Build Your Practice JING

Create PHENOMENAL Acupuncture Business SUCCESS by building your Practice JING!!

What is practice jing?? How do you create it? build it?

I only recently realized that business in general has changed dramatically in the last 2 years. For example, did you know that websites are less and less effective at reaching people or bringing them in for your care?! What, YOU SAY????

Yes! we’re all spIpad download 02 03 15 060ending a lot of time and money on our websites and because of the proliferation of them, people spend only a few seconds on them, if they happen across them at all, and then leave the site and NEVER RETURN!

INCREASING TECHNOLOGY
With increased technology and software program sophistication, we can now reach millions of people, but how to do it effectively? How do we reach those who are actually looking for us, but don’t know where to go? Have questions and don’t know what to expect?? This brings us back to jing.

Your practice jing is your EMAIL LIST OF PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS and current patients. Your whole reason to exist as a practitioner is to help people, so they are our business jing, but I’m willing to bet that virtually none of you have an email list of current patients, much less prospective patients, that you actively communicate with so they get to know you and feel comfortable with you and Chinese Medicine in general.

LANDING PAGE to REACH YOUR IDEAL PATIENTS

So,It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you have a Landing Page on your website that offers a free gift of information, etc. so that you can already begin to help them and offer value in exchange for their email address. This then gives you the ability to email them with more free tips on health and lifestyle and diet so they get to know you and “try before you buy.”

A great place to start is with the company Leadpages (no, I have no stake in the company!).  They have tested templates so that you get to choose from templates that are actually successfully interesting the highest percentage of people.  A good template may interest 60-80% of people versus only 20-30% of people, thereby doubling the number of people you can reach.  I also like them in particular since they have weekly live tutorials to walk you through all the steps necessary to set up your landing page and start reaching all the people that need you.  FORGET THE FLYER!!

Your email list is everything and far better than a flat website, giving you the ability to engage/interest them over time, provided you offer them your expert knowledge in a tantalizing way.

Here’s to YOUR UNENDING SUCCESS!!

Caroline & Bryan

P.S. We’d love to know what you’re thinking and we actually read every comment…so let us know just below!

 

Solution to a Slow Schedule

Power UP THIS WEEK with this SUPER EASY SOLUTION to the Winter Practice Doldrums!!

Ok, I know. It’s cold out and your patient schedule is as cold as the temperatures outside. How to solve this lull in business and get back to loving what you do… helping people who need you! Here’s an absolutely successful solution that can yield 50x the investment! (Ours literally paid for itself in the first month and then brought in 50x what we paid…just in the first year!)  The sandwich board.

People generally like sandwich board signs because they’re nostalgic which provides a sense of comfort in a world gone “web wild” and electronic versus the old days of personal, written text on a tangible surface.  Additionally, it says you’re likely a local business owner and is a very personal statement of who you are and what your business is about.  It might not be the most elegant communication tool, but it IS very effective, IF and ONLY IF you do it right. Here’s a few tips that can make all the difference.

  1. Color – Ever think about why stop signs are red and yield signs are yellow?  These are two colors which are very easy download Aug 31 022to see against most backgrounds and immediately impact us as humans with a visual emphasis to our physiology.  A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?  That’s because we are visually oriented.  Especially in winter, when everything is dark and grey, pick red and or yellow.  Yellow in particular stands out against a grey winter background and has the additional benefit of making us feel sunshiny and happy…think summer sun and flowers!!
  2. Size – Check your local laws about size and then get the largest sign allowed.  It’s best if the top comes to waist or slight higher to more easily catch your eyes.  Make sure  to check into how much of the sidewalk the sign can encompass and that there is plenty of room for people to pass by.  There’s nothing worse than having the unintended consequence of irritating the very people you want to intrigue!
  3. Center translucent panel for customized inserts – Make sure to request a center panel with a side entrance so that you can change it out every week to announce events, presentations, etc.  This is WHERE THE REAL MAGIC HAPPENS!!
  4. NEVER advertise, like we did, “FREE Health Screening.”  This is far too bland and although ours was quite successful, people have changed and I know you can be more successful!  People are far more jaded with marketing and want to see an exact picture of themselves in your marketing or you’ll never see them in your practice.
  5. Personalize and be SPECIFIC  with your message – Far better, is to have the insert read with a very specific symptom and personalize the message, as if speaking to only one person, as in, “Solve Your Low Back Pain Today”.  That way, as the person with low back pain walks by, they think, “wow, that’s me and I would like to start solving it today!”  Most people realize that it won’t be actually solved that day, but that they would be taking the first step to actually reaching that goal.
  6. GET A MOVE ON!  That is, move the sign.  Don’t make the mistake of placing it in the same spot every day.  After a few days, especially weeks, of people passing by, they get used to it and will no longer “see” it.  So, keep them guessing.  We frequently moved ours to the end of the block and had inserts that included an arrow pointing the direction to our practice.

