Where Did They Go? Client Retention Problems Solved- Part One

If you’re wondering why you don’t have more clients, this series of posts is for you.

It does take time to develop a solid client base for your private practice. However, if you find yourself with a sparse schedule after a few months of practice, it’s time to start troubleshooting.

If you aren’t getting many inquiries, then unless you are in a saturated market your problem might have to do with insufficient or ineffective marketing. If people call to ask questions but don’t book an appointment, then may be a problem with the way you are interacting with that potential client. If you get a lot of initial appointments but clients don’t book a second, then your marketing is likely on target but you could be making some clinical mistakes during those initial sessions. Lastly, if clients terminate therapy before making significant progress toward their initial goals, then there is likely an issue with either the goal setting process or the treatment plan.

Now that we know where the problem is, let’s look at solutions.

Marketing

If you aren’t receiving at least a few inquiries a month, something is wrong. Here are the possibilities: either you are in an overly saturated area (or an area not easily accessible to your potential clients), your prices are either too high or too low, your online presence isn’t professional and/or welcoming, or you aren’t marketing enough. Let’s break these possibilites down.

  1. Saturated area. Because you have lots of competition, you need to figure out what makes you stand out. Perhaps it is a special skill or a niche that is in demand locally. Once you figure this out, make sure your marketing materials reflect it.
  2. Remote or inaccessible area. Since you are one of the few therapists in your geographical area, you should become a generalist rather than focusing on a niche. Other options are to consider moving your home and/or office to a more populated area, and/or adding video therapy services.
  3. Pricing. If your prices are too low clients may not place enough value on the services you provide. If they are too high, people can’t afford to come. Do some research to determine what the going rate is in your area for a comparable skill level, and price accordingly.
  4. Online presence. Is your profile photo professional yet welcoming? Is your website user-friendly? Do you have a professional social media presence? If so, are all of your posts relevant to potential clients?
  5. Marketing. If all of the above is in place, then it’s likely you are not marketing enough, or your current marketing efforts are not effective. Much has been written on this topic, so for now I will simply say that people have to know about your existence. Figure out who your ideal client is, then target your efforts towards them. For example, if your specialty is pain management, market yourself to doctors.

In my next post, I will cover problems in the initial phone contact and appointments.

Yours in the Joy of Knowledge,

Dr. Barb LoFrisco