Client in the Spotlight: Annette Self
I introduced a new series called Client in the Spotlight last month and I’ve been delighted with the positive feedback from you all – it’s gone down a storm. I’m so glad that I’m able to showcase the real “stars of the show” – my clients who are making a success of their heart-centred businesses.
So I’m really delighted to introduce you to our second Client in the Spotlight:
Annette Self, Food Addiction Specialist
Please tell us a little bit about you and your business
I’m The Food Addiction Doctor – a food addiction specialist. I help professional women whose comfort, binge or overeating is ruining their health, their appearance and their self-confidence.
I help them to break free of their food cravings and compulsive eating so that they eat healthily, lose weight, increase their energy levels, wear the clothes they would love to wear and feel fabulous!
Tell us why you do what you do
I trained as a Research Scientist and was working within the Cancer Research field. When I was coming up to the end of my contract I wanted to do something different and I trained as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. I started to work with clients around issues of anxiety, food and alcohol but found that I regularly attracted clients who wanted help with over eating. So you could say that my clients found me!
There are so many women out there who have struggled with comfort or overeating all their lives. Women who have tried every diet under the sun but have always ended up putting back on the weight they lost, plus more. Women who are plagued with constant thoughts of food, and feel like a failure as a result. Their issues with food really hold them back from having the fulfilling lives they want, and that really saddens me.
I really love to see their transformation as they go through my programme. To see the look on their faces as they tell me that they are no longer having food cravings, that they can have chocolate, cakes or crisps in the house and just don’t have the compulsive desire to eat them like they used to. That’s hugely rewarding. I love to hear that they can still enjoy a treat if they want something, but can now just stop at one and if they go out they actually really want, and enjoy, something healthy on the menu.
What’s been your biggest success in your business in the last year?
I niched my business to specialise in working with food addiction and binge eating and I developed a programme called The Freedom Formula – a science based approach to beating food cravings and compulsions. This was a huge leap of faith for me as typically hypnotherapists and others in my field charge by the session, but in offering a package, my clients get so much more as I can guide them through their journey more completely. I really resisted creating a package at first, but through the work I did on the “Get More Clients Saying Yes!” programme, and working with Catherine, I challenged myself to try it.
I sold the programme to 11 lovely clients and have seen them have incredible transformations. On a personal level I went from struggling with my cash flow and dipping into savings regularly to making more money in the first 8 months of 2015 than I did in the whole of 2014. It has also allowed me to manage the number of clients I work with in a year so I have better cash flow, more committed wonderful clients and more personal time. I’m thrilled.
How have sales conversations supported this success?
Firstly having a structure to work with has made me so much more confident. I know the right kind of questions to ask that allow the conversation to flow well. I know how to really explore the issues the potential client is having and to enable them to create that vision of the future of what it will be like when they no longer have food cravings and compulsions. Having the structure has also allowed me to conduct the conversions congruently in a way that I can serve my potential clients in the best way I can, at the same time as letting them see the value of my programme.
Since implementing the niching and developing my programme I have been able to package my services in a much better way for my clients. I know that they get the full transformation they need and I’ve been able to create a much more stable cash flow and practice for myself.
What three tips would you give other business owners struggling with their sales?
1. Learn how to have effective conversations. It is a skill, and once you have success and start taking on clients, it gives you greater confidence in yourself, the work you do and in the next conversation.
2. Let your potential clients experience the transformation they can achieve in their lives when they work with you. Often potential clients have never thought about or imagined a time when they don’t have their problem. Help them to see what their future will be like after they have worked with you.
3. Trust that people will buy from you. Put your heart and soul into the conversation. But also say no to them if you don’t think they will benefit from your service, even if you really need the sale!