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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 02
Consistency Breeds Success
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
The current economic slowdown is stressful to everyone. Business is slow, treatments are down, and both are affecting the bottom line. During these challenging times, however, there are things you can do consistently to breed your success. Instead of getting frustrated and discouraged, use this extra downtime to your advantage. It can help you achieve ongoing success in your practice, whether you are in a clinical, spa or outcall setting.
Getting Out There
Marketing professionals know how important repetition is to "imprint" a product in the mind of the consumer. This same concept applies to massage therapy and your ability to imprint your services on potential referral sources. Each week, I visit specific locations that have become my best referral sources. If you aren't getting the number of referrals you would like, it's time to get out there and introduce yourself. Here are few places to start:
Talk It Up
You took the time to get out there; now you need to make it count! Your goal is to attract business by educating your referral sources about the importance of massage therapy. Advertisers use test markets and focus groups to refine their messages. But before you begin pitching your services, you will need to practice and refine your "commercial" with your "test market," which is located in the next community over.
That's right. You need to practice your selling skills before you officially launch your marketing campaign with your "real" audience in your own community. Practicing gives you the opportunity to build your confidence while simultaneously getting comfortable with introducing yourself to strangers, telling them what you do, and answering commonly asked questions. But don't let yourself off the hook with your practice sessions. Make sure that you are as professional and courteous with your test audience as you plan to be with your "real" audience. The following tips will help you get comfortable in this newfound role as salesperson:
Show and Tell
Explaining the basics helps others understand how massage therapy can help with headaches, sciatica, neck and back pain, and more. Additionally, using "props" can help educate your clients. Carry a trigger-point flip chart with you. Explain how trigger-point patterns are often the cause of severe pain. Take a moment to examine the posture of the person you are speaking with. Educate your contact about how each individual's unique postural pattern can be treated with massage therapy. Then describe your ability to custom tailor your treatments accordingly.
Discuss how you can be of mutual benefit to each other: Can you send them business? Take some of their business cards to pass out, and ask them to do the same.
Do something unique so that your referral sources remember you. Give a helpful tip; if you are talking with a secretary who complains of neck pain, suggest that they try a telephone headset, or adjust the height and angle of the computer monitor or chair. Teach simple stretching techniques. Leave healthy snacks. I know people who are always on the run and rarely stop to eat. Sometimes, I'll drop off an apple, nuts and a bottle of water, along with my business card. Leave samples of topical pain relievers.
You've invested your time and energy in marketing your practice. Now make sure that your referral sources can find your name and number when it counts. Be sure to leave: business cards, magnets, flyers, pens, note pads and any other tool you think will leave an impression.
Clients often want to understand and learn more about their condition, so put your education to good use. Continually educate and re-educate your clients. Show them how to stretch and maintain themselves between sessions. Explain the importance and benefits of regular exercise. Use visuals, such as anatomical models, textbooks, trigger-point charts or other charts to show the musculoskeletal origins of their condition. Review the effects of poor posture and explain how it contributes to pain. Since a picture is worth a thousand words and many cell phones have cameras, taking postural analysis photos on the road is easier than ever. Read "Getting Comfortable with Postural Analysis" (Massage Today, July 2008) for more tips on using postural analysis photos. Discuss the uses of ice, heat, and topical analgesics for pain.
Say "Thank You"
Place follow-up calls to new clients. Send thank you notes to clients and referral sources.
We typically avoid the things that we are uncomfortable doing; however, with practice, you will quickly realize that certain thoughts and actions consistently focused in positive directions will ensure your success. And if you practice your selling skills consistently, you will improve each time you sell your services to someone new.
Remember: Practice makes perfect! Hang in there and don't get frustrated. Results don't always happen overnight. Just invest the time and keep a positive attitude. You'll be amazed with the results!
Click here for previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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