OK!  So, ready to call and get yours??  Don’t wait!  Take action today and be sure to let us know how it’s going!  I would love to hear about the first patient that walked in your doors and asked about your services!!

P.S.  ALWAYS  ask every new patient how they found out about you!  This is pure gold.  You MUST know what marketing is and isn’t working.  Typically 80% of your revenue is only from 20% of what you do, so make sure to identify the 80% and do MORE of it!!  and don’t waste your time and money on the 20%!!

TO YOUR SUCCESS!

Caroline & Bryan

 

OFFER YOUR BEST!!

FastTrack Your Acupuncture Business TODAY To SHOCK Yourself with Practice SUCCESS!!

Oh, oh, oh, but how to do it? Can it be DONE?? A resounding YES!!!

Do you remember hearing of the protocols in China when you were in school? How acute patients came in every day or several timedownload Aug 31 030s per week to get results? Have you read research reports on these same protocols being used throughout Asia? Yes? I thought so. So, why do you tell your patients to come back in a week for another treatment? And only one week at a time?

I heard long ago that as Chinese Medicine gained popularity in the 70’s, people were also seeing their therapist once per week and Chinese Medicine decided to ” go with the flow” and so implemented the once-per-week model, but that has never been a part of our medicine!

When a patient comes to you in pain and is suffering, should we offer them less than our best?? OF COURSE NOT!! So, tell them … what… they…need!

I always recommend a series of 3-6 treatments IN A ROW, or every other day at most, so WE can both see how your symptom responds.

THIS IS CRITICAL!!

I can not overstate the importance of this simple statement. Here’s what is packed into it:

1. Expectations: You do not, and therefore they should not, expect that only one treatment is going to solve their symptom!

2. Instant Authority Creation:  The fact is…YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, but how does the patient know this? When you tell a patient that you have an established procedure for new patients to assess their Rate of Response, you will command instant respect!  YOU become the authority because you have established parameters and are showing that you know what you’re doing! This makes them pay attention and accept you as the authority. This is one of the premier moments in which they decide that YOU are the person they need in order to heal themselves.

3. Measurable Results: You establish that you EXPECT results and that those results are measurable!! (So, make sure you have a method of measuring before and after!)

4. Patient Partnership: You create a partnership with the patient. Because you said, “We can both see how your body responds”, you have included them and engaged them in looking at their symptom WITH you. This creates the atmosphere of trust, partnership, working together side-by-side. You have implied that you have knowledge but are not placing yourself above them, but by their side.

5. Cumulative Results: The effects of Acupuncture are cumulative! Don’t chiropractors and physical therapists ALL find the same thing? When’s the last time you went to the gym ONE TIME and had the body strength, flexibility and weight you wanted after that one visit?? NEVERRRRRR!

You first need repeated signals to stop the bad pathway/function, e.g. if liver yang is rising,you must descend it. But is that enough? NO!! Won’t it just rise again unless you solve why it rose in the first place??  YES!! So, now you have to solve the reason WHY it rose:

Did the yang rise because liver yin was deficient? Then, you must now nourish liver yin! What does that require??2014 (36)

  • Dietary modifications
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • More acupuncture
  • Chinese Medicine Botanicals (I prefer this term since we are licensed professionals and highly trained to prescribe these as an elevated art form and have, at a minimum, our Masters Degree; we’re not simply bringing in some “herbs” from the garden to put in a salad! …And, most importantly, our patients need to realize all of this via our language.)

WOW! That’s a lot of stuff that needs to happen! So, how many visits does this patient really need?? How many consults? How many acupuncture treatments? How much info for you to provide on diet and lifestyle?

Write down everything they need and present them with your recommendations.

Remember, your job is to give them your best! They may say they do or do not want this amount of care or can or can not afford it, but it is your duty to tell them what they need and then create a plan around what is doable for their desires, time and budget.

You will be surprised at how many patients will make a concerted effort for months and years to not only resolve their symptoms, but solve the reason why they happened, but this can only happen if you present them with the plan of the care that they need..

