INTRODUCTION: So Why Sell High Fee Cash Programs?
While some doctors are struggling with insurance reimbursement and even getting their patients to pay their measly co-pays, other chiropractors are charging 5,000+ or higher case fees…. And patients are paying it! If you want less stress in your practice and more freedom, then delivering and selling cash services are the way to go. If you’ve struggled with selling high case fees in the past or you’ve ever wondered how some offices can sell $8,000 care packages, you’ll want to read this entire report. After working with offices around the country to not only help market high dollar case fee services, but consulting them on their sales experience as well; we found certain key strategies are ESSENTIAL to collecting more cash. So enjoy!
CASH STRATEGY #1: Create A Unique Sales Experience In Your Practice!
A few years ago, I flew out to one of our new client’s office. I was there to shoot some videos of the doctor and get some patient testimonials. Upon walking into the office, I got a sick feeling in my stomach. The office was completely beat up, the rugs were torn, the paint on the walls had faded, scuff marks on the wall in almost every treatment area and the waiting room was in complete disarray. As I sat there in the waiting room, waiting to meet the doctor, I knew there was just no way our marketing would work for them. I knew it from the second I walked in.
There was no way, that one of our online new patients was going to walk into this office and start care. And as a result, a few months later, we parted ways. Whether you like it or not, your office says more about YOU than it does anything else. It is a DIRECT reflection of you and your headspace as a business owner. Our businesses are our family members, and how we treat them, says more about us than our staff, or our services.
When you take the time to create an impeccable office, with an amazing patient experience; it creates the proper environment for new patients to make an easier buying decision. Every time a new patient walks through your office doors, regardless of where they come from, they have a checklist. It’s about 20 different points they check off. The more checks you have, the easier it is for them CHOOSE you and move forward with care. The less items they have checked; the more difficult the decision is to start care in your office.
HERE’S The 20 Point Checklist:
- Impeccably Clean Office – Windows Cleaned Daily, Vacuum Carpets & Steam Cleaned Quarterly, Air-Conditioned and Temperature Appropriate
- Waiting Room – Updated Magazines, Clean Front Office, Snacks and Water Offered (Sparkling or Non-Sparkling)
- Greeted By First Name when Walking up to Front Desk
- Smiling Front Desk Person with UPTONE Energy
- Office Staff in Uniforms that are CLEAN and NEW
- Name Tags for Each office staff member
- Doctor in Professional Attire or Clinic Coat
- Wait time less than 15 minutes AFTER they fill out paperwork
- Testimonial VIDEOS or Written Book with Patient Pictures handed out to them after filling out paperwork.
- Office Tour given by Front office before being placed in the consultation/exam room
- Once back in Exam Room/Chair; less than 5 minute wait time before doctor or staff comes in for consultation
- Clean Treatment rooms with Updated and Clean Equipment
- Total time for initial consultation/Diagnostics – 45-60 minutes, longer than that they start getting upset
- Doctor completely focused on CONNECTING and Building Rapport with the patient
- Same Day Diagnostic Tests/ X-rays
- New Patient Gift (Coffee Mug, Gift Basket, Book or Informational Piece Given)
- Fees Explained and Collected
- Convenient Scheduling time for 2nd Day ROF’s
- New Patient Phone Call if Treatment Delivered the First Day (BY DOCTOR)
- Send off with a Smiling Happy Front Office Team Member!
Obviously, there are a few more that you can add to your individual First Day Experience, but these are a great start and can have an IMMEDIATE impact on your new patients and create an INCREDIBLE SELLING ENVIRONMENT for your practice! SIDE NOTE: A KEY component to creating a selling environment is SYSTEMIZING the experience. You must script out and systemize how each new patient should walk into your office and what they should feel during each step of the new patient first day experience. Too many doctors leave this up to chance and don’t write it down and record this. It’s critical to not only record this, but to train on this first experience as well. You should spend at least an hour each month training with the front office team on the scripted first day 20 point new patient experience.
