Years ago, it was a safe assumption to bet that virtually all practitioners within a specialization “did” the same things. Nearly all new patients came from internal referrals, too.
My, how time changes things.
Today, you could probably visit ten different doctors and get ten WILDLY different experiences.
The list goes on!
Without any preconceived notions, doctors had the opportunity to welcome patients to their world: how they practiced, what care was, and everything else. There were no hurdles to overcome. There were no competing ideas, either.
Somewhat recently, Australian and New Zealand doctors had this opportunity… though the industry there failed to do anything different than their predecessors in the US, quickly bringing the masses to the idea that some doctors only fix neck pain, back pain, and headaches.
Today, parts of Europe still have this tremendous opportunity, as some kinds of care are relatively unheard of in many places in Europe.
So what does this brief history lesson mean to you, the practitioner in the trenches? You must have a process of separating yourself from the herd! (Note: regulations in some places may stymie this idea, so act according to local law)
When we work with our clients, we help them get clear about what makes them special. Why someone would want to see them vs. the average “Joe” down the street. We then teach them a series of steps to subtly let the patient know the difference between a “Saw horse” and a “Seahorse”. Yes they sound a lot alike, but the truth of the matter is they are very different! Our business coach reviews show that our process works, so be sure to read through this fully.
So I would ask you to get very clear about what makes YOU so different. Why would someone want to see you instead of heading down the street and get “Cracked at the Joint”? Do you have specific niche markets that you are really great at working with, such as ADHD kids, pregnant women, elite athletes, or people with gut issues?
Then, I want you to start to figure ways to help your patients understand how lucky they are to see you and why you are indeed a “Sea horse” not a “Saw horse”! Be sure to capitalize on the limited scope of your competition, too.
Step 1: “Mary, it is great to meet you. I see Sally referred you in. How do you know Sally?” Whatever they say I want you to find a “Secret handshake”. Something very simple and quick i.e. if Mary says that she works with Sally, and you know where Sally works, you can just say, “Oh, so you work at Napa Elementary school. Both of my kids went there. Great place.” Or if she said that they train together and you know that Sally is an elite athlete you can say, “Oh my goodness. Sally is off to the Iron Woman triathlon. Are you at the same level as her? Wow that is quite an elite level!”
Just find something so they know that you know them or the person that referred them or understand something about them.
Step 2: I want you to ask: “What did Sally say to make you want to come in?” Whatever Mary says, I want you to ECHO back to her. When we ECHO and use the EXACT same words, it magically builds rapport. They subconsciously think, “Oh, we are from the same tribe”.
So if Mary says that Sally shared that you really fixed her lower back and hopes you can fix hers, too, I want you to say, “Yes, we certainly did fix Sally’s lower back and I sure hope we can fix yours too.” You will be amazed at how this works so well and so quickly. (But it is CRITICAL that we use the EXACT same words. If you say, “Yes we certainly did HELP her low back” instead of “…FIX Sally’s…” it will not work!)
Step 3: Make a comment like this: “I will tell you, Mary, one of the reasons we were able to help Sally and so many other people like her is because…”
The rest of that sentence might be: “…because we do this particular technique where we can find the true underlying cause of the problem, instead of just chasing symptoms around like from your history, which I see you have done quite a lot of!”
Another option would be “…because we have this particular technology, so we can find the true underlying cause of the problem instead of just chasing symptoms around like from your history, which I see you have done quite a lot of!”
OBVIOUSLY, you need to come up with something short and sweet that lets them know, “I AM NOT AT SOME REGULAR DOCTOR’S OFFICE. I AM AT SOMEONE SPECIAL’S OFFICE! I AM IN THE RIGHT PLACE!”
Now of course we help our business coaching clients customize and fine tune this rap but I want you to give it some thought and give it a try. It is just the first touch point of helping our patients begin to get an idea of why we are a “Sea horse” and not a “Saw horse”!
Let me know how it goes.
Much love and aloha,
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