May 28 2014

LISTEN TO THE QUIET . . .

Small business owners, doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants, and sales reps…

 

It’s all about what you DON’T say!

 

It’s what you don’t say that makes a sale, that brings in new patients and clients and customers. Try sharing this bit of wisdom with any fast-talk car dealership or mattress store (the most distrusted U.S. businesses) then step back to get laughed at… which, all by itself, should be sufficient to convince you.

It’s true that being on the sales end of the spectrum in any given conversation, presentation, meeting, or conference, carries with it the responsibility to pay attention more, listen more, and shut up more! I’m not always smart enough to DO it, but I try because I think the old axiom that we should listen 80% of the time and talk 20% is true!

Besides forcing me to listen more carefully, the 80/20 formula enables me to be more patient with others and myself. It also prompts me to be more concise, more to the point — we inevitably choose our words and examples more carefully when we do take our 20% slice of a discussion.

People buy from knowledgeable people who excel at active listening. We like to hear –or at least I do– about what we don’t know when we ask for it but, Boy! I really resent the intrusion on my time and mindset by those who flaunt it when I plain just don’t care? Talk does not cook rice!

Oh, and how about those who simply pay no attention to my verbal, facial, and body language signals? How do they miss my scowls, my squinted or rapidly-blinking eyes, my folded arms and jittery feet? Ah, then there are those who stare dumbly into space, or at my shirt collar, shoes or hair (or lack of), or their own hands or feet?

Or, yikes!… their wristwatch!

How many times have you—as a prospective customer/patient/client—been scared off by a know-it-all sales rep/ doctor/ lawyer/ accountant/ consultant? You know the type. “Everything is under control, my friend” (not a particularly ingratiating line from a friend I’ve never met). The great sales asset of genuine empathy is an entirely different matter.

Perhaps you’ve heard someone tell you: “Don’t worry. Be happy.” Worse yet, that was the song my former CPA played on his outgoing phone message. After producing an April 14th “minor” ($10,000) “IRS payment that needs to be paid with tomorrow’s taxes,” you’ll surely understand why I referred to him as “former.”

Instead of hearing and responding directly to my purchase interests and concerns, I get tons of information I don’t care about. And how much do you love token, dismissive head nods offered as pathetic attempts to pretend to be listening, but serving instead as a “yes but” lead-in to the next round of information dumping? Can you hear me now?

Oh, and to underscore the point, many in-person information overload spiels are accompanied by the spieler paying more attention to whom or whatever is going on behind me (or being more tuned into a blinking smartphone). And only heaven knows the distractions that keep telemarketers telemarketing.

Dynamics like these always make it tempting to ask:

“Uh, did you hear anything I just said?”

But I just walk away or hang up. How many of your prospective customers, clients, patients just walk away, or hang up?

C’mon, people! If you’re in sales, or healthcare, or law, or consulting, and you can’t get it together enough to listen attentively enough to prospective customers, patients, or clients, and be able to address their needs, go work for your nearby automobile or mattress dealer. You’ll fit right in.

# # #

Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US  or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

 

One response so far

May 10 2014

Healthcare Leadership Can Mean Only One Thing…

Healthcare Leadership Can Mean

                                                                        

Only One Thing… and it’s NOT

                                                                                                                                     

Obamacare or “Lean” Management

 

Thirty years of healthcare and medical practice-development have led me to conclude that some doctors, many therapists and most nurses get it! They understand that healthcare and healthcare leadership is personal, professional and passionate.

Sadly, a great many healthcare business executives and a good number of providers have sidetracked themselves into thinking that HEALTHCARE is all about slogans, smiling doctor billboards, malpractice insurance fees and reimbursement battles.

Reckless opinionated media “reporting” has drawn healthcare providers and business managers into a tangle of confusion. Talking heads thrive on using every opportunity to convolute issues, stir up doubt, be confrontational, and aggrandize politicians who support their network bosses and stockholders. It’s all a game, and we the people are losing.

Increasingly, government political (and more quietly, insurance company) empty suits are playing God. They are continually trying to convince the world that they are answering the call for qualified healthcare leadership. They, after all, proclaim to know more than we do about what diagnostic, treatment, and doctor choice decisions are best for each of us and our families.

