And I wanted to share with you today the idea around how to attract patients who are open and willing to pay your fees.
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I wanna thank the AAC for this opportunity to share with you my colleagues. My name’s Lorne Brown doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I have a practice in Vancouver, BC Canada. I’m also a cpa. I’m the founder of Healthy Seminar. And the author of missing the point on why acupuncturists fail and what they need to know to succeed.
And I wanted to share with you today the idea around how to attract patients who are open and willing to pay your fees. And I. I’m preparing this for you guys, and it’s not like a full on lecture. I got notes in front of me. So to be fully transparent I have these ideas and I always come from the idea, or I’ve heard the idea that those that cannot do will teach right.
and I like to do I think of myself as somebody who does and once in a while teaches. And so I’m not a professional teacher, but I think I’m okay enough that I can convey some important pearls for you to help you in your clinical and business practice. So the topic today is how to track patients willing to pay your fees.
And I do know that there are patients out there. There are people out there who are willing to pay your. And the question is how do we track those? Because it’s a drain energetically. When somebody comes to your practice and they are complaining about your rates, or complaining about how often they’re told to come in, and I know for myself, and I can share that I know this for you, that when a patient comes in and they’re excited to see you, and when they leave with real gratitude that they really appreci.
The treatment that you just provided. And they don’t balk at your fees. They don’t complain about your fees. It feels good. And wouldn’t it be nice to fill your practice with those patients? And so this is what I wanna share with you the concepts around that. What does it mean when a patient tells you that?
They would like to comfort your treatments, but they can’t afford your fees. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. I’ll tell you how I interpret it. I interpreted that they are saying that first of all, they’re being nice. They’re nice. They don’t wanna hurt my feelings. So the first part is I really want to come for treatment.
That’s probably a bit of a lie. They’re just being kind. I’m in Canada, so we like to be kind , and so that’s just them being nice. what they’re saying between the lines when they say, I would like to come for your treatments, but they can’t afford your fees, is you have not communicated to me that your treatments are valuable enough for me to make that hour in my day and pay that fee.
That’s really what they’re saying because when people want something and in their heart believe that you are the solution that you can help. , they show up and they pay for it. And so I take it as it was my responsibility most of the time that I haven’t communicated it properly to them that The value of what I’m offering or how it can benefit, how they can benefit from it.
So the message here is we have to create value for our patients. And just so you know, the value. Is not how many years you went to school. That doesn’t create value for your patients. That’s not gonna make them want to come or pay your fees. How much school debt you have, that’s not gonna make them want to pay your fees either.
It is about perceived value and so they have to perceive that what you’re offering is the solution to the problem. And you have to be able to communicate that and that perceived values what’s gonna have them want to come and see you at their clinic. And I’m gonna share with you. A couple of stories here as well, but I wanted to let you know that if you’re selling acupuncture, then you are a commodity, meaning you’re, there’s nothing unique or special about you.
You’re a commodity and you are competing based on price, and so you need to be the same price or lower price than the other acupuncture commodities in your area in order to track patients. So I don’t see myself as an acupuncturist. I’m not dogmatic about it. It is a medicine that I practice that I’m trained in.
I’m trained in clinical hypnotherapy as well and other modalities. It’s about being patient center focused versus doctor center focus focused. So although I do really love acupuncture and I’m passionate about it, that doesn’t mean my patients are what they want. Is a solution. They want resolution to their problem.
They want to feel good mentally and physically, and if you tell them to drink orange juice and stand in one foot and go in circles three times a day for a week, and you have research or anecdotal evidence that works, they will do that. So they’re not coming for acupuncture. They’re coming for what the acupuncture provides.
but they don’t necessarily care or need it to be the acupuncture as long as they have that transformation. So your patients are looking for a transformation and there’s a great marketing book by , Donald Miller, I think it’s his name’s, Donald Miller. And he really puts it in a nice way. He puts it in a really clear way where the patient is the hero and you, the doctor or the guy and the patient is looking for a transformation.
And I’ve said this in my book and in my lectures in the past that. We wanna be patient centered versus doctor centric. And when you’re patient-centric, you’re focusing on them, their transformation, you’re gonna help them have the transformation, you’re the support, the guide to help ’em have that transformation.
