As an alternative medicine practice, you have spent a lot of time and money to get your phone to ring. Even after you get a patient scheduled, you can often lose them when it’s time to present the treatment plan. It’s so important for your practice to have a solid system to present treatment plans and get the patient committed to moving forward.
It should be someone’s job in the office to be the treatment care coordinator. This position has the opportunity to increase the number of scheduled treatments or it can do the exact opposite. Having at least one person that is highly trained and experienced in this position can have a huge impact on the growth of your practice.
This is not to say that as the doctor, you shouldn’t go over the plan with the patient. However, once you do, they need to be handed off to the person that will help them make a decision to move forward.
Simply educating the patient on the treatment options is not enough to get them to move forward. You have to anticipate their objections and speak directly to their excuses before letting them decide. To do this, you need to consider what is going on in their life. Like many people, your patients likely have little time to devote to their health and limited funds.
Become an advocate for your patient and help them understand that your office can help them reach their goals while keeping in mind their limitations. Identify with them and build rapport so that they know their best interest is at the top of your priorities.
Here are the two most common objections:
If your patient sounds like they are worried about how much time they’ll have to take out of their workday, find ways to complete treatment in fewer appointments. This could mean scheduling them for longer appointments so they don’t have to come back as much. Or, they may prefer shorter appointments that happen right before or after work.
Since many alternative medicine practitioners are fee for service, patients know that their insurance may not reimburse their visit or treatments. Help your patients get the financial assistance they need. You can offer financing options like Care Credit or GreenSky. Those companies take on the risk of the loan and you receive a monthly payment.
You can also share other ideas of how they can finance the cost themselves. They could open a personal credit card that has a zero-interest promotion. Or, you could consider letting them split up the payments in a way that works for your office.
If a patient has agreed to move forward with the treatment plan, get them on the schedule before they walk out the door. Even if they have to re-schedule it, you don’t want them walking out without a commitment. This will keep them on your radar to follow-up with.
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