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Dr. Giles's Blog

Reflections from Dr. C. Scot Giles, the Consulting Hypnotist and practice owner at Rev. C. Scot Giles, D.Min., LLC

Boomers and Millennials

Charles Giles

Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for all my colleagues. The book makes an important distinction. There is a difference between working “in” your business and working “on” your business.

When you are working “in” your business you are doing the stuff your business does. In my case that means consulting with individuals and groups using individualized spiritual and hypnotic techniques. Working “on” my business is different. That means spending some time perfecting my systems, methods, tools and workflows.

Every year I take some time to work “on” my hypnotism practice. I look at my systems and processes, tighten things up and make adjustments. Every five years I do a more comprehensive review and every ten years I hire an outside consultant to review my practice, on the theory that a different pair of eyes will see things I am missing. I am in the midst of a five-year review right now.

One of the things I did was to look at the average age of my clients. The result was surprising. My clients tend to be older than they were a decade ago.

Now, some of that is I am older too, and like attracts like. But I am a helping professional and being a bit older than your clients is actually an advantage.

My practice has a focus into medical hypnotism and I do a lot of work with chronic conditions. Chronic medical issues tend to be issues of older people.

All that said, my practice focus has not changed in twenty five years, yet I have many fewer clients in my practice in their 30s and 40s than I did ten years ago. My clients tend to be in their 50s and 60s today. Why is that?

After a fair amount of reflection I realized that the issue was my practice marketing. I know how to market my services to people who are part of the Baby Boom. I understand that generational cohort.

Boomers are intuitive. To market to them you state your case and show them your results and credentials. They consult their intuition and if they decide you’re authentic, they buy in. I’m a “Boomer” myself and I think like they do.

I did not know how to market my services to “Generation X” nor to “Millennials,” who comprise the younger people in our society today. They are much more suspicious and analytical. You still state your case and show them results and credentials, but they don’t buy in when you’ve done that. Bit if you've done it right they are willing to keep listening.

With Generation X and Millennials you have to “warm up” the relationship you establish with them. If they think you’re for real they expect you to supply them with more information. Then, over time, once they know you, they might buy in and become a client. It’s a slower process.

I can see how people who are children of meaningless wars, stock bubbles and crashes and widespread betrayal by elected leaders would grow to be reluctant to believe anyone. I get that.

I’ve been helped in this by a series of videos created by my colleague Jason Linett. Jason has been creating a serious of video podcasts at the request of the National Guild of Hypnotists that describes his method of “lead generation marketing.” This is the name given to establishing and then building your credibility in business relationships. This turns out to be vital in doing business with GenXers and Millennials. The videos have been very helpful as has my email correspondence with Jason.

So…it’s time to introduce some new things into my practice.

I started my electronic Newsletter called Powerlines about a year ago, and it’s been a complete hit. Each month an edition goes out that has a very high “open” and “click through” rate.

But I need to do more. So I’ve followed Jason’s recommendation and set up an account with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service. This is a new software platform that allows me to set up “sequences” of reports and emails to people who have contacted me to show them the ways hypnotism can make their life easier. All they have to do it “opt in” by filling out a form on my website (if you want to do this, be my guest). What then follows is a series of free reports and other materials that I created, which are sent out on a timed routine by the CRM service.

The goal is straightforward and it’s customer service and education. The reports teach people about hypnotism and encourage a deeper connection with the craft. I’ll be adding other things as I integrate this into my work and learn the software platform more fully.

And I got a call today from a new client. She’s in her 20s. She liked the reports.