When you’re customer, when you’re company centric or doctor centric, you’re focusing on you and you’re talking all about your acupuncture and bragging about how great you are, and that’s not gonna be as exciting for your patients. Yes, they do need to know you are the right and best guide. There is something about who you are, but it’s really about how can you make me the patient, have a transformation.
And so if you’re a commodity, if you’re selling acupuncture, then you will have to compete on price. And you do want to find a way to Show them the value. And I can think in our profession, three things that come to mind from you right away. The example is showing a shift on the table. If that patient can have a shift, an experience on the table, then you are going to earn their trust and confidence.
and they will probably want to follow your treatment planning, come see you that once or twice a week for a series of treatments to get that full resolution. And examples of that I can think of on my Healthy Seminars platform that I’ve learned from is practitioners like David Jeweler. He has that palpation based acupuncture courses.
The reason that one is powerful is he teaches you how to do palpation on the table. And find aches or problems that the patient is having, and then choose an acupuncture point based on that, and then go ahead and press that sore spot again, and the patient on the table notices that tenderness is gone.
And so that is quite the shift on the table. Pony Chung. Also unhealthy seminars. He has a style where he puts the needle in. He uses a pointer plus to activate the needle just for a few seconds to show muscle movement. To demonstrate that he has properly located the point. Now this is twofold. One, from the practitioner’s perspective, it lets you know that you actually hit the right point, cuz we always have the right intention when we put in spleen.
We think we got the right sling. Six for that patient. Pony has shown through his research and cadaver work and how acupuncture ties into the peripheral nervous system that you can actually check. To see if you actually got the right point. Get instant feedback and that is impressive for the patient in my practice cuz my fees are higher than anybody else in my practice.
And I have a wait list of two to three months for my practice and people who pay top fees and nobody actually. Complains about it. And after they have their session with me, the first session they book six to 10 follow-ups immediately is the trend. And that’s because they have a shift mentally on the table, mentally, physically.
What I mean by this is I do a lot of conscious work and help people work through fear, shame, guilt, they have physical symptoms, but the emotional symptoms around that as well. And I use my acupuncture laser and my mind body approach through my clinical hypnotherapy training and the training I’ve gotten through Amid OV cause he has a whole series of this unhealthy, using those styled acupuncture in his palpation.
It’s similar to ef FT on the table. Patients in that hour have their tears often come from feeling highly anxious, fearful anger. And on the table, having a full on shift where they feel peace, relief, and often even joy, they’re feeling it physically, viscerally felt sense. And so that shift is where they get that trust and confidence.
So rather than me selling acupuncture, I’m selling my treatment for a major shift and people, and I call that energy psychology with Accu Laser and people come for that. The key that I wanna share with you is I had to invest in myself and and build up my confidence and my experience, and now I’m at a place where patients are coming to my practice and the word of mouth is growing so fast because of what people experience on the table and going.
And so for us as acupuncturists, I think of David Jeweler’s style of acupuncture, that palpation base where on the table patients notice a difference. It’s, you still will need a series of treatments, but it’s nice that they get a shift on the table and pony Chong. And Hamid Monka. So those are three practitioners to start with.
There’s many more that I have trained with and I highly recommend if you’re looking to not be a commodity and give that transformation, and if you can do it on the table, then you can make a big difference. The message I’m sharing here is you want to create value for your patients and to create value means you have to a, believe that you have the value and you have to usually invest in your.
and be able to communicate the value, and they have to perceive that as good value. Just because you took a great course and it costs you a lot of money, that’s not enough. You have to be able to communicate why they’re gonna benefit and they actually have to experience that benefit pretty quickly, usually on that first treatment.
And I’m gonna just give you an example about perceived value, how this works, and tie this back to that early statement where I said, patients say, I wish I could come see you, but I can’t afford you. so many years ago, we introduced low level laser therapy for fertility in my practice at Accu Balance, and we invested in good quality lasers.
Now, there’s a lot of people, as of today’s recording using laser therapy for fertility in a practice, and they’re using laser systems that are a couple hundred to a thousand dollars. My systems were 20,000 to 40,000, so I really invested to get results. and we changed our fee structure for patients when we did this.
