The Multi-billion Dollar Industry That’s up For Grabs in Your Neighborhood
“Hello, welcome to Wellness…this is ____________. I can help you.” From the moment a new person calls our office, the smiling voice of our front desk person radiates and reflects the unique experience that can be had within the facility which houses our practice.
Twenty years of experience in clinical practice and as a practice coach have shown me, beyond a doubt, that a patient’s journey to health and wellness begins the moment they decide to pick up the telephone and make the call asking for help.
Everything they encounter and everyone they encounter will shape not only their clinical outcome, but also how they feel about the practice, how long they will stay active in the practice and even who of their friends, families and co-workers they will ultimately refer to the practice.
Awareness of this truth, and having a staff that has attitudes aligned with it, and systems in place that demonstrate consistency and congruence with a healthy wellness lifestyle, can make all the difference in people’s perception, their sense of comfort with your practice as the place to come, their trust in you with their lives and their valuable health care dollars…or with your competition—whoever that may be.
People vote with their feet and, in 2005, integrity and walking your talk provide the benchmark upon which educated consumers make their decisions. You can’t effectively sell a wellness lifestyle you’re not living yourself and you can’t live it if you don’t know what it is.
What Is Wellness?
Kleenex is synonymous with tissues, Windex equals window cleaner, and wellness—which the American public want to the tune of billions of dollars annually—is up for grabs in your community.
At this moment in America, wellness is whatever you say it is; but that will change. At this writing, no one profession, manufacturer or industry has succeeded in owning and branding wellness. The wellness label is being tied to everything, including health clubs, beauty salons, vitamins, homeopathy and chiropractic care. No one yet owns the wellness brand.
The question is, will they come to your practice looking for it? And if they do come to your practice looking for it—because you took step one of Wellness Marketing, which is referring to it in your Practice Brand—what will you have to offer and how will you get them to buy it from you as compared to the competition?
The following is an introduction to the steps that a practice coach would use to develop, cultivate and deliver a wellness division of your present practice as an additional profit center. This can rejuvenate your enthusiasm and diversify your revenue stream from what it presently is to one step closer to your dream practice.
Three Steps to Wellness from The Inside Out
1. Choose your niche. As a chiropractor, your niche has already been chosen; you are already the spine specialist. Own that niche. Practice with certainty. Keep learning, growing, and honing your skills. Then, pick the next spoke in your wellness wheel and study it. Master it so that you can make a career out of it. See how the addition of it to your own life could change or improve the quality of your life. Read books, watch DVD’s, attend seminars and symposiums like “Chiropractic ’06” next February in Panama. Become your area expert in your next area of interest.
2. Walk your talk. Today’s health care consumer is savvy. Internet information, Dr. Phil, Oprah and those ever present drug commercials have made today’s patient more knowledgeable. They have more questions, and are more likely to question and search for authenticity. The era of the fat, cigarette-smoking cardiologist advising his patients to “stop smoking, and lose 40 lbs, do what I say, not what I do…” is over. Living the wellness lifestyle and using your own wellness disciplines and discoveries as building blocks in your growing, evolving wellness practice can do more than provide a compass to guide you through the confusing waters of deciding what wellness products, services and ideas you would incorporate into your practice…any will improve your own quality of life.
3. Get a coach. Implementing a wellness strategy into your existing practice, or starting a new wellness practice, is a lot like building a house. To build your dream house could become a nightmare without an architect to turn your vision into a plan and a contractor to turn the plans into reality (unless you’ve already built a house). So it is with building a wellness practice. A coach who has already done it can be vital to turning your wellness vision into the practice of your dreams.
Dr. Goodman can be reached at Wellness PSI, 9370 Sunset Drive, Suite A150, Miami, FL 33173. Phone, 305-663-6681; email, [email protected], He will also be a presenter at The American Chiropractor Symposium “Chiropractic ‘06” in Panama, February 2006.