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Bernie Wimbush: Growing A Practice


Series of articles sent to the IVy mailing list

in August/September 2010


(c) 2010 by Bernie Wimbush,


Growing a Practice - Introduction 

Building Your Practice - About Money 

On Money - Reply to a Comment 

Building a Practice - Getting Clients 

More on Building a Practice - Objections 

Mon, 23 Aug 2010

Tue, 24 Aug 2010

Tue, 24 Aug 2010

Thu, 26 Aug 2010

Sun, 29 Aug 2010

Building a Practice - Strategy 

Building a Practice - Finding the "Want" 

Building a Practice - Test Results 

Building a Practice - Convincing the Client 

Building a practice - Recruiting 

Fri, 3 Sep 2010

Fri, 10 Sep 2010

Sun, 12 Sep 2010

Tue, 14 Sep 2010

Thu, 16 Sep 2010


 Growing a Practice - Introduction

Mon, 23 Aug 2010

I have had a couple of people take up my offer and I eventually decided to put the information out in the broad. If you don't want it, I recommend the delete key, but there are some who didn't ask who may be interested and some may be encouraged to start. Or I may be wasting my time. So here goes.

Stevens Creek stats went through the roof because there was a lot of factors in place and the subtle suppression removal (de-dinging) just released it on the world.

When I returned to Australia I started on the project of duplicating what had occurred in Steven's Creek Mission, and it was then that I started to find out what we had accumulated in terms of resources that we were able to release.

And now, I would cut out some of the things I did back then in 85 to a much more streamlined approach.

Step one: would be pricing. When I researched the history of the tech admin ratio, it originally meant one admin person to each income producer be they auditor or supervisor. To get good staff is going to cost. The price of 25 hours is going to be able to pay the auditor, and the admin staff and the rent and the incidental overheads.

Here is how I see it.

Rent 30%

Wages 30% (tech 15% admin 15%)

Overheads 30%

Reserves 10%

To pay my tech staff $1000 per week means I will need to charge $6700 for 25 hours.

If that sounds like a lot of money, it shouldn't. A legal professional I know was charging $3000 per day in 1990 and another accounting client charges $400 per hour. So at $270 it is not too high providing you can produce goods to that value.

This is where subtle suppression hits in. The negatives on money. The can't have that the Cos ran on us is also a factor.

This will also get into the subject of who is a prospect for you. At these rates the unemployed drug addict is not going to be able to afford them.

I eventually concluded that the business owner with 5 or more staff was the one who could afford me and also had enough leverage that as I released him, he would earn more than I charged and this would mean ongoing business.

It became obvious in those early days that if I expected to get paid, I was wise to work for someone who had enough money to pay me what I wanted. If I worked for someone who didn't have money, I wouldn't get paid.

What we quickly learnt was that there were so many people out there with that sort of money that I couldn't keep up with the demand.

And guess what! My income shot up so that I was no longer a poor staff member living on the smell of an oily rag.

There is a major confront in here. And false data stripping the false ideas can get you comfortable with charging enough to make a decent living. Why should we in the help industry who are capable of creating miracles be poorly paid?

If you want to criticise me for being money oriented, I am not. Income is only a statistic and it is a result of doing the job well. Its like in tennis. If your focus is on the score board you will miss shots. Your focus should be on the ball and doing something useful with it each time. The scoreboard measures how well you have done that.

Step Two: would be the defining of the product. If you can state the product in terms that mean something to the person you are communicating with you have a chance to get a new customer. This is going to be what we focus on.

What is it that we can do for the customer.

If you said "we deliver scientology standardly" you might be able to communicate to someone who already knows the subject. However the misunderstood word of 'scientology' would end the comm. Right there.

If I was talking to a business owner, I would say that I could help him to make his business more profitable, with less stress and more time for holidays. I can show how to get good staff who work well and make the business work.

One of the problems we ran into at Steven's Creek were public who complained that they couldn't afford our services. We promptly sold them the "How to increase your income course." At the end I would get them in qual and debug and false data strip until their income rose to the point they could afford the services.

And that raises the subtle suppression. Am I boasting? You can't say that. There is a heap of charge in there.

Hope that gives you something to work on.

The story will continue.


 Building your practice - About Money

Tue, 24 Aug 2010

Thanks for those who let me know that what I wrote was of value.

