Last weekend, I was at an Acupuncture Symposium in Bloomington, Minnesota. It was a beautiful experience! I saw some beautiful scenery, met amazing people and tried some delicious local cuisine while enjoying the land of 10,000 lakes!
I also had the chance to talk with students, Acupuncturists, and Acupuncture-Certified Chiropractors that attended the Great River Symposium. I took this opportunity to get some feedback.
I asked one, simple question: “How does AcuGraph impact your practice?”
Here’s what I heard:
1. “The patients are always excited to see how their graph has changed.” Acupuncturist
2. “It seems like I see each patient a little more, although I’m not tracking it.” Chiropractor
3. “I use it with every patient, but I only print out their report monthly.” Acupuncturist
4. “I can’t wait to use it at a Health Fair. I think I would draw a crowd of people!” Student
5. “I screen a lot of people at Fairs, but I don’t set many appointments—the ones I do set, often, don’t show.” Acupuncturist
For all of you that can identify with #5 above, let’s talk about the Keys to setting new patient appointments and getting them to show!
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve read how to lay out your booth and how to focus your message to maximize the attention of show participants.
Three Keys to Setting the Appointment
1. Believe in your ability to help this person. This unwavering conviction in your treatments makes ALL the difference. Remember, this person has been suffering and they’ve probably lost hope! They need to find hope in your eyes!
2. Be skilled at asking questions and relating it to the graph results. Click on the channels that are excessive, deficient or split—this will bring up a picture of the channel on the human body. Point to the picture and ask them what might be causing this channel to be Excessive, Deficient or out of Balance. Explain that recent injuries, infections or inflammation cause the channel to be excessive, while old injury, scar tissue or chronic problems cause the channel to be deficient. Discuss what could be going on with the body and what kind of pain/symptoms they may be experiencing as a result. This is your chance to use the results of the graph, what they’ve told you, and your clinical experience.
3. Be unwavering in setting the appointment. These people NEED you. You WILL help them. Don’t ask them to come in. Move confidently forward as if it is already a foregone conclusion that they will come in. Here’s an example: “John, after reviewing your graph and hearing your symptoms, we really need to do a full exam. I really want to see how the graph looks when we add in your WHOLE body. I’ve set aside time next week to meet with new patients, which would work better, Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon?”
Let’s role play a simple health-fair screening. Imagine that you have the person sitting across the narrow table from you:
Prospective Patient: “Sure. How does this work?”
You: “What we do is send a small electrical signal through your Acupunture meridians. Don’t worry. You won’t feel a thing! When we’re done I’ll print out a report that will offer some insights into how your body is working. First, I need to enter your name and some information into the system…” (Ask for their name, birthday, gender, and email address)
You: “Okay, that’s done, now I’ll start the test.” (Begin testing) “So Susan, how have you been feeling lately?”
Prospective Patient: (Tells you her story.)
You: “Okay, let’s take a look at your screening.” (Pull up the Baseline graph and begin discussing what it shows you about their health. If you’re not sure, review the Training CD and 2010 Digital Meridian Analysis Training Seminar.)
Prospective Patient: “So, what does this all mean?”
You: “Susan, it’s clear from this test that there are problems that can be resolved. We’re going to want to see a complete exam, upper AND lower body tests.
You: “Susan, we really need to do a full exam and because you stopped by today there is no charge for the complete exam. I’ve set aside time next week to meet with new patients, which would work better, Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon?”
How many appointments can you expect to set? Like most things, it’s a numbers game. The rule of thumb is that you will set appointments with 50-60% of the people you screen with the AcuGraph.
One of the biggest challenges for practitioners is learning to talk less and listen more. Ask more questions, let your prospective patient do the talking, and learn to listen. Don’t try to impress them with fancy language, education or your eloquence. Take your ego out of the equation and make your statements as simple as possible. Pretend you are talking to a fifth-grader and as we know…THEY love to do all the talking!
AcuGraph has the ability to send the prospective patient his/her screening report via email.
The next business day, when you’re back in your office, click through the screenings you did at the health fair and quickly email the report to each person. The print out from their exam could be buried in all of the information they received from the trade show. Seeing it in their inbox will remind them of their appointment!
Using this method, we have consistently seen a 55-75% new-appointment show-rate. It takes practice to accomplish smooth screening, appointment scheduling and follow up. I suggest role-playing it with a friend from start to finish. The more confident and comfortable you are, the higher your show-rate will be.
Good luck and let me know how you do at your next health fair!