Whenever I get a reading from a fellow tarot reader or astrologer, I’m blunt right from the jump: I only want to focus on business, writing, and my children. I never want to hear about romance (my love life is fine) or health (I’m weird about that topic).
Why do I do that? It’s because I want to make sure the reading is focused on topics that matter to me.
Plus, I don’t like putting the reader in the unfortunate position of having to “guess” what’s on my mind. My upfront approach creates the best working conditions for them – and a win/win for both of us.
About a year or so ago, I began using an “intake form” in my tarot business. I got the idea from my good friends, fellow tarot readers James Wells and Jennifer-Lucero Earle. They have both been using them for some time and mentioned how helpful it was for them – and their clients. An intake form is basically a few questions that folks have to answer before they book their appointment. It’s similar to what you’d fill out when visiting a doctor, therapist, or coach.
The intake form serves my business well because it allows clients to examine what they want out of their session but it also informs me of how I can better serve their needs. This has made my business smarter, more efficient – and it’s helped me become a much better service provider. Because that’s what business is all about, right? Service.
On occasion, someone will balk at filling out the intake form. They don’t want to take the time or they “don’t want to give me too much information.” Let’s take a minute to discuss this – and the wisdom of this approach for both the client and the business owner.
For the client:
1. An intake form not only gives you the ability to let the reader know what you want to focus on, but it also provides you time to ponder your intention. The act of writing a few sentences about your goals, concerns, etc., will allow you to approach your reading with mindfulness. This is the best path to a useful reading that actually helps you.
2. If you’re worried that “giving information” will somehow “taint” the reading, that’s incorrect. It allows the reader to be focused instead of grasping for straws. Some people assume that “giving information” means the reader is “cheating” and not being “psychic.” This type of thinking is probably centered around the belief that a tarot reader or astrologer should somehow “pull info out of thin air and read your mind” in order to “prove” their skill. It doesn’t work like that – nor should it. This work is not about “psychic pony trick shows,” it’s about healing. If you’re looking for a magic mind-reading experience, you’re approaching this work the wrong way. It’s akin to going to a doctor and saying “I won’t reveal my symptoms but I want you to diagnose me.” How helpful is that? (Psst..when you come at us with this statement, you’re being disrespectful and making our work environment unfriendly.)
3. You don’t have to write a novel. Just a sentence or two is enough. Really. Just be honest and straightforward. No games.
For the tarot reader or astrologer:
1. You don’t have to ask a lot of questions. Just a few will help you to be clear on what the client wants/needs/expects from you. Some good questions might be:
What’s your date of birth?
What are your expectations from our session?
What challenges/issues are you currently experiencing?
2. You can make the questions mandatory (most of mine are) or not. Up to you. I have it set up so the client must answer the questions that are starred or they cannot book their session. This prevents me from having to chase someone down who didn’t fill out the form. (PS I highly recommend using a scheduling system like Acuity which will do everything automagically and make your life saner.) Most of my questions are mandatory with the exception of pronouns. I leave that optional because some folks are not comfortable revealing their preference.
3. Be sure to have your legal information, policies, and disclaimers included with a checkbox that says “I have read and agree to the terms above.” This will protect you as a business owner (it’s especially helpful to have a policy clearly stated about no-shows and last-minute cancellations).
4. How a person fills out the form will tell you a lot about them. For example, a person who says “I don’t want to reveal too much” or “I just want you to tell me what you see” is a red flag for me. I know that they are going to come with a closed mind and expect me to “razzle-dazzle” them with some sort of party trick performance art. These are not my ideal clients so now I can choose whether I want to work with them….or not. This saves me time – and keeps my work peaceful, rather than stressful. Which means: I can serve people I love in the best way possible. SWEET.
Frankly, I don’t know how I ever operated before I began using these intake forms. Wait – I do: stressed out. That’s not my jam – and doesn’t need to be yours either.
I hope that this post gives fellow mystics the info needed to start using intake forms today. And for those people who assume an intake form is “fishing for info,” I also want you to rethink this work and understand that a bit of information from you beforehand leads you to a useful, better reading. Which is what all readers, including myself, want for you.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2020
image from stock photography