CASH STRATEGY #2: Niching Your Services Into A Packaged Program!
One of the truest statements that I’ve heard in marketing is “There are Riches in Niches.” The first time I heard this was from Dan Kennedy. I have been a student of his direct marketing style for some time and the biggest thing that I take a way from that phrase is that people always have a special affinity for what THEY are into. For instance, you may be a chiropractor. You have an affinity towards other chiropractors and you can connect with them because we all understand the cares, concerns and frustrations of being a chiropractor. WE SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE. Chiropractic is a niche. It’s a niche in that, it has it’s on language, it’s own way of speaking; ChiropracTORS, ChiropracTIC, etc. The best example I can give you for niches, is a story about one of my firiend’s mother. Her mother is completely into exautic birds. Birds were her complete passion. So much so that she went out and bought a $1,000 bird cage that took up one entire room of friend’s house. Yes, an entire room. I remember walking into her tiny 2 bedroom house and seeing this oversized awkward looking birdcage and thinking to myself, “What possessed her to buy this thing?” She had almost no money and a house that clearly wasn’t even big enough to fit this cage, yet she went OUT OF HER WAY and bought something she didn’t have room for or the money for, BUT SHE STILL DID IT ANYWAY. WHY? Because of how she FELT when she spent time with the birds. She had a deep passion for being with birds.
Well, THAT’S HOW POWERFUL NICHES ARE. They move people toward taking action because it’s what interests them. It’s what THEY Care about! Your patients that have disc conditions, neuropathy, weight issues, functional medicine conditions, have a passion for learning about these and having these problems corrected. For some, it’s all they can think about is getting rid of their pain and feeling better. They have a motivation (passion/interest) for getting better. When you niche your care programs to serve THEIR condition, and show that you can be effective with treating WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT, the will move faster toward working with you, than almost every other type of patient. In addition, when you show that you SPECIALIZE in these conditions, people will always prefer to work with SPECIALISTS Versus GENERALISTS. For instance, if you had an ACL tear, you would prefer to go see a knee orthopedic specialist, and not just any knee guy, you’d want to go to someone who specializes in surgical repair of ACL tears. I would do the same thing. We always prefer to work with someone who’s the BEST at what they do. When you do this with your services and combine them into a Complete Neuropathy Package, or Complete Disc and Nerve Package, you’ll have an easier time selling your services that if you sell them ala carte.
Here’s An Example Neuropathy Program:
- Chiropractic Adjustments
- Class 4 Laser Treatment
- NeuroMED Stim
- Vibration Plate Therapy
- Lifestyle/Diet / Supplementation
CASH STRATEGY #3: Build Trust & Rapport With Every New Patient!
There is just no way that you can sell a large fee service (anything over $1000.00) without doing a solid new patient consultation. A consultation where you can spend time with a patient, connect with them, build rapport, and find out what makes them tick. Doing the bare minimum and spending only 15 minutes in a new patient consultation will be extremely difficult for you to sell $5000 care packages. Patients want to know that they can trust you. Especially if they are putting their hard earned dollars towards getting better in your office. You must connect with the patients and build trust and rapport with them. So how do you do that?
There are 3 things to remember before walking into your day 1 consultation:
- Remove Pre-Judgement
- Stay In the Moment
- Don’t Try To SELL THEM
You must focus on learning as much as you can about what their daily experience is and what it’s like to walk in their shoes for a day. And the only what that you can do that is staying completely focused and in the moment on your first day consultation. This requires you to remove all pre-conceived notions about who this patient is and what their needs are. This also requires that you don’t have an agenda and try to SELL them on care. Patients pick up on everything and they know when you’re trying to sell them on something. And that’s the reason you want to go into every single consultation and remove any agenda. Go into your consultation and let go of feeling the necessity of, “Selling them Care.” Have no agenda, and just walk into your consultation experience wanting to learn more about WHO THIS PATIENT IS, and finding out if you can actually help them. When you remove: • Pre-judgement • Forced feeling of having to sell them • Center your entire focus on just them. Your new patients will feel the difference and feel more confortable and connected during the first day experience.
