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Client flow, you know you want some.