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The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
August, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 08
Raise Your Rates and Get More Loyalty From Your Clients
By Irene Diamond, RT
Many experienced therapists are charging the same rates for their services that they've charged since they started their practice. Usually the reason they don't (or won't) increase their rates is not because they don't feel they are worth more, especially after a few years in practice and taking more continuing education,but rather because they are afraid their clients won't pay a higher rate.If you're in need of more business and want to charge higher rates for your services (doesn't everyone?), but are not sure how best to do it, you don't need to be afraid anymore even in this economy. There is a way to increase your income for every session plus get more clients in your door, all while providing excellent customer service.
I have a concept I share with my high-level coaching clients, called "Serve & Sell." The basic premise of "Serve & Sell" is the higher the level of service you provide to your clients, the more you will actually sell of your services. It is simple to raise you rates, but you must do it in a pro-active, client-focused manner. You can't just spring a new rate on them when they walk in the door. You can serve your clients at a higher level, and if done well, you can use it to gain a higher level of loyalty by honoring your current clients with a way to continue paying your lower rates. Here are my six steps to help you raise your rate and retain and regenerate clients.
Decide the exact date your new rate will go into effect for existing and past clients.
Decide what your new rate(s) will be. I usually suggest you base your new rate on the true value you believe you provide to your clients. Think about a rate you feel you are worth AND what I call the OMGTWSWI, which is the rate that the client pays for your service and still walks away saying, "Oh my gosh, that was so worth it!"
Send all inactive and active clients a fun, up-beat letter or newsletter by postal mail. E-mail is too easy to miss and doesn't have the same level of importance attached to it. In your letter explain that your service rates will be increasing on (the date you picked), and also advise them what your new rates will be. Now here is the crucial part: You must justify your new rates in your letter but be careful with how you do it. The hard truth is no one cares about the fact that your rent has increased, your insurance costs have soared and your roommate bailed on you so now you are stuck covering all the expenses yourself. Instead of focusing on the financial elements of your practice that only affect you, explain all the benefits they will get from a session with you now. Remember, they care about what will benefit them and their experience with you. If you can show them what's in it for them and how they can receive a higher level of service from you, they will accept paying a higher rate. They must see you are now providing them more value for higher bucks.
Some examples of benefits you could mention to justify price if they apply: you've acquired X more years of experience; taken X hours of classes and higher education courses; mentored with a specific expert, trainer or educator; purchased a new piece of equipment;re-decorated your therapy space; added on or built-out new areas of your facility; added more staff; added longer hours or weekend appointments; added additional service; or invested in higher levels of infrastructure to support your business like online booking, accepting credit cards, etc.
In the newsletter, give them the opportunity to lock in your current lower rates if they would like, by pre-paying for as many sessions as they would like, at your current rate.
They must make their pre-payment by a date you pick prior to your rate-change date. Give them at least five days from the date they will receive the mailing to make their pre-payment.
Determine what their redeem-by date will be so they know they must redeem their sessions by that date or their prepayment simply becomes a credit on their account rather than a guarantee of a number of sessions. You decide each client's redeem-by date based on the number of sessions they pre-purchase and most importantly, based on the frequency of visits you determine is best for them. For example: Mary only needs to see you once a month for maintenance sessions, so if she pre-pays for six sessions, she needs to redeem them within six months. But, Sam sees you once a week, so if he prepays for six sessions, he will have a six-week redeem-by date. Once their pre-paid sessions are all redeemed, they understand they will then pay your current rate at that time. The understanding is that they themselves have complete control over how long they can continue to see you at your lower rates based on the number of sessions they lock in. Be very clear, though, on when all their sessions must be redeemed or you risk having a client come in years later and you must then honor your old rate.
Start quoting your higher rates immediately for new clients. See how it feels to say it, and see how they respond to it. Be sure to say it with confidence, rather than stumble over it. If you get a ton of push-back, you might have shot too high, but in most cases you will find there is no resistance to your higher rate and actually I've seen most therapists kick themselves for not raising their rates sooner. This system is a win-win! You get a nice cash advance and a guarantee those pre-paid clients will continue to come back and see you. And they are thrilled because they get your lower rates locked in for as long as they want.
Prior to sending the newsletter, make a quick phone call to each of your past clients. Simply let them know you are going to be mailing them your new newsletter which will include a special gift. Verify that their mailing information is current and confirm they would like to receive it from you. This helps you clean up the addresses before mailing so you save on postage returns and more importantly, it peaks their interest and they look forward to receiving your gift. Sometimes, just making the phone call will result in a new appointment or a gift certificate sale right there and then.
Your special gift to them should be simple. Choose one from these ideas or make up your own special gift:
Keep in mind, even if your past clients don't come back in right away or respond to your offer, you have accomplished three important business growth elements:
Irene Diamond, RT, is the founder of the rehabilitation technique, Active Myofascial Therapy ~ The Diamond Method and creator of Successful Massage Therapist.org, the world-wide online resource for massage therapists. Irene is honored to be inducted into the Massage World Hall of Fame in 2013 for recognition of www.theDiamondMethod.com and www.SuccessfulMassageTherapist. Irene's next Active Myofascial Therapy seminar will be held August 2012 and therapists can register at http://TheDiamondMethod.com/Learn-AMT/Certification. You can also find tips from Irene by visiting the Women In Business Blog at www.massagetoday.com/wibb/.
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