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Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
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.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
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.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
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.
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.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
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?
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.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
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.
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.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
April, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 04
Building Raving Fans: Consistency Is the Key
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
In my March article, "The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on Your Investment," I talked about how to use the 80/20 rule to produce a better return on your investment of time and money in your clinical, chair, outcall or spa massage practice. I discussed focusing 80 percent of your efforts on the 20 percent of the tasks that matter most and stressed the importance of thanking your clients for their business. I also touched on the importance of thanking those professionals and others who refer new business. This month, I'd like to expand on this idea with a few simple "20 percent actions" that will set you apart from your fans.
Saying "thank you" to someone for referring a new client isn't just the polite thing to do - it's a means of maintaining relationships and building new business. When was the last time you got a "thank you" from your health care provider or from a patient you referred to another health care provider? It doesn't take much to thank someone. Simply acknowledging someone's efforts on your behalf can go a very long way.
Get clients involved. When new clients are checking out, I hand them a blank note card and ask them to write a simple thank-you note to the person who referred them. The message is quite simple:
This simple action only takes a few minutes and most clients will be more than happy to do it, especially when they have just received a treatment that has relieved their pain. This simple gesture makes everyone involved feel good and strengthens the relationships. Make it easy on the client: Provide the envelope and the stamp, and mail it in for them.
Send personal thank-you cards to first-time referral sources. It's not just up to your client to thank the referral source, especially if you want that source to continue sending clients your way. Create or buy some massage-specific thank-you cards and send them every time you receive a referral from a new source. For a personal touch, make sure to sign the card. I sign every card to new clients, referral sources and people who have inquired about or ordered my products.
Make a statement. While it's probably not necessary to send a thank-you card every time you receive a referral from the same source, you should make a point of consistently acknowledging that person's contribution to your practice. Do special things throughout the year for your referral sources - not just on holidays or special events. They will appreciate and reward your actions with more referrals. I stand out by thanking my referral sources in unique and personal ways. Some ideas include:
A word about samples. Everyone loves free stuff, and free samples are an easy way to build raving fans while producing extra income. I use certain topical applications on my clients during treatment. Then I show clients how to apply them for self-care between sessions. I explain how these topical aids can work in conjunction with stretching, rest, ice and exercise. I also make the analgesics available for purchase at the clinic. Clients often ask for samples to pass out to family, friends and co-workers, many of whom later become my clients. One large company offers two samples with your name and telephone number printed on a product brochure. They'll even ship it to you for free.
Office visits, distance and timing. To maintain my relationships with the referral sources in my area, I make occasional personal visits. Some of my referral sources have relocated over the years, but they still refer clients to me from time to time. A doctor who once was very close to my office is now almost an hour away. But I still take the time, on occasion, to drive out to see him. Just because a referral source has moved away doesn't mean they will stop referring. Remember, the world still is a small place.
While making personal visits is a good method of maintaining your relationships, it's also important to time your visits with discretion. Some referral sources may work odd shifts or weekends, such as a walk-in clinic. I work those visits into the different 20 percent parts of each day during the week. My sources often appreciate that I took the time to stop in and say thank you.
Personalize your visits. Each meeting is an opportunity to strengthen your professional relationship. If, for example, I am stopping by a doctor's office, I will take some time to learn about the doctors, nurses and staff members so I can personalize my visit. During one visit, I learned that a doctor only ate organic food. On my next visit, I brought in some organic fruit and snacks. He appreciated that I took the effort to learn about his eating habits and then responded with a customized gift.
Become a support system for your referral sources. When people need help, they call the people they know and trust. Many clients call our office asking if we can help people they know. And they want to know whom we recommend if we cannot help. Take care of the referral sources that take care of you.Maintain consistency. Rarely will a single conversation, meeting, personal gift or thank-you note build a relationship or produce long-term results. Plan some 20 percent time every week to say thank you so that you can maintain your current relationships and build new ones. For more ideas, check out my past articles at www.massagetoday.com. For more practice-building tips, visit www.kenthealth.com and drop me a line with your great ideas.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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