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Do You Love Your Patients?
    Seems like an awkward question to ask; do you love your patients?  But it's one of the most important factors in the success of your practice, and even more importantly, the quality of your life.

    What do I mean by do you love your patients?  Well, I'll get into that in just a minute.  First though, I want to set the foundations with an important factor that we can all agree on.

    Human beings are emotional creatures.

    There is no doubt about that.  We are not machines.  Think about it - do you ever find yourself doing something just because you feel like it, even though logically you know that you shouldn't be doing it?  Or vice-versa?  Sure!  We've all done that (probably more than we wanted to).  This emotional control is a common denominator of all humans.

    Now, I'd like you to think about the relationship that you have with your patients and prospective patients.  Do you provide them with accurate information and educate them about chiropractic until they are convinced about the benefits?  Well, that's great!  Unfortunately, that approach is only so useful.  The number #1 factor in whether or not a patient continues to be a patient, and a prospect becomes a patient, is whether or not they like you.

    You can have the most informative presentation.  You can have great pricing.  You can even have a killer office location, but the truth of the matter is that if your patients like you, they will come to you again and again, and will refer more patients to you than you can handle.  And if they don't like you, they'll tell even more people about you (not the type of exposure you'll want) and your practice will be one big drag.

    So then, what do I recommend you do?  Let me share with you the story of one of my closest friends, and definitely one of the best businessmen I know - Luis Perez.

    Is Luis a chiropractor?  No, he's a bail agent.  Before I go any further, let me clarify some misconceptions and myths about bail agents.  Contrary to popular belief, bail agents are not sleazy underworld hooligans, but are hard working business people, just like you and me.

    When I met Luis 3 years ago, I wasn't really sure he was for real.  He was always in a positive mood, and incredibly enthusiastic.  So much so, that his attitude and enthusiasm rubbed off on everybody around him.

    Frequently I would see clients of his stop by and visit him, just because they missed him so much.  When father's day comes around, his mail box is full of cards and his phone is ringing with people wishing him a happy fathers day.  When his birthday comes around, his office is full of people wishing him a happy birthday.

    I had actually heard people say that even though they felt bad that their family member was incarcerated, they were happy because it gave them an excuse to see Luis.  Think about it, when was the last time a patient told you that he was happy that he was in pain because it gave him an excuse to see you?

    So what is the great secret to Luis' way with people?  Easy - he puts people up.  It's a constant in life - your family puts you down, your friends put you down, your coworkers put you down.  The funny thing is that it takes as much effort to put people up as it does to put people down, and it is immensely more rewarding.

    The second "secret" to Luis is that he makes people feel good about themselves.  Everyone has good habits and bad habits.  Instead of focusing on the bad habits and taking every chance he gets to mention it to them, he picks the good habits and focuses on them.  The result - not only does the person like Luis more, but he or she feels good about themselves and becomes a better person.

    The third "secret" to Luis is that he remembers people's birthdays and other important dates.  Does he have an amazing memory?  Absolutely not!  But he does have the common sense to write it on a calendar.  I have yet to have one birthday go by without him calling me up and wishing me a happy birthday, and I know that he does the same for many of his clients.  Imagine the surprise on someone's face when he remembers their birthday (especially after everyone else forgot about it).  Occasionally he'll take them out to lunch, and if they are elderly he'll drop by their house with some flowers or chocolates and a big hug.

    Now, I know from the description I gave of Luis, he seems to be one of two things, either a superhuman or someone with too much time on his hands.  The truth is that he's neither.  He works harder and longer than anyone I personally know, but he has realized that going the extra mile and making people feel special and good about themselves makes both his business and his life successful.

    So how can you use this information for your practice?  Easy!

    1)  Focus on the positive in everyone, and let them know about it.

    2)  Put people up.  Make them feel good about themselves and put them on a pedestal.  You might be surprised to see that many of them will strive to make themselves worthy of your  praise.

    3)  Remember special days, especially people's birthdays, and go out of your way to make sure they know you're thinking about them.

    4)  Go the extra mile and let people know they are special.

    I know that it seems like too much work, and chances are you are overworked as it is.  But I guarantee you this, you go out of your way and make people feel special, and you'll have patients for life, and more referrals than you'll know what to do with.  Even more importantly, you'll have a very fulfilling life.
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