Pushing Against Closed Doors

I’ve written before about how we always have options in addressing an issue. Those options generally break down into the following groups:

  • We can try to change the situation or the other person
  • We can leave the situation or relationship
  • We can change our own behaviour so as to fit in with the situation or the other person, or
  • We can find another way of looking at it, or feeling about it.

I think of these options as exits on a roundabout. Most people have one or two favourites among the four options above, a default to which they habitually are drawn, an exit which they almost always take. Usually because they have found that it serves them to do so. However, it’s important to remember that there are always other choices available to us.

When it comes to marketing our practices, most of us have limited resources

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(in skill, time and money) available to us, and still fewer of us are enthusiastic about it. So it’s important to invest those resources where they will have most impact. This means choosing to put our energy into those doors that are likely to open to us.

We can meet people where they are, or we can be clear about what we offer, and target our services towards those who are likely to be a good match. The least effective option, and the most difficult to implement, is to convince those who are not open to what we have to offer, that what we have to offer is really what they want.

For example, I hear a lot from practitioners about doctors looking for CBT. How do we deal with that when it comes to marketing our services to doctors? Using the types of choices outlined above it would seem our options are:

  • Try to convince doctors that their belief in CBT is misplaced
  • Opt out of trying to market our services to doctors at all, and find clients elsewhere
  • We can train in CBT or offer the doctors similar services more closely aligned to our own preferred modality, that also meet their underlying concerns, or
  • We can find another way of looking at it, or feeling about it.

All of them are valid options, and only you can say which is right for you in your circumstances.

My fear for you is that you put all your energy into fighting the doctors’ perspective rather than focusing on what you want. If what you want is to convince the medical profession that their view of CBT is misplaced, and if you feel called to change their minds, great. You’ll have a lot of support among your fellow practitioners. You will also have a lot of work to do!

openHowever, if your intention is to attract more clients, you could probably get “better bang for your buck” by focusing your limited resources where they are most likely to bring you what you want. In other words, focusing your marketing towards those most likely to want what you have to offer.

We can put a lot of energy into trying to convince others that we are right. Sometimes it serves us and sometimes it doesn’t. We can use our influence to sway those who are in part open to what we are trying to say. We can also push and push against a closed door which will never open to us. Like the wolf in the story of the Three Little Pigs, we need to recognise when we are up against an immovable object, and go elsewhere for our fun!

If you struggle to know how best to market your practice, I’d love to help. Contact me here with your query or question, or to make an appointment or avail of a free 20 minute consultation.

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