Money is always a touchy button and I make no apology for hitting it at the beginning. As an auditor, you can produce miracles, why can't you be paid accordingly?

The easiest method of selling your wares is to make it very cheap and people will buy it without too much persuasion.

As I understand it from when I was last in the CoS the manual used for selling was a book about "The Brick Overcoat." I think it is rubbish. It does not understand how the mind works. We have a subject that does and I have put together a manual that shows you how to use it. The tech is powerful and you won't need to read it all.

Step 3. This is where you find out how flat you are on communication. Can you talk to anyone about anything? If you can't, get audited. People are fun to talk to. Practice smiling at strangers. Graduate up to chatting about the weather or sports or what ever. The point is to keep it light, even funny if you can. You can make their day.

If you identify the person as a person of interest, ie a qualified prospect, find out what is needed or wanted.

If this procedure sounds familiar, it should. Its out of the Non Existence formula.

I define 'needs' as things we have to have, such as food and transport and shelter and 'wants' as things like roast beef, Jaguars and a penthouse by the harbour.

(The dictionary won't agree, but it is important in the context.)

When you strike a want, price is a minor consideration unless you can't afford it. Recall when you bought something you just 'wanted' and note how little negotiation you did over the price.

When you hit a want the prospect will come alive and become most interested. Don't let them talk about it other than to commiserate how bad it is or how wonderful it would be to handle it. Two way comm. Is so powerful you can easily handle the biggest problem.

"How do you do that?" Is the next likely question.

And this is where it is easy to make a mistake and give them an introductory free course on the spot and because they have no further need they disappear and you have thrown them off the bridge so to speak.

Here is the answer I have that works:

"Well first I get you to fill in these tests that tells me all about your skills and abilities and from that we can work out a strategy to handle it."

"This will take 2 or 3 hours to go over the results with you and the cost including the tests is $495-00."

"When would you like to book in to do that?" Now wait for a response. The silence can be deafening and it will show you how good your TR 0 really is. If the answer isn't want you want, get them to explain how their decision makes sense? Were they serious about what they wanted handled? This is an auditing procedure so you are better off getting them to do the talking and you do the questioning.

We gave no money back guarantees ( I saw that this could be used against us and was completely unnecessary - besides, the org couldn't get a plant into the group without payment up front which meant FP approval and no chance of getting it back.)And I didn't give referrals. Referrals don't know how to sell and when I did give out names they weren't contacted. Only dishonest people are that suspicious anyway and I didn't want them in front of me.

That's enough for today.

I'll leave those who are interested to think it over and I'll continue later.


 On Money - Reply to a Comment

Tue, 24 Aug 2010

This has all the hallmarks of PTS. Shortage of... be careful of...

They print more money in a day than you and I could spend in a lifetime.

And the numbers don't add up. In terms of how much money the people in a country make, the amount of bad debt is very low.

Banks and credit providers are the ones that take the hit on bad debt and despite the spectacular news a few years ago, not all the credit providers went broke.

Going bankrupt and losing all is only for the uneducated. There are so many legal ways of making sure that even if the risks you take are too much and you fail, if the entity is set up right there is no need to lose anything much.

In parts of the USA even if you went bankrupt, they cannot take your house and usually they can't touch superannuation.

The real truth about money when you get it right is that it is harder to spend than make. Many of my clients have noted this when they got their act together.

Honestly, it isn't something to worry about. Just flourish and prosper. There are always plenty of people willing to give you money in exchange for a good product.

Bernie Wimbush

-- The trouble with making money, which few people really understand is that for every dollar one earns and keeps, there is more than a dollar of bankruptcy created somewhere.

There are many books written on the subject and many documentaries also.


 Building a practice - Getting Clients

Thu, 26 Aug 2010

Still on step 3.

Selling is the key that is the difference between not having any clients and having lots.

The false datums I learned were that a sales person was a talker, pushy, and dishonest. I don't like buying from those sort of people and neither did my clients.

We learned that doing lots of talking was a turn off and lost business. We learned that if the client felt we were being pushy, then we had gone away from the 'want' and needed to rekindle that.

A simple datum evolved "People don't like to be told." If you are talking at them they can switch off and start thinking of ways of getting out of the sale.

If you ask questions, it is very difficult to think of anything else. It also gets the prospect to relate to the subject.

