resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
Creating a Steady Stream of Clients You Love
By Sharon Desjarlais, CC and Michele McGrew
As a therapist, finding new clients can feel intimidating and distasteful. And no wonder. Even when you love the work you do, the idea of "drumming up business" conjures up images of a snake-oil salesman pulling magic tonic out of the trunk of their car.
Let's face it, in the world of the healing arts, none of us wants to feel salesy or pushy. Yet, all it takes is a tiny mindset shift to change this experience for good. Rather than asking, "How can I find new clients?" try asking, "How can I serve the people who need me the most today?" When your desire to serve is met by their desire to heal, amazing new opportunities unfold to help you do your good work in the world.
Here are eight often overlooked opportunities to serve that you can try right now.
Reach Out to Past Clients
This might sound overly simple, yet it shocks us how many times practitioners forget to reach out to past clients when they want to fill new sessions. Why is this so effective? Because it's always easier for someone to invest in you again — once they already know, like and trust you — than it is for someone who doesn't know you to invest in you the first time.
So, give your past clients the attention they deserve. Reach out to them personally, by phone or by email. Check in on their progress. And tell them what's new in your practice, to see how you might continue to serve them. And let go of the idea that you're bothering anyone. You offer a valuable, life-changing service. You might be the lifeline your former client has been waiting for.
Ever wonder why you don't get referrals from every satisfied client who passes through your practice? All too often, it's because you don't ask. People love sharing valuable resources with others. So make that easy for your clients by letting them know that you welcome referrals. Then, tell them exactly how they can refer someone to you.
Start by giving every new client a "Welcome Kit" that includes copies of articles that demonstrate the efficacy of your therapy. (Our favorite source? Massage Today!) And be sure to include a "We Love Referrals" handout in the kit. On it, list the characteristics of your ideal client, along with a brief explanation of what you do in layman's terms. Then tell your clients exactly what to do if they know someone who's a good fit for your services.
Here's a hint: Don't tell them to have potential clients call you, because most people won't — at least not yet. Instead, ask them to direct people to your website where they can learn more about you before picking up the phone.
Create Partnerships With Colleagues
Complementary colleagues are professionals who serve the same types of clients you do. Only they serve them in a different way, or they help them solve a different kind of problem. Think nutritionists, yoga instructors, Pilates instructors and midwives.
Once you find a complementary colleague you like, reach out to explore how you can create a mutually beneficial referral relationship. You can either set up an in-person meeting, or send a letter telling them what you do and how you can support one another.
You might say something like, "Our work is so complementary, I'd love to see how we can become helpful resources for each other, and even more valuable resources for our clients." Then, whether in writing or in person, let them know the types of clients you love working with. Describe the main pain points your typical clients are struggling with — and the biggest benefits they get out of working with you.
If it's a good fit, you can offer your colleague a free therapy session to demonstrate how well your work complements theirs. But only offer a free session if your colleague serves your ideal client in large numbers. And, as always, remember to send them to your website to learn more.
Here's another strategy that's so simple you might overlook it. Look at your circle of friends, colleagues, the people at your gym or people whose services you use (like your accountant, your dog groomer or your hair stylist). Tell them what you do, the types of clients you love working with, the primary pain points that motivate them to call you and some of the results your favorite clients have experienced. Then ask if they or someone they know would be a good fit for your services.
Every time you introduce your work to someone new, you're being of service. So don't shy away from sharing what you do with the people in your life. You never know when you might be the answer to someone's prayer.
Network the Holistic Way
This may be something you tried in the past that didn't work that well. Maybe you showed up at some formal networking meeting or cocktail party, passed out your business card and hoped for the best. Or perhaps you gathered a handful of cards and followed up by email the next day, only to never hear from anyone again.
This used to happen to us a lot — until we discovered the secret that makes networking fun. The key is to go places that you actually enjoy. There's no need to focus on traditional networking meetings. Instead, you can meet fantastic potential clients at spiritual workshops, yoga classes, drumming circles, vegan potluck dinners, even in the aisles of Whole Foods.
Since your dream client is almost always a reflection of you before you underwent some major transformation in your life, when you go places you enjoy hanging out with the intention of connecting with people you can serve, you're much more likely to meet like-minded people who are perfect candidates for your services. And, when you're in an environment you're comfortable in, you're going to be naturally more confident and attractive to new clients.
Host Low-Cost Local Workshops
One of our all-time favorite ways to meet potential new clients is by offering low-cost workshops in our community. We love this approach because it allows you to share your wisdom and interact with people who've already expressed an interest in your work just by showing up. So every time you host a local workshop, you're speaking to people who have pre-qualified themselves as potential clients.
The secret to turning low-cost workshops into high-end clients? About two-thirds of the way through your workshop, offer everyone in the room an opportunity to have a complimentary breakthrough session with you. This is a 30-minute phone consult designed to help you get clear on what they're struggling with, what they want instead and how you can help them achieve their goals through your services.
Want to know exactly what to do and say to conduct a successful breakthrough session? See our article on "Understanding How to Turn Consults Into Clients" in the April 2014 issue of Massage Today.
Social Media and Online Forums
Social media is here to stay, so why not embrace it? Set up a professional online presence in one of the top social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. And make it a priority to actively contribute to forums and membership sites that your ideal clients are part of.
This a great way to establish an expert presence and drive traffic to your website. The only caveat is this: People will only pay attention to your posts if you're sharing value and you're doing it consistently. To get the most out of your online presence and to be of the greatest service, regularly share tips and links to your blog or other useful articles. Then, occasionally sprinkle in special offers that the people in your online community can take advantage of.
Send Out a Survey
We love this strategy because it allows you to get detailed feedback from people in your community that will help you create new offers and serve your clients on an even deeper level. You can use a service like www.SurveyMonkey.com to create the survey. Then promote it through social media and by sending it out to people on your email list. You can even provide a little incentive by offering a free online gift or report to people who respond within a certain timeframe.
The big benefit of doing a survey? You can use the responses to identify people who are a perfect fit for your services. Then you can reach out to them personally to set up a breakthrough session. Are you ready to put these opportunities to work for you? Here's the key to making the most of these client-attraction opportunities: Avoid getting overwhelmed by thinking you've got to do everything. Instead, focus on the two or three opportunities that resonate with you the most...and get started today.
Don't wait until you feel ready because that feeling may never come. Just make the decision and take action. Even imperfect action. When you step forward in service, you're giving the world the message that you're ready to receive new clients. And you're giving the people you're most meant to help the opportunity to receive the healing they need.
Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.