Today's post will share a few ideas to help you keep past clients coming back for consultations if you are a nutritionist or dietitian.
Your past clients are probably your best source of new clients for two reasons:
- They can come back for follow up consultations
- They can refer you to a friend; which then becomes your client
There are many nutrition practices whose main strategy for getting consultations is by leveraging their past client base. Keep on reading if you want to learn how.
The 3 requirements to get clients in your nutrition practice
There are basically three requirements to get people to decide they want to pay you for a consultation:
- They know you exist
- They trust you
- They believe that what you offer will work for them
Firstly, if someone doesn't know you even exist, they will never be able to visit your clinic. It's not as simple as putting a sign on your door and waiting for clients to find you.
Secondly, trust is fundamental for nutritionists and dietitians. Nobody will want to pay for lifestyle advice coming from a person they do not trust.
Thirdly, there are loads of terrible (free) advice about nutrition in the web. Clients want to pay for a professional consultation only if they think it has a good chance of improving their life.
Example ways to achieve the three conditions above could be:
- Marketing: to make people aware of your services
- Personal attention: calls and face to face conversation, coupled with genuine care to build trust.
- To deliver results: your advice has to work. You can share success stories of your most motivated clients.
So, why are past clients so important? Because most of them will meet the three requirements:
Past clients are great because: they know you exist, they trust you, and they know your nutrition advice works.
Anyone that has ever dealt with another human being knows that it takes a lot of time and effort to build trust and the other conditions. That's one of the reasons why your past clients are so precious.
If you want your past clients to keep coming back over and over – as well as to bring their friends – you better meet the three requirements listed above consistently. Below are a few ways to do it.
Leveraging your past clients
Some people will avoid contacting their past clients after a consultation. They will reason they used my services once, they don't need them again.
However, the above is completely false. When we, as customers, acquire a product or a service that we like, we tend to get more. Simply think, how many times have you read your favourite book?
Your past clients already know you, but that doesn't mean they think about you constantly. That's why it's a good idea to let them know gently that you exist from time to time, and to show them that you care.
A client that had a few consultations with you last year may remember you, and decide she wants to book in a new consultation with you. Alternatively, she can refer you to a friend once she hears about you.
At the very least, you should contact all your clients after a month of their last consultation with you to ask how are they doing, and if they have improved their lifestyle since you last met.
Contacting your past clients is simple and effective. It accomplishes the goals of letting them know you still exists, and that you care about them – which builds trust. You can do any of the following:
- Call your client from time to time asking how he or she is doing after implementing your nutrition advice
- Send an email newsletter every week, trying to customise it to each client if possible
- Be active on social media, and involve your clients in a group or similar. Talk to them and engage in meaningful conversation
- Send a hand-written letter! Only Santa Claus gets some nowadays, so it will likely be perceived as something authentic and unique
- Pay a personal visit to your client if possible
Reaching out to your past clients will sooner or later pay dividends. Some of them will come back to your nutrition practice; others will recommend you to friends and family.
The great thing about a recommendation from a past client is that the awareness, trust, and belief in the quality of your services are transferred from person to person.
Building a reputation via success stories
You should talk to some of your most successful past clients to agree with them in writing success stories that you can share to promote your practice.
A success story could be some text coupled with a before/after picture of someone that lost a lot of weight with your advice. It is best when it's personal and when the reader can relate to it.
Showing success stories in your website/social media/blog is a great way of demonstrating that your services actually work. Always remember to ask your client for permission to share, of course.
Don't be shy and ask your past clients for success stories! Many of them will be very proud of their lifestyle improvements and grateful to your for your contribution. They will be happy to help.
Your past clients' can serve as ambassadors of your brand, and their tales can inspire their friends and relatives to reach out to you for nutritional advice. More clients, and happiness for everyone.
Your past clients are a great source of follow up consultations, and new clients.
In order to leverage your client base, you should take the time to build relationships and trust, and to demonstrate the quality of your service.
Nice ways of cultivating the relationship with your past clients include reaching out to them regularly (phone, social media, etc) and sharing their success stories.
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Thanks for reading and have a great day!