Most mental health professionals would not use the word “sell” or “selling” when describing their practices. But if you’re in private practice, you are a business person. And what you’re selling is your professional service.
If you want to stand out among your competitors (not only other licensed mental health professionals, but also uncredentialed therapists and coaches) you need to communicate why people should choose YOU over others.
One way is via your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Your USP should mention a strong benefit that would be important to potential clients, and that would persuade them to contact you rather than someone else.
Some USPs that you may already be familiar with:
“30 minutes, or it’s free” (Domino’s Pizza)
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” (M&Ms)
“Guaranteed. Period.” (Land’s End)
“Reads like paper with no glare, even in bright sunlight” (Amazon Kindle)
Obviously, the above USPs don’t appeal to everyone; nor are they meant to. They’re targeted to specific segments of the population.
- Domino’s and M&Ms didn’t mention how good their stuff tasted. Their target audiences were busy families for whom convenience was more important.
- Land’s End aimed to remove buyers’ hesitation about ordering clothes from a catalog.
- Kindle’s USP targets people who are already buying books, and who might be considering other electronic devices on which to read them.
What’s your USP?
Think about what types of concerns that your clients have in common and how you can address them. Examples:
- Special expertise in a specific area
- Home visits
- Foreign language
- Free babysitting
- Evening and weekend office hours
- Easy access – convenient location, free parking, etc.
- Free initial consultation
- Accepting credit cards
Include your unique selling proposition on your business cards, website, and other marketing materials.
While other mental health professionals might offer similar expertise or convenience, your spelling it out may be the clincher for someone who is contemplating making an appointment.