We spent a lot of time trying to work out a method of selling to our prospects without making any statements and only using questions. Its tricky.

Here is one way.

"You would like to start the program." Is a statement.

"You would like to start the program, wouldn't you?" is a question. There are lots of those little endings which we found worked.

.don't you think?

. don't you agree?

. do you see what I mean?

We learned that if the prospect did most of the talking, we had a good chance of making a sale.

And then there was asking for the order. If you didn't ask the prospect to buy from you he probably wouldn't.

So I have trained many sales people in these skills. I remember taking one trainee out and asked the prospect "How's business?" 30 minutes later we walked away with a cheque and a commitment to do the first step, and the trainee said "But you didn't say anything!" No, I just listened and nodded and said Hmm in the right places and when the prospect said "Where do we go from here?" I just said "We get you to fill in a test, we give you a strategy session to work out the 'how to' and you give me a cheque for $495, OK?" (Note the questioning OK.)

Another thing that messed up the sale is going on after the prospect had decided to buy. This I felt was putting undue importance on telling your story and too little on the prospects story.

So all new trainees learnt quickly that when they came back Bernie would ask the if they made the sale and if not there were three more questions:

1. Did you find a 'want'?

2. Who did the most talking?

3. Did you ask for the order?

Those were the things that really made the difference although there were others.

It takes practice, but its fun.

Bernie Wimbush

 More on Building a Practice - Objections

Sun, 29 Aug 2010

Given that you find the 'want', most prospects will be keen on getting onto it, but not all. Some will try to put off doing anything about it. In sales language this is called an objection.

Most books on sales will suggest you come up with a clever statement to oppose the objection. What we know is that his only makes it persist.

A better way is to get the prospect to explain it. As the prospect explains how right he is, the charge disappears and they eventually say "I see what you mean." and I was using my best TRS and not letting he know what I thought. I was simply trying to understand how his objection made sense.

A common one is "I'd like to think about it." I acknowledge this with "Certainly." And then ask what he would like to think about, or what he was concerned about, or when did he learn to do that and was there an earlier time.

I have found that getting them to realise that overcoming bad habits is a difficult thing and it is so easy to get distracted. If I can get agreement on this then I am in a much better position.

One of the advantages of using this method of handling objections is that it shows you how easy it is to audit the person. This is important to me as if you audit difficult cases you can accumulate losses and eventually give it away. Of course the truth is that there is something going on with the case that you didn't handle.

There is a lot to know about handling people and practice and training is very important.

I'll write again in a few days unless you have any questions.


 Building a Practice - Strategy

Fri, 3 Sep 2010

Once you have got a prospect's interest then you need to answer the question "How are you going to fix that?" without overwhelming them with the whole subject.

Step 4: You simply say I get you to fill in a questionnaire and then we will spend 2 to 3 hours going through it to work out a strategy. There is a fixed cost for that of $495-oo. How does that seem?

If they ask, "What does it cost from there?" I will say I don't know until we have a strategy in place. However, some 50% of people find the strategy so useful they feel that the won't need any help and can progress on their own. (This is true by the way. Generally we were only able to get 50% of people who got this far as clients.)

The more control you run at this stage the more success you are likely to have. Getting them to visualize when they can 'see' themselves getting the 1 1/2 hours to fill in the on line test is one way. This is all done with heaps of ARC (or love) and from a help viewpoint.

Inoculation or warning them of what is likely to happen is an interesting technique. For instance if what is ruining their lives is procrastination, the question "But won't procrastination prevent you from doing this?" They will tell you "No. I can handle it." When they sit down to fill in the test and the procrastination starts to key in, they will spot it and in some decree be at cause over it.

If test results don't turn up, It's a phone call to find out what happened from the view point that you are trying to help. Perhaps a friendly 'It's not as easy as it looks, this self improvement eh?" may help to defuse the guilts.

But at the end of the day, if you can't handle them at this stage, they are too hard for you.

I use Kingsley's on line test by the way as it is focused on business type skills and abilities and is an introduction to testing potential staff before hiring them - but more on that later.


 Building a Practice - Finding the "Want"

Fri, 10 Sep 2010

Hi All again.

Before I get started one criticism of this series is that it doesn't apply to all on the list. However, what I am giving is practical applications of principles that occur in LRH's basic books, with some of his later insights.

