Dear Bill | Underselling My Services

Posted by Bill Esteb on Feb 7th 2020

Dear Bill

Because of wanting patients to like me, I undersell my services. How do I educate myself on why that is not giving the best care for my patients?

Let’s unpack the language you’ve used in your question. It may provide some clues about the issues that may be in play.

Wanting patients to like me – There’s no question that being likeable is a helpful social skill that can enhance the success of a practice. But if you really want them to like you, have someone wash and vacuum their car while they’re getting adjusted and send patients home with a gift.

I’m kidding.

My point is that being likeable has little to do with your care recommendations, your adjusting technique or even the fee you charge. You might want to explore how you have come to link one with the other.

Undersell - Are you “selling” when you make your clinical recommendations? Selling suggests that you have an outcome in mind and falling short of it represents some type of failure on your part. In other words, if patients were to reject your recommendations it means that they’re rejecting you.

Ridiculous. It just means for a myriad of possible reasons (out of your control) they lack the interest or resources to attend to their health at an optimal level. Linking one with the other is not unlike children who blame themselves for their parent’s divorce. The two simply aren’t related.

Educate myself - This isn’t about knowledge or even knowing the truth. This is emotional. One or more of these issues could be present:

Conflict Avoidance. What patients think of you is none of your business. Compromising your ideal care plan before even presenting it is a form of stealing. You’re withholding. They’re not getting what they paid for. If it doesn’t constitute malpractice it’s at least unprofessional.

What “No” Means. If you have inappropriately assumed a patient’s rejection of your recommendations is a personal failure, it’s tempting to soft peddle your care. It would be helpful to assign a different meaning to no. Such as “not at this time,” or “I’m not that interested in my health,” or “let’s see if this works before I make a long term commitment.” Their “no” isn’t about you.

Financial Empathy. If you’re imagining that you couldn’t afford the care you’re recommending, it’s tempting to compromise for the previous two reasons. Yet, without seeing a couple of year’s worth of tax returns, recent pay stubs and access to their monthly budget, you’re clueless about their ability to afford your care.

Best care - When I decline the new cabin air filter recommended by the oil change place, I doubt the technician ruminates about it for the rest of his shift. Or when I decline the lawn dethatching and aeration recommendations from the landscaper, I’m sure he doesn’t take it personally and discuss it at the family dinner table!

Same here. If a patient only wants the skimpiest amount of care to temporarily resolve their symptoms, it’s not personal. They’re not questioning your skills, intent or career choice. They’re merely expressing their preference based on their values and competing demands on their time and money.

This linkage you’ve created is a symptom of an emotional subluxation. Fortunately, emotional subluxations can be resolved. Seek out an NET practitioner or someone skilled at EFT. Oh, and plan on paying for your care and following their optimum recommendations! Then watch as your own patient volume and practice income grow.

Thanks for the question!

Email Bill with your question.

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