TO YOUR SUCCESS!!
Caroline & Bryan

Medical Magnificence!

CATAPULT YOUR Acupuncture Business to the TOP! TIP #4:
…… MEDICAL MAGNIFICENCE!!

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Caroline Burdulis, LAc during a consultation

Did you ever stop to think or tell your prospective patients HOW FABULOUS you are?? Unless you tell them, they don’t know that:

1. Acupuncture is only ONE modality of the Chinese Medical SYSTEM.

2. Chinese Medicine IS an ENTIRE Medical System, which, like Western Medicine, has developed MANY tools and in its toolbox are: acu, botanicals, tuina, diet and lifestyle knowledge, and QI Gong, and THE LIST GOES ON!!

3. This MEDICAL SYSTEM (and please start using this phrase daily in your practice as you speak with your patients!) has ITS own understanding of physiology, pathophysiology, disease, health, and diagnosis.

4. YOU do NOT need a Western Medical diagnosis, since YOU are highly trained and skilled in making an Initial Working Diagnosis based on Chinese Medical principles of analysis of symptoms and that YOU are going to ANALYZE and DIAGNOSE as you are LICENSED to do!
…..BE SURE TO TELL THEM THIS, explaining how you go about making a diagnosis and then the thought that goes into point selection. If you just give a treatment without this prelude, you lose the ability for them to appreciate the VALUE you have to offer. There will be less understanding and therefore less trust and you will not be seen as the authority they will want to accept protocols from.

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NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine Certificate… achieved after completion of all 5 national examinations

5. You have been taught and shown proficiency in, through standardized NATIONAL TESTING, at least 3, or some of you 5, areas of an entire medical system that, just like Western Medicine, requires 4 years of full-time education!

5. Many of you have 3200 hours of training, the longest Masters program in the United States! TELL YOUR PATIENTS THIS AT YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT!

HERE’s to your MAGNIFICENCE!!

Caroline & Bryan

P.S.  We’d love to know what you’re thinking… so please leave a comment!

 

To Discount or Not to Discount: THAT is the Question

This is a tough one!

As practitioners, we are hard-wired to help people and generally have some of the biggest hearts on the PLANET! The last thing we think about is getting paid! Frequently, patients ask for a discount to our services or sliding scale or tell us they are stopping care or can’t start care due to lack of money and we therefore, take them at their word and want to offer a discount. Here’s a few things to consider:

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Bryan Watrous, LAc specializing in Pain Relief instructs a patient in the deeper understanding of the channel connections

VALUE
What does discounting your price say about how you VALUE your services and will this affect your patient’s view of your value?? Unfortunately, our culture decides if something is good, bad or better BASED ON PRICE! For example, when was the last time you chose to see a gynecologist based on price? Did you decide on Chinese Medical School based on price or where you thought you would receive the best education? The vast majority of people, especially when it comes down to their health, will only VALUE your services based on what you charge.

Value is about perception and the more something costs, the more we perceive it as having value. It’s not about the money, but how it’s PERCEIVED as representing something WORTHwhile. Even this word, “Worthwhile” is a fabulous example of how the cost of a thing is worth doing it!! On the other hand, Low price… low value. In our culture, we often ask “is it WORTH it? This is the perfect phrase that illustrates my point. Frequently, we make decisions that are not comfortable economic choices BECAUSE IT’S WORTH IT!! I didn’t make the rules, I just know ’em.

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It’s easiest to consider the value of your services in a quiet place of solitude

EXAMPLES FROM MY PRACTICE
Years ago, I had a gentleman tell me he had very little money and needed a discount. So, being a compassionate practitioner, I reduced my price by half for several months, at which time he ended care, only to have him return to care in 6 months telling me about how many symptoms he was having again “since he and his wife and 3 children had returned from their 3 week family in the Bahamas scuba diving every day!” By the way, I never would have guessed this gentleman had those resources given his demeanor and clothing.

Another example was a woman crying in my office about her pain, but not enough money and could I please reduce my fees, and then later had her come in paying in all cash “from the vault of money her husband keeps as a partner in a law firm!” Additionally, the husband had come in to her Report Of Findings dressed in old, torn shabby clothes, which was fine, but the point being that visually there was no way of knowing he was a partner in a law firm.

TO YOUR SUCCESS!!

Caroline & Bryan

Confidence, Confidence, Confidence!

