The Skills That Help Clients Won’t Get You Clients to Help

When you don't know how to get clients, it's very hard to help anyone.

The skills it takes to help clients are different from the skills it takes to get clients.
If you don’t have the skills to GET them, it will be very hard to HELP them!


After a webinar I offered about the strengths it takes to build a somatic practice, I was talking with a trainer-colleague. He told me that the most striking thing he heard me say in the webinar — the thing that really got him thinking — was that the skills it takes to GET clients are different from the skills it takes to HELP clients.

I’ve known this for several years, since the first time I sat in a business seminar to build my own disappointing practice. That seminar opened my eyes in many ways, and the work I’ve done with practitioners since — to help them build their own practices — has only made this point clearer.

Over the last several years, I’ve seen scores of practitioners who were on the verge of giving up because it was too hard to earn a living — and what they were doing was destroying their self-confidence and their passion. I’ve watched them turn things around, build a practice that fulfills them, and start making the impact they’re here to make.

My friend’s “Aha!” from my webinar made me realize that a lot of practitioners never stop to think about the difference between these two different types of skills, and it’s easy to confuse them, just as I did for so many years. In addition to working on the wrong skills when they need clients, practitioners often blame their training programs for not giving them the skills they need to get clients in the first place.

Training programs teach practice skills

It’s not news, and it’s hardly surprising that almost all somatic training programs are focused on practice skills. If you think back to your own training, you might recall an afternoon devoted to the topic of “Finding Clients.”  Or maybe you were advised to read a particular book, or directed to a podcast that focused on filling your practice. There may even have been a suggestion to work with a business consultant.

Then, back to practice skills.

It’s not only usual, it’s an appropriate use of time in a training program! All the trainees need the skills of practice — they need to learn how to help people. In addition, some trainees also need to learn how to get clients. 

The fact that two needs may exist in the same training room doesn’t mean that both needs are best addressed there. It makes perfect sense that a training program revolves around teaching the skills of working with people, because those are the skills everyone needs.

Next time: The down-side of teaching practice-building skills in a training program…


If this feels like the tip of the iceberg, I’d say that’s about right! I’ll be exploring that iceberg over the next several weeks and I invite you to join the conversation! Learn more about the innate strengths we all have to GET and KEEP clients by watching the webinar that spurred that “Aha!” by clicking right here.

This series of posts is going to shift how you think about your practice — 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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