As I said in a recent podcast episode, though I haven’t produced a lot of written blog posts this year, I have still been doing a ton of writing.
Aside from a two upcoming books, I’ve been putting a great deal of time into a 5-article series titled The 5 Characteristics Common to All Successful Cash-Based Practices.
I was writing on the topic of “patient mindset” in a cash-based practice, and ended up with a few paragraphs of important information that I just couldn’t find the right place for within the rest of the articles. So I decided to share the information here as a blog post.
Note (for your clarification): The text below followed a detailed definition of the mindset of the typical patient of a private-pay clinic, and the importance of finding and marketing to those with the right mindset for your practice. Click here and enter your email if you’d like me to send you all these articles for free.
It’s not only about finding patients with the right mindset and getting them to come in for treatment. If your focus stops there, you’ll only have partial success in this model. It’s also about continually reinforcing the fact that they are receiving an extremely valuable service.
You must support this mindset and reward them for having it.
They should leave every treatment with a reinforced feeling that their time there was worth every penny, and that it was worth going out-of-network in order to receive it.
Like it or not, if you are going to be a successful healthcare provider in this model, you must be able to sell. I don’t mean that you’ll need to be able to sell physical products, or convince someone to purchase wellness services, or treatment they don’t need …
I’m saying that you will have to sell yourself and the value of what you are providing!
Not a treatment goes by in my clinic in which I am not actively making sure the patient sees, feels, and fully understands the high value of what they are getting. This is one reason I retest painful movements multiple times per session after performing individual manual techniques … it reinforces in their mind that they are getting immediate and significant results by coming to my clinic. I don’t just dive into an hour of manual treatment and say, “see ya next week” at the end of the session. I make them recognize (and even verbalize) the changes that were made in how they move and feel, in every session.
It doesn’t stop there! Proving the value of your services isn’t just about the treatment itself …
How comfortable do you make them feel in the clinic? Can you provide advice that will change their health and physical wellbeing forever? How about their mental/emotional wellbeing? When they are at your clinic, do patients have thoughts like, “finally, a doctor who actually takes the time to listen to me!”
The list goes on, and you need to make sure you and your staff are “selling” the high value of your time and expertise in as many ways as possible.
“Selling” is just communicating value
If you don’t like the idea of “selling” something, use a different word for it. Whatever it takes. If you don’t get comfortable with it, you are in for a struggle in the world of private practice.
You can also think of it this way: If you are completely averse to anything to do with marketing or “selling,” you are going to reach and help fewer people. If you are in this career so you can help people, then you are doing yourself and your prospective patients a terrible disservice by not improving your ability to reach them and sell them on your services.
To wrap up this article …
Target the right market
By not wasting time and energy trying to convince those with the wrong mindset to come (or send patients) to your out-of-network clinic, you free up time and energy to market to prospective patients with the right mindset, and prove the high value of what you offer in every session.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of people in your area with the right mindset. The percentage of the general population may be small, but the total number should be adequate to keep at least a handful of private-pay practices busy in most urban areas.
Where do we find these patients? I discuss that in the articles I send to everyone who joins my email list. As for how to market to these types of patients and referral sources, you are guided through that process in my Cash-Practice Guidebook.