What to Expect from a Consultation
How defeating it is to begin a consultation with a client who expects a fortune-telling extravaganza -to retell it to the guys at the office or the ladies at the luncheon. This frame of reference will not allow client involvement; the astrologer is expected to perform entertainingly, is set up for judgement, and is treated as a servant to egoistic orientations.
This is ourfault, I think, rather than our client's; i.e., we don't often tell our clients what to expect. We still have to defeat Hollywooditis about astrology, ignorance about how serious it is and what its uses are. I think we must let the public know at all times that astrology is not entertainment. Many people do think that they can come to your office, plug in a tape recorder, sit back, and be thrilled with hearing about themselves.
We must tell the person who phones for an appointment -in response to a telephone book ad, to a website listing, to distributed business cards, etc.- that the consultation will not be a "performance" by you, but "a rich discussion between the two of us about major issues of your life development and projections into time ahead."
This statement says a lot concisely: we make it clear that response and cooperation are expected; that the past is the base for the future; and that the consultation is serious business.
In the process of this appointment orientation, you can learn so much about your client: conversational strength, word choice, educational level, probable sociometric strengths, and more. You are adding dimension to deduction by careful attention to introduction. -And your client learns a lot about you: you are a learned person who cares, is experienced, and trustworthy.
At the end of the telephone conversation, I always say, "Thank you for your faith" or "I appreciate your trust." --Now, that's my way, my style, of alerting the client to the bond between us for what will transpire in the consultation to come. You should find your way of doing just that. -If you neglect to form this level of mutual resonance and respect, you lose out on preparation that can support your consultation another three or four levels up above your norm! [I know that clients coming to me for a consultation are fully aware that something important and special is going to happen. I need for them to feel that way. -What are you doing in your first discussion with your client to ensure that that kind of dignity and cooperation will be there?]
I make sure that the client will be punctual, by phone or in person. That tightens things up further professionally. -You naturally react with great frustration to a client who is late, who insists on too much small talk, who delays getting to the point (often defensively). As consultation time approaches, I feel like a race horse about to be released from a starting gate, and anything that impedes that explosion of prepared thought is dysfunctional for the consultation process.
Also helpful in establishing the tone of the consultation to come is connected with recording the birth time information. Whenever a client gives me his or her birth time, I always say, "How do you know?" --Some of the answers you get are amazing, but the point here is that as you tune in on the time you are showing your client how important exactness and detail are. This feel will eventually spread out through the entire consultation discussion; your client will prepare his or her mind to be sharp and keen before keeping the appointment.
Next Update: December 30