The Evolution of the Counselor – Super Salesperson, Talented Craftsperson, or Inspired Alchemist?

Most counselors would agree that counseling could be described as a process—a series of information exchanges designed to allow the counselor to gain an understanding of the client’s objectives, resources, and mind-set so that the counselor may design solutions that combine the client’s resources with the counselor’s abilities and resources for the purpose of developing the desired transaction benefits for the client.

Most students enrolling in counseling courses are brokers who come from a sales background. They usually enroll for the purpose of figuring out how to get more “yesses” from their clients. If their thinking does not evolve beyond this point, they miss understanding the full definition of counseling and are at risk of falling short of becoming true counselors. They become “Super Salespeople” who use (and sometimes abuse) the counseling techniques they have learned only to press the client’s motivation buttons to get to “yes” more often.

Thankfully, most people transition quickly past that first phase. They realize that they now have the skill set required not just to get to a “yes” but to actually earn the “yes”—and the long-term client relationship—by creating the correct transaction benefits for the client. This is the group I describe as the “Talented Craftsperson.” This group consists of true counselors who are constantly learning new formulas, polishing their “face-to-face” counseling skills, attending marketing sessions, and generally working hard to find the right benefits match for each of their clients. They are motivated to keep learning because they see transactions closing that would have been far out of their reach without their growing counseling skills.

And then there are the “Enlightened Counselors/Inspired Alchemists.” I’ve been fortunate to meet more than a few such S.E.C. members. They understand that counseling is more than a process. They routinely create truly inspired solutions for their clients. Enlightened Counselors understand the power of using the information gained during the counseling process only for the highest and best good of the client. Their mind-set is one of complete commitment to developing a true win-win solution that delivers the correct benefits to the client in the most beneficial way.

Once this identity of interest connection is formed, an energetic shift occurs that transforms the counselor from the role of Talented Craftsman to that of Inspired Alchemist. These counselors build project momentum quickly. The trust relationship with the client magically deepens. Colleagues trust them more, and the supply of ideas around them seems limitless. Solution opportunities appear seemingly out of thin air, and their projects close with regularity. This is the counselor as Inspired Alchemist—truly an inspiration to all!

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