They can live in Nevada and pretend to understand what healthcare is about in New Jersey or Tennessee or Maine. I don’t think so! They’re just protecting their own political profiles, pursuits and plans. And many top healthcare executives simply add fuel to the fire by talking and acting like healthcare is simply a maze of administrative or operational management techniques, methods, or styles that they alone have the answers to.

Well, guess what? Reality Check:

HEALTHCARE IS ABOUT PEOPLE!

You’re healthy, you want to stay healthy. You’re sick, you want to get healthy. That’s it! What part of “get and stay healthy” is so hard to understand?

What are all these other hocus-pocus theories, political scams, new tech apps, insurance deals, Congressional posturing, and media “findings” but diversionary tactics? Is it or is it not “dancing around the issues” in an attempt to look good, or to make money, or to win votes . . . instead of just sitting down and solving the damn problem?

Healthcare professionals justifiably rely heavily on emerging technology and associated improvements in methodologies like the Lean” management fad. But (and this is a big but) . . . BUT these are only tools. In the wrong hands, even a hammer can miss driving nails.

The bottom line is that leadership in healthcare

means stepping up to more than a diagnostic or

treatment provider role. It means having an

Advocacy Attitude . . . being on the patient’s side!

Imagine if every encounter a patient or patient family had with a healthcare provider could be –as was recently noted here in exemplary fashion by Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute provider and provider support staffers– a remarkable, high-five, bend-over-backwards experience . . . professional providers and caregivers acting like advocates on behalf of each patient and family!

Imagine if every patient and patient family could be trained in advance of every provider diagnostic or treatment exam to better manage anxiety. My best guess is that 3-4 minutes of every doctor exam are consumed with getting the patient to relax. With a 12-minute per patient insurance company limit imposed on the doctor in order to be reimbursed, that leaves 8-9 minutes to diagnose or treat . . . none of which ordinarily go well when distress is present. This is not rocket science. It is not a Madison Avenue branding campaign. It is not politics. It is reality.

Done correctly, these solutions cost nothing but initial investments in time and energy and perhaps some coaching. What’s the expected result? More accurate diagnostic readings and better receptivity to treatments. Happier patients and patient families (whose testimonials to others increase volume and referrals), improved staff teamwork, happier provider and staff and their families (who benefit from “take home” method values). Even happier insurance providers.

So, if skills, training and experience are all present, the “tipping point” factor comes full circle back to, yes, bedside manners!

 

It’s the “CARE” in HEALTHCARE!

 

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Hal@Businessworks.US    931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Apr 16 2014

HEALTHCARE PROS’ MONEY WOES

Healthcare Pros STILL

 

Flushing Money Down the Drain!

 

Thanks for your visit. We have recently relocated to Cookeville Tennessee (between Nashville and Knoxville), home of Tennessee Tech University. Return here often for new posts in this series for Doctorpreneurs©and Healthcare professionals.

 

Why not just open the window and throw your money out? Why bother spending it on meaningless, confused thinking about marketing? Why keep feeding the nonperformance of media, mobile apps, direct mail magazines and newsletters, social media and, oh yes, outdoor advertising? Can we look at this open-mindedly?

The business and sports worlds have fed your fires since childhood that you must be competitive at all costs in order to win… that’s 100% false for healthcare professionals! In fact, many healthcare pros have marketing success expectations as unrealistic as imagining that a heart attack can be treated with a BandAid®

REALITY: No one “buys” billboards with smiling doctor faces (or, even worse, the recent trend toward somber looks!). Most people are not so stupid as to think that hospital “magazines” and “newsletters” with feature (dressed-up PR) stories are interesting or meaningful enough to be worth reading. My guess is that –other than the few and far between genuine healthcare educational mailing pieces– most of these exorbitantly expensive items go straight to the recycle pail. All this nonsense came and went thirty years ago. [Interesting how America’s healthcare institutions are accelerating these feeble old-fashioned attempts at marketing. Is it some kind of knee-jerk attempt to cope with the Obamacare muddle?]

