A problem that many doctors face these days are getting new and existing patients to their in office talks and lectures. We received two emails from an Australian doctors asking, “How do I get people to come to my office talks?”
To answer this question we turned to COD contributor and master communicator, Dr. Russ Rosen from the Optimal Health Chiropractic System. Below is his response to helping these two Aussies.
Aloha docs and I am happy to help you here. Lets get to work!
First off you must be clear within yourself if you want them to come and if so, why you want them to come. Address the issues of if you don’t want them to come, i.e. you don’t want to spend one night a week doing this, you don’t like public speaking, you don’t want to be looked at as a “salesman” etc. If you don’t really want to do the talk it is very difficult to convince or attract others to come to your talk. Take some time with me and get your head on straight about this issue.
Why do you want them to come? Is it because you love to give talks, you love to entertain; you feel you can scare them into care, because it’s part of your mission? Is it because the reality is if they come you most likely can save their lives?? Spend time coaching around this issue. It is extremely important that your why’s are congruent with your mission statement, and your mission statement includes why you want your patients to be educated and motivated. Is it so you can better control them, or is it so they can receive the full benefits of your work by better understanding what it is that you do and how you perceive the healing process so they can get the best possible results in the shortest period of time?
Let me ask you a question. “Do you notice a difference with the patients that do come to your class and the ones that don’t?” My experience is that the people that do come to the talk seem to get it, and once they do get it, they are much more committed to their healing process. They understand that it is a process not an event and they have a better chance of following through with the program and getting the results that you both want them to get. They are much easier for you to deal with in the flow of a regular day, and they get better results… a wonderful win-win situation. I believe that part of why talks are so powerful is the education and the defining of your relationships, part of it is the motivation and part of it is that they get to experience you. They get to know you the educator, the doctor, the wizard, the caring human being etc.
The point is they get the opportunity to know you better and to deepen their relationship with you. This, I believe, is where the real magic lies. I begin every talk saying, “My goal tonight is to give you a better understanding of what I do and what I don’t do. If at the end of this talk you say, “nope that’s not what I want,” then bless your heart. All you wasted was an hour out of your life but you didn’t waste a lot of time and money by working with me only to find out that this isn’t really what you want.
On the other hand if by the end of tonight you say, “wow this sounds great, this is exactly what I’m looking for,” then you can jump in with both feet. My experience is that there is absolutely nothing more important than your health. It is also my experience that it takes your full commitment to reverse the dis-ease process and to enjoy the healing process. It almost never works when people dip one toe in the water and say that they don’t really believe it, but they will give it a try. We can’t afford for you not to get well. So my recommendation, in fact, my request is that if we are going to work together you jump in with both feet and that you absolutely go for it! This is how we are going to get the great results that we both want. So with that in mind, let’s begin.”
Your talk should be informative, inspirational and motivating. . I heard a story about two great Greek orators Demonsthenies and Cysero. When Cysero was done speaking the crowd went on and on about what a great speaker he was. When Demosthenies got done speaking the crowd said, “Let’s march.” The point is don’t just be an entertaining speaker, touch them from your heart to theirs and move them into action. If people are not referring their friends and family to come to your talk, take the time to work on your talk with me and make it one worth referring to. Remember our “Fast Track to Health” kept me waitlisted for years as well as many of our clients! Now that you are clear that you want to give a talk, why you are giving the talk, and that you are giving a great talk…tell your patients to come! That’s right, tell them to come and expect them to do so. “Tell them and they will come.” You’ll be surprised how many will come once you have cleaned up the above issues and you are completely congruent with having them there at your talk. There are as many ways to “tell them” as there are people. Here are some of the important points… you can take any or all of these and customize something that will work for you:
- Get inspired! I was working with a doc who said that it was “impossible” to get people to his talk. I spoke with his CA who agreed, “It is impossible to get people to the talk, they just won’t come.” I asked him to bonus here $5 per head for each person she signed up this week. In one week she signed up 30 people to come to the talk!! Get inspired!!
- It is all about you and your team’s energy and excitement and the benefit to the patient. “The reason we want you to come to this talk is because it can flat out save you and your families lives, and I am not kidding. YOU WILL LEARN INFORMATION THAT CAN LITERALLY SAVE YOUR LIFE!!” We find that those who come get better faster and spend less money on me. Would you lik e to get better faster and spend less money on me? Great then Sally will sign you and your spouse up for this Wednesday night.”
