Posted on 13:51, August 28th, 2014 by Alan Gifford MS, Practice Coach
Sometimes patients stop coming to see you for the strangest reasons. Understanding how to re-engage inactive patients can help smooth out the highs and lows and create a steady revenue stream in your practice.
What are the 5 steps you need to take?
Over the years, patients come and go from your practice. Some may have seen your treatments as a short-term solution, while others didn’t see the results they wanted.
Either way, understanding how to re-engage old patients is important to running a successful private practice. They were a patient once, all they need is the right incentive to become one again!
1. Provide Incentives
A general economic principle is that people respond to incentives. People are constantly weighing the costs vs. benefits of the decisions they make. To encourage previous patients to come back, you have to tip the cost:benefit scale in your favor. One way to do this is to provide them with a discount. For example, offer various discount packages that can accommodate the patient’s needs. Perhaps if a patient purchases 5 sessions at the full price, offer the 6th session for free. Offer a special service to all previous patients, or a discounted monthly wellness session rate. If they refer a friend to your practice, give your referring patient the next session free. You can also encourage patients to bring a friend, a significant other, or even a first date! At the very least, being different will help you stand out and stay top-of-mind.
2. Show you have a long-term plan for their overall health
Being an acupuncture practitioner means one-on-one time with a patient; you as the practitioner are completely focused on that patient’s health. A great way to encourage patients to come back is to highlight the individualized attention aspect of your methods. Remind the patient that you are completely focused on improving his or her health and working to help achieve desired goals. To drive that point home, show your patients how you can help them set goals and how you build a complete recovery plan that extends beyond getting them out of pain—getting them back to a state of high energy and vitality! Every patient has different health needs, patients just need to be reminded how YOU can help them. When you can show patients you have a plan for them beyond the immediate meeting, you have a distinct advantage and are more likely to earn their long-term loyalty.
3. Share success stories from existing patients
A great way to re engage old patients is to tell them about the success stories you’ve had with other patients. The best practitioners use success stories to market their practice. Do you have existing patients who would be willing to share their experience in the form of a short video testimonial? Let current patients know they can help others with similar problems and to do so would be a huge favor. They are usually more than willing to help. If you have success stories of previous patients who do not wish to be featured, you can, instead, speak in generalities of your success with that particular ailment.
4. Talk about improvements to the facility
What improvements have you made since you were last in contact with the patient? Talk about the extra certifications you’ve received, the new equipment you’ve added to your practice, and any other improvements or new services you are offering. The healthcare world continues to innovate. How is your practice changing with the times? The improvements you make may seem trivial or routine to you, but when you improve your business, it becomes a great opportunity to pick up the conversation with an old patient and invite him or her back. Something as simple as letting past patients know you’re now using an AcuGraph diagnostic device, the amazing StimPlus Pro for auriculotherapy, or offering needleless Laser therapy!
5. Come up with new events
People love trying new things! To encourage patients who have maybe become bored with the same old care, offer a new event to catch their attention. For example, offer a guest professional for a short time period. Coordinate with a personal trainer, massage therapist, hypnotist or energy worker to come into your practice and provide complimentary sample treatments/sessions for 1 week. Offer a series of classes that culminates participation in a big health event. Another great way to re-engage an old patient is to host a social hour. Set up a happy hour at a local restaurant and truly get to know them beyond the practice. It’s a great way to network with some patients and have some fun!
Re-engaging old patients definitely takes some effort, but it is a great way to help grow your healthcare business. These people have already purchased from you…it will be much easier for them to purchase from you again.
People who are already aware of your business will be easier to convert back into a regular patient than those who still need to become aware of the service you can offer.
The most effective way to implement these five steps is through a well planned email promotional campaign. If you’re not collecting email addresses…then START TODAY! I’ll talk more about email marketing in my next article.
Find these tips helpful?
AcuGrowth Practice Coach Alan Gifford
You’ll really enjoy my detailed marketing seminar. You can stream it over the internet or order the 4 DVD set.