BOTTOM LINE: No one cares! The public simply doesn’t care how great hospitals, doctors, therapists (or any professionals for that matter) think they are! Healthcare consumers may have more (and more personal) issues on the line than other kinds of consumers, but they really and truly only care about the same thing that every consumer cares most about: What’s in it for me? Period.

So if you’ve read this far, perhaps it would be useful to explore and reassess your current “marketing” practices, and decide if your money could be better spent on strengthening patient, patient family, and referral network relations. If you’re looking for a role model institution, consider the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center… you’ll find no shallow representations of professional skills… “Treatment” is their specialty, and it applies to everyone who enters their doors. Oh, and guess what? The only expense is training and training maintenance time.

Marketing –if it’s done right– might sometimes succeed at building brand loyalty for some products and services in some markets and marketplaces. But when the two end-results people seek most from healthcare professionals are 1) Reassurance and 2) Trust, it’s not likely either will ever be achieved with empty images or promises.

Doctorpreneurs© Copyright Hal Alpiar, 1994. All rights reserved.
BandAid® is a Registered Trademark of the Johnson & Johnson Company

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Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Dec 09 2013

Build Your Referral Base NOW!

“Huh? Now? But it’s the holidays!”

                                                                              

“Well, Merry Christmas to you! But

                                                                         

after quality family time, remember

                                                                            

1st quarter 2014 is just hours away.”

 

Why “NOW!”? Just click here: take a quick look at this to see what’s happening this very split second —as you read this— and you’ll realize that delaying this task is simply not in your best interest.

Getting others to refer you/your business is more than a survival tactic, it’s the key to 2014 success. No sales are more important right now than those to the friends, families, associates and online connections of your existing customers, clients, and patients. Because 2014 is bringing increased competitive activity to the surface. And it cannot be sidestepped.

The harder the times, the fiercer the battle! And the easiest, most economical path to increased sales and customer/ client/ patient repeat-sales-and-visits loyalty is a strengthened referral base. Economical? You decide. It costs nothing to delight those who purchase from you.

Cease and desist all marketing? No. But don’t expand it. Instead, consider shifting gears from reliance on expensive media, to fine-tuning attitudes and cultivating a much more pronounced reputation for integrity than you probably imagined being necessary. 

