There are three phases a person goes through before become a patient. The first is expressing interest in your healing art. This is referred to as the buying signal. Statements such as, “Does it work for.....?” or "What's the purpose of the training?" or "How long does treatment last?" show the person in interested in you craft.
Once you have recognized the first phase, the next phase is for you to begin asking open-ended questions to determine your role, if any. Ask questions such as, "When did this condition begin?", "How did it begin?", "What makes the problem better?", "What makes it worse?", "What treatment have you had for it so far?", or "Does it restrict any of your activities?".
This process allows you to determine whether this is a person you may be able to help, or one that you should send to the emergency room. Once you have a handle on this, restate the history with the above questions. Rephrase their answers to illicit a "yes" response from them. For example: "If I understand you correctly, your neck pain began two months ago, is that right? And it increases when you turn to the left? You have used only pain medications? It limits your ability to change lanes while driving your car and prevents you from sleeping well at night? Is this correct?" If you have listened well, you should be told "yes" to all the above statements.
The third and final phase is to interest them in your healing art and achieve a closure to your encounter. Test the water to see if the person is interested in seeing you as a patient, or has some concerns that need to be addressed. You could say, for example: "Have you considered ....... for this?" If they say no, ask "Would you like to try ....... for it?" If the person says they would like to try it, then go to the next step. Ask permission to call the person to schedule an appointment and ask what is the best time to reach them. If the person is not ready to make an appointment, listen closely to their concerns so you can address any fears or hesitation. Once you satisfactorily address their concerns, ask to schedule the appointment.