In our opinion and experience, this statement applies to more than just your “life”. On a smaller scale, it applies to your relationships … including the “Doctor-Patient” relationship. As a matter of fact, right at the beginning of that relationship (in the consultation) there are some very pertinent questions you can be asking.
This week we are covering an aspect of another of the 6 Key Areas of Business Development. After we have done some effective “Lead Generation” and attracted a person into our office, we refer to that person as a “prospect”. Not to sound too sales-ish, but remember they are NOT yet a “patient”! We don’t yet know if/how we can help them. And they, certainly, haven’t fully decided if chiropractic is for them. So, the systems and language we use during this visit should reflect this fact.
The next step, then, is the “Lead Conversion” process. By conversion we mean this: we connect well with the prospect. We establish that they ARE, indeed, a chiropractic candidate. Then, we present chiropractic and our recommendations in such a way that they say YES! … They want to be a PATIENT, they DO want to start care, they ARE willing to invest, etc.
So, let’s focus on something we call the 3 “Magic” Questions that we make a part of the consultation … the first conversation we likely have with a prospect who is in our office inquiring about chiropractic care.
After we have introduced our self and the prospect has shared a little about themselves, ask them one of the most important questions you can ask them during your consultation. The most important question to ask during this time is, “What do you enjoy doing most when you’re not working?”
If he/she is not working, (i.e. retired), ask the patient, “What do you enjoy doing most… in life? Or, if they are in school, “What do you enjoy doing most when you’re not in school?
Asking these questions is the first step to give the patient an opportunity to understand that pain has a way of creating a void in their life. Once they understand this, they will put more value on your care.
Later in the consultation, once you’ve completed discussing their chief complaints, and begin discussing activities during which they experience difficulty or pain,” ask the prospect the 2nd of the Magic 3 Questions…
“What is the pain keeping you from doing that’s most important in your life?” If you need to, rephrase it and ask “What is the pain interfering with that is most important in your life?”
Give the patient a moment to think about this question. Chances are they’ve never really
considered the impact the pain has had on some of the most important things in their life. Give them a moment to answer. If they’re not sure of what you have just asked because no other Doctor has ever taken the time to ask that question, then ask it again… a little bit differently.
If you need to discuss what studies show, let them know things like one study indicated that people waited, on average, 15 years before seeking help for their headaches. Wow! Apparently, patients won’t seek professional help until the pain they are experiencing starts preventing or interfering with something important in their life.
“What most important things in your life is the present pain keeping you from doing?” Often times, the answer will be something like “I just deal with it. It doesn’t stop me from doing anything.” Then rephrase your question with, “Let me rephrase that. What is most important to you that this condition (i.e. your lower back pain) is keeping you from ENJOYING as much as you would like?”
Once they answer, move right onto the 3rd and final Magic Question, which is simply “What else?”
This simple question allows you to probe deeper into the patient’s life to find out what’s really most important to them. Again, remember, you are trying to discover the value you and chiropractic can add to this patient’s life. These questions will help you do just that.
Once you uncover their key value, you will have a better chance of demonstrating how chiropractic is valuable to THEM. Remember: their value and yours may not be the same! Many DC’s have a challenge converting prospects because they come from only their own value system. They value health, wellness, living at their “maximum”, or living free of nerve interference. Yet, a prospect may have no understanding of any of those … yet. So, get on THEIR page right from the start in the consultation. Meet them where they are. Ask quality questions. THAT will help make your PATIENT CONVERSION process great!