Secret #4 - Get very comfortable asking for payment
One of the easiest ways to set this up is to have very clear
explanations in your intake forms about how payment works.
It's your job to train your clients how to pay you promptly. You can adopt the saying I use, that
"no one leaves without leaving their payment."
A significant part of this is having the words to say.
For example, when a client tells me they left their wallet, purse or checkbook in the car, I respond with
"That's OK, I'll wait for you to go out and get it and come
Having the words to say already prepared goes a long way in reducing the anxiety about asking for payment.
Secret #5 - Eliminate too many "buying decisions"
Many private practice professionals see clients on some kind of a regular basis.
In my opinion, it's a mistake to have a client have to make a payment at each visit, for at least two reasons:
1) Often, their last experience of you is giving you money, and
2) It turns every appointment into a buying decision. This goes something like:
"Let's see, how much room do I have on the credit card this week" or "I think I would rather go to the beach than pay for a session this week."
The solution is to get payment in advance. You can do this by charging by the month up front, or giving a small discount for paying for multiple sessions up front.
Secret #6 - Give yourself a great birthday present
I gave up billing on insurance and all managed care and went to fee for service on my birthday in 1996.
Every year since then, I have either launched a major project or raised my fees or both on my birthday.
Happy Birthday to You!
Practice building mentor coach Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT is the President of BuildingYourIdealPractice.com, empowering private practice professionals to build, market and live the practice of their dreams. You are invited to subscribe to the free Getting Clients Newsletter and our free monthly Practice Building Tele-Seminar