THIS post will get you started with

a business or practice volume boost

agenda that you will never get from

a business or medicine world insider

~~~~~~~

“Referral Marketing” is NOT (Note: car dealerships!) flooding rented mailing lists with dumb direct mail solicitations (like “Bring this key to our car store to see if you win” while our salespeople swarm all over you . . .). Oh, and DOCTORS: Bringing popcorn, candy and subs to referring physician offices is equally dumb. It may get some Ooohs and Ahhhs from other doctors’ staffs, but effective FREE marketing, done professionally, is what will bring increased patient referrals to your door!   

Here’s what it’s really all about: marketing is both external (websites, signage, traditional and social media, direct mail and email, promotions, advertising, merchandising items, PR events and news releases), and internal.

Internal (which is free) combined with news releases and most PR events (which are free) is the most effective marketing. I refer to it as “Quiet” marketing. It includes such things as the appearance of your and your staff’s personal selves –neat, clean clothes, scrubbed look– as well as your office, vehicles, and waiting areas . . . plus the manner in which communications are conducted . . . on paper, online, in person, and on the phone.

This means active listening 80% of the time — backed by clear simple speech, using examples and diagrams, soliciting questions and feedback, and applying this attentiveness to not just patients and customers, patient and customer families, your own staff, and associates — but to others as well.

Internal Marketing includes your entire inner ring of contacts. For doctors, it includes other doctors, nurses, your professional advisors (lawyers, accountants, consultants), as well as pharmacists, insurance providers, suppliers, detail reps, and –guess what?– your office cleaning and delivery people too!

BUSINESS OWNERS need to apply this thinking to every person and organization your business does business with, from paper and cleaning supply providers to snowplow and landscaping services, and every single delivery person!

WHY? Because they are ALL prospective customers and referrers

Quiet marketing also includes paying careful attention to the frequency and quality of communications with those in your networking resource and referral systems, and to your SELF. Why? Because Quiet marketing success at any level has most of all to do with how you conduct and represent yourself to others!

This translates to how you walk, talk, sit, stand, listen, touch, gesture, and treat everyone around you every day. These actions add up to the statement you make about who you really are, and why you are trustworthy of the confidences and care of others.

Remember: It’s all about every blink you blink!

Someone is watching your every move and noting

your every word, and . . . Perceptions are facts!

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Hal@Businessworks.US

Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Oct 20 2013

MEDICAL GROUP MANAGEMENT NOW!

Healthcare Management Problems

                                     

Go Far Beyond Technology Tangles

 

Thanks to what many doctors regard as excessive and medically-uninformed government intervention, excessive and medically-uninformed insurance company intrusion, and financially inept hospital consolidations, America’s private and hospital-based medical practices are suffering from excessive (and medically-unacknowledged) stress.

Doctors and Staffs find themselves having to be caught up with power-play control battles instead of with innovating and nurturing methodologies for improved case management and patient care. This is not a condemnation of medical technology advances by any means. It is in fact an endorsement for more tech exploration while simultaneously getting back to basics.

Positive stress enables healthcare managers to answer the wake-up call for effective practice management to realistically occur on two fronts at the same time. EMR and EHR systems and skills represent focal point one. Case management, patient care, and patient family care, focal point two.

But negative stress (or “dis-stress”) surfaces when one of these (like, for example, the current fad for dedicated insistence on “lean” healthcare) enslaves the other.

Relentless interruptions of non medically-trained government and insurance regulators who seek to satisfy their self-importance at the expense of doctor, staff, and patient stress levels, have the same effect as throwing gasoline on a fire.

Whether rulings require doctors to spend just 12 minutes per patient (likely headed toward 8 minutes!), or to conduct patient gun ownership surveys, the result is negative stress.

Negative stress feeds medical errors. It takes its toll on the lives of trained professionals and their families. Often, patients and patient families suffer needlessly because of mixed or contradictory signals lost in busy day-to-day clouds of smoke.

Even monster teaching hospitals, including the highest-rated in the country, fail miserably at basic communication skill levels. Doctors don’t talk with one another. They are too pressured to take the time to advocate on behalf of the very patients they serve.  And –worst of all– they fail to communicate with their patients and patient families meaningfully and consistently.

Practice Managers get the short end of the stick.

My best guess: Most Practice Managers end up absorbing 3/4 of all the stress generated by the madness of keeping Herculean time schedules, by catering to the administrative needs of the doctors they serve, by managing the daily barrage of staff, task and insurance management issues, and by having to deliver “customer service psychotherapy” to patients and families.

There are solutions, but they are not one-dimensional. Healthcare can never have universal value unless those charged as providers can have the freedom they need to function without constant government interference and insurance company strangleholds.

The first step to fixing a leak is to stop the leak. This means making extraordinary efforts to channel stress productively and to commit to implementing improved personal communications.  CHECK OUT  Medical Practice Managers

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Hal@Businessworks.US

Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Jul 27 2013

Business Owners/Operators and Managers

Innovators: KEEP OUT!!!

I’ve been called an entrepreneurship evangelist. I’ve worked with thousands of doctors, business owners/operators and managers, market innovators and entrepreneurial thinkers. Like most, I’ve spent a lifetime taking (reasonable) risks, rejecting authority, breaking rules, and regularly working long into the night,

And I developed a nothing-is-taboo attitude[So don’t tell me what to stay away from!]

