|Provide more to the patient during the visit; for example, show them a stretching exercise or provide extra hands-on care.
Set the bar high and aspire to provide the highest standard of care possible. Your value or standard of your worth needs to be established right at the beginning because it is very difficult to change public perception from being mediocre to excellent.
How important is it to be valued?
Statistics from business expert Bob Nelson (The Ten Ironies of Motivation. Workforce, 2003) show that people would prefer to have less stress, and be valued for their work, over money.
“More than anything else, employees want to be valued for a job well done by those they hold in high esteem,” Nelson writes.
It is important for an equal value exchange between us and our customers, co-workers, friends and significant others to be in place in order for any relationship to be successful.
The WagJag Phenomenon
Lately, some businesses are coerced by, and attracted to, the latest gimmick of employing Internet companies such as WagJag, Groupon and Redhot to sell their product or service at a reduced rate. The idea is that the customer will like the product or service so much that they will come again and pay full price during their next visit. How does the concept of self-value come into play in all this? In my opinion, it doesn’t and it shouldn’t, given the level of care and value we should be placing on our profession, our time and our performance.
These companies claim they will market your product or service at a heavily reduced rate to people who are looking for a deal. Getting your business involved with these coupon companies can tarnish your image. As chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and business owners, we make a decision to be the best in our community or we make the choice to be average. Buying into the WagJag phenomenon will exclude you from being in the excellence category.
Everybody enjoys saving money and taking advantage of getting a deal on a service or product. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, people will usually buy coupons at a huge reduction in price simply because it is a good deal, not because they require your service or product. People are buying the product or service not because they value or need you, they are buying it because it is cheap – they may not return to your business if they, later, have to pay regular rates because they have not been taught to value your service.
The value of not wavering your value
Carefully read the names in the following list: BMW, Cadillac, Ferrari, Dior, Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Rolex, The Four Seasons, Belvedere Vodka, Starbucks.
What did you notice?
If you study the names in the list above, you will observe that the companies and products are known for things such as better-quality materials, taking more time to make their product and higher manufacturing and service standards. They have a solid reputation for all this and, as such, top value is associated with their product or service – they don’t need to underprice or discount in order to get your attention as a consumer.
Then there are companies that offer a similar product or service at a lower price or that discount their prices. As the consumer, how does that translate for you?
For example, if you receive a coupon from WagJag for 72 per cent off to entice you to stay at The Ritz-Carlton, or perhaps a coupon for 75 per cent off a pair of the famous Christian Louboutin shoes or a Dior handbag, do you not stop and question this?
I don’t know about you, but I would think twice about making a reservation, or purchasing those products. My first thought about The Ritz-Carlton would be is there something wrong with the room? Or are those Christian Louboutin shoes and the Dior handbag actually knockoffs?
And when is the last time you saw a coupon for a Ferrari at even 25 per cent off? The answer is never because brands such as Ferrari, Dior, Rolex or The Ritz-Carlton have established an unchanging value that is now associated with them. A drastic reduction in cost for any one of these products would cause them to lose their value.
(It is important to note that even though Christian Louboutin may have an end-of-season sale, the shoes will never be drastically reduced at higher-end stores!)
Establishing your value
Why do Rolex and Ferrari cost more? In simple terms, they spend more time developing their product. Take this philosophy into a clinical setting. When a patient enters your treatment room, they want to get better and they chose you to get them to that point. There are a number of things you can do, and offer, in the time that they are with you to best reflect not only the cost of the treatment but also the value of it.
For example, if you can provide more to the patient during their visit they will value the work that you do. I know it may seem trivial, but asking how they are and actually listening is key. Always leave the patient with a new study you’ve read or a workshop you are taking – showing your patient that you continue to improve yourself demonstrates that you are evolving to better their health. Also, take a minute to show a stretching exercise and provide more hands-on care with soft tissue work or other modalities versus a standard adjustment. This will maximize your value.
Be a trend-setter in your community
We make decisions every day, from the food we eat to the coffee we drink to the type of doctors and professionals we want to be. Create and define a culture unique to who you are and what you want people in your community to see you as.
For example, being an animal lover, I introduced a therapy dog to my clinic. He is a toy poodle named Nitro and patients of all ages love interacting with him. Some only schedule appointments when Nitro is in the office. This creates a unique and relaxing environment and provides a platform to help the community with local animal rescue shelters and other programs that improve the well-being of animals.
One final thought
There is a distinct difference between not being able to afford something and not being able to value it. There are people who may not be able to afford to buy a new Ferrari but can certainly value and appreciate that which makes a Ferrari a work of art. The same goes for the service you offer – someone may feel they cannot afford it, but they understand its value.
Then there will be those individuals who look at a $9,000 Rolex and say, “What a waste of money. I bought a watch for $11 and it works great.” To make a statement that a Rolex is a waste of money is a comment that under appreciates and devalues Rolex. That person obviously does not value the fact that the watch was hand-made and assembled by the best watchmakers in the world with the utmost precision and the finest of materials. Here is my point: Rolex does not worry about underpricing or employing cost-reduction tactics to entice those people who do not value and appreciate their work. And neither should you.
If you make a decision to be the best in your community, the first step is truly valuing yourself as a health practitioner. If you take pride in your work and value what you do, others will too.
Dr. Anthony Lombardi is a private consultant to athletes in the NFL, CFL and NHL, and founder of Hamilton Back Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic. He teaches his fundamental EXSTORE Assessment System and practice building workshops to various health professionals. For more information, visit www.hamiltonbackclinic.com .