Step 4. I am assuming the prospect has filled in the test you gave him and turned up for the evaluation. This step has all sorts of features in it. Control, credibility, communication, wants and perception of value.

The first thing is to get the payment for the session. It's a control thing and its them keeping their word and if you don't do it they could spend the session wondering if it is worth it and whether they should pay. Not conducive to the good communication one is trying to build.

The most important part of this exercise is finding the "want", or perhaps 'ruin' (the condition that is messing up his life.) It appears in many guises from the positive want to be a success to negative problems or challenges.

So ask him what he hoped to get out of this session. Here is where TR0 comes in. How comfortable you feel to him will monitor how well he will open up. If you spot when he gets distracted and gently pull him back will create enormous confidence that you can help him.

Now it is time to really build that rapport or understanding. Ask him about his goals and ambitions. Business, family. Financial and health as appropriate. Get him talking and keep him talking with the half acks and your interest. The general rule is that the more he talks, the more ARC he will build for you. And he is talking about really important stuff to him.

This rule of getting them talking by the way applies to all sorts of situations. How to get a job. Get the interviewer telling you about the company and the position. The one who talks least wins.

To start relationships, get the other person talking. It builds ARC.

That's enough to think about before I get edited.


 Building a Practice - Test Results

Sun, 12 Sep 2010

Continuing step 4- the strategy meeting.

I do ask for a short history and it is also interesting to ask what his wife thinks are his strengths and weaknesses.

Now it is time to go over the test results. These are valuable because they cut through that social veneer that tells us that there is nothing wrong. Of course you would have gone over these when they came in and with someone else so that you understand what they are telling you.

If you have succeeded and gotten your prospect into excellent communication you will have confirmed in your own mind what is going on fro the prospect and how you will be able to help.

You know. But the most important part of the exercise is that the prospect knows.

Merely telling him won't work. He'll figure you are selling him and will start working on the objections.

I'll give you a format as I don't know what tests you may be using.

I turn the graph towards him and ask:

"The graph shows you don't get on with people, is that true?" Note that I turned a statement into a question. Now he is internalising and too busy to think of an objection.

If he queries it, I should be able to give him examples of how it might be (from what he has already told me about himself and his life) and ask him again.

Now if I am dealing with a business owner, I will be using examples of how his weaknesses affect his business. The funny bit is that a business man will spend on his business without referring to anyone else. If the course is for personal reasons, he will have to ask his wife and she hasn't been educated along the track as he has and will most likely say no.

Business women will want to check with their accountant and you will need to get to the bottom of that or the sale will fall over.

So at this point he should be able to tell you that it is costing his business money because of his ruin. Usually people handling in one for or another. You ask him of course.

"So do you want to know how I handle this?" I ask.

"Let me show you how the memory works."

I'll go over that next post when I figure how to do so without making it an epic.


 Building a Practice - Convincing the Client

Tue, 14 Sep 2010

Continuing step 4 the strategy meeting:

The next step is designed to convince the prospect that you can help him. If the prospect starts giving you 'buying signals' earlier in the sequence, you might jump straight to this one, or make it part of the first session.

I start with drawing a stick figure on one side of the page. I draw a straight line to the word 'Goal' some distance away.

"We all have goals or ambitions or things we want to achieve right?"

"We use our education - what we have learnt to help us achieve, Right?"

I draw a box that goes between the stick figure and the goal and label it memory. (Never use the word 'mind' it seems to have allsorts of connotations dangerous to fool with etc, and you don't know this prospect well enough.)

Now I suggest he's been learning from year dot. I draw lines and lines as I suggest they learn from mother friends newspapers teachers movies etc etc. I get them to agree.

"But we never inspect these learnings, Right? We assume they are all correct, Right?"

I go back an put ticks across many lines and cross out a few. "Some are bound to be incorrect. OK?"

"No wonder we have trouble in our life's' travels Eh?" I draw the arrow to miss the goal.

"Let me show how I work to fix this."

"Lets start with a picture. Recall a house you once lived in."

Do you get a picture?

Do you get colour?

Do you smell the coffee?

These are all talking points to build interest in the memory.

"The boffins that study these things tell me that there are over 50 different aspects in these pictures."

Do you get ideas about the house" (Big small awful home Etc)

"Do you get feelings in that memory?"