But — what’s the old saying?– “The truth will (win) out!” And my experience says that the truth is if we are to make a success of  business, professional practice, career, and life pursuits, we need to set success goals that include what to avoid, as leaders, as people.

My top 7 suggestions of what to avoid and why:

KEEP OUT of jail. Let’s face it. There’s not much of anything positive or worthwhile to be had, or add to your resume, by being in jail. Yes, a handful of inmates out of millions might learn a life lesson or two, but jail is hardly a breeding ground for success at any level. So, stay away from it. Question your motives before you act or speak.

KEEP OUT of courtrooms (unless you’re a lawyer). Courtrooms can be just a stress notch away from jail. The attached anxieties alone are enough to topple years of hard work and good intentions. You may think that courtroom appearances are not always your choice, but if you don’t choose to initiate a legal event, you do choose to set yourself up or put yourself in position that could lead you there. No it’s not always avoidable, but much of it is. Bottom line: Can your business afford for you to put business time, energy, and funds into a pursuit that’s not your business?

KEEP OUT of doctors’ and lawyers’ offices (unless you’re a doctor or lawyer). If you are constantly and consciously choosing to live a healthy lifestyle, you can often avoid doctors and minimize  situations beyond routine healthcare.

Remember that once a doctor sends you to another specialist, you are IN THE SYSTEM, and the most tenacious efforts to escape it’s time and money-consuming clutches rarely succeed. For the same high stress reasons to avoid jail and courtrooms, choose to minimize lawyer visits and limit them to essential  occurrences and preventive maintenance.

KEEP OUT of hospitals (unless you work for one). Contrary to the onslaught of misguided hospital marketing that blankets this country, hospitals do NOT spawn good health. They treat those who no longer have good health, and –in many documented cases– actually contribute to the exacerbation of ill health. This is not to question professional dedication or skills. It is simply a reminder to strive for life directions that have the best odds of helping you avoid hospitals.

KEEP OUT of hiding places (unless you’re playing hide-and-go-seek with the kids) when it’s time for family and church and community. These are the times that define you and what you’re all about as a human being.

KEEP OUT of fights (unless you’re a boxer). Disagreements can be healthy, but disagreements require self-vigilance to prevent them from accelerating to the point of getting out of control. Anger, mean-spiritedness and grudges can ONLY work against you and quickly become the undoing of all you’ve worked so hard at to put together.

KEEP OUT of nonproductive relationships (unless you’re a shrink or a cop and your career calls for engagement). In other words, stay around positive-minded people as much as possible and pursue opportunities to surround yourself with others who consistently demonstrate positive, upbeat attitudes. This: will come back to help you!

 

# # #

Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

No responses yet

Feb 16 2013

Is Obamacare Killing Healthcare?

Doctors know where they’ve been

                                                                                     

but they don’t know

                                                                         

where they’re going!

 

Today’s medical professionals are strapped to a rudderless ship at sea that’s being sucked into a raging storm.

Some politicos would have us believe that the scandalous fifteen-thousand-page Obamacare program (and when, by the way, was the last time anyone you know read 15,000 pages of anything?!) need not be such a shocking insult to healthcare consumers because after all, it helps “less fortunate” people to get medical care.

Steamrollered through an inept Congress, Obamacare appears to have little if anything to do with the realities of healthcare. Instead, Obamacare hints at having everything to do with the crippling economic and personal freedom limitations brought on by the relentless White House pursuit of dictating increased government controls on American lives.

The end result? We will definitely end up with fewer competent physicians.

And those who remain will clearly not be providing adequate care –regardless of competency–  because of the restrictions Obamacare piles on top of the restrictions already imposed on them that limit their ability to deliver meaningful health services.

But computerization is what tightens the noose around healthcare necks, some say. Not so. The mismanagement and misappropriation of administrative computerization advances by interfering and uninformed government misfits and ignorant insurance providers is what is at the root of today’s healthcare delivery shortcomings.

The de-humanizing of humanizing services is the characterization that uninformed and manipulative individuals, agencies, and organizations have wrought as they’ve twisted administrative computerization advances into shortcut invasions of patient and physician privacy. Have we lost even having thoughts of human dignity?

When “DOCTOR’S ORDERS” becomes “DOCTORS ORDERS” (as in orders issued to doctors by the White House) to conduct patient gun ownership surveys to build a bigger “Big-Brother-Watching” database universe designed to gain yet more government control, do you think this might possibly get just a bit in the way of doctors performing healthcare services?

Of course EMR (electronic medical records) and EHR (electronic health records) have succeeded at putting patient care over paper care. But are these important advances enough to be really helping doctors to know where they’re going?

And the Internet has fully armed healthcare consumers to be better prepared to understand and manage their own healthcare issues, to be more informed about diagnostics and treatments, and to work more productively with their doctors. But are these advances enough to be able to really help doctors to know where they’re going?

The whole lean organization, lean management fad (where did Quality Circles go?) may be a solution, but is not THE solution. It is simply a band-aid acknowledgement that things have gotten so bad, we can no longer afford for the physician to spare a minute or two extra with each patient and patient family to help heal, and help ensure and reassure a sense of well-being.

More dollars are saved. Care is more efficient. But –at the ultimate point of care– doctors don’t get to spend more time with their patients, so is this increased efficiency really enough to help doctors know where they’re going?

Being preoccupied with efficiency necessitates lower levels of individual healthcare delivery. And last time I looked, healthcare was a profession dedicated to individual care. Perhaps it’s time to redefine the word “care”? The bottom line is that doctors are literally trapped.

