How To Prepare For Each Potential Client
Preparation is everything. That’s how one gets to Carnegie Hall. Preparation is a process needed for success; it’s why people study a subject; it’s the foundation of what we do well in life. Once we have made all those preparations that have brought us to the point of someone getting in contact with us to either inquire or contract for our work, we need to further prepare the potential client and ourselves for the consultation.
First of all, always be prepared with business cards on hand. If one is at a social gathering or other event, there is always the possibility of someone asking about your work or asking about making an appointment. Give them the card and ask them to call you for an appointment. If the person wants to know more about what you do, be prepared to speak generally about the kinds of services you have to offer. Know how you wish to describe your work and the terms you wish to use. Do you give a reading or consultation? Are these terms interchangeable? If you are asked about your fees, be ready to reply clearly concerning the time and different fees you may offer for particular kinds of work.
When someone calls for an appointment, it is necessary for you to “interview” that person to determine what he or she needs from you, the astrologer, during the reading. Be prepared the describe the various services you offer whether it is natal, financial, horary, medical, forecast updates, real estate, vocational, solar returns, locational, relationship, psychological or whatever direction your expertise includes. Be honest concerning what you can offer. You need to ask, “What do you want from this reading and why do you want it at this particular time?” This helps to start the framework to build the session around the client’s most important concerns. The client becomes aware that you are interested in hearing what he or she has to say.
All of this sets a tone and the goals for the session. Be clear about what you can and cannot accomplish during a single session. State disclaimers about your work now and during the actual session. Define your limits and boundaries. You must be clear about what you charge and the type of payment you accept.
- Do you accept checks from a new client?
- Do you require a deposit from a new client?
- Do you accept credit card payments?
- If you have a cancellation policy, you must make this clear. If you don’t have a cancellation policy as such, perhaps you might require a phone call from the client the day before to confirm the appointment.
- Ask potential new clients if they have had other astrological readings and by whom. Ask how they got your name? Was it by referral, then who? Was it by advertisement, then where?
Note all these details on a client card or client folder. One of the best ways to insure that all these details will be communicated is to have a checklist of items you need to tell a new client who is phoning for an appointment. In that way either you or your office assistant can have this list handy to assure that all items are communicated.
As you listen to the client’s story, acknowledge that you understand his or her needs and that you would be addressing these concerns during your meeting. This will put the client at ease knowing that their communication has been received and understood. Make sure that the client’s concerns are recorded so that they are not overlooked later on. At this point you have likely sold the client on your work. If you have communicated at feeling of warmth and empathy, so much the better. It could help to relieve the client’s feelings of anxiety if any are present. You have learned about the client’s expectations and whether you can meet them.
These questions help both you and the client prepare for the appointment. For clients new to astrological work, they will have a better understanding of what can be accomplished at the session. Of course, it is your decision if you want to this client or not. In some cases, you may not want to contract with this particular person. Perhaps this person’s needs are unrealistic and you cannot meet those expectations. In that case, neither one of you would be satisfied with the consultation.
Perhaps the client will be needing a different professional to handle those needs. In fact the interview can screen out people who are very sick or disturbed. If this becomes apparent during the client interview, be prepared to have specific names to give as referral whether it would be for therapy, bodywork, doctor, suicide hotline or lawyer. If the person’s needs would be better served by another astrologer for some specialty where you have insufficient expertise such as Astro*Carto*Graphy, horary, business, etc., then have referral names to suggest.
Try to be as concise as possible. However, don’t forget to make the caller aware of your credentials and background to further put them at ease. Once you have covered all the necessary issues, and you determine that the caller’s needs can be met, offer to set an appointment date. Once the date is selected, ask the caller about birth data. Be sure to determine the source of the data is from a birth certificate or some official record.
- Ask the caller’s full name and spelling, address and telephone number.
- Does the caller have a cell phone and business number as well?
- Ask if the client has an email address. Note these details on a client card for future reference.
- Ask the caller whether he or she is married, divorced, currently in a relationship, have children, is presently working and the kind of work that person does.
- Are parents living?
- Does the caller have siblings?
- Ask any other questions that you feel would help you frame activity in the person’s life.
Next you need to supply the client with directions to your office. If you wish the client to bring a tape and tape recorder, mention this detail. If you will be taping the session for them, let the client know you will be providing this service. Before you end the call, repeat the date of the appointment and the birth data.
The first part of the client preparation has been completed. You have made a verbal contract with the client. The next step is preparing the charts for the consultation and scheduling the amount of time you routinely need to handle the work. Each astrologer develops a work style. The particular system utilized for the particular need of the session is accessed.
Charts are prepared and studied. Notes are taken and a plan concerning the dialogue is clarified. The client’s chart is analyzed concerning the issues discussed in the initial interview phone call. The chart is also analyzed for major aspect configurations. These represent important “red flags” in the client’s life. These aspects will represent the challenges and growth experiences the client has needed. The challenges will continue until the person realizes what they are and what is needed to manage them.
The time involved in this portion of the preparation varies greatly. Some astrologers work quickly with little preparation while others require several hours. The object is to be prepared according to your skill level and the manner in which you prefer to work. The more work you do, the faster you will be able to move through the chart preparation.
The Consultation Day
Earlier in the day before the client’s appointment, review the chart(s) and notes you have made. Have them in your consciousness if necessary. Recall the concerns of the client. You may develop a ritual or routine you wish to perform prior to the client’s arrival. This might include meditation or asking for guidance from some place of wisdom you access.
Make sure that your office is attractive and properly arranged. Clear away any unnecessary papers, and provide a setting that is comfortable, clean and reflective of you. Some astrologers prepare a consultation chart for the time of the appointment, gathering additional information as to the nature of the meeting. You might want to experiment with this consultation chart to decide if this, too, is something you wish to include in your routine.
The time has come. The client is at your door. Greet this client with warmth and enthusiasm. Smile. This is a new relationship that may continue beyond today. This person has chosen you for a reason and you are there to provide them with some very valuable information. You are there to create light and illumination. You are a professional. Convey that message as you begin. Remember that first impressions count.
You have it made, right? Wrong! Always be open to make changes and adjustments to your routine if you feel that something else will work even better. For instance, you might want to consider putting your policies and methods into a printed statement and sending it to the client to read before the consultation.
This can be a very satisfactory way to prepare the client and clarify general questions before hand. Perhaps you want or need to make scheduling adjustments as your practice begins to grow and your schedule becomes more and more crowded.
- Are you able or willing to run sessions back to back?
- Are you prepared with a suitable waiting area for your next client?
- Do you need to create a way of discarding the mental frame from your work with one client as you begin a session with the next one?
- How do you handle other activities of the day?
These are questions that might cause you to pause and reconsider your routine. As you do, you will be creating the operating style that works for you. You will be better able to manage your practice, enjoy your work and get more satisfaction from it. A good set of guidelines can help keep stress at a minimum and likely help you to be more successful at what you do. As your business grows, it will change and so will you.
Consider yourself and your business a work in progress. Learn from your mistakes and keep a sense of humor about most things. A smile can be an important ingredient in your astrologer-client relationship. Be generous with your positive energy. It’s good for both you and your client.
Summary – In a Few Words: Be Prepared
- Business cards are a must
- Interview the potential client
- Create a Client Profile
- Communicate your services
- Determine the client’s needs
- Convey your price, time and other policies
- Are you the professional they require?
- Prepare the necessary charts
- Review the goals of the session
- Refresh mentally
- Check office environment
- Welcome the client
- Be your creative self
- How can you do it better?