family member that has the issue or the problem with the person they are paying for. If you ask your client what is the problem, and they talk about the person that referred or paid for them because they wanted to fix the problem, it is a good indication that they themselves do not see themselves having a problem. Smoking is a classic example. I've had clients that actually enjoyed smoking and really didn't want to give up. It might be easy to perceive there's a problem but if the client does not believe there's a problem then you have the wrong person in the seat.
So what questions can you use to help you pre-qualify your potential client? Following are 7 of the questions I ask for each and every client that comes to me, either via referral or of their own accord.
1. Are you wanting to address this problem for yourself or someone else?
2. Who will gain the most from solving this problem?
3. What was your motivation to contact us?
4. What happened that has made you take action?
5. Assuming we go ahead with a booking, who will be paying for the session?
6. Are you willing to do what ever it takes to get the result?
7.The process that we will do is foolproof as long as you want to get the result 100%, so before we go on and answer your questions about the process do you understand that the decision to address this problem needs to be 100% yours?
Based on many years of experience, these questions will elicit a thoughtful and honest response from your client, and give you enough information to determine whether you can get a result for them. It goes without saying that you are better off having the right client than the wrong client. But you'll be surprised at how many therapists don't understand this concept and end up with less than ordinary results with their clients. As exciting as it is to have a client, not getting an outcome with the wrong client can set your confidence and business back significantly.