Adherence to rules and regulations designed to increase control over their skills and abilities to earn livings commensurate with their training and societal value is squashing the very lifeblood out of healthcare. And Obamacare will surface as the culprit when it’s too late to matter — unless enough small business owners and practice administrators and doctors start to make waves

. . . NOW.

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0911

Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Jan 31 2013

MEDICAL PRACTICE UNCERTAINTIES

Healthcare Management Problems

                                     

Go Far Beyond Technology Tangles

 

Thanks to what many doctors regard as excessive and medically-uninformed government intervention, and excessive and medically-uninformed insurance company intrusion, America’s private and hospital-based medical practices are suffering from excessive and medically-unacknowledged stress.

They find themselves having to be caught up in blood-curdling power play control battles instead of with innovating and nurturing methodologies for improved case management and patient care. This is not a condemnation of medical technology advances by any means. It is in fact an endorsement for more tech exploration while simultaneously getting back to basics.

Positive stress enables healthcare managers to answer the wake-up call for effective practice management to realistically occur on two fronts at the same time. EMR and EHR systems and skills represent focal point one. Case management, patient care, and patient family care, focal point two. But negative stress (or “dis-stress”) surfaces when one of these enslaves the other.

Relentless interruptions of non medically-trained government and insurance regulators seeking to satisfy their self-importance at the expense of doctor, staff, and patient stress levels, has the same effect as throwing gas on a fire. Whether rulings require doctors to spend just 12 minutes per patient, or to conduct patient gun ownership surveys, the result is negative stress.

Negative stress feeds medical errors, and takes its toll on the lives of trained professionals and their families. Often, patients and patient families suffer needlessly because of mixed or contradictory signals lost in busy day-to-day clouds of smoke.

Even monster teaching hospitals, including the highest-rated in the country, fail miserably at basic communication skill levels. Doctors don’t talk with one another. They are too pressured to take the time to advocate on behalf of the very patients they serve.  And –worst of all– they fail to communicate with their patients and patient families meaningfully and consistently.

Practice managers get the short end of the stick. My guess is that most end up absorbing 3/4 of all the stress generated by the mad rush for maintaining Herculean time schedules, by catering to the administrative needs of the doctors they serve, and by managing the daily barrage of staff, task and insurance management issues, plus catering to patient and family requests.

There are solutions, but they are not one-dimensional. Healthcare can never have universal value unless those charged as providers can have the freedom they need to function without constant government interference and insurance company strangleholds.

The first step to fixing a leak is to stop the leak. This means making extraordinary efforts to channel stress productively and to commit to implementing improved personal communications.  CHECK OUT  Medical Practice Managers

# # #

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Hal@Businessworks.US    302.933.0911

Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

No responses yet

May 15 2012

MISREPRESENTATION

Don’t try to be

                              

something you’re not!

                                                    

A good many over-zealous entrepreneurs (are there any other kind?) seem to think that the solution to their financial woes is to try to be all things to everyone…”Whaddever ya need, we got it!” I heard a small business owner say recently, and he wasn’t talking about one type or category of products or services. He meant, literally, that he could provide ANYthing.

Well, of course he couldn’t really do that, but he was ready to pounce on any opportunity to make a buck — willing to stand on his head and spit wooden nickles if he thought it would part you with the money in your pocket. A huckster? Not really. He was simply misunderstanding that those who purport to be jacks of all trades are no longer credible or desirable in today’s world.

When economic times get tough,

dig in, don’t spread out!

                                                  

People want knowledgeable, reputable, professional specialists –doctors, plumbers, teachers, builders, most retailers, consultants, lawyers, manufacturers, online businesses, et al. Most of us save up to deal with fly-by-night generalist businesses for when we’re on vacation and expect to get “taken” by those who cater to tourists . . . but not the rest of the year!

It’s easy and tempting to jump on a customer request when it’s not something that’s really up your alley if you’re expenses are dragging you closer to the brink of desperation than your income can comfortably offset. It’s easy and tempting, but it’s also stupid! In the end, trying to be all things to all people will turn around and slap you in the face . . . or kick your butt!

Force yourself to stop and think about what YOU want when YOU are on the buying end. If that’s not enough to turn your brain around, remember the old  Miracle On 34th Street Christmas movie storyline about how much the Macy’s Santa does for Macy’s by sending customers that Macy’s had no ability to serve to Macy’s competitor, Gimbels.

That’s not just some fantasy Christmas movie. There are millions of similar dynamic incidents that drive successful entrepreneurial enterprises today. What people want from you is trust. They want honesty. They want you to help them solve a problem, not try to sell them something they don’t need or want. Should you send everyone to your competitor? Of course not.

But customers don’t want to deal with a business that pretends to have the answer to their dreams because it represents a “quick buck” opportunity. Professional salespeople know this. Many entrepreneurs do not, and continue to try being something they’re not. Bottom line? People are not stupid. They know when a business owner is pretending.

The best solution is authenticity. It wins more business in a minute than years of make-believe.

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Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

 

 

2 responses so far

Jan 05 2012

“DOCTOR BUSINESS”© (2 of 2)

How To Boost Healthcare

 

Practice Volume NOW!

 

Hi Doc! You’re back? [See yesterday’s post for Part I] Well, that’s great because THIS post will get you started with a practice volume boost agenda that you will never get from a medicine world insider

