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January 2007 Archives
Giving a better report, a better adjustment or cleaning up your procedures produce only modest gains. Sure, a 2% increase here or a 5% improvement there can add up.
But for significant growth, you'll want to look deeper. Breakthrough growth is only possible by changing what you believe. Busier practitioners hold a different set of beliefs:
A patient's rejection of care isn't a rejection of me.
I only invest my energy in things I can do something about.
I'm willing to risk a relationship if it means compromising the truth.
I focus on those who show up, not those who miss.
I have total certainty in what I do.
I must hold myself to high standards—even when no one is watching.
I know who I am and I'm comfortable with it.
These are rarely visible when touring a high-performing practice. They often use pretty much the same patient education materials, techniques and procedures that you do. But they show up embracing a very different set of beliefs.
Do you believe that?
The Marketing Gurus by Chris Murray is a terrific idea. The folks who create audio digests each month by condensing the most popular business books into a 20-minute listen, have assembled a book with the key marketing ideas from some of the marketing greats. My favorite authors, such as Seth Godin (Purple Cow), Faith Popcorn (The Popcorn Report), Guy Kawasaki (How to Drive Your Competition Crazy) and others are represented here.
The beauty of this approach is that they’ve taken the content of entire books and presented the most essential, salient points in 15-page chapters. If you’re not inclined to read business books, I’d recommend this one. Pick and choose from among the 17 chapters and you’ll get lots of ideas to enhance the marketing (not advertising) of your practice for 2007.
The earlier post about a new practitioner asking about advertising for pain relief versus advertising for wellness prompted several public and private posts. Seems this issue may deserve further exploration.
How the public sees chiropractic will not be what visionary chiropractors say or claim chiropractic is. Perception is reality. If the public thinks chiropractors are “bad back doctors for pain relief only” then that’s what chiropractors are.
“Oh no, you’ve got us all wrong! We’re wellness doctors.”
Continue reading "Las Vegas Take Two" »
Q: If someone misses their appointment, how should we communicate with that patient? Any specific questions to ask this person upon contacting them, either by CA or DC?
A: The short answer? Use the telephone. Ask if they’re okay since you were expecting them at such in such a time.
The long answer is considerably longer. But here goes.
Continue reading "Dear Bill Missed Appointments" »
Do you have a high maintenance practice? I don't mean a practice full of maintenance patients, but a practice that requires a great deal of emotional investment to maintain?
It may be a sign that you make patient relationships about meeting your needs rather than theirs. It means you have assumed a parental role, imposing your will on patients. Even if you justify your heavy-handed caring as in their best interests, your "mother henning" is disrespectful and unsustainable.
Patient's become the problem. You take their choices personally. Their rejection produces doubt, anger, fatigue and eventually burnout. When you live through others, you are unable to be the anchor patients secretly crave, impairing the most important component of all: hope.
By caring about what you have little or no control over (the pace of their healing, their desire to follow through, the priority they place on their health, etc.) your impact is blunted and your capacity reduced.
You got through December. Now most patients’ deductibles have reset and you’re waiting for March or April to get back into the new patient groove.
Sounds like you may have a seasonal practice.
Are subluxations seasonal? Are physical, emotional and physical stresses seasonal? If they are, then if anything they actually increase at the exact time most offices slow down over the holidays. If you find yourself a migrant worker in the business of health care, this would be a good time to make some changes.
Continue reading "Is Chiropractic Seasonal?" »
Do you take time out for you? If you're like most chiropractors, you're so busy doing, doing, doing that you've neglected you!
When was the last time you ducked into your favorite ice cream parlor? Or sat with a cappuccino on a park bench? Or indulged in a massage? Or just stopped to study a flower or listen to the birds discuss the day?
Have you become a human doing?
Many of us have been misled into believing that success and happiness is acquired through doing. Doing it better, faster, this way or that way. It's not true. If you study the busiest practitioners they are first masters of being. Being certain. Being clear. Being decisive. Being discerning. Being intuitive. Being present. Being comfortable in their own skin. All of which is nearly impossible if your head is always down, bulldozing your way through each day, simply doing the doings of chiropractic.
Pamper yourself. Clear your mind. Come up for some air. Be!
Your practice has dwindled. New patients are practically nonexistent. You have a lot of free time on your hands. But you’re not making enough money to have a viable business. You probably graduated toward the top of your class, but the clinical honors and hopeful optimism you enjoyed back then have long been sucked out of you. It’s crunch time.