So I’ll share with you back then. I’m gonna round up the numbers. Let’s say acupuncture was a was it was $95 a visit back then. It isn’t today. It’s more than that, but it was $95 a visit. And we had patients that joined our laser baby program. And the laser baby program fee was accu combined with laser for one 30, visit twice a week over three.
And many of the people we had seen, ha, who had initial consults with us who said, I can’t afford $95 a week for acupuncture, joined the laser baby program at two 60 a week. So they couldn’t afford 95 a week, but they could afford two 60 a week for three months. What’s going on here? The way we shared the laser fertility and the way we were able to communicate how it could be beneficial in sharing some of the research and some of the anecdotal stuff that’s out there from other people doing it in Japan and Denmark before we were doing it, reached them and they saw the value.
And this is my point where when they say they can’t afford your services, people will find a way to afford something if they see the value, if they can’t afford it. Usually what they’re saying is, I don’t see the. in it. And I knew this already before that because women who and men who said they couldn’t afford our fees would go and spend $20,000 on an IVs treatment much more than my treatment.
And so what is that telling me That they will be willing to spend that money cuz they have a perceived idea that IV. We’ll get them the baby quicker and better than say acupuncture. That’s their perceived perception. So this is why you have to be able to be of value and be able to communicate that value.
And I thought that was an interesting story, right about, just think about it, $95 a week couldn’t afford it, but one 30, twice a week they came and joined those programs. So I thought that was quite, quite interest.
I’m just pulling out my notes here guys, cause I wanna make sure I said everything for you guys and in my practice, just so you know, we have fees for acupuncture and laser and even how we communicate this in our clinic today. At the time of this recording it’s one 10 to have an acupuncture treatment and it’s one 20 to have just a laser acupuncture.
But if you want them together, it’s one 40. So rather than one 10 plus one 20 being two 30 in that same hour, we get acupuncture and laser and they pay one 40. You have to be able to communicate the value and the benefit. Everybody does like a deal. And so rather than coming just for acupuncture, just for laser, get the benefit of them together at a really good rate.
And Probably 60% of our practice is combined laser and acupuncture, and then the other 40% is pretty much just acupuncture. And this is that idea of that perceived value. But I’m sharing here that when they’re getting a deal, you have to do the math sometimes for them.
Acupuncture is one 10, laser is one 20, but rather than paying two, You can have both for one 40, and so you do have to do the math and communicate. If you don’t let them know they’re having a discount, for example, and it doesn’t show on their invoice, then they may not know that they actually got a deal.
So you do need to communicate. That’s the second point I’m really wanting to emphasize here is one is you have to have value and the patient has to perceive the value and they’re not gonna perceive it if you don’t believe it. . So we want integrity and genuinely you believe you have the value. And two is you have to be an excellent communicator to help them see the value and the benefit.
And going back to that book I mentioned by Donald Miller, I didn’t mention the title. He’s got three out there. They’re all similar, so check them out. But the, it’s being patient-centric care. They’re looking for the transformation. You are the guide. Now you need to be a good guide. , but it’s them. That’s the hero that is looking for the transformation.
And again, if you can do that shift on the table, pony Chong, David Jeweler, amid Monk, three excellent practitioners that that you can learn from, where you can learn to get a shift on the table. It will help you with patients finding that trust and confidence and having that transformation to want to continue.
I think that is what I wanted to share. I’m gonna just check my notes here. Going back to my treatment and the fees I pay, I wanna share with you that it’s taking me years and to get to this level of training where I’ve done clinical hypnotherapy, nlp, psych, k Maris, peer rapid transformational therapy.
I just joined Dawson Church’s program. Here’s a transparency idea. Just to let you know, he has this six or nine month online program. And I was looking for transformation. I’m always looking for spiritual evolution and like many of you, I want to heal my shame, my guilt, my imposter syndrome that I sometimes run that doesn’t feel good.
And I saw his program and how it could work, how you can work through shadow work. And that’s something I’m really interested these days. And his program was advertised for like 10,000 US dollars, early bird, 9,000, and. really wanted that transformation, so I wasn’t so stuck on the cost. And that amount of money would hurt.