- Bring your spouse. “We will be doing a workshop where you will be paired up with another person; can your spouse make it? I know he is going to want to understand this information and how to best support you.” Realistically people don’t want to be paired up with a stranger, good reason to bring a spouse.
- Bribe them! “Listen, this evening is so important I will literally bribe you to come. That’s right, if you come your next re examination which is normally $X dollars is on me, (or I will give you a $Y coupon towards it.) This information is so crucial to your care I will literally pay you to come! (Of course you need to check with your state laws on this issue.)
- Require it! Usually I hate the “M” word. That is when I hear management companies make it “Mandatory.” As you know any time we take away choice we cause rebellion. But we can make it “a requirement sometime between now and your first re evaluation.” That way they still have the “choice” of coming over the next three weeks AND it is required.
- When the patient “signs up” for the class make sure they actually “sign up” with their own hand! If you have read Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” you realize how this stimulates the law of “Consistency” and can dramatically increase your show rates!
- You can also have the Health Care talk in your ROF as part of your Cash Practice format and show the value of the class but use it as a giveaway, this creates added value and urgency.
- Exercises! Let them know that their results are dependent on VERY specific exercises that they really must do if they want great results. And that you will show them those exercises that evening. So you could simply say, “Listen we give our Fast Track to Health Talk Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm. It is required that you come sometime before your first re evaluation which leaves three opportunities between now and then. This information is so critical it literally could save you and your loved ones lives….truly, I am not kidding! I find the people who come get better faster and spend less money on me.
Would you like to get better faster and spend less money on me? Great, this evening is so important that I will literally bribe you to come. As you know your first re evaluation is $80. If you make it to the evening before your first re evaluation the entire cost of the re evaluation is on me. I will literally pay for it. Sound good? Great, part of the evening is a workshop. You will be paired up with another and it is really best to do this with your spouse, can you make sure that he comes? Good. Sally will sign you and your spouse up; I know you will both really enjoy it.” You will notice all along the way I was checking in and getting agreement.
From a “Cialdini” perspective I want the patient to sign themselves up for the talk vs. having my CA sign them up. Check out Influence: The psychology of persuasion and see the section on “Consistency.” Another one I heard recently which I really liked went something like,“ Mary you can see that you have 80 visits where in essence you will be lying down. You also have another visit where you will be sitting up. This is one of the most important visits you have because we will help you get a much better understanding of what is going on and specific things you can do to help yourself not only get better faster and spend less money, but we will also address things you can do to quit recreating health problems in the future. It is required that you come to this visit sometime between now and your first re-evaluation which means you have four different times you can come…”I like this a lot because it really is just another visit that of course they need to make it to.
Obviously there are a million ways to do this. Take the pieces that you like and make it work for you. Role play with your staff, get them psyched and motivated and get out there and save some lives!! If they are resistant or won’t commit to come to a talk I will simply ask them if they like the idea of getting better faster, spending less time and less money on me. I will be very aware of their “DISC” and if I have an idea of their “values,” now is the time to open the door and communicate in their arena.(Consider taking the behavioral analysis D.I.S.C. and P.I.A.V. Values courses.) I will remind them of what they want out of working with me, i.e. they want to surf again or sleep through the night, and I will let them know how important I feel the class is for them to achieve these results. I may even ask them how they plan on achieving these results if they are not willing to take the time to better understand the process they are embarking on. Remember no need for scare tactics; simply tell them the truth and consequences of their actions as you see them, that is part of what they are paying you for.
The point here is I am not trying to coerce them to do something that is not for their best interests, but I am trying to speak to the “what about me” part of them so that they understand that this is for their best interests. Here is a great point that a client and mentor of mine Dr. Acanfora pointed out after reading this article. If a patient says they don’t have time to come in here is Dr. Acanfora’s response: Mary, I understand how you feel, others have felt the same way too. What we have found is that patients who see the importance in attending the HCC/FTH learn that they can get the best possible results, in the shortest period of time and spend less money. The “feel”, “felt” & “found” is the important add-on to the already powerful info.
If they simply cannot make it on Wednesday nights, and it is a legitimate reason,I will either ask them to get a group of family and friends together and I will come and give a private talk just for them on a different evening, or I will give them a video of the talk to watch.
Get clear about why you give your talks, why it is important to you the doctor and to them the patient.
Make sure you are delivering a great talk and tell them to come. If you feel resistance around any of these issues talk to me and let’s clear them up.
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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.