How Understanding Feelings Relates to a Successful Practice

By: Susan Hoy, CA

I truly believe that life is a series of lessons. Every so often, a lesson that has been working on you finally breaks through. It’s like struggling with an algebra concept, and suddenly you smack your forehead and say “I get it!” Once the concept is learned, it seems so simple. Suddenly, your growth circle is expanded. You put the concept away and another lesson is at work. No one should ever stop learning and growing. You are never too old, too young, too smart or too dumb to learn a valuable lesson. The more you learn, the more others will recognize your value.

Recently, I had one of those “smack myself on the head” revelations. It suddenly occurred to me that all of our desires, everything that we are working toward, everything that we want, boil down to feelings. What most of us are looking for in life is a feeling.

For instance, if I buy an expensive suit, it isn’t the suit I’m after, it is the feeling I have when I wear it. If I want a new car, I want the feeling that a new car can bring. If I want a better social life, I am looking for a sense of belonging and acceptance. We all want great relationships, because we all want to love and feel loved.

It is imperative to understand your patients’ motives, in order to give them the feelings that will bring them back to your office and keep them as lifetime patients. You must be able to look at your office through the new patient’s eyes.

I began looking at new patients in a different way. What feeling is the caller looking for when contacting our office that will make him schedule an appointment? I do not believe he is looking for the lowest price; that is just the first question that comes to mind for lack of a better question. This person is ultimately looking for someone to care for him. He is looking for a healthcare practitioner who can give him the feeling of trust and confidence. Even the most powerful person wants to put his health in competent hands. Being sick and in pain is a very frightening and helpless feeling. When a new patient commits to treatment, he is putting his health in your hands. Health is your patients’ most important possession, and you must treat it accordingly.

It is, therefore, our most important task to give the potential patient the feeling he is looking for. Not lower prices, but value. Not quick treatment, but thorough treatment. Not pain relief, but lifetime commitment to health. It may seem like he wants to take control, but he desperately wants to give up control. Most patients are looking for a healthcare partnership.

I will equate this to looking for a person to take over your retirement account. That IRA is almost as important to you as your health. You will be far less secure if you grow old without either of these things. You certainly would not give up control of either of these possessions, but you need a knowledgeable partner. Someone you can trust to help you and be your advisor. Is it any different when choosing a healthcare provider?

If you want your patient to give up control and put his health in your hands, you have to earn it, just like Smith Barney does! You have to give him the feeling he is searching for. It all starts with that first phone call. The phone call and first visit is critical! If your new patients are not completing care, then you are not giving them the feeling they desire and it is time to reevaluate your procedures! If you give your patient belief and confidence during the first visit, the hard part is over. You are well on your way to a lifetime commitment and partnership. Now, isn’t that the feeling YOU want?

Creating the right feelings should not be left to chance; your techniques must be perfected. Just ask a real estate sales person or the advertising executive if he thinks this is important. They are experts at eliciting the feelings that are connected to selling their products and services. Your office is no different: you, too, are selling a service. The difference is that your service is caring for your patient’s most valued possession: his health.

You and your staff must be experts in giving the right feelings in the following areas:

  1. The initial phone call to your office. The caller must be given Belief and Confidence immediately. Producing the feeling that this office sounds professional and they believe in themselves. I want to go there.
  1. The first visit starts when the patient opens your office door. The first minute is the most important time you will ever have with a patient. That huge responsibility is left entirely to your staff. (No need to say more about the importance of your staff training!) Eliciting the feeling that “I feel better already,” just in knowing I found the right Chiropractor!
  1. Your report of findings must elicit the feeling of total care. The holistic concept. In actuality, you want to be the primary care physician. They will not pay cash unless you can deliver the goods. The resulting feeling is that this is a doctor I can trust and I am excited about the care I will receive here!
  1. Walk your talk. Deliver what you promise. You only will be given a few visits to prove your value. You cannot afford to waste time. In a few short visits you must make your patient Believe in you, you must generate Enthusiasm and excitement about his return to health, you must Educate your patient, and you must Focus on him as if he were your only patient.

When you and your entire staff are successful with these B.E.E.F. IT UP concepts, the result will be in creating the feelings of enthusiasm and excitement in your patient. Your patient will be thinking, “I can’t wait to tell my family and friends about this place!” Success will be yours.