By the way, that’s not an easy money to spend, but I joined that program. Now I’m getting twofold benefit. I’m getting my own spiritual evolution. I love to continue to do my personal growth, but I’m learning ways to communicate to patients, and I’m learning new tools that I can bring into the treatment room, and I’m pretty aware.
Within six to nine months, I’m gonna raise my fees again because I’ve gotten better at what I do. And as long as I can communicate that to my patients then I expect that they will fo will follow. Now, Dawson’s program isn’t cheap and there’s a lot of people that paid for that program like me, and so he’s got people that are really wanting that transformation and they’re willing to pay that price.
Although you may think your fees are. , the patient is focusing on the result. First, can you be the solution? Are you the person that’s going to help them have that transformation and have that solution? And if they believe that, then they will invest in you first. You need to invest in yourself. . And when you as a practitioner invest in yourself, then the public will be willing to invest in you for their healthcare needs, has been my experience.
So it’s not a, you’re gonna turn this around in 24 hours or in 48 hours? Every two years. I’d like to add a designation to. to me. So every two years I go into a intensive type of program that I like to learn. If you go to healthy seminars.com, you’ll see that we have these mentorship programs on pregnancy, on fertility, on consciousness.
And so these programs are what I partake in sometimes through healthy. I’m doing Dawson Churches programs not on my healthy seminar. So I do pay for these sometimes too, cuz I’m constantly investing in myself and when I see that it’s taking my game to another level and I. I can bring that to my treatment tables and I can communicate it, that’s key.
Where the benefit is, then I’m able to increase my fees as well. And it’s been my experience that when I increase my fees and I believe there’s value there and I know they’re gonna get results and they have that experience early in treatment. There’s not an issue when I raise my fees because I need more fees, but I don’t believe in the.
people fight me over it and it doesn’t work. So I have to take up a relationship and work on those issues around money and me feeling good enough first and really believe it because I believe in energy chi and if I don’t believe that I’m of value and I have and I’m uncomfortable charging the fees I’m charging, that does get put out to the ether.
And you’ll attract people to challenge you cuz you’ll track people to help you work your issues. Those limiting subconscious. . So first you invest in yourself and you take your game to another level. You have to be able to believe that you’re of value. What you do has to transfer to your patient on the table.
They have to have results, and you have to be able to communicate it. For example, when I treat patients, even though they’re coming regularly for certain conditions, I’m telling them why I’m using these points and lasers and herbs. I’m constantly remind. Engaging the placebo maybe? I don’t think of placebo as the negative that it’s inert.
I think of placebo as engaging the innate ability of the human being. The brain is the greatest pharmacy on the planet, and every time I’m explaining how acupuncture is helping them. Regulate inflammation in the immune system, regulate hormones, the hypothalamus, pituitary ovarian access all the things that we’re learning that acupuncture could do from the western medicine perspective.
And I explain the blood flow and what we’re doing, all that is engaging. The healing in the body as well, but it’s also reminding them why they’re coming and the value they’re getting versus just coming and getting needles put in that commodity. Why they don’t know what, why you’re putting a point in spleen six and large intestine four, that doesn’t make sense to them.
Why that may help a digestive issue, for example. They don’t know. And so explaining to them constantly be becoming a great educator, a communicator, a teacher in the treatment room is. . And so that’s of what I wanted to share with you guys. I’m just looking at my notes to see if I left anything out.
I think I have not . Just a few things I wanna mention. I have launched a Conscious Fertility podcast. If you’re looking about that mind body stuff and consciousness, you don’t have to be trying to conceive to enjoy it and to benefit from it. Check out the Conscious Fertility Podcast also on healthy seminars.
I do wanna remind you. That we have lots of on-demand courses where you continue education purposes and check out those mentorship programs that we have. They are super valuable in bringing more value to you that you can take to your practice. And again, contact me if you’re interested in a copy of my book.
Missing The Point. I do want to thank the American Acupuncture Council again for this opportunity to share with you some practice management tips to you, my friends and my colleagues. Thank you very much.