keep patients for life

“It’s not how many referrals you get, but how many patients you keep, that builds your practice.”

During an economic downturn, like we’re in now, most therapists focus on getting new referrals.

But the problem with “getting more patients” is that it’s time-consuming and expensive.

In reality, maintaining a strong relationship with your existing client base is far more effective for weathering a pandemic.

Retaining your existing patients base should be an equal or higher priority when growing your practice. It’s also much cheaper.

But don’t take my word for it.

Marketing Metrics reports that the likelihood of selling to an existing client is 60-70%, whereas the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. (Forbes)

It seems like good economical sense to leverage your current patient list to increase revenues.

Now here is where it gets a little dicey.

You do not want to keep seeing clients when it’s not in their best interest.

That’s in your best interest, not theirs, and it’s unethical no matter how you spin it.

However, there are times when you know that it would do a patient a lot of good to keep coming to see you.

If you do keep scheduling appointments and rechecks, there must be no manipulation on your part.

If we agree with that premise, here’s a couple of suggestions on keeping patients for life.

  • Pay attention to your spiritual life. Give priority to your prayer and meditation life. If you are connecting to your spiritual center, you’ll be more likely to sense your clients’ most profound needs.
  • Engage. In my experience, most people are relieved when they interact with a professional they can trust. Be positive, honest, and available. Please keep track of when you connected last and reach out to see how they are doing.
  • Follow Up. Every six months, or so, communicate with your loyal clients because you genuinely care—touch base either by phone or email. Focus on the benefits and results of therapy. Help solve any problems they might be having.

Growing your repeat business is crucial for the long-term survival of your therapy practice. While most therapists focus on new referrals, your relationship with your existing clients is the secret to building a practice you enjoy.

I have a couple of openings in my coaching schedule.

We usually meet once a month.

The investment is $100 to 150 per hour Whatever you can afford in that range in good conscience is fine.

If you’re interested in coaching and some help in living out your calling, email me at to set up a time to chat.