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December 2009 Archives
Do you confuse hearing with listening?
Hearing is a neuromechanical function that translates subtle changes in air pressure into electrical signals detectable by our brains. Listening is a social skill in which we surrender our attention so we can decode the meaning and significance of that spoken by another.
While hearing is about comprehension, listening is about interpretation. Hearing is passive. Listening is active. Most of us hear, but rarely fully listen. (Ask your spouse!)
How to listen:
Be fully 100% present with the other person.
Show up empty without your answer ready.
Replace the tendency to judge with curiosity.
Use your own words to confirm what you're interpreting.
True listening communicates your respect for patients and ultimately how much you value them. They can tell whether you're listening or merely "reloading," faking your interest to fulfill your own agenda. More telling is that your attention profoundly reveals your intention.
Many chiropractors dreamed of helping people by practicing chiropractic, only to discover that they have a small business, replete with the same challenges that face virtually all small businesses. One of the most pressing is marketing. In other words, attracting customers.
If chiropractic philosophy was given short shrift at chiropractic college, the basics of running a small business were probably overlooked even more.
When many see the word “marketing” they immediately think of advertising. And while advertising falls under the heading of marketing, you can market your practice without advertising. It’s the distinction between “building” your practice (outside-in) and “growing” your practice (inside-out).
An annual chiropractic marketing calendar for chiropractors is an ideal way to grow your practice.
Continue reading "Chiropractic Marketing Calendar" »
Q: "I am a chiropractor who is stuck on removing a patient's pain. I am moving toward a wellness model, however I fall short at each patient encounter. I ask, "How do you feel today?" or "How are you doing today?" which starts the encounter about their pain, keeping me and the patient stuck there. Is there a per-visit dialog or a few words that you can share to help move the patient away from their pain?"
A: This is a common refrain among chiropractors who would like to morph their practice into something with a greater emphasis on chiropractic wellness care. Yet, how you greet a patient is rarely the problem and merely symptomatic of a deeper, more significant issue.
Continue reading "Talking About Symptoms" »
"It's going to be great when (fill in the blank)."
Not true. This common deception has us ignoring the present (the only place where we have any influence) in favor of trying to live in the future. This creates a way of being that either puts us on the sidelines; killing time waiting for the future to arrive, or causes us to rush headlong past unsmelled roses, bulldozing our way into the future.
Just remember that you'll be taking you with you into the future.
Your dissatisfaction with the present will most likely produce an unsatisfying future. So, if you're unhappy, fearful or stressed today, you'll be unhappy, fearful or stressed then. That's because everything is first conceived spiritually before it manifests physically.
Once you start planting spiritual seeds of gratitude and appreciation for your current circumstances, regardless of what they are, your future will brighten. As will your present.
Even with brilliant chiropractic marketing strategies, one of the things that distinguish busier chiropractic practices from those less so is the level of certainty exuded by the chiropractor. What makes this difficult to self-diagnose is that chiropractors with certainty issues either aren’t conscious of them or think they are successfully hiding them from patients.
Nice try. If you were that good of an actor, you’d be in Hollywood.
Besides being inauthentic, acting certain when you’re not is classic symptom treating. Better, is to actually be certain. That way, the nonverbal, insuppressible language of your body will send the messages patients want to receive. Then, your influence can mount, patients respond in ways that are more positive and your practice begins to fulfill its potential.
Consider some of these strategies for becoming more certain.
Continue reading "Being Certain" »
"Don't accept candy from a stranger."
Great advice if you're six years old. But if a fear of strangers lingers into adulthood, as it does for many, your practice is likely suffering.
Reduced to its most basic, new patients come from telling the chiropractic story to as many strangers as possible. So, if you're afraid or uncomfortable around strangers (or don't encounter many), are unclear what chiropractic is or believe great results alone should produce appreciative patients who refer others, then you're probably not helping as many people as you could.
But an underperforming practice pales in comparison to the isolation and separation you feel. This week, turn this around by seeking out opportunities to introduce yourself to strangers. They will appreciate your gesture and who knows what could develop?
Oh, but be careful. They may have their own stranger issues. After all, to a stranger, you're the stranger!
A student chiropractor, contemplating his upcoming graduation, recently posed an important chiropractic marketing question to me. And while he probably should have asked this question several years earlier, at least he asked it prior to actual graduation.
More important than technique, the color of his adjusting table, where he locates his practice, his financial policy and even his report of findings, his ability to embrace and act upon the answer to his question will do more to determine his chiropractic career and the fulfillment he achieves from it then just about anything else. What is this question?
“How do I get my first new patients?”
Tipping the first domino, setting off a chain reaction of delighted patients inspired to tell others, is the first step to having a small business (cleverly disguised as a practice) that survives the odds.
Continue reading "New Chiropractic Practice. New Chiropractic Patients." »
Where are you?
You can't leave some place you've never admitted to having been. As you affirm your goals for the New Year, consider the equally important task of taking an inventory of where you are.
• Do you have a spending problem that manifests as credit card debt?
• Is there an addiction or some other "shiny object" that you use to escape reality?
• Has a lack of discipline shown up as extra weight or a refusal to exercise?
• Is there a difficult conversation you've put off, producing resentful tolerations?
• Are you inclined to try to fix others instead of yourself?
Before you create elaborate goals and make resolutions, admit to what is so in your life and your practice. Ignoring it, resisting it or looking past it isn't fooling anyone. Especially you.
Before you can get from Point A to Point B, you must be certain where Point A is.
I pick up pennies when I see them lying on the sidewalk, in parking lots and elsewhere. Nickels. Dimes. Virtually any type of currency. Picked up a $20 while jogging one morning. I snagged a 200-peso note in Mexico last month that came in with the tide. I'm often ridiculed or laughed at for this, but I’ve probably acquired close to $100 over the years. It's not a living, but these gifts, in the form of free money, add up.
Do you bother picking up a penny? Consider the scripture that suggests that those who can be trusted with little can be trusted with much. Do you ignore pennies? Or is that beneath you? How about a quarter? Or does it have to be paper? What’s your threshold?
This came to mind after a recent conversation with a chiropractor who was feeling the economic pinch. Not everyone is. And while I don’t have a lot of data, I don’t think it’s necessarily the economy, geography, weather patterns, insurance companies or any of the other usual suspects. I think it has to do with pennies.
Continue reading "One At A Time" »
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in December 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.
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