The Secret To Having A Full Acupuncture PracticeAug 25, 2020
When I evaluated survey responses, read comments, and responded to countless emails, I noticed that acupuncturists of all types need one thing:
Patients are the essence of every acupuncture office.
You see, some practitioners think it’s all about getting more and more new patients, but I’m the acupuncturist who’s going to give it to you straight:
Yes you need to initially get patients into your practice, but that’s not the answer to a successful clinic…
… knowing how to get your current patients to come back in for more treatments, without being pushy, is how you boost your practice.
If you retain 5% of your patients, you boost your profits by up to 85%, making business – and life – that much more awesome.
Earlier in 2014 I decided to look into how many new patients I had in 2013. That was my first year generating 6-figures.
I didn’t know how many I had or what portion of my sales came from these patients.
I discovered in 2013 I only had 58 new patients.
My new patient price at that time was $120, which means just under $7000 of my 6-figures in sales was generated from new patient appointments.
I had already been treating some patients from 2012, but you know, not that many. Because up until 2013 I was a struggling, frustrated and broke acupuncturist.
This means my patient retention is huge. My patients come in for follow up treatments again and again and again.
You don’t need 500 new patients a year to build a 6-figure acupuncture practice.
You just need to have systems in place so your patients come back to you again and again and again.
When you have patients coming in for multiple treatments all year long, like clockwork, you’re no longer wondering how to have a successful acupuncture practice. You’re living it.
The question is, “How can you get your patients to come in for follow up treatments over and over again?”
That’s where this strategy comes in.
As you know, I’m Alyssa Dazet, and I started my acupuncture practice in April of 2011 with zero business experience. And since then, it grew from nothing to a 6-figure acupuncture practice in less then 3 years.
With success like this, I learned a few things about building a booming acupuncture practice…
… and I’m going to show you how I did it.
So let’s dive into today’s technique.
Your lack of patient retention, I believe, comes down to one main problem…
How you speak to your patients.
Whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve been in practice a while, your income is tied directly to the number of treatments you have.
And you can trust me on this: if you speak to them correctly, you’ll get more treatments out of each patient.
And you can do it without being salesy, insincere, or sleazy.
It’s the right thing to do. And soon you’ll see that it WORKS BETTER than those exhausting tactics of getting more and more and more new patients.
You see, once you get started on this road of speaking correctly to your patients, your practice will begin to grow.
I believe doing that is the secret to building a successful acupuncture practice.
And I believe this because, unlike other articles you read that are just teaching generic non-acupuncture specific techniques for practice building, I, a tried and true acupuncturist, actually did it this way.
So for right now, I’m going to show you how to solve this. How can you get your patients to come in for follow up treatments over and over again?
Let me set the stage.
During your initial treatment with your patient, it’s critical to explain to them the treatment plan protocol, aka the amount of treatments they’ll need in what time frame.
Your patients have no idea how many treatments they need. You need to guide them in order to get the maximum amount of benefits and healing out of the treatments.
You might think, “But won’t my patients think I’m just pushing treatments on them in order to make money?”
I’ve got news for you…
If you’re talking to people who are sick, in pain, stressed out, or have some problem that you can heal, and they’re able to pay for that healing, they’re not going to worry about you selling them treatments.
They’re going to imagine how amazing they’re going to feel once you fix them up.
So, right now, whether you’re just getting started, or you’ve been at it a while, here’s what I want you to say to every single new patient during the initial interview:
“Let me explain to you how acupuncture works. Acupuncture works in a series of treatments. You can never have acupuncture treatments too close together, but you can have them too far apart. It works cumulatively and we want to continue building on your progress.”
“If we treat you today, but then before your next appointment a week later your symptoms slowly start to creep back in so by the time we treat you again we’re at square one, then we went too far between the first appointments. We’ll be stuck in this see saw of your symptoms improving, then getting worse, then improving, and getting worse. We don’t want this, we want your symptoms to slowly improve, and improve, and improve.”
“In order to accomplish this, I’ll need to see you twice a week for the first 1-2 weeks. After that as long as your symptoms are improving and staying at that level of improvement between appointments, then we’ll back off to once per week. As long as your symptoms continue to stay stable between appointments we’ll keep treating you once per week, but if they start to creep back in during that week then I want you to contact me and we’ll get you in the office asap for an appointment so we don’t lose ground on all of our progress.”
“Once the symptoms are basically gone, then we’ll go into tune up mode where I have my patient come in every 2-3 weeks to check in. And I have all of my patients come in at least once per month for their tune up treatment.”
Did you see what happened here?
Not only are you teaching the patient to come in for immediate follow up treatments, but it also sets the stage for indefinite follow-ups – tune up treatments. They will expect to hear from you and expect to come in for a session at least once per month.
Again and again and again.
I know that may all seem like common sense to you, but nobody does this.
Or if they do, they don’t explain it clearly enough, and the patient is left to their own devices for when to return for treatments.
That’s a huge mistake. Not only are you missing out on profitable treatments, your patients aren’t getting better, they think acupuncture doesn’t work, your word of mouth marketing is shot, and the advancement of Eastern medicine goes down the tubes.
How to have a successful clinic doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t underestimate the amount of business you already have with your current patients.
That’s all there is to it. It’s worked for me countless times, and it can work for you!
Of course, there’s much more you can do if you want to get patients, have them return for follow treatments and build your acupuncture business, but far more than I can fit into one blog post.
Most acupuncturists believe they have to get more and more new patients in order to have a successful clinic. Not true! Instead, I’ve discovered the key to a booming practice is all in how you speak to them. This is far more important if you want to retain your patients and increase your income.