After discussion,

Have you ever noticed how much thinking we do with feelings?

This is the real breakthrough. If the memory contains the wrong feeling, we will get led astray, right?

Lets look at how we get the wrong emotion.

"I remember 1st year high 1st week 1st math lesson. Revision again! Mind wanders to the talent I haven't met, or what the surf would be up to and out of the blue comes "What's the answer to that Wimbush?" A quick guess inflames Mr Brearly who was a big man who rushed up to me and thumped the desk. " Pay attention son or you're dead!"

Now I draw a box and put in it: Subject - Math, Idea - I'm an idiot, Feeling - fear.

"Next lesson I come in determined to behave and concentrate. This memory is attached to the last one. I now have double the negative emotion and it doesn't take much for a slip to confirm the idiot bit."

I follow this for a few drawings and then point out that once the emotional charge builds too much, I have to quit.

I make sure that he sees the relevance of this to his case.

"Have you ever talked a problem over with someone and felt better?" That was the negative emotion bleeding off."

That's what I do. I get you talking about these learning experiences until we get back to the basic one and then with the benefit of hindsight we see that the problem was that I knew it too well and was bored, not an idiot. And Brearly wasn't about to kill me.

I explain that I work as a coach. I teach how to do things, and where he has difficulty doing that I bleed the emotional charge off until he can. Most of the time he knows what to do and has emotional charge that stops him.

I recommend a number of hours to start and the cost. I have found that a couple of hours a week is the most efficient.

When would you like to start?

If he isn't positive I ask what is stopping him?

If he wants to think about it , I say sure what is it that you would like to think about.

EP is a new client and money in the bank.


Too much talk and not enough questions.

Not getting the prospect opening up and talking.

Needing the money. Do a good job and it flows.

Not finding the 'Want'!

Not asking him to start.

Letting him talk too much about the want. Its only a problem and will blow on 2WC and you will lose the client.

Have some fun with it.


 Building a practice - Recruiting

Thu, 16 Sep 2010

Step 5:

Well, lets be honest. Those who have been following me on this subject, hands up those who have thought I couldn't do that!

The idea of going door to door cold calling strangers is not a skill that everyone has or even wants to acquire.

Me too!

Here's what I did. Hired a salesman to do this front end. He was a friendly truck driver I knew well from my days in the Cos. We spent evenings knocking doors and getting the occasional start on the Comm. Course. One day he came to me and showed me the figures he had done to prove it couldn't be done. And he quit!

Truth was he was not a sales man. He was a truck driver.

Tried again with someone who had some selling experience. Truth was he was poor at his craft and only got one prospect in front of me who I sold on a life repair. My salesman quit. But my new client was a salesman and a very experienced one with lots of successes. He had hit a slump and I worked with him to debug his skills.

Eventually he offered to be my salesman. Within 2 hours he had a client who paid $1500 in advance for a life repair and we were away. He was such a friendly outgoing type that he never did any cold calling, just referrals from one to another.

I learned that to maintain success I would go over each sale and find what had been missed and sometimes we could go back and get the sale. I didn't know as much about selling as I do today, but it worked and I ended up documenting the successful actions of this activity.

As time went by I learned a heap about recruiting. Just because someone says he can do the job or looks cute or has studied at college means nothing. Kingsley was building his recruiting tests at the time and I make very few errors in recruiting these days.

The test really was, can they solve the problems of the post. We dubbed them 'Problem Solvers' and those who couldn't make the post work, usually negative people who knew it couldn't be done we dubbed 'Problem Generators'. This is akin to the suppressive, but does point out the lack of hatting. And by refusing to give referrals or testimonials the real negative prospects wouldn't risk their money and so didn't become clients. Hence we didn't need an ethics department. (We handled all PTSness in session.)

The pay for the salesman was simple he got 25% of the payments. Later when we were more accurate at selecting salespeople we did give a small retainer, but they had to make sales real early.

In fact on the first day I gave them the white pages of the telephone directory and got them calling businesses.

This created a couple of interesting business products. Sales training. I could usually increase sales at better margins by 30%.

Recruiting was another product. I could sell the tests and or do the recruit for them.

That should give the basic framework.

I am sure I will think of other bits and someone will ask something I took for granted.



 Last edited: 18.09.2010