Updated: Dec 29, 2021
Kyra: When a person is just starting out in their hypnotherapy practice, what would you say are the first things they need to do to gain confidence and make money?
Todd: Practice performing hypnosis on lots of people and practice selling to people.
Insight #1: Use a Sales System
Kyra: When selling to clients, should they use a format? Or should they just wing it, and why?
Todd: They should use a sales system that helps them to achieve predictable results. The last thing you want to do in any alternative/holistic service-based business is not to have a system set in place for making money. You don’t want to have to recall things every day from memory and risk forgetting to say a whole bunch of important things that you said yesterday during a sales conversation. Since asking for the sale is important, you want to say all of the same things during each sales conversation for predictable results. A good sales system will also include an intake assessment which helps you vet potential clients before selling to them.
Insight #2: Qualify Your Clients
Kyra: How do you vet someone through a sales process?
Todd: You start on the front end with your intake assessment, and you properly qualify them. You take them through an outcome model, which is comprised of several questions designed to draw out the types of answers you need to qualify the client before selling. This helps you discover if working with a particular client would be a good fit or not. For example, how much will a potential client be willing to be responsible and accountable for creating their change alongside doing hypnotherapy with you? How much emotional victimhood are they in? How emotionally accessible are they? Are they not going to show up for sessions and pay on time? Those are all the types of things you can glean from conducting a proper intake assessment.
Insight #3: Trust Your Authenticity
Kyra: Some people think that doing the sales is smarmy. What do you have to say about that?
Todd: If you are an authentic and sincere person to begin with, you won’t be a smarmy hypnotherapist salesperson. Most authentic people fear whether or not your client will perceive you as smarmy for trying to sell to them and you’ll contend with managing your fear of losing their approval as a potential result of selling to them.
Sales isn’t smarmy in and of itself—it depends entirely on the person. The world has many honorable salespeople. If a hypnotherapist salesperson is authentic and has a sincere desire to help others, I think anyone who needs their service would want to buy. The students we attract to our school want to go into alternative/holistic as a hypnotherapist because they are authentic people who want to help others heal and transform.
The old stigma of ‘sales being smarmy’ can still show up in reality, but it is antiquated and somewhat irrelevant because consumers are very tuned into that and expect salespeople to be sensitive and authentic. Word travels fast online, and consumers won’t tolerate companies who aren’t honorable and agile.
As for you, the aspiring hypnotherapist student, if you feel that you can help someone and you feel good about them, and what they need falls under the scope of what you are trained for, and you feel a good connection with that client—then yes, offer the sale. And they are probably going to say yes to working with you. Or offer them a variety of treatment options, and they can pick one they can afford. But if you don’t feel good chemistry with the client, feel like you can’t help them, or don’t get a good feeling about working with them, do not offer the sale.
Insight #4: Print Your Prices on Paper
Kyra: When you go through the process of selling, is it good to have your prices written down?
Kyra: And why is that important?
Todd: So that you will be less likely to negotiate your self-worth in front of the potential client, which is a big no-no.
Kyra: Negotiating my self-worth. I think that’s a really good way to say that because that happens often, and I used to do it a lot.
Todd: We all do, starting out as new hypnotherapists. You want to predetermine your worth (prices) before you get in front of a potential client so that if you have any self-worth issues remaining, big or small, you’re not as likely to sabotage or compromise yourself. Examples might include discounting your prices out of desperation to make money or discounting if pressured by a client. All of this is easy for a beginner to sacrifice without having prices written down. If prices are not written down, clients may infer that they’re negotiable. Having prices written down or, better yet, printed on paper will deter or eliminate haggling, and most importantly, it will keep you accountable to yourself until you gain confidence.
Insight #5: Ask for the Sale
Kyra: I’ve seen our hypnosis students do this when they first start practicing. They start out not saying all the words. At Schaefer Institute of Hypnosis, we give you all the words to say to help you make the sale. Sometimes when our students are first starting to train on this, they will back off or not even ask for the sale. When they should be saying something like, “Which package works best for you?” they instead say, “Okay, that’s that,” and then either forget or deliberately do not ask for the sale. And I say, “No, no, you’ve got to go one step further than that.” And that reveals where the self-worth is, at first, prior to getting trained.
Todd: I remember after I first got certified as a hypnotherapist (two thousand clients ago), I remember it was hard to ask for the sale at first. I started out being sheepish about it. I wasn’t asking for the sale at all. And then I realized, “Hey, I’m going to miss a hundred percent of the shots I don’t take.” A problem many new hypnotherapists have when it comes to compromising their self-worth is that they try to read the potential client’s likelihood of buying first so that they don’t have to face rejection.
Todd: But you cannot do it that way. Yes, you do read the signs from your client and consider that, and if you’ve conducted your intake assessment properly, and you’ve provided an introductory session and whatever else you offer before offering the sale—and you haven’t gotten any red flags throughout all that time—then you’ll have a pretty good idea as to whether it’s appropriate to ask for the sale. But, if everything checks out, and you do not ask for the sale, then you’re playing a head game with yourself. And you cannot play that game because you’re going to be wrong a lot.
Kyra: A LOT! And I noticed that too, a lot sometimes with myself at the beginning with learning how to sell. There were lots of times where I just didn’t feel good, I was having a bad day, and I just followed our sales system, thinking in my head the whole time, “This client isn’t going to buy. They’re not going to buy. They’re not going to buy.” So the client is sitting there, and they’re pausing for long periods. And I’m thinking to myself, “This isn’t going to happen, and they’re not going to buy. And I do like working with them, but they’re not going to buy.” And I ask for the sale regardless, following my sales system—and the client says, “Sure! I’ll buy a 12-pack of sessions.” And I think, “Whoa! What the hell just happened!” But it worked because I just followed the process of our sales system. And I think that if we can get out of our way enough, the process still works even on our bad days.
Todd: And that brings us back to why you need a sales system working as a hypnotherapist (which is included in our hypnotherapy certification training). You need a sales system because you’re subjected to your own unwitting devices if you don’t have one.
Kyra: Right! I would have totally been like, “Okay, so you don’t want this.” Then I let them walk away, and I walk away without having made the sale. I’m just assuming they didn’t want what I have—convinced that the potential client isn’t going to benefit from the gifts that I can offer them and provide and the gifts that I have to give. And I miss out on an opportunity the help this person change their experience for the better.
Todd: Let’s say you owned an Etsy shop or a product-based website where you sell crystals or what have you. And instead of having the “add to cart” button or the “buy now” button for each crystal product that you sell online, there was some kind of make-believe button you could add instead where it sometimes doesn’t offer the sale for that product. Like, “I’m not really feeling it today” type of a ‘buy now’ button. This button would up show up sometimes. Maybe it says, ‘This product is out of stock,” or “Don’t ask.” I mean, even a website has better self-worth than humans sometimes do. Having a reliable system for selling is a necessity for a business.
Kyra: (Laughs) Yeah, if the button maybe says something like, “I don’t know if you want this” instead of ‘buy now.’ Or “Are you sure you want this?” Or, “I’m not feeling good about me today.”
Todd: Now, some systems are on paper. And some systems are administered by people. When it comes to asking for a sale, you’re the system; you’re the person asking for the sale. It’s not a computer that asks for the sale. So consistency is how you’re going to generate sales as a hypnotherapist. And you will improve with practice—you will. You have to practice asking for the sale, and you have to get comfortable with the discomfort for a while. It will eventually go away and be replaced with confidence. As that happens, selling becomes effortless.
Kyra: Awesome. Thanks, Todd!
Todd: My pleasure.