Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service


I just got finished with a phone call from a man who was looking to buy his girlfriend a gift certificate for a massage. We did an Initial Phone Consultation that took about 2 -3 minutes.

I lost the sale….

Even though the client didn’t buy anything, I’m glad we do an initial 5-question phone consultation before we book any appointments or sell anything because it helps us to be sure it is the perfect fit for both the client customer and us.

(We document everything on a short form we call our ‘caller log’. It works like magic — keeps us on track so we don’t forget anything, plus everything is written down so the therapists knows what to expect!)

We want to be sure clients are getting EXACTLY what they want and need.

If we had just simply done what most other places do, and sold him the gift certificate and pocketed some money, His girlfriend would not have been happy!

She was looking for a relaxation, pampering, spa experience and (a) we are not a spa, and (b) we focus on pain relief and rehabbing stubborn sports injuries, pre and post surgery stuff, and all the other clinical types of care …rather than creating the ultimate pamper party.

I hope you see how it is absolutely crucial to have a preliminary system to either weed out or invite clients and customers who want and need your services.


Imagine how it could have gone differently if we didn’t offer an Initial Phone Consultation or follow our phone protocol…

  1. He would have bought the GC
  2. She would be happy to receive the certificate
  3. She would have called to schedule her session
  4. She would have found out we didn’t offer what she wanted
  5. She would have had 3 choices: #1-come in and use the GC anyway. #2- give it back to the boyfriend or another person to redeem it. OR #3- ask for a refund. In fact we almost never give refunds on gift certificates unless it’s our fault (and in this case it would have been)
  6. Possibly a bad review, or at the least, a not too happy girl with her boyfriend!

What a smart boyfriend though right? … He gets lots of big points for calling around and finding the right place for his girlfriend!

The Brilliant Lesson For Today?

Be sure you have YOUR phone call protocol in place so every new client or every new sale is handled with brilliant customer service. Document each and every call on your own “Caller Log” so you have the notes to refer back to once the client comes in.

(If you ask the right questions at the start, it sets you and the client up to win. Even if you ‘lose’ the sale, you gain respect and credibility in your community, which trust me — comes back in spades!)

If you are wondering what we ask on our Caller log, and how we go through our initial consultations with clients, I will be sharing that and more at Design Your Dream Practice live 3-day business-building event.

(In fact, at the event, you’ll even get to practice your phone consultation too, so it rolls off your tongue feeling really easy!)

Early Bird rates may apply if you act fast (space limited to only 25 brilliant practitioners!)

Now let me ask you:

What do you do at the beginning of a sales call to help you and your clients determine if you are the best match for them?

Do you follow a protocol each time?

Please share your answer or thoughts below to inspire us all.

About the Author Irene Diamond

Business mentor, Educator and Inspirer to Clinic Owners & Solo Practitioners. Love to hear from you ~ Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Hi Irene,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Having a call log is such a great idea. I think it’s an idea I’ll have to put into practice.
    While you didn’t make that particular sale I’m sure it will be to your end benefit that you made sure you weren’t selling a gift certificate to someone who was looking for a different type of service. It is likely that the gentleman who called will remember your honesty and refer people who do need therapeutic work to you.

  • Alison says:

    While I think it’s fine you have your area of specialty, please keep in mind the largest majority of people who get a massage and support our industry get their massages in a spa of some sort. To refer to the bulk of the business this profession enjoys as a “pamper party” sounds dismissive and judgemental. The fact that you enjoy a profitable “clinical” business is on the historical coatails of all the many paying customers and clients who paved the way for this industry by being “pampered”. I sure hope that girlfriend got a great massage.

    • Hi Alison,
      Thanks for sharing your comment with us.

      I certainly have nothing against all the types of relaxation-focused services spas and other providers offer. It’s just not what we provide.

      Had I sold the certificate and booked the appointment she would not have received what she wanted.

      Many of my coaching clients offer spa services and I’ve been a guest author and written articles for the spa industry, so I have not an ounce of dis respect for pamper-parties. I’m sorry if it came across as such.

      I too hope he was able to find a great place for her to go –there are tons of options in our area.

      Another important point I should have mentioned in the blog post, is that I usually refer callers to a few of my favorite neighborhood places that provide the service they are looking for (whether it’s a DC, LAc, DPM, etc,) so they have trusted referrals. In this case, unfortunately my other phone line range and someone walked in the door, so I didn’t have the ability to do that.

      It is one of the ways to deliver excellent customer service by providing a few names and numbers to callers so they don’t hang up from our call and have to start their search again from scratch.

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