Recently I had three clients that I had great first sessions with. We did amazing work. They were excited. One of them was even talking about how she was also going to get her husband to come see me for a session. Now they are gone. I have tried e-mailing and calling all three of them and I have heard nothing back. Did I do something wrong?
photo by Wisconsin Historical Images
There are certainly things that we can do to undermine our client’s confidence and there are times where we are not the right fit for a client. When this happens to me I generally have a sense of this during the session. Much of the time I can tell when a client isn’t engaged in the process or if we are just not clicking. (NOte: Just because Emotional Freedom Techniques is right for a situation does not mean that I am the right practitioner).
With that being said there are going to be times when we click with a client and they still just disappear. There is no way that we can know for sure why this happens, but here are some of the common reasons for excited clients not coming back.
Talked Out Of It
I know that when I have something exciting happen to me I share it with my friends and family. I want them to share in my excitement and maybe they will also enjoy whatever I am excited about. After a great tapping session your clients are going to tell their friends and loved ones about what just happened. They are going to talk about how weird it was, how quick it was, and how effective it was. This is great because it spreads the word about tapping far and wide. I have lots of clients who are referrals from past and present clients.
The problem comes in the response of your clients’ friends and loved ones. I have heard stories from lot of clients about how much resistance the people in their lives have to tapping. Often times our clients are very new to tapping and are not accustomed to talking about tapping. Because of this they are not confident about talking about tapping with others. When this happens they can be talked out of coming back by their skeptical friends and loved ones.
Life Gets Busy
This is just a fact of life for all of us. Our days seem to get fuller and fuller. Because of the busyness of life a client doesn’t get right back to us and so they may feel embarrassed about having lost touch for a bit. This embarrassment makes them uncomfortable about e-mailing or calling us back after we have left two or three messages. Also, because of the busyness of client’s lives they don’t get around to doing the homework we have assigned them. It is embarrassing to commit to something and not living up to your word. They often feel like they have let us down and therefore do not want to face us.
Scared of What They Have or Will Uncover
When we work with clients we can easily and gently lead them to root causes of issues. Many times they have no idea about the number of limiting beliefs they have, how these beliefs were created, and how much control these beliefs have over their daily lives. The work we do with them is wonderful and a revelation.
Then they go home. I imagine it happens something like this. They are lying in bed getting ready to fall asleep. They are reviewing everything that happened during the day and their thoughts go something like this:
“Oh that was a good day . . . how cool it was to do that tapping thing . . . I can’t believe that Gene was able to help me so quickly . . . who knew that what happened to me when I was six would have such an effect on me today? . . . I wonder what else is lurking around in there . . . I wonder if Gene is going to be able to help me as easily with new issues that come up . . . I wonder if it is always that easy . . . maybe the next time it isn’t going to be as easy . . . maybe next time we are going to find something bigger . . . maybe next time we are going to uncover something Gene doesn’t know how to deal with . . . I wonder what Gene thought about today’s session . . . I bet he is telling his friends about this weird client who had this small thing that happened when they were six and how it crippled them today.”
And the next thing we know a part of the client believes a tapping session is unsafe. I can speak from experience: The path of self-discovery can be a bit scary. It becomes especially scary when we stumble onto knowledge about our past, our hidden issues, and other unpleasant aspects of ourselves unexpectedly. Sometimes a very successful session can be too much in the moment. Because of this they choose not to come back for fear of what is next.
The Take Away and What We Can Do
Once I started to realize some of the reasons that good clients don’t come back I gained a few insights.
First, it isn’t about me. There are lots of reasons for a client not to come back for a second session. It is good for me as a practitioner to evaluate why a client might not come back for a second session, but there are reasons outside my control that affect that decision.
Secondly, the fact that they did one session is a really good thing. The fact that they took one hour to do some change work and learned more about tapping is a good thing. Besides, while change was happening during the session, seeds were sown that will bear fruit in the future even if it is months or years before they tap with a practitioner again.
Finally, this provides a good opportunity to do some work on ourselves and to do some surrogate tapping for our clients. Whenever we start to question why clients aren’t coming back it will likely bring up some emotional charge in us about how good we are at our job. We can let these feelings fester or we can do some work for ourselves.
In addition to tapping for ourselves we can tap for our clients as well. At the end of each session, after I have hung up the phone, I take just a few moments to tap for my clients. I tap with the intention that they will continue to heal, that they will find people in their lives who will support their healing process, and that they will have the courage to continue down the healing path. I am not sure if this has much effect on them, but I know it helps me to be more at peace with whatever step comes next for the client and myself.