Just some notes on this from a recent coaching session:
The Case For Doing Free Consultation Calls
- Many people won’t be willing to have 4,5,6 first sessions with therapists to find their best fit and may limit their “shopping around” to therapists that offer a free call for that reason. This means you will be an option for more people if you offer a free consultation.
- If you’re not full, what else do you have to do? You aren’t seeing enough clients so you ought to have some spare time
- Free consultations help improve your marketing (you get a sense of what people are struggling with, what made them choose you, and more). These insights can help you hone your message, write better copy, and focus your marketing efforts exactly where it’s making an impact.
- Free consultations take some of the pressure off of your marketing as a free call is an easy way for potential clients to get a sense of you.
The Case For Offering a First Session Instead
- Free calls can make you resentful if you are spending time (and maybe email and phone tag too) to set up free calls, do the calls, and then clients don’t commit. Not a problem with a first session as you invest your time to get fully paid in a first session.
- Free calls are inconvenient to do if you are full or nearly full – you no longer have the time for them
- During a first session, the client gets therapy. It might not be the deepest but they get the benefit of a session (even if they just get space held for 20 minutes – that’s beneficial for them)
- You’ll have more time for your sales pitch at the end of a first session