CASH STRATEGY #4: Find Out What Moves Them… Emotional Triggers!
Human beings make decisions based on emotions and then we back it up with reason. Let me state that again; we take action (on practically everything) based on how WE FEEL about it, not whether or not there is a practical reason for it. For example, remember the last vacation you took or car you purchased. You had an image in your head of what driving the car was going to FEEL Like once you were there, but the practical reason for it was probably less important. There is no PRACTICAL reason to drive a Mercedes when you can drive a Toyota that does the same thing. People drive Mercedes for how they FEEL when they drive it. And that is how you and I, and your patients ALL make decisions. So the key is finding out what are your patient’s emotional reasons for choosing care. But guess what?
THIS IS NOT EASY. And here’s why….
There usually exists HUGE ROADBLOCKS and those ROADBLOCKS are RATIONALIZATIONS.
Your patients, whether you want to admit it or not, come into your office with YEARS of rationalization for their condition and their lives. They must find a way for rationalizing why they have their low back condition, or why they have peripheral neuropathy and have lived with it for so long. If they didn’t rationalize their condition, they would have done something about it A LONG TIME before it would have become a problem. You know as well as I do, that the majority of health conditions are lifestyle based. Without rationalization, no one would be in poor health, be overweight, or be smoking cigarettes. But part of human behavior is we need to find a reason as to why these conditions exist in us, and that’s what you are up against with a new patient day 1 consultation.
YOU ARE UP AGAINST YEARS OF RATIONALIZATION.
Here’s an example: “Well I just have a little of neuropathy pain.” “Well, it just hurts every night, during the day I feel fine.” “Well I only had to take off 2 weeks last year because of the pain.” “Well, my arms only get tired during the end of the day.” “Well, I’m only on 5 medications for this, I have a friend who’s worse off, she’s on 10 medications.” So even before you even have the chance to get down to what really drives or motivates a person, you have to restructure or rephrase all of their rationalizations. You must or the patient will continue to believe they don’t have that big of a problem, and they will continue to just live with it, or continue to suffer. The way that you change a rationalization is reframing what it means to them. By reframing it, you give them a NEW MEANING based on your reference point.
HOW REFRAMING WORKS:
Patient: “Well I just have a little numbness and tingling in my feet.”
Doctor: “Mary, that’s not good. Numbness and tingling is a sign of nerve impairment and that means you’re LOSING sensory distribution of the nerves in the legs and feet!”
Patient: “Well, my legs only get tired as the day goes on. When I get home they feel a little tired.”
Doctor: “Mary, that’s not okay. What’s happening is you’re losing muscle strength in your legs and feet, that means that your losing motor activity and is a sign of nerve impairment. That’s not a good sign.” There is a lot more work involved with learning how to reframing works, but it’s vitally important to do this when patients walk in with rationalizations about their conditions.
HOW TO FIND THEIR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS: A patient’s reason to start care is very rarely because of their PHYSICAL PAIN.
Let me state that again and explain that a little more. Your patient’s driving motivational factors for starting care do not come from pain. This is big, because it’s what the MAJORITY of practice management consultants teach about selling care. Yes, pain is what motivates them to drive to your office and find out what is causing their condition, but it’s NOT what moves them toward purchasing a high case fee OR driving to your office 3 nights a week to do traction, laser and spend 45 minutes of their time to get better. And when you sell patients based on pain; they are gone once the pain is gone. Everyone, (You and I included) and I mean everyone has an emotional reason behind them taking action. This could be what drives them for success or keeps them from taking action on something, but we all move based on feelings and emotions. For instance; a business owner can be motivated by fear or he/she can be hindered by it. Fear of losing your income, can motivate you toward learning a new sort of treatment system or new type of selling system. (like this one) But fear can also keep you from changing something in your business. The FEAR of actually selling cash programs, can keep you in the same place and doing the same type of services. But either way, Fear either moves you or keeps you from moving, but both of those are actions. Your patients have an emotional reason for taking action or not taking action on their health conditions. And once you find this emotional trigger, it’s the reason that they will find the strength to do something different and actually take care of themselves. Here’s an example: Mary walks into your office with neck pain, radiating arm pain and weakness in her arms. Yes, the pain is what brought her to your office, but something else is driving her other than just the pain. In your consultation, you find out that she had 2 children. And that one of the other conditions she sufferers from is Fatigue. Extreme fatigue. She’s so tired every night that when she arrives home, she just wants to lay down.
