Develop a winning elevator pitch specific to high functioning clients, get feedback on it, and be able to recite it in your sleep.

We all have our unique therapeutic strengths. What are yours? Are you able to describe them clearly, in layman’s terms? Many therapists develop a habit of describing their approach to therapy or the types of clients they treat in such clinical terms that the average person either can’t understand or actually doesn’t want to identify with. Therapists often develop this habit in grad school, where they’re trying to show professors how they have mastered the literature by using as much clinical and scholarly terminology as possible. While this is useful in graduate school, and even an important part of professional and scholarly development, it is actually not what we want to do when trying to attract clients. Think about it: If you needed a plumber to fix your kitchen sink, would you want a long explanation about pipe hoses, flappers, and flush valves? No, you’d want him to explain he would “make the drain work by fixing the pipes”. Some clients may want more detail, but start by making things simple and straightforwardprovide the extensive clinical terms only if they’re genuinely appropriate for the client’s situation. Continuing with the plumber analogy, would you want a plumber who spoke in a sober manner about the million and one things wrong with your pipes? No, you’d want the plumber who made it sound like a manageable problem that many people have experienced before and that he knew how to fix. Of course, therapy is very different from plumbing– but marketing studies show that generally speaking, consumers want a professional who makes them feel like their problem is manageable.
Therapeutically, this is important too: if you’re dealing with high functioning people, they need to know that you recognize them as intelligent, capable people who have simply encountered a curve ball in life that you’re going to help them manage. Framing issues like self-esteem, dating difficulties, and even career insecurities as normal and expectable issues that many high functioning people have had before will generally help make the potential client comfortable to book with you, and build the therapeutic alliance in that first “is this a good fit?” session because it affirms that these are manageable goals that you’re confident therapy can help.

Action Plan:

Create a sixty-second “elevator pitch” that you will use to describe your skills and what type of clients you see (or want to see). Yes, that’s right– sixty seconds! This is NOT a term paper where more length shows more thought; this is a short statement you can share whenever you need to provide a succinct explanation of who you are and what you do.
Practice your elevator pitch every day for 30 days till it rolls off your tongue. Share it with friends, family, and colleagues to get feedback. You may be surprised by some of the questions and reactions you get- all of this is helpful feedback for you to refine and target your elevator pitch till it’s short, interesting, relatable, and informative– all the things that high functioning clients like!

Would you like to practice your pitch with Dr. Chloe Carmichael and get her individualized input on your pitch?Did you know that when you join Profitable Practices you get a free 30-minute consultation with Dr. Chloe Carmichael, who has appeared on FOX, CBS, VH1, Huffington Post, and an extensive list of other national media? You can use your 30-minute consultation to go over your pitch with her, and review it on group support calls too if you want! You’ll also get access to her video modules where she shares tips that have helped her personally to grow her from a brand new therapist fresh out of graduate school to the owner of a million dollar business (yes, that’s right! She’s a certified member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a group for entrepreneurs who gross at LEAST a million dollars a year). You’ve invested so much money and time in grad school- make sure you don’t forget to take the key class that will help you put all that knowledge to good use by getting clients in your private practice! If you book even just one client from the knowledge you’ll get in this amazing interactive series, the course can easily pay for itself! Why do it alone?

To Your Success,
Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD
PS I know this was a lot of information- some feedback I’ve gotten is that I shouldn’t call these “tips” because they’re actually a lot to digest. I am sorry if they seem like too much, but I just have so much to say about how to build a practice that I can get a little carried away- that’s why I had to go ahead and make an entire course for therapists who are really hungry to learn more and discuss these ideas voice to voice on calls, as well as discussing some “secrets” for members only. Hope to see you there!


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Read the article written by Delia O’Hara for the American Psychological Association (APAPsycIQ) here.