Starbucks Counseling | How drinking and counseling have made my practice explode

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building counseling referrals

building counseling referrals

What is in your refrigerator in your office? You don’t have a mini fridge in your office!?

At the end of last year, I had some extra money that I wanted to put into my office. I had no idea how much of a return on investment I would get! Here is what I bought with product links if you are interested in getting the exact same items for your office.

I love how you can see through this one!

This mother gets things hot, so warn your clients!


I have something similar for my sugar and stir sticks


Here’s what I have at my drink bar:

  • An assortment of higher end teas, both decaffeinated and regular.
  • Honey and sugar
  • Hot water
  • LeCroix Berry flavored sparkling water
  • V-8 individual 100% juice
  • Starbucks Frap, assorted flavors.
  • 8 oz. bottled waters
  • Diet Ice Tea
  • Boxes of 100% juice, you know the small ones for kids

Do you notice that I don’t have soda pop or other standard beverages?

Routine = Habit = Emotional Connection

A number of years ago the makers of Febreze stumbled upon a secret, how to eliminate terrible odors. They used that as their marketing approach, but no one bought it. Who wants a product that announces, “I STINK!”

After research into how people used the product, they found that number of people would spray it into a room after they had cleaned it. Customers said, “It makes it smell fresh.” “I feel good after I spray it!”

That’s what changed everything.

They began marketing it as the “final touch” of a clean room. It became associated with being satisfied, feeling good, and being proactive. People need triggers to help them feel certain ways. The same is true of toothpaste, did you know that toothpaste that doesn’t taste like mint or bubble does just as good of a job? The bubbles tell us, “Great job brushing your teeth!”

I used to get my haircuts at a spa, it was the same price as other places, except that they had a shower and steam room I could use after my haircut, and I got cucumber water! I scheduled well over an hour for my haircuts just to sit around in the steam room.

Specialized drinks are the new trigger for counseling. Think about this:

The most expensive drinks I buy are the Starbucks Frappes, they are $6 for 4 of them. That’s $1.25 each. If I get one extra session every 120 ($150 per session divided by $1.25) I come out ahead. If one out of 120 people recommends a person because of my drinks, I come out ahead, and that’s based on my most expensive drink!

I actually recently had someone say, “I think I’ll come back again soon…you know, for the drinks.”

I also added granola bars, these are the ones I serve.

Drinking during counseling is a new next step to creating an environment that feels exclusive and allows you to charge more, see fewer people, and grow your practice! Also, people are a little bit happier.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is a licensed counselor in Traverse City, MI at Mental Wellness Counseling. He is a frequent columnist with the Record Eagle and is the author of several books including:  Mental Wellness Parenting | A remarkably simple approach to making parenting easier and The Ten-minute Toddler Turnaround | Improving Sleep: Changing your toddler’s sleep health in ten-minutes.
To link to Joe’s Google+ .



Thank you to  justusbluemer for the image.