Here’s the link – just click here: 2014 Marketing Seminar
If you would prefer personalized marketing help I’d love to work with you. Take a look at our coaching program – click here: Acugrowth Coaching
Posted on 14:56, August 26th, 2014 by Alan Gifford MS, Practice Coach
In today’s video Kimberly talks about changes that have occurred over the past 5 years.
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive all of the research and news that Kimberly mentioned in her video. Just enter your information in the boxes to the right!
You can also follow her posts on Facebook!
Posted on 16:28, August 19th, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
AcuGraph Equine Edition Now Available!
You asked and we listened! All the power of AcuGraph acupuncture technology is now available for Equine Acupuncture Practitioners.
Whether for work, play, competition or companionship, we rely on our horses to be their best. But when they need our help, relying on signs, symptoms, and observation alone may not tell us all we need to know.
Months of hard work have paid off…The power of AcuGraph acupuncture technology is NOW available for Equine Acupuncture Practitioners.
Tell your friends, colleagues, veterinarians and horse lovers everywhere.
- You can now directly measure the acupuncture meridians
- Provide objective and comprehensive health analysis of the horse
- Precisely pinpoint the source of the problem
- Rely on proven treatment recommendations to bring rapid relief
Give horses the VOICE they lack with AcuGraph’s evidence-based approach.
Practitioners now have the assistance they need to get superior acupuncture results.
Come check it out!
Posted on 15:13, August 7th, 2014 by Alan Gifford MS, Practice Coach
How do you build a successful practice?
A major goal of our 2014 Seminar was to give you the answer to that question.
It all starts with a framework. Imagine building a house without proper framing…it simply wouldn’t work!
Day 3 of the seminar is designed to give you the tools you need to effectively build and market your practice.
There are 5 key elements you’ll learn
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Posted on 16:18, August 5th, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
A highlight of every seminar is the opportunity to learn from my colleagues. Our 2014 seminar was full of NEW information.
Kimberly was at the top of her game and shared tons of great clinical wisdom.
Now, if I’m Kimberly’s boss, owner of the company, and the guy who originally taught her about meridian graphing, you’d think she couldn’t teach me anything new, right?
Kimberly taught me all sorts of incredible things I didn’t know! And I thought I was the expert!
Here’s my TOP “10″ list of new things I learned from Kimberly
in our new 2014 training seminar
(I guarantee – if I learned new things, you will too!)
- How to make sense of a messy graph–and see through to the underlying meaning
- The ROOT of the problem may not be what you think at first
- What do you mean excess Kidney?? That’s impossible! (except when…)
- How AcuGraph paints a picture to make sense of shoulder pain, phlegm and irritability
- OK, try this: neuropathy, low back pain, bloating, edema, emotional disturbances, and breathing difficulties. Ready…GO!
- Which graphs are best for explaining diagnostics to the patient (and which NOT to use)
- How to get your patient to (gladly) book six visits during the first treatment
- Presenting the missing link in treating breech baby
- AcuGraph and Bell’s Palsy: What you MUST know to get the channels right
- The non-needle “Pepperoni Pizza” treatment kids love
- BONUS: Hear how Kimberly managed the transition from by-the-book acupuncture to TCM Graphing Expert
I want you to experience this training too – I guarantee you’ll learn great new things – even if you’ve taken one of our prior training classes!
This seminar is all new for 2014. Plus you’ll earn 12 PDA/CE credits and stay at the top of your trade!
So here’s the deal: During August take advantage of our Back-to-School special and save $50 off the price of the seminar!
- You get 3 Expert presenters
- 12 CE credits and
- 18 hours of top-notch video training to feed your need for knowledge!
Are you ready for more?
Posted on 11:35, July 17th, 2014 by Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Dang it! I really like to win…
Maybe I’m just a “little bit” competitive, but I get pretty frustrated when I don’t win–especially when I’m told that I CAN’T win, because I’m not allowed.
Here’s my problem:
I have a really great submission for our Laser Acupuncture Case Study Contest–in fact I have several, but my boss won’t even let me enter. He mentioned “office policy” and “legalities,” then he said something about only being able to win IF I didn’t work here….
