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Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
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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