Understanding and Communicating Qualifications

By on November 2, 2012

When we are clear about what qualifications really matter to our clients, then we will feel confident and communicate value clearly and professionally. Our clients will hear us and see us as experts in our niche and view our programs and services as the exact thing they need to overcome their challenges and achieve their desired results.

However, when we’re not clear about the qualifications that really matter to our clients, then we perpetually compare ourselves to more experienced teachers and practitioners. We imagine that we need far more education, training, and experience before we can actually be of service. We don’t communicate value clearly or professionally, and so we are not seen as experts in our niche and people do not see how our programs and services could help them.

The Importance of Credentials

What really matters to our prospective clients when it comes to their decision to work with us or not? Is it the years we’ve spent in school? Is it the letters before or after our name?

These things can definitely provide some credibility, and the title “Doctor” carries some authority that can facilitate trust and confidence. But our years in school and the titles we’ve accumulated do not guarantee that we can help our clients overcome their challenges and achieve their desired results.

Our credentials are primarily important to us, not our clients. Our theoretical framework and understanding of imbalance and harmony and the behaviors and consciousness that lead to health or disease gives us an understanding of how to heal ourselves, and then how to help our clients.

Our clients are concerned first and foremost with our ability to help them. Our ability to first demonstrate results in our own lives, and then our track record of helping other people who are like them is infinitely more relevant and important than our title.

Since we’re focused on supporting our clients’ health and consciousness, we need to demonstrate some health and consciousness in our own lives. We shouldn’t think that we need to be perfect, but we do need some commitment to our path. We need to have some energy, and look and feel naturally healthy for our age and circumstances. We need to be willing to look at and address any chronic psychological and emotional stress in our lives as well, and be willing to find help and support.

Without that, our credibility and integrity will be compromised. This is the most important qualification for ourselves and for our clients’ decision to work with us. Since we often pick a niche where we have experience ourselves, our personal story and stories about the results other people have gotten working with us are the most powerful ways to communicate our qualifications to our market.

How to Tell Your Story

Here’s a way to tell your story that communicates your qualifications and ability to help your clients get results:

  1. When were you where they are now? Describe what was happening for you with your health and how it was impacting your life and how you felt.
  2. What did you try that didn’t work? Talk about your attempts and failures at addressing the problem.
  3. What was your “aha” moment? Tell what you learned or discovered that was the changing point for you.
  4. How did you get consistent results? Reveal the behaviors you changed and the system you developed to get them to stick.
  5. Share how you’ve helped other people like them get consistent results with this system too (or how you’ve seen other people make these changes and get consistent results).
  6. Tell them about your commitment to share this system with them so they can overcome these challenges and get these results for themselves.

Take Action: Qualifications Story

Now take a moment to craft your own qualifications story.

You’ll be able to tell your story in conversations, presentations, and in your marketing communications. Your story will serve to build credibility with your market, inspire them to take new actions in their lives, and most importantly, start working with you.

About Jacob Griscom

Jacob Griscom is the President of Everyday Ayurveda and Director of the Grow Your Ayurvedic Business program, the leading program for Ayurveda practitioners to grow thriving professional Ayurveda practices.

5 Comments

  1. peninjau@ihug.co.nz'

    Gerald Lopez

    November 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks Jacob, this is great! In some cultures, paper qualifications on the wall are important. In others, patients or clients are seeking something beyond technical expertise. Research has found that patients often have higher priorities than physical outcomes. They may be looking for a “good human encounter” where they feel heard, feel genuine warmth from the practitioner, and where a relationship of truth and honesty is formed. This is where deeper healing can occur.

    A practitioner who uses not only his/her technical skills and knowledge, but also their life experience, in a way that is honest and caring, will gain many clients through word-of-mouth. Listening is a bigger asset than knowing.

    What you refer to in the article is the idea of the “wounded healer,” who through their own experience, can guide their clients to the other side. This is how “wounds” can create positive outcomes in life.

    Gerald
    Auckland, New Zealand

  2. L_k_smith@msn.com'

    Lorraine

    November 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    No one knows how someone feels if they haven’t been there themselves. I often use my personal story to encourage others that they can get better. My clients tell me that they “trust” my opinion because they know I walk the talk.

    Lorraine
    Austin, TX
    Dipl. Ayur, LMT, RN, MEd ( here are some of my initials…impressed? LOL )

  3. 4ravim@gmail.com'

    Ravi

    November 7, 2012 at 3:24 am

    I recently topped off an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy and Ayurveda with a Bachelor of Health Science degree which was not worth the paper it was printed on.. In frustration I let slip that if I just wanted a number for a result rather than insightful feedback I would have bought a lottery ticket.. and that if I merely wanted a qualification I could easily buy one in Asia somewhere.. Of course this did not garner the helpful response I yearned for!.. I did learn however that the answers and guidance I had hoped for come from exposure to people with life experience relevant to my interests and from accessing my own acquired and innate wisdom.. As Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young once said, “We have all been here before”.

  4. delledoc@gmail.com'

    Cristian Dellepiane

    November 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Sure, doesn’t matter our califications , we need a different type of wisdom, but if we combine califications and intelligence to see the picture I think that the results are guaranteed
    Thanks

  5. lisambailey@gmail.com'

    Lisa

    November 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I have just been brainstorming an introductory presentation about the benefits of Ayurveda, and I read this blog at the perfect time. As a new practitioner working in a new location, I am reminded that I can be my own testimonial. Thanks for the reminder!

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