Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
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.
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
Patient Retention Techniques
When talking about techniques to grow your business, we tend to focus on the "large" aspect of the patient base, that is, on strategies to attract new patients. However, it is important to remember that "loyal" is equally, if not more, important.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
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.
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.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
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!
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
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.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
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.
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.
Peaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
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.
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
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.
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.
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 more information about Angie Patrick.
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