Yeah you get the picture. I quit whining after that.
So, let me tell ya’ what he did agree too.
- I can share my GREAT case study as a blog “example” to help motivate YOU to share your own laser case study.
- AND–he’ll take me to lunch and let me help vote for the BEST case study submitted by our practitioners.
Since, I love my job–I obviously agreed to his proposal.
If you didn’t read our last blog post about the BIG Laser Case Study Contest, you might want to read it real quick and catch up.
BIG Laser Case Study Contest
Plus, you’ll want to make sure you read to the very end of today’s blog. I’ll be sharing two important things.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 15:43, July 15th, 2014 by Alan Gifford MS, Practice Coach
Submit a Case Study and you could win a Laser Acupuncture Package worth $420.00!
Hearing how other practitioners are successfully using laser acupuncture is the best way to understand the many uses and applications of our QiPulse and QiCalm lasers.
Join our contest!
Simply follow the outline below and share your experience by submitting your best case study. You’ll help other practitioners learn new techniques and applications plus you can WIN free stuff!
- The first 20 submissions will receive a FREE Value Laser!
- Three case studies will be selected and then published on our FACEBOOK page for each of you to view and vote on.
- The post with the most “Likes + Shares + Comments” will win!
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Posted on 14:08, July 10th, 2014 by Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
As many of you know, I was a massage therapist for about a dozen years before I became an acupuncturist.
While I was in college to learn TCM, I was blessed with the opportunity to transform my massage clients into road maps of discovery. The walls of my treatment room were always covered with handmade pictures and notes of whatever I was studying at the time.
As my hands explored the acupuncture channels, my fingers discovered some amazing acupuncture treasures that go far and beyond the book knowledge I gained in the classroom. A lot of what I learned during that time, helped me to become a better practitioner.
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Posted on 12:04, July 8th, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
Sometimes I need to see the bigger picture.
I’m reminded of the story of the logger who is so busy working in the forest, harvesting and hauling trees, that he never takes time to stop and consider the forest itself.
So from time to time, I like to take a step back from my day-to-day work and consider the acupuncture profession in general. I’ve worked in and around the profession for the last 14 years, which doesn’t make me the most experienced voice out there, but I do have unique insight from working in the specific areas of my expertise.
As I’ve watched the profession grow and evolve over the years, I’ve noticed the following five trends emerging and growing among acupuncture professionals:
- Technology Use: Since I develop technology products for acupuncture, this is an area I watch closely. I’m pleased to report that technology use seems to be increasing among acupuncture professionals. The mixture of traditional wisdom with cutting-edge tools seems to be gaining wider acceptance among practitioners–catching up, I think, with acceptance among patients. Since patients like and trust technology in general, it’s nice to see practitioners adopting new tools. This is a positive move, in my opinion, that leads to better outcomes for everyone.
- Marketing Savvy: I’ve seen a trend toward better and more effective marketing by acupuncture professionals. Web, email, social media, and even traditional methods are proving more effective as acupuncturists find their voice, message, and tools to spread the word. This is a crucial area for any successful practice, and one that is often not well served by acupuncture education.
- Cash Practice: For a few years there, insurance was almost starting to look like a viable option for acupuncturists, as some insurance plans began offering acupuncture coverage. However, with the recent major upheavals in the insurance industry, and decreasing reimbursement rates, insurance is not looking as promising as it once did. The trend I see is more practitioners running a straight cash practice, selling treatment packages, and offering payment plans. I think this is a good thing, as we see the ongoing erosion and destabilization of the insurance industry.
- Broadening Technique: I’ve noticed a trend of more practitioners adding techniques to their repertoire. Along with TCM acupuncture, I’m seeing increased use of auriculotherapy, meridian balancing, five elements, hand therapy, and so forth. This goes hand in hand with marketing to treat specific conditions. No question, a broader set of skills is a boon to practice.