Now that you’ve been humbled (or about to be), you have the possibility of becoming a tool that God can work through. Now that you’ve surrendered your dogmatism and egocentric view of the world, you can become a true servant. Now that you’re not so full of yourself, you’re empty enough to be useful.
Continue reading "Voting With Their Feet" »
Do you listen or merely hear?
Great communicators are thought to be those who speak eloquent words. But effective communication is more about listening than speaking. Patients are drawn to powerful listeners:
Be present. Be completely with a patient. Don't try to simultaneously monitor a front desk conversation in the midst of a patient consultation. Banish your worries and personal distractions. Completely surrender to the moment and be fully present.
Show up empty. Be so certain of what is true that you can afford to set it aside and be filled by the patient's story. You can't receive if you're already full; full of yourself, your chiropractic story or your plan to "win them over."
Speak less. Constant chatter is a sign that you lack confidence and need to assure yourself. Pick your words thoughtfully. Slow down. Less is more.
As you become a better listener patients become more attentive.
California is in the midst of grappling with escalating health care costs. Early rumblings suggest that the California legislature is coming precipitously close to taking a path that is unsustainable and will serve to make the problem worse.
Here’s my radical proposal. And I use the word radical in its truest meaning: getting to the root cause.
Before there can be an intelligent conversation about health care costs and its increasing burden on California taxpayers, you must define your terms to effectively frame the debate. If the chiropractic profession’s contribution were merely to bring clarity to the language, this alone would be a Herculean accomplishment and advance its interests!
Continue reading "To the California Legislature" »
Q: We are having a major to do in our office about attire for the staff. What are your thoughts?
A: For some reason, the hoopla surrounding clothing (for doctor or staff) is a common trigger point. You may be asking this question of the wrong person, since I will usually choose comfort over style and I’m inclined to wear blue jeans and tee shirt just about anywhere and everywhere! But here are some things to consider as you resolve this little detail with your team:
Continue reading "Dear Bill Office Attire" »
Seems that chiropractors with the greatest number of “tools” on their belt (nutrition, emotional work, rehab, orthotics, etc.) can go through a stage in which they seem to shun patients who enter the practice lacking the interest in pursuing these “extracurricular” resources.
Forgetting that the patient’s objective is symptom-relief (not wellness) and the patient’s focus is on results (not optimized health), it’s tempting to blame or judge patients for their shortsightedness and limited vision of what you can now do to help them.
Which causes your numbers drop.
Not exactly the affirmation you were expecting after having traipsed off to the weekend seminars, spent the money, bought the equipment or changed your examination procedures!
Continue reading "Your New Way of Helping Patients" »
If your brochure rack is a dust collector or merely a neglected wall decoration, it’s time to put it to work and grow your practice!
Waiting for patients to take your brochures is the first mistake. Drug manufacturers shamelessly promote their wares by interrupting your patient’s favorite TV program, yet you’re somehow afraid to hand a brochure to a delighted patient to give to someone else?
Sure, some of your brochures will be discarded in the back seat, thrown away or somehow “wasted.” Constrained by predicting whether a brochure will reach its intended target or not keeps your message safely intact, but limited to the interior of your practice.
Even more significant is the mistaken notion that handing a patient a brochure is somehow self-serving; that it will benefit you more than the patient’s spouse or friend. This is a clear sign that you’ve made practice about you, rather than serving the needs of patients. (This belief is probably tainting other aspects of your patient relationships as well.)
Continue reading "Does Your Brochure Rack Rock?" »
While the fear of failure gets all the press, that's not what really holds us back. What actually stops us is the fear of blame. The fear of criticism. The fear of judgment. And the big one: the fear of responsibility.
Turns out, mistrusting our ability to achieve pales in comparison to the sting we imagine from what others may think or say about us. This keeps innovative projects from being launched, lectures from being delivered, convictions from being expressed and lives from being inspired.
"Who am I to make a difference?" we lie to ourselves.
Living small doesn't become someone who knows the truth about health and healing. Attempting to fly under the radar doesn't suit a revolutionary. Trying to fit in, be accepted and toe the line is actually a treaty with doubters and detractors.
Be responsible. Tell the truth. Plant your flag. And do so boldly.
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in January 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.
December 2006 is the previous archive.
February 2007 is the next archive.
Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.