One of the most frequent questions nutrition and wellness professionals ask us is whether they should offer prospective clients an initial free consultation.
On one hand, offering a free consultation is a great way to learn about a prospective client, walk through your services, your philosophy, and approach to care.
On the other hand, it can be time consuming. We’ve even heard offering a free consultation considered a “waste of time,” if your conversion rate is low.
Some practitioners we speak with, feel very strongly one way or another. If you’re just launching your private practice and unsure, consider these reasons below for offering an initial free consultation.
Here are 3 reasons you should offer a free consultation:
1. You have a unique opportunity to explain your approach to care and promote your practice.
Outside of consultations, there are very few opportunities available for wellness providers, or any professional for that matter, to extensively communicate with potential clients. Sure, you have your website, but having the time to outline your methodology, experience, and interest in their needs is the best chance you have to sell your practice as the one a client wants.
2. You can begin to build a connection with your client.
First impressions are everything. If you demonstrate your dedication to a client’s needs and present yourself in a friendly, positive way in this short consultation, you will already begin to build a great relationship between you and your client. Forming a strong connection will make your client more receptive to working with you.
3. You can answer sensitive questions or concerns.
For clients who have health concerns or are new to specialized healthcare, working with a nutrition or wellness professional can be intimidating. This free consultation is your chance to talk about their health, answer any questions they may have about what your work and future appointments together will be like, and discuss some potential meal and exercise plans.
While these points of forming a genuine connection can be very beneficial, it is important to note what works best for your practice.
Here are some tips and tricks for offering a free consultation:
- Remember, It’s a Free Consultation, Not a Free Appointment
- Keep it short and professional. A consultation should only be 20-30 minutes long. If it’s any longer, your free consultation can quickly turn into a free appointment. Limiting your time helps you give the client an introduction to your practice and a concise rundown of what you can offer.
- We recommend setting the expectation of what will be covered during this meeting in the beginning, and say that it’s the prelude to a longer-term engagement.
- Be Prepared
- This is your first impression, so make sure your pitch, the extent of your services, and any forms or paperwork you have are ready before the consultation begins.
- With Healthie, you can make sure all paperwork is completed prior to this initial consultation. Even more, you can gather billing information when a client books a free consultation online.
Of course, we completely understand that it doesn’t make sense for all practitioners to offer a free consultation, and you may fall into that camp! We just wanted to provide one perspective in favor of a consultation, particularly if you’re just starting to build your client base!
We’d love to hear from you! What are your opinions on free consultations? Have they helped you in the past? Leave us a comment below!