resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
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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