When coaching doctors through the report of findings process, we hear them say thing like
“I try to show them the care plan I would recommend and then tell them that I don’t want them to make a decision today. The last thing we want to do is pressure them to do anything. So we want you to go home and sleep on it and come back next time and let me know if you would like to do a program of care or just pay per visit for now.”
That all makes sense, doesn’t it? When I hear this kind of statement, I find that the doctor is in one of two categories: they are non-assertive and “roll over” when a patient pushes back (sometimes referred to as the O.K. Corral) or they’re tired of the high-pressure sales tactics that they’ve been told they HAVE to use. (By the way – the second category almost ALWAYS says that the high-pressure stuff has ruined their reputation and cut down on their referrals.)
Here is the problem with using the quote above: it is BS!
It is YOUR BS (or Belief System) causing you to do this. You have to ask yourself if it is really what is best for your patient and for you. I am going to suggest the answer is “no”. This mentality is in neither your patient’s best interests nor those of yourself and your practice.
From a behavioral psychology and communications perspective, there is a window of opportunity when people want to purchase what you have to offer. When you miss that window, you literally CAUSE them NOT to get the care that they need. (Ouch that hurts!)
Of course not. There certainly is a time and a place, though. We teach doctors exactly when and how to do that. However, you can actually cause people NOT to get the care that they need and want by telling them to go home and think about it instead of giving them an opportunity to get the program they want when they want it or when that window is open!
The first thing we need to examine is why do doctors do this?
If you have been burned by doing some of those high-pressure scare care techniques then your first reaction will be to avoid them at all costs. If you are the non-assertive type of doctor, then this feels really good and very genuine.
In fact, these types of doctors reason that asking for a commitment to care during the report of findings will GUARANTEE that the potential patient thinks:
Separate from the patient’s potential thoughts, most doctors just hate being rejected!
Now I did specifically say “If I try to SELL them up front.”
I used the S word (sell) for a reason.
That is what these doctors tell themselves.
This is their BS or belief systems that keeps them from just giving those patients what they want and deserve.
No you are not trying to SELL them anything.
Is this a business? YES!
Business comes down to one thing. You have a problem, I have a solution. If my solution fixes your problem then we MAY be in business.
Are you providing a solution that they want to purchase? YES!
You cannot be successful in practice if you look at your services as things to sell to people that visit your office. You will fail.
The way we teach doctors to do visit one and two is very simple. We want you to find out what your patients want in relationship to what you can REALLY do for them. After that, simply show them how to have it.
When someone comes to your office with a stiff neck, they may say that they want to get their neck “cracked” so that they feel better. By the way, many management companies (even the really expensive ones) will tell you to seize onto the “crack addicts” that come in because you can do something that they are asking for and you can do it over and over again to make a lot of money.
Instead of surrounding yourself with “crack addicts”, you should help clarify your patient’s real wants. In most cases, they REALLY want to get healthy, stay healthy and have the best life possible for a lifetime, but probably don’t understand that you can help them do that (yet).
When people truly understand the value of a healthy functioning nervous system and reasonable lifestyle, they are better equipped to voice their real wants. Once you have done that for them you then find out what they really want: do they want to just feel better knowing that they have not resolved the underlying subluxation and health issues, or do they want to feel better and resolve their underlying subluxations and health problems?
Once we help people clarify that they want to get healthy and stay healthy for a lifetime, then all we have to do is show them how they can have it with a real care plan.
Once people understand this, they recognize that it is not going to be a quick fix. It will take more than a couple of quick cracks to resolve these underlying problems.
Imagine that you have taken a patient through this entire process and they really realize that they want to get healthy and stay healthy. You show them what they would need to do to get there. That patient says to you, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, I want to get healthy and stay healthy and I will do whatever it takes to get there.”
If you respond with “Great! I want you to go home and sleep on this. It’s a big decision.” Then you have most likely undermined your efforts and effectively pushed the patient out the door. All of your efforts to educate your patient goes away when they leave and go back into the rhythm of their daily life. If you aren’t comfortable asking for a commitment once your patient shows that they really get what you do, then you most likely have some headspace issues to resolve.
If you need a hand with this, I encourage you to use the link below to learn about our unique program, called Headspace and Personal Growth, that has helped hundreds of chiropractors across the world to feel certain, better understand themselves, and approach their practice with the right mindset, mentality, and methodology. It can change your life.
A dynamic and passionate chiropractor, author, international coach, educator and speaker, Russ ran one of the most successful wellness practices in Maui Hawaii for 14 years. Dr. Rosen is best known for his “Patient Care” vs. “Patient Scare” Wellness Communication systems. He served as Lead Author and Director of Dr. Patrick Gentempo’s Creating Wellness Management System. Dr. Rosen is the proud recipient of CLA/CWA’s 2007 “Lifetime Achievement” award. Since 2001 Russ has helped hundreds of doctors thrive in a True Optimal Health model and is CEO of The Optimal Health Chiropractic System.
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