resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
June, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 06
The Difference Between Sales and Marketing
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Many of my students don't like marketing because they immediately equate it with sales. For some reason, the word sales has a bad reputation. Perhaps it's because of a prior career and you swore you would never have anything to do with sales again.Maybe you had a bad experience with a salesperson and vowed to never be like them. Perhaps you think sales is pushy and you have chosen to escape the consumerism of America and are determined not to sell anything, ever. A psychological block about sales could be stopping you from feeling comfortable talking about what you do for a living. Whatever your reasoning is for not liking sales, you must get over it if you want to be successful. Like it or not, the business of massage is about selling yourself and your services. This article will attempt to re-educate you about what sales really is and hopefully your perspective will change.
So, for the sake of keeping your attention, let's start using the word marketing instead of sales. They really are the same thing, but one tends to have a better connotation. And before I launch into my sales pitch (no pun intended) about marketing, let me highlight the three components for true success in the massage therapy industry. I call it the One-Third Rule. Success in the massage industry is one-third hands-on skill, one-third business skills and one-third marketing techniques, all in equal proportions. Most therapists put all their emphasis in hands-on training, both during their initial schooling and post-graduate and I believe that is why so many practitioners fail in business. With the other two areas comprising two-thirds of success, why are more therapists not giving equal time to business skills ... including, you guessed it, marketing? Beats me. I believe if equal time was given to hands-on skills, business skills and marketing skills, every practitioner would be wildly successful. It's my dream for all therapists to treat the business part of their practice with as much enthusiasm as they approach hands-on classes.
I want to paraphrase a lesson I read that sums up a point ... no one notices good hair color. Everyone notices bad hair color. Come on, you know it's true. When you see someone with a bad dye job, don't you think to yourself (or say to your friend), "what were they thinking? Do they know how bad that looks?" Perhaps, like me, you have vowed never to change your hair color because you have equated hair color with bad hair color. Well, the same is true for sales. Everyone notices bad sales; the pushy used car salesman or the telemarketer. No one notices good sales. If someone is good at sales, it's easy, effortless and you don't even know it's happening. The trick is to be the good sales -person. Before I tell you how, let's define this sales concept more.
So, what is marketing, also known as sales? I believe it is sharing information and helping people make decisions. Have you ever noticed how hard it is for people to make decisions? Why not make it easier for them? Offer them a solution. If you are only trying to book a massage appointment, you are selling. If you are offering the solution of massage therapy to someone's back pain, you are providing information and helping someone make a decision. See the difference?
Part of the skill of marketing is being able to ask questions and recognize the information they need so that you can educate them and they can make the best decision for themselves. Remember when you learned how to conduct an intake interview for a client. You asked the right questions to find out if massage was the right thing for this person. The same is true here. Go back to basics and remember how to ask the right questions so you can offer your solution. They will appreciate you for it and it won't look or feel like sales.
Sales is caring enough about someone to help them get what they need versus how they can help you. Instead of being "me focused," it is "them focused." If you are only focused on how others perceive you, you are being selfish. If you really believe you have something that can help someone else, but are more concerned in how you are viewed, you are self-absorbed. Get out of your own way, help people, and it won't feel like sales.
Sales is about customer service. If you know you have something that someone needs and can benefit from, you are serving your customer. Can you imagine if doctors didn't offer solutions because they were afraid their patients would think they were pushy? Give the information and the clients decide what to do from there. Sales is the opportunity to serve and support a clientele. Whether it is rescheduling appointments or sending newsletters, you are supporting people with what they need.
If you are genuine, it won't feel like sales. If you are selfless about it, people won't feel pressured or hassled. When the interaction is that natural, it will feel effortless and you won't even know or feel like you are selling.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.