How building a private practice is a lot like selling trucks

I used to sell trucks for a living.  BIG trucks.

Way back then, International Harvester trained us in a model called “Counselor Selling”.  IH knew that you couldn’t sell trucks by sending a few letters, waiting for the phone to ring and “asking for the sale”.  Essentially, we were taught how to sell trucks by finding out what our prospects need, educating them, and solving their problems.

The same goes for developing referral sources and increasing your client base.

Are you sending a few letters, dropping off a pile of business cards, and getting frustrated because the phone isn’t ringing?  Well… before you throw in the towel there are two things I’d like you to remember…

#1  Marketing isn’t about sales — it’s about getting noticed

How are you going to get noticed by your prospective referral sources and clients? Getting noticed is kind of like getting your foot in the door.  It’s a matter of getting their attention so you can extend you hand the next time.

You might feel “stuck” about how to get noticed.  Here’s a tip.  Remember that you exist to serve; that you want to help.  Realize that you have a lot to offer your referral sources and clients.  If you have an honest, burning desire to provide a great service, then you’ll have all the motivation you need to get noticed.

You’re not asking for the sale, you asking: How can I help you?

That’s a question that is bound to be heard!

I’ll tell you the #2 thing you should remember, in the next post.  In the meantime make sure you catch my free video about the 5 Strategies I used to build up my practice earlier this year.  You’ll also hear about a free web-training I’ve got coming up.  You don’t want to miss that either!  Click here for the video:

Leave A Comment!



  1. Nick Rey /Reply

    I am a NYS LMHC but i have done nothing to build my practice because i dont know where to start. Do i get malpractice insurace? Any other documents ? I am so lost. I do wish you can assist.

    1. Deborah Legge PhD CRC LMHC /Reply

      @Nick – Hi Nick. I sent you an email as well, but here’s the short answer. You need: a place to see clients; malpractice insurance; an intake packet of HIPAA compliant paperwork; business cards; a heart for what you are about to do; the resolution that you MUST succeed in private practice. I can help you with the first 4. The last two are either there or they are not. Let me know when you are ready for the Basic Training Boot Camp and we’ll get started!

  2. Linda Lopez /Reply

    Hello Dr Deborah -Legge,

    I have started my private practice and is wanting tips on generating new referrals. Do you have a workshop how to go about generating new referrals? Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *