Lost A Sale, But Initial Phone Consultations — A Big Part Of Brilliant Customer Service
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Aetna Updates 97140 Policy
In a development the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors is calling "a resounding victory for chiropractors nationwide," Aetna Insurance Company has updated its national reimbursement policy regarding 97140 (manual therapy), reaching an agreement two years after the association filed a declaratory judgment suit in federal court against the insurer.
News in Brief
Support of F4CP Continues With Latest Donations; Walter Reed Honors Dr. William Morgan; Recognizing 40 Years of Public-Health Activism; Allstate Decision Reversed.
ASA Ready to Impact Profession
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a 501(c)6 (pending), not-for-profit collaboration among state based, acupuncturist professional associations.
Learning the Transformative Language of the Channel System: The Sinew Channels
The Chinese medical classics describe the energetic terrain of the body in much detail. The acupuncture channel systems, as presented in the Ling Shu illustrate the various expressions our qi energy can take.
The Ethics of Herbal Prescribing
While teaching ethics classes, I often encounter licensed acupuncturists who are surprised that our use of herbs and supplements has a specific section in the material. It is often an aspect within ethics that clinicians don't think of in practice.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Treat Every Patient as an Athlete
Frontal-plane movement pattern dysfunction can set the stage for musculoskeletal injury. Frontal-plane stabilization is essential during the normal activities of daily living: think single-leg stance and gait cycle.
Relationship Marketing: A Modern Approach
Remember when you used to get real letters in the mail? Not the automated type, but the real deal, hand written with a personal message just because someone was thinking about you? You know what I'm talking about.
Making Public Health a Chiropractic Priority
As highlighted in this edition's News in Brief, Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC, editor and occasional author of our long-running column, "Chiropractic in the American Public Health Association", was recognized by the organization recently for 40 years of membership.
Technology Meets Practice: Chiropractic Every Day
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a DC who made house calls. When I asked why, she was quick to explain she learns much more about her patients when she sees them at home than she could ever observe in the office.
ICD-10 Is Not Scary (and Not About Billing)
In my 13 years of consulting with doctors on billing and coding matters, ICD-10 has aroused the biggest combination of misguided fear and ignorance I can remember.
Healing the Core: AWB Nepal Earthquake Relief Project
With almost 9,000 people killed during the earthquakes in April and May, another 23,000 suffering injuries, hundreds of thousands left homeless when entire villages collapsed, and many sacred sites destroyed, no one in this country of approximately 28 million has been left untouched by the disaster.
Data: The New Frontier in Health Care
Your practice is empowered with the data you need to improve patient health, run a more efficient (read: profitable) practice, get paid in timely fashion and help show the efficacy of chiropractic on the national stage in the midst of sweeping changes in health care!
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
A War You Can Help Patients Win
The average American consumes approximately 60 percent of calories from sugar, flour and refined oils. A donut is a good example of a so-called "food" that represents these calorie sources.
Peaching to the Choir: How to Extend Our Reach Beyond the CAM Community
Professional conferences offer unique opportunities to network, be exposed to cutting-edge innovators, share your interests and work, and be inspired.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 1
All humans, by the very nature of being human, will experience moments of trauma and suffering. What, then, makes the difference in how the individual who experiences trauma, suffering, and spiritual loss reacts to such experiences?
Teaching Qi Gong to Children
Many of us have come to embrace Qi Gong or Tai Chi practice as a regular part of our lives. Qi Gong has been a stabilizing factor in my life for the last twenty years.
Fish Oil: A Key Component to Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
What to do When Today Sucks
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing went the way it should have? The patient with migraines got worse instead of better from a treatment similar to one you've effectively used on him before.
It's Time to Wake Up
It is time for this profession to wake up and tell someone about the healing benefits of acupuncture. This is the time for Asian Medicine. Its popularity, growth and unusual acceptance is nothing short of amazing.
Acupuncture Treatment of Trauma in the Canine
From 1972 until 1976, John Ottaviano and I were treating dogs at five different veterinary clinics in the Los Angeles county area. Usually, we were at a clinic for seven to eight hours.
Lower-Extremity Overuse Injuries: Primer on Causes and Corrections
From ankle sprains to stress fractures, shin splints to plantar fasciitis, the research is clear: These common overuse injuries of the lower extremities – among dozens of others – may be related to abnormal foot function in your patients.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your patients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation.
Treating LBP in Golfers: Beyond Basic Assessment
The drive to master the most efficient swing demands a tremendous amount from the lower back. Maintaining stability in a flexed posture, supporting torso rotation and repetitively supporting the golf swing all put the lower back in a vulnerable position.
Integrative Sports Medicine
One of the most rewarding and challenging clinical scenarios is the treatment of athletes.
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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