- Spa Services: I’ve noticed a trend of Acupuncture being offered as a spa service, either in conjunction with an existing spa, or as a spa experience by itself. Beyond mere pain control, acupuncture is being marketed for stress relief, weight loss, relaxation, energy enhancement, and beauty. Tapping into the spa crowd offers a new market filled with those who are both curious and willing to spend money feeling better.
So there’s my list of trends.
- What are your thoughts?
- Have you noticed similar trends? Or others?
- Do you see things going opposite of the way I do?
I’m interested in your input. Leave comments below.
Posted on 11:22, June 27th, 2014 by Alan Gifford MS, Practice Coach
Life is full of challenges and opportunities.
Let me share an experience that happened a couple of months ago.
This year my wife and I decided we’d plant a garden! We are excited to enjoy the fresh squash, carrots, onions, corn, delicious strawberries and much more!
The work began when we realized the best place in our back yard to have a garden is along the back fence where the little plants will get the best Southern exposure to our Summer sun.
There was only one problem with this plan. We had a big 10′x20′ shed parked right in the middle of that space plus decorative planters and trees all around it.
We knew we had a big job in front of us to say the least!
On one particular Saturday, after moving the shed and digging up the decorative trees and shrubs, Ann’s back decided it had had enough.
That evening it began to tighten up and cause her considerable pain. So we did the common things you do for sore muscles.
- I elevated her knees while relaxing as we watched a favorite TV show.
- After that, I drew her a hot bath to soak those tired and sore muscles.
- Lastly, I massaged her back and tucked her into bed.
The next morning Ann could hardly move. Her back had completely locked up. She literally could not get out of bed.
I was searching my mind for things I could do to help her and through her pain she said: “What about using the blue laser?”
Of course…why didn’t I think of that?!
So I opened up my laptop, started AcuGraph and went to the reference section. There I looked up the treatment protocol for Back Pain and Sciatic Pain.
Using those points as a reference, I moved the blue QiCalm laser from point to point, holding each point for 20 seconds. When I had applied the laser to all of the points listed in the protocol I “washed” the area with the blue light, moving slowly from side to side until I had covered all of the muscles that were in a spasm.
When I finished, I clicked the laser off and asked Ann how she felt.
She rolled over and promptly got up and out of bed!
As she stood there and carefully measured how much her back was going to let her move I was once again amazed at how effective acupuncture is and how glad I was to have a set of lasers at the house for emergency treatments!
As a Marketing Coach, I get to work with amazing practitioners all over the world. I frequently ask about their success stories with various ailments. Many stories are similar to what happened to my wife and me.
If you’re looking for some simple, quick and portable treatment tools, take a look at our QiPulse and QiCalm lasers. They complement your skill and help deliver amazing results!
As far as my wife and I are concerned…they’re worth their weight in Gold!
Alan Gifford, MS
Posted on 11:56, June 25th, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
Do people “like” your stuff?
A few years ago, well before Facebook came along, “likes” were very important to me. I wasn’t posting cat pictures or telling funny stories. I was bringing new technology products to the acupuncture market and hoping people would benefit from them.
It’s never comfortable introducing a new product to the acupuncture world.
- There are so many “what if” questions to answer.
- What if it doesn’t work as well in the real world?
- What if nobody buys it?
- What if people don’t “like” it?
Like I said, uncomfortable. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and push the button, so to speak, trusting that everything will work out. You know what relieves the anxiety?
The first testimonial. It only takes one “like.”
And that’s exactly how it worked ten years ago when I released the first QiPulse red lasers. I sent one to my friend and mentor, Dr. Richard Yennie, who said he would try it and let me know what he thought. I sure hoped he would find it effective, but not just that. I hoped he would like it.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 11:17, June 17th, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
A customer contacted me a couple of months back with a question:
Why should I pay $249 for your Blue laser, when I can get the same thing online for $40?
Well, I know a bit about lasers and the cost for manufacturing, so this sounded WAY too good to be true. I went to the site and this is what I found:
Blue Laser Pointer Pen 5 mW
- Output power: 5mW
- Wavelength: 450nm
- Batteries included
- Protective box included
All this for just $39.90! Shipped! What a deal!
