Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
Abdominal Acupuncture for Eye Healing: The Sacred Turtle and Ba Gua Map
Our ideas about western medicine have shifted in recent decades, while the public is asking more from health care providers.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
The Art of Creating a Healing Space
I always advise my graduates to examine their group practice or treatment rooms with fresh eyes after they leave my CE workshops. I tell them, "Ask yourselves - is your space qi filled, welcoming and healing? Or is it cold and clinical?"
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
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.
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