And you can tell that she’s obviously bothered by this because of her body language when she discusses it. You suspect this might be an emotional trigger for her. So you ask,
Doctor: “Are you concerned that you just don’t have the energy that you used to have?”
Doctor: “How do you feel about that?”
Mary: “I feel like I’m getting older?”
Doctor: “So, You’re afraid that your body is aging faster than it should? “
Doctor: Do you feel bad about being so tired that you can’t spend time with your kids?
Doctor: So you feel like a bad mother for not having the energy to spend them each night?”
And then you have it. You see it in her eyes; you can feel it in her tone and expression. THIS is what causes her the most pain. This is what she’s the most concerned about.
AND THIS is the reason why she’ll spend time and energy working on herself, because at the end of the day, this is what gives her the most pain. The challenge was always finding what really drives Mary. It takes training and patience to be able to find this in other people, but once you do, you give patients the ability to really see what they are feeling. And the majority of the time, they don’t even know it. That’s the power of what a solid consultation can do for your patients.
CASH STRATEGY #5: Bring Their Spouse For ROF!
For the life of me, I can’t understand why so many doctors don’t have a family member or spouse show up for the Report of Findings. I ‘m going to give you 2 powerful reasons why the spouse or family member needs to be there, and to help me explain this, I’ll give you 2 examples, my own marriage being one of them.
1. You need the Spouse / Family Member for Support:
Have you ever made a decision to start going to the gym or to lose weight and NEVER told anyone? How successful was that?
I’ve done it before and every single time I kept that goal to myself, I didn’t complete it. I stopped after a few weeks. What happens when other people, spouses, family or friends, know about your goals, it keeps you committed. It’s harder to disconnect from a goal, when YOU Know that other’s know about your goals. It’s actually real hard. So the #1 reason why you want a spouse, partner, or friend there at the ROF, is to support and motivate the patient to actually complete their care progrom.
How effect do you think your care program will be when your patient comes home one night from work and instead of going to see their chiropractor, their spouse says, “Why don’t you just stay home.” And in a majority of cases, the spouses don’t even realize or understand how much pain the husband/wife are going through, and your ROF is the first time that they even realize how much their spouse was suffering.
2. Financial Decisions are a Partnership
For this, I’ll use my own family. My wife and I a long time ago, joined our finances. And it’s been the best thing that I’ve ever done for my financial success. One of our decisions was that anything over a $100 price, we would talk about it before purchasing. I’m a pretty independent person, and I have money to afford a $5,000+ care program if I wanted it. BUT THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL, THAT I WOULD EVEN CONSIDER MAKING A $5000+ PURCHASE WITHOUT MY WIFE. And you think you’re going to sell someone who has an average financial situation on a $5000+ care program. It’s not happening. I don’t care what the patient told you about handling their own finances, there is no way they are going to walk into their house one night and say, “Hey honey, I’ve decided to purchase a $5000 care program at my chiropractors, I just want to let you know so you’re okay with that.” But still, the most common question that I hear from doctors is, ”Why Do I have to bring the spouse in for the report of findings?” You must understand that having someone there is ESSENTIAL to really providing your new patient with all the tools they will need to complete their care program and purchase your care. You’ll see that once you start making the spouse or family member a requirement for the ROF, presenting your case fees AND having patients complete care will be a whole lot easier.