I’ll admit, this got me pretty concerned. Was I missing something? Had someone discovered a way to build blue lasers VERY inexpensively? Was I charging way too much for our blue lasers? I had to know.
So I spent $40 and waited a month. (Maybe I should have noticed the website was hosted in Hong Kong, and the laser would ship from there.) Finally, an envelope arrived from Hong Kong with my shiny, new laser in a cheap, cardboard sleeve. I put in the batteries, hit the button, and…
Just as I suspected, the advertised “450 nm” blue laser is really a 405 nm violet laser. It says so right on the product.
I should have known–a true blue laser module costs quite a bit more to manufacture. I was disappointed but not surprised, and was further disappointed by the output of the laser. It is very weak, even with new batteries. Once again, let the buyer beware. You get what you pay for.
Falsely selling violet lasers by calling them blue is nothing new. Unscrupulous laser suppliers have been playing this game for years. That’s why we warn about it on our website. Here’s the difference:
Cheap violet/purple/”blue” laser (405 nm-ineffective)
True sapphire blue laser (450 nm–the correct wavelength)
To claim an actual blue wavelength–450 nm–when supplying a violet wavelength–405 nm–is just downright dishonest. It’s not a matter of opinion about color. It’s simply lying, but they do it because people fall for it. Don’t be fooled!
If you want the proper effect, you need to get true blue light. Purple just won’t get it done.
Well, needless to say, I contacted the shady company in Hong Kong. I explained their false advertising and asked them to supply me the laser I actually purchased. As you might guess, I got no response. There’s no way they can send me a true blue laser for $40. So they’ve chosen to just ignore me and hope I’ll go away. Meanwhile, I checked their website. The false claim is still there, and they’re still looking for suckers hoping for a deal.
Lesson learned. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Need a laser from a company you can trust?
Our professional-grade QiCalm and QiPulse lasers give you unparalleled effectiveness and quality, backed and serviced by a U.S. company and warranty. We gain lifetime customers by supplying quality products at great prices.
We provide the only dual-wavelength laser safety glasses on the market that cover both blue and red wavelengths in the same lenses. Safety, satisfaction, and effectiveness. Now THAT’s worth your business.
Posted on 10:50, June 5th, 2014 by Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Caffeine addiction can be powerful and all too common!
After months of researching Auriculotherapy and finishing up the final stages of our Auriculo 3D program, a business associate and husband of a patient of mine, approached me with a question. He wanted to know if acupuncture could help him overcome his caffeine addiction.
Can it??? I knew the answer right away…. You bet it can, absolutely!
In this video case study you will hear first-hand about his life-long struggles with caffeine addiction—currently drinking 200 ounces per day!
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Posted on 10:05, June 3rd, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
If you didn’t get to attend the 8th International Symposium Of Auriculotherapy in Baltimore last month, you really missed out. There were top-name international speakers, outstanding presentations, and the latest products and tools for auriculotherapy. Congratulations to everyone who put so much work into organizing this event!
I was particularly pleased to see the most up-and-coming trend in auriculotherapy technology. You’ll never guess what it was!
OK, if you know me or you’re aware of my work, you probably already guessed. It’s 3D. As in three-dimensional ear modeling. That’s right. The two-dimensional, flat charts just aren’t good enough anymore, now that computer technology makes live, real-time 3D technology so available.
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Posted on 10:15, May 28th, 2014 by Dr. Larsen
Do you know stuff? I’m sure you do!
As practitioners, we all need a ready store of knowledge for quick retrieval and use when treating patients. And no doubt, you’ve got an awful lot of that kind of stuff in your head. Probably so much, in fact, that some has leaked out. That’s what happens to me from time to time.
Auriculotherapy, especially, can tax the memory of the best of us–with hundreds of points located on the ear, together with phases, areas, and obscure locations–well, it’s a challenge.
This was brought home to me a couple of weeks ago when I was at the International Auriculotherapy Symposium in Baltimore. I was at our booth, demonstrating Auriculo 3D, and while I was demonstrating, I was projecting the software on the wall. Nothing like a 6-foot ear to impress the crowds!
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