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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
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.
Click here for more information about Michele McGrew.
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