The Top 3 Reasons an Acupuncture Practice is Successful That You Would Never Guess and Cost NOTHING!!!
In real estate, they say “location, location, location.” But why?? Because no matter what house you buy or business you rent, it’s only as good as its location. For example, if you live in a fabulous mansion in the middle of the Sahara with no close acces to food and water…FORGET ABOUT IT!

But for a Chinese Medical practitioner, it’s CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENCE! No matter how amazing your acupuncture skills are or how perfect your diagnosis and bedside manner, if you can not stand up tall, with shoulders back and chin uplifted and with no hesitation, speak in a clear and precise manner, you will not be seen as the incredible practitioner you are! Your advice will not be heeded and there will be only a few patients that find their way to your door.
So stand in front of a mirror and practice! Stand on both feet, as you stand on the shoulders of the men and women who worked tirelessly for generations to create this outstanding body of knowledge. Breathe deeply as you breathe in the Qi of our ancestors. Speak with authority and confidence just as you practice with the engrained experience of your years in school.

If you do not feel this confidence yet, allow yourself to be an open channel for the ancients to speak through. They support you, you have the knowledge from them, YOU embody the medicine and have everything you need. Let our history simply flow through you and utilize your EXCITEMENT of what you know can be achieved TO PROJECT THIS BODY OF KNOWLEDGE!!

Gotta PEEP with Your Peeps!

The Number ONE Mistake Most Acupuncturists Made Today that will cause them Financial Despair, Forcing Them To Close Their Practice

People Who Need People

We are all about PEOPLE. Therefore, our ability to develop a relationship with our patients is absolutely essential. But how to do it??

…Practice makes perfect…

And, The only way to practice is to TALK with thousands of people from thousands of different backgrounds and socioeconomic situations. You see, and I never really thought about this until recently, …it’s not about us! We are so eager to help others and offer our knowledge and skills, that we may not have taken time to think about what our patients want and need and HOW they want our knowledge offered.

In other words, you and I have chosen to SERVE. We wanted to help other people, so we spent years studying and practicing and now have the knowledge. Unfortunately, we may not have developed all the social skills we need TO help others! Can we talk to the shy person as easily as the loud, irritable person? Can we help those who are very wealthy as easily as we help those who are very poor?

BE THE PERSON YOUR PATIENT NEEDS

Our job is to be the person that our patient needs. If they are loud and boisterous, then we should reflect that same personality back to them as that is what they understand and appreciate and therefore can relate to, which gives us the best opportunity to help them! However, if they are shy and withdrawn, we should similarly speak more quietly and perhaps lean back in our chairs to be able to give them the space that they need. This will help them feel more comfortable to be themselves and feel comfortable confiding what they need to in order for us to help them from where they are psychologically and emotionally. It’s about our being who they need us to be so that we can helpB Tongue DX2 them and not being “who we are” because it’s not about us!!

So, it is ESSENTIAL to go to your computer first thing tomorrow morning and google “events” for your local area. Set up a booth, which can be as simple as a card table with a decent tablecloth, some business cards and a few brochures.

The key is to engage everyone that walks by.

I’ve found the best way to do this is to set up an easel with a giant picture of a tongue and ask passersby if they know that their tongue can tell you what symptoms they are likely suffering from.
As you speak with people, you will develop CONFIDENCE AND SKILLS you never realized you needed or that you could develop. It works like magic!

TO YOUR SUCCESS!!

Caroline & Bryan

Creating Events that CRUSH IT!

Wow! I just spoke with a dear colleague who asked me how we were able to get so many new patients from the events we did! This is a really broad topic. There’s so much that goes into creating events that CRUSH IT!! But here are a few things to remember in terms of what’s called “mindset”.

WHERE’S YOUR MIND?

Mindset is really about your mental perspective and preparation. By the way, did you realize you are selling yourself? That sounds weird to hear and feels uncomfortable to write, but this is a realization I had years ago and is a major reason why you will attract only a few people or a lot of people! People are really investing in YOU! Any patient that’s never been to an Acupuncturist before, will decide on you… based on YOU! It’s the amount of trust you inspire and the confidence you command, so it’s essential to address your state of mind before speaking to others at an event.2014 (47)

1. First of all, there’s nothing that’s more fun! You have the chance to talk with HUNDREDS of people! You might think this sounds TERRIFYING!!! But, think of it as an opportunity to hone your skills. Since I include Tongue examination, I get to see hundreds of tongues at events. This has dramatically improved my range of knowledge (I’ve seen things I NEVER saw in our textbooks!!) and my ability to correlate tongue patterns with symptoms.

