How to Communicate the Value of Your Hands-On Work in Every Session

You Touch Communicates Your Value

Clients don’t come back several times to find out what they’re going to get from you. You have to communicate it the first time, and every time.

Last week on one of our practice calls for the Heart-to-Heart program, a hands-on practitioner voiced a concern that’s pretty common among the folks I work with.

First let me explain that these somatic practitioners are learning to offer a paid consultation instead of whatever they normally do in their first session with a new client–that isn’t working as well as they would like.

This is a completely new concept to most practitioners, so they often don’t see at all how they can possibly succeed when their experience seems to be completely the opposite, and so they say things like:

“I don’t understand how to convince a client to work with me in a consultation, when it often takes 3 or 4 sessions for them to really see the value of what I do.”


If this describes your practice, you’ve got a problem

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Are You Talking to a New Client or Another Deer in the Headlights?

I’ll bet you’ve seen it too many times…

Don't let your prospective clients turn into deer in the headlights because you give them too much information! Photo © Creative Commons, Fabrice Florin

Don’t let your prospective clients turn into deer in the headlights because you give them too much information! Photo © Creative Commons, Fabrice Florin

There you are, talking about your work to someone you think you can really help. Then — out of nowhere –WHAMMO!

Your prospective client turns into a deer in the headlights and runs for cover.

It happens to most of the people I work with — hands-on practitioners who are really serious about helping people… good at what they do… intent on making a difference in the world.

If only they could get anybody to listen…

And that’s exactly where the problem is… not that talking is wrong, but talking about the wrong thing makes prospects run. Continue reading

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How would you answer this client question about your hands-on practice?

When potential clients ask you questions about your work, how do you answer?

See through the phone line

Sometimes prospective clients are asking a different question than the one outlined in their words. Answer as an EXPERT, no matter what!

For example, this question came up on one of our calls last week, when we were working on talking to prospective clients on the phone. The “client” asked his practice partner: “Do I need to come for classes or for private sessions with you?”

The “practitioner” on the call answered with a lengthy description of what classes look like.

Others might answer by outlining the philosophical or practical differences between private work and group work.

Answers like this leave potential clients more confused than they were before they asked the question!

Why? It’s simple really–
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Waiting for Godot

Waiting works sometimes in a hands-on practice, but if you don't know how to talk to clients so that they commit, waiting to learn doesn't help anyone.

Sometimes, waiting is perfect in a hands-on practice, but if you don’t know how to talk to clients so that they commit, waiting to learn doesn’t help anyone. Photo© yortw

Personally, I wouldn’t have waited.

The day I was told the spot on my nose had to come off, I rearranged my life to take the first available chance to have the spot replaced by 2 stitches and a Band-aid.

Waiting frustrates me. I like to DO more than I like to THINK about doing.

Whatever it is, I’d rather do it NOW than wait 10 minutes to think it through again, find another layer of meaning. or another way somebody will be affected by “it.”

At the same time, I know that a lot of hands-on practitioners are just fine with waiting.

And that’s a really good thing because honestly, I know that the world needs people who are more patient than I am … and if that’s you, great.

But sometimes, to avoid harm, you have to act even–if you aren’t finished waiting.

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This Is How I Got a Full Class, Just 2 Days After I Announced It!

This is the story of how Christine moved from a sprawling metropolis to an island 6,900 miles away and built a blossoming hands-on practice …

Christine changed her Feldenkrais® Practice by learning how to really engage with her prospective clients about what they want to know about.

Christine changed her Feldenkrais® Practice by learning how to really engage with her prospective clients about what’s most important to them.

The first time I spoke with Allison, I was living in Mexico. I had just moved there from Los Angeles, and I was looking ahead to moving again to be near my parents, because they were getting older. I’d been living in Los Angeles for years and I was sure it was going to be a lot of work to build a practice in New Zealand.

I had been a Yoga Teacher before becoming a Feldenkrais Practitioner® in 2004. When I talked with Allison that first time, I had quite a few private yoga students and I was making a reasonable living, but I wanted to stop making house calls and raise my rates.

I had no plan

I didn’t know how to Continue reading

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Al went to the store for bread and came home with 3 potential clients!

I love it when people post things like this on the Facebook page for our Success Circle group!


When you’re a hands-on practitioner, you’re looking for clients where you live… and that means that your clients Continue reading

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What’s in a yawn?

What does it mean to you when  client yawns?

What does yawning mean in your modality?

A recent post on yawning on The New Yorker website opened with a paragraph about people paralyzed on one side of their bodies. When they yawn, they have access to motor functions on the affected side for the duration of the yawn…

Yawning has been studied extensively for generations. In addition to knowing what we can all see — that sometimes a yawn is contagious, or inopportune, or irrepressible — we also know that babies yawn spontaneously in the womb. We have evidence that we’re more likely to yawn in empathy when family members yawn than when strangers do it. Darwin saw yawning in animals as a sign that we are all built on the same structure.

Does yawning have significance in your work? Moshe Feldenkrais said that yawning meant the brain needed oxygen…

What do you do when your client yawns? Yawn in unison? Change what you’re doing? What goes through your mind when a client yawns? Do you take it as a sign that you’re boring or as an opportunity for something new?


I blog to help you shift how you think about your practice and what you do to get the one you want — sign up for automatic email notification of new posts — just enter your email address below — so you won’t miss any of them!! 😉

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Quotes from Moshe Feldenkrais

when you knowlife is a process This week, I bought a new toy — an inexpensive cloud-based graphics platform that lets you upload a photo, add words and publish a graphic to Facebook.

Being a technology-lover, I spent the better part of a day trying it out… and came up with the idea of using quotes from Moshe Feldenkrais that you don’t see very often, together with photos that are — well, I hope they’re thought-provoking when coupled with the words. I want to share it all with you because the more we think about these things, the better! Continue reading

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What’s Your Practice Dream?

Success begins with clarity and commitment

Having a successful hands-on holistic practice starts with knowing what you want and committing yourself to doing what it takes to get it.

The last time I saw Brindl was in December of the year my older daughter was born… nearly 3 decades ago.

We’d been students together in Moshe Feldenkrais’ first US training. She was an Observant strict Jew who made impressive sacrifices to attend our training with Moshe.

For example, every summer, she gave up eating meat, because she couldn’t find any in San Francisco that met the Kosher standard she observed. She was determined to learn as much as she could so she immersed herself in the work. Most summers, she lived with Gaby, one of Moshe’s assistants, and she watched every lesson Gaby gave at their apartment.

She convinced Moshe to let her watch the lessons he gave at HIS apartment. When he saw her taking notes and told her “No notes!” she Continue reading

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How Curiosity Gets You Clients

Curiosity is an inherent human trait, and when you use it to it's fullest, it can help you get clients!

Curiosity is an inherent human trait, and when you use it to it’s fullest, it can help you get clients!

I was watching a YouTube video about the Dead Sea scrolls, when the  videographer asked the archaeologist in the shot, Guy Steibel, “How did you decide to  become an archaeologist?”

“Ask my mother!” he joked. “But It started with curiosity… At the end of the day, it’s the soil, it’s being out in the desert… we’re like kids, we like to play in the soil … and being paid for it… I mean, what can you ask for– more? There’s something genuine here.”


The curiosity of a somatic practitioner is about people, not about soil and antiquities…

But however you look at it,  what grabs us starts with curiosity… an inherent human trait that drives people regardless of the particular context that each of us finds personally irresistible.

Marie Curie was not giving “Get Clients Now” advice to hands-on holistic practitioners when she said

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.

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