Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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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.
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.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
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.
Preaching 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 11
Practice Building: Taking Your Massage Practice to the Next Level
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Many massage therapists are frustrated by how the current economic situation has affected their practice. They are having difficulty making ends meet while trying to find or maintain continuous employment. While most massage therapists love their chosen profession, many doubt their ability to sustain themselves financially in the field over the long term.
Sound familiar? There is hope! There are proven strategies to create an effective plan of action that will help you build a rewarding and financially lucrative career as a massage therapist. It starts with asking some vital questions and then using the answers to help focus your time and efforts in ways that produce positive results.
Clarify Your Goals
Free your mind by capturing your thoughts on paper. This will help you get organized and focused. Start by writing your goals, followed by the actions you need to take to achieve them. Be as specific as possible. For example, don't set a general goal: "I want to make more money." Instead, set a specific goal: "I want to make $10,000 more this year." Another general goal would be "I want to have a more regular treatment schedule," but a specific goal would be "I want to treat my clients on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 pm to 7 p.m."
Create an Action List
Once you have specifically defined your goals, you will have a clearer idea of the questions you need to ask yourself to determine the actions you need to take to achieve them. Think about the following questions and answers related to increasing your income.
Question: What businesses in my area could also be referral sources?
Answer: First make a list of potential sources in your area. Depending on the modalities you practice, these could include chiropractors, physicians, physical therapists and health care providers; professional office complexes; health food stores; hotels; gyms; and hair and nail salons. After you have created a viable list, hit the ground running. Schedule an appointment, call or simply pop in for a visit to introduce yourself and explain what you do, how you can help and how to schedule an appointment.
Question: How can I educate my clients so they see progress quickly and become raving fans that refer their friends, family and coworkers?
Answer: Take a few minutes to perform a full evaluation, provide education and develop a customized treatment plan to meet each client's specific needs. Taking such measures will gain your clients' respect and confidence, earning you a reputation as a knowledgeable and skilled massage therapist. Integrate postural analysis photos and trigger-point charts into your treatment plans so that your clients will understand why they hurt and how you can help. Encourage your clients to commit to a series of treatments that will reduce and/or eliminate their pain. Other articles I have written on this topic include: Getting Comfortable with Postural Analysis (MT July 2008), Simple Answers Create Positive Results (MT May 2008) and Charting Your Progress: Visuals for Success (MT February 2008).
Question: Which clients and referral sources should I focus on to increase my income?
Answer: Typically, 20 percent of clients will produce 80 percent of your income and/or 20 percent of your referral sources will send you 80 percent of your clients. I have written several articles on this topic: The 80/20 Rule: Maximizing the Return on your Investment (MT March 2008).
Question: How can I ensure that my clients will come back to see me?
Answer: Nurture your relationships with your clients by making follow-up phone calls, sending "thank you" cards, offering treatment specials and showing a genuine concern for their overall health and well-being. Another article I have written on this topic: Building Raving Fans: Consistency is the Key (MT April 2008).
Question: What products can I sell to generate additional income?
Answer: Items like topical analgesics are popular with the public and have a 50 percent markup. It is important to realize that making just an extra $20 a week in profit from selling topical analgesics adds up to more than $1,000 in your pocket at the end of the year. One manufacturer will send therapists complimentary brochures printed with the therapist's name and phone number, as well as a sample of the product attached. This saves valuable advertising dollars while helping to promote your business.
Question: Who has the experience, resources and track record to help mentor and guide me?
Answer: It is very important to keep up on the current research in the field, as well as become familiar with the industry's movers and shakers. Continue reading professional trade publications such as Massage Today. Seek mentors who provide an array of resources to help you grow your practice, such as seminars and home-study programs, online resources, and products. For tips on designing empowering questions to help clarify your goals and determine the actions you need to take to get there, read The Power of the List (MT January 2008).
Once you have listed specific goals and the actions you need to take to achieve them, the next step is to create a timeline for completing each action. The word syntax involves the arrangement of parts or elements. The order of these parts or elements determines the outcome. For example, a phone number is a form of syntax. It consists of a series of digits in a specific order (area code + phone number). To call a specific person, it is necessary to dial all of the digits in the correct order or your call will not be successful. The same concept applies to your practice. There is a syntax, or order, in which you must complete each action to achieve your goals.
Question: What is my timeline to perform each action so I achieve my goals?
Answer: Write each step you need to complete on a calendar on the date you plan to start the task and the day you intend to complete the task. Be sure to schedule a date and time for each action. Plan a day to research online and then drive around to become familiar with the local businesses in your target area. Plan another day to write and practice what you will show and tell referral sources and potential clients about your services. I always carry a trigger-point flip chart with me so that I can show people that I understand their pain and that I can help. Be familiar with your charts so that you are able to quickly show pain patterns. Schedule several days to hit the streets to market your business.
Take a few minutes every day to work on attaining your goals. To succeed, you must consistently write down your goals and the actions necessary to achieve them. Then you must frequently review your action list and follow through. Each day, ask yourself: What are three items on my action list that I could work on today to help build my practice? Other articles I have written on this topic include: The Power of a Minute (MT June 2007), Consistency Breeds Success (MT February 2009) and Hire Me! Getting a Job in a Tough Environment (MT April 2009).
I hope this article has stimulated a few ideas and provided the motivation for you to focus your time and efforts in ways that will take your practice to the next level.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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