By the way, super important, when you’re having fun with this, they’re having fun and will feel a connection with you, since you inspired this emotion, which makes them eager to work with you!

2. EXCITEMENT!!! This is CONTAGIOUS and CRITICAL!! If you’re not excited and passionate and able to convey that to this new person, a gem that you have the opportunity to polish and watch as you help bring them to their full potential of radiance, they won’t get excited about working with you!

3. So, DO NOT try to “sell” to them! Don’t sell them on you or the medicine.

 

DON’T SELL anything but YOUR EXCITEMENT

In Fact, trying to “sell” or simply being too anxious to help will make them suspicious and push them away.  Remember the first few dates you had with a really nice guy you likely would have otherwise liked, accept for the fact that he was just too anxious and eager?  We always want what is just beyond our grasp, so be “cool” and relatively neutral.  You can still be excited about what you do but NOT OVERLY excited to have them make an appointment.

The good news is YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Simply tell them how much you know, how long you’ve trained and the amazing things the medicine can do and share with them what you see on their Tongue. Your passion and confidence will be irresistible.

PUMP UP THE JAM!

I get really pumped up and start the event by listening to some of my favorite music that gets me excited and dancing and singing at the top of my voice! Of course, this is on the way to the event and I’m sure my fellow drivers think I’m nuts! Gyrating wildly with arms in the air!! It’s embarrassing… you get the picture.

So, remember, before your next event or speaking engagement or even before seeing the next new patient:

1. Listen to your favorite, “get pumped up” music, dance around wildly to get the Qi flowing and build your excitement and energy!
2. Be PASSIONATE in SPEAKING about your PRACTICE!
3. Relax and HAVE FUN with it!
and finally…

4. KNOW THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY 5000 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE!! Visualize the thousands of practitioners that poured the hearts and souls into this profound MEDICAL SYSTEM surrounding you with the GOLDEN LIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE and then just let it all pour out!!

Here’s to your SUCCESS!!
Caroline & Bryan

Doctoral Training this Weekend!

Can’t wait! We leave this Thursday and will be in class Fri-Monday. If any of my esteemed colleagues want to get together for lunch or just chat about life, love or business… call, text or email!

See You in San Jose, sunny CA!

I’m so excited you’re HERE!! Let’s BUILD YOUR PRACTICE!

WELCOME!

And Hello FELLOW ACUPUNCTURIST!  Wow! I’m soooo glad you’re here and can’t wait to hear how your business starts to pick up by implementing key strategies we found made all the difference in creating our successful Practice. Little did we know it, but over the years, many of our colleagues referred to us as “legends” because of the success of our practice in little Missoula, Montana!  Then we discovered we were in the top 3% of all Chinese Medical practices in the nation!

Wow!  I had no idea…we just worked 24/7!   But, we know you can do even better with far less work by benefiting from our “tried and true” tips that took us years to learn and were instrumental in our success.

Thank you!

I want to say, “THANK YOU FOR BEING AMAZING!!” YOU are amazing because you decided to help others, YOU had the foresight to decide to study the most incredible medical system on the planet that actually has the potential to change our entire medical system and YOU DID THE WORK to get licensed! Whew!!

80% Go Out of Business in 5 Years

One tiny problem… 80% of us have to close our doors because we can’t make it financially… And that’s why I’m here, blogging my little heart away to offer you as much help as I can so you can do the work you were born to do!

My heartfelt mission is to help EVERY Single Acupuncturist be as successful as they want to be and then help them go beyond their dreams to what they never dared to imagine was possible! The sky’s the limit!!

Why do less?? We want to help as many people as possible with this miraculous system of medicine, to change our patients’ lives, to improve their relationships and send the ripples of change around the world and move Chinese Medicine to the forefront of Health Care!

Business Success Solution

I am going to do EVERYTHING in my power to prevent EVEN one more Of us from having to close our business, because we couldn’t make it work financially. This dire situation can ABSOLUTELY be turned around and better yet, … Prevented!

 

HERE’s TO YOUR SUCCESS!!
Caroline and Bryan
(I’m writing this while he’s sitting right beside me working on the technical details of bringing this blog to you! He says, “Hi!”)

P.S. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and comments! Please scroll down and tell me what you’re thinking!!