I moved my practice to a new space across town about a year ago. I totally admit, it’s not the easiest place to find. But, if you pay attention, and follow the directions I give you…it can be found. I don’t work in a remote town. I offer several options to guide clients to my practice. Here are a few options for them…
1- I have a ‘google map’ as well as written directions on my website
2- I offer to give verbal directions over the phone
3- I will personally email directions to clients, who are not willing to try the first two options
Despite all three of these options I’ve had several reactions from clients over the last year. 1st, I was concerned. Then, I was frustrated with them. Now, I’ve learned to throw my hands in the air and just accept it. To keep it entertaining, I amuse myself with comparisons between clients driving skills, and their personality type.
Here are some examples of what clients do before arriving to a session with me ….
1- A few have called me on the phone in an absolute PANIC!! They were sure they are lost in another city driving aimlessly around and around and they would NEVER find me (then, it turned out, they were a block away).
2- Some arrive 15 – 20 minutes late and insist it is the hardest place to find they have EVER arrived at. They ‘have NO IDEA how ANYONE can EVER find me’ !!! and demand I put a billboard up, on the freeway, giving directions ASAP !
3- Some arrive a few minutes late and calmly mention, they made one wrong turn and had to back track to find me.
4- Some have actually been to me before, at this same location and still wander around my building with no clue where my practice is…
5- Some arrive 5 minutes early, walk right in, no direction issues, and I am able to start their session on time
That’s quite a list of re-actions right?! I know ! It’s been crazy, and there were times I wasn’t sure if I would lose my entire clientele because they would never find me. But the comparisons between the way my clients behave when they arrive at my practice, and the way they handle life, have wonderful similarities.
You might read #1 and #2 and think, these clients are probably exactly the same. But not true, re-read them. Both sets of clients have a high level of anxiety, and both sets of clients are clearly over reactors. However, there are 2 key differences with them.
The clients in #1 take personal responsibility for losing their way. They get that they were lost, they aren’t happy about it, they take it as a personal failure and this sits with them for a while. It’s hard to get them to STOP mentioning it.
They are different from #2 clients who blame ME for their misdirection, and assume that I am misleading ALL of my clients (which makes the freeway billboard a necessity). I usually direct the conversation immediately to the present and acknowledge they made it to me, so ‘lets get started’…
#3 clients understand that a mistake was made, and know eventually, they will find me. They mention the practice is hard to find, not to attack me, but out of consideration that other clients may not find me so easily. They are concerned, but not self-loathing or confrontational about it.
#4 clients, I just can’t help these people. What am I supposed to do with them? These clients are usually found upstairs or outside my building just staring at another businesses front door or the directory out front. I find them, smile, greet them and walk with them back to my practice. These people give me 2 different reactions. Some of them act like they have NEVER been here in their life, and others apologize and tell me how sorry they are that they don’t remember where I am located. Both are calm about it, both sets of people bewilder me. I treat them both the same, with kindness and respect.
#5 clients are usually pretty laid back, they left home or work early, planning on not being able to find me. They’re patient with themselves and accept that not every business will have a yellow, neon sign, with an arrow over it reading “WE’RE OPEN”. They are ready to go when they come and are ready for the appointment.
So what’s the use in keeping some of these clients? Why not tell clients #1 or #2 or even #3 and #4 to go to buzz off ! There is a method to my madness of keeping each of these groups of people in my clientele. I will post more about this in a future blog. Please continue to check in with this blog, for more education on client behavior….