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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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