Please Note! Due to the high volume of irritating spam and slow-down of participation here, we are no longer accepting new comments, questions, or subjects on this Forum. We are keeping all the subjects and comments for review as there is a lot of good stuff here relating to practice-building subjects. So, dig deep! Thanks to everyone who participated here but it is time to move on to bigger projects educating the public about acupuncture! Matt Bauer
23-Apr-2013 06:57 PM
I recently purchased your book. Although my business coach and colleagues disagree, your arguments for lower (i.e., Middle Way) rates make sense to me, and I am now going to lower my fees. Any suggestions on how I can introduce these lower rates to my existing patients? I don’t mean How do I announce it (I plan to send out an email, maybe postcards), but rather, how do I phrase it without seeming like I am desperate for more business? I haven’t patronized other businesses that have ever lowered their rates (it’s always the opposite), so I don’t know how to present it in the best light.
I’ve found your book and this forum to be really helpful so far. Thanks for all your efforts in this regard! You seem to genuinely want to help other practitioners, and not just want to sell them stuff!
23-Apr-2013 07:35 PM
Hello LaLa and welcome to the Forum. Thank you for your question and it is great to hear you are continuing to search for the right approach in your practice and your bravery in being open to lowering your fees. I know it is scary and runs counter to mainstream advice but I can tell you, that mainstream is not doing all that well.
My advice is that you make as big a splash as possible in how you announce lowering your fees. Let your patients know your number one goal is seeing that they can afford all the treatments that they need to get the best results. You have learned that too many acupuncturists end-up under-treating their patients because of higher fees and this is like only taking half the needed dosage of a medication (or something to that effect). You are excited about this new policy and the opportunity it will provide for even better service. Ask them to please support you in this unconventional policy by letting their friends and family know about your new pricing and desire to help more people get the optimal care.
So many of my patients keep coming to me for longer periods of time and for so many different health problems than most Acupuncturists see because my fees are reasonable and they know I care more about helping them than about maximizing my income. Once you earn that type of trust, you will be much better able to keep a steady patient base over any type of economy. I have never had a slow-down in 27 years.
And thank you for your comment about my desire to help others and not just “sell them stuff”. I am at a place in my career that affords me the luxury of not needing to sell anybody anything. It pains me to see Acupuncturists struggling because I know they have the ability to be a very valuable health care resource once they learn the right balance (Middle Way) they need to make their services work for both their patients and themselves. Like you in your practice, however, I need those that I help to tell others about these services so we can keep this resource going and build it to be more valuable for all.
Please let us know how the new pricing roll-out goes and don’t hesitate to ask for any other advice.
24-Apr-2013 09:13 PM
Congratulations on the move to make acupuncture more accessible to your community.
I would use the following avenues to get the word out about the change in your business: Send out an e-mail newsletter (I use mailchimp because it is free), post it on your business facebook, twitter, yelp and linked in pages, and write an online press release (I use prlog.com also free).
I would also consider offering a special deal just to kick things off and really get the word out about you commitment to making acupuncture affordable. A 2 for 1 deal works really well to energize your existing client base as well as draw new patients into your practice. Post this through all the channels mentioned above. You can even do some paid advertising through adwords or facebook to promote your deal.
I would also make sure to explain to all of you patients, new and old, that you offer affordable rates to make acupuncture accessible to more and so that patients can come in more frequently to get better results.
25-Apr-2013 01:40 PM
|Some very helpful advice. Thanks for participating here.|
25-Apr-2013 02:03 PM
Thank you all for the great advice and words of encouragement. The new pricing also feels more resonant to me, and I am excited about it!
To I Love Acupuncture: Wow, thanks for sharing the words you used in your announcement!! You phrased it perfectly, and it makes me feel enthusiastic just reading it!
Mcosta: More great advice! I just signed up with Mail Chimp and will try your other suggestions. I had no idea how to go about doing a press release, so thanks!
One other marketing method I’ve just discovered is that there is a local company that sells discount cards that can be used at a wide variety of businesses (restaurants, entertainment, services) for various discounts. Friends of mine have used the card when we go out to restaurants, and I see a couple other acupuncturists in the list of participating businesses, so I think I’ll give it a try.
I’m feeling very energized about all the new possibilities!
26-Apr-2013 01:27 PM
Happy to hear you are finding help here and thanks to the others who contributed. I hope we will see many others sharing their questions, thoughts, and experiences. The more we help each other the better for all especially our patients.