~~~~~~~

 

“Marketing” is a reflection of society. YOUR marketing is a reflection of you and what you are really all about. So it’s important to keep in mind that marketing is both external (websites, signage, traditional and social media, direct mail and email, promotions, PR events and news releases, and internal.

Internal is the most effective. I refer to it as “Quiet” marketing. It includes such things as the appearance of your personal self–neat, clean clothes and a scrubbed look, your office and waiting room, your equipment and staff, and the manner in which communications are conducted . . . on paper, online, in person, and on the phone.

This means active listening, clear simple speech, using examples and diagrams, soliciting questions and feedback, and applying this attentiveness to not just patients, patient families, staff, and associates — but to other doctors and nurses, lawyers, pharmacists, insurance providers, suppliers, detail reps, even cleaning and delivery people.

Quiet marketing also includes paying careful attention to the frequency and quality of communications with those in your networking resource and referral systems, and to your SELF. Why? Because Quiet marketing success at any level has most of all to do with how you conduct and represent yourself to others!

This translates to how you walk, talk, sit, stand, listen, touch, gesture, and treat everyone around you every day.

These actions add up to the statement you make about who you really are, and why you are trustworthy of the confidences and care of others.

Remember: someone is watching your every move, and noting your every word.

                                                          

Effective marketing also requires consistency in looks, words, color schemes, traditional and online media use, branding theme identification. [You don;t need an “I’m lovin’ it” slogan or any less-than-professional statement, but some appropriate identity that patients can relate to is essential]

Your marketing messages surface through observations of your interior and exterior office decor, your business and appointment reminder cards, stationery and uniforms, promotional literature, educational talk materials, ads, signs, merchandising items, online content and access to you, newsletters, and news releases.

All of what you do and the message you seek to project must be absolutely and strongly reinforced by your staff in everything they do and say with every office contact, every minute, every day. No exceptions.

Professionalism in the eyes of a patient means more than training and skills. It includes appearances as noted and–most critically– professional empathy and reassurance skills . . . because every patient and potential patient (regardless of pretenses) is literally filled with fear. Fear is very real to 99% of the population.

Perceptions are facts.

What we perceive is what we believe.

And Perceptions + Performance = Referrals.
 

# # #

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Hal@Businessworks.US    931-854-0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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