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An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
August, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 08
Perception Is Reality
By Angie Patrick
Perception is reality. We have all heard that saying and have seen firsthand instances where it held true. We are taught our whole lives "not to judge a book by its cover," yet the basic human reaction is to do just that.We live in a society that values fashion, the latest trends, the coolest cell phones, the hottest technologies and the most popular celebrities. It's a culture built on perception. The perceived value of a commodity often is leveled by the presentation it provides rather than the quality within.
The same philosophy is true in business. Often, a consumer will decide to bestow their business to the one with the slickest advertising, catchier name or the better customer comps. They turn to the Yellow Pages, to the community mailers or individualized direct mail pieces to make their decisions. The better-known name often gets the first shot at a customer's initial business. If this were not true, then advertising would not be the multibillion dollar industry it is.
In this sea of competition, how do you make your business shine above the others? How do you make your business name the one in your community synonymous with massage, alternative medicine or general wellness? It's not as difficult or as costly as you might think. It simply requires a bit of time and a commitment to succeed. Here are a few business image-building tips that can assist you in your quest for greater exposure and higher customer perception.
1. Be a part of your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce for your city or county. By taking this initial step, you instantly will be a part of a rewarding networking opportunity with other businesses in your area. Everyone you meet is a potential client, and they all are attending the event for the same reasons you are; they want to contribute to the community while building their potential customer base. This provides you with a wealth of opportunity to make your practice known to businesses and individuals alike who can and will spread the news about your practice.
2. Many communities have promotional mailers that enable you to send your message to hundreds, if not thousands, of households in your community. This type of exposure has a cost associated with it, but is often nominal compared to the exposure it provides.
3. Volunteer for community or charity events and provide free services. Often, you will learn of these events as a natural progression of your relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. By offering your time and services, you will allow a firsthand opportunity for people to try your services before making a commitment to buy. If ever it were possible to pass out samples of massage, this would be the trick. Virtually no one will want to pass up an opportunity for a moment's relaxation, and in the time you hold them in your capable hands, you have the opportunity to share with them your talent, as well as information about your business. They leave feeling refreshed and now they also are a bit more educated in how they can obtain further services from you and your practice.
4. Have quality marketing material. It honestly does pay to take the time to settle on a branding for your company. Be it a logo, a phrase, a cute cartoon character or a slick cutting-edge philosophy, make sure it's properly represented in the materials you share with others. There are so many places available now that can provide you assistance with the design of your marketing materials. Additionally, templates can be found online and free of charge for things such as business cards, informational brochures and flyers. Any office supply store can provide you with inexpensive software that can assist you in choosing the look that is right for you. The bottom line: The material you provide is the reference piece on which potential customers will base their buying decision. Be sure yours is professional, clear and concise, and relays the positive image you wish the customer to have of you and your practice.
5. Have professional-looking invoices and receipts. Your company name should appear clearly on the documents, and contact information should be found easily. Often people retain these receipts and invoices for various reasons, and to have them appear as professional documentation leaves the client with the same impression of your practice.
6. Always answer your telephone in a professional manner. This often is the first personal impression a potential client may have of your company. And a phone answered "Hello," just doesn't cut it. Be clear about your business name and your role in it. A professional way to answer your phones may be, "Thank you for calling Massages by Sue. This is Sue Smith, how may I assist you?" This speaks volumes to the potential client about your professionalism. It is a much better representation than your basic greeting. Be sure your answering service message is equally clear and concise. Provide a call to action asking the client to leave their name and number for you to contact as soon as you are free.
7. Maintain a professional appearance when you are involved in anything where you will be representing your business. From the meetings you attend to the clients you see, be sure you are dressed professionally. Your individual concept of professional attire may vary, but rarely is it appropriate to wear the same type of clothing you might wear to a club or social gathering. Conservative, professional attire can convey the message that you can be relied upon and are trustworthy. An example may be a pair of khaki slacks and a polo shirt. Perhaps you prefer medical scrubs. As long as you are neat, clean and well-organized in your appearance, you can speak volumes about your capability without saying a word.
Your business is your vehicle for income, professional growth and your future. Be sure you give it the best possible opportunity to grow and prosper by adopting a few of these tips as your own. You undoubtedly will see the rewards in an increase in first-time customers. Once you have the opportunity to show what you know, you have the opportunity to make them a recurring customer. Getting them in your door first is the key. Giving them the proper perception about you and your business is the way to insure you capitalize on all potential client opportunity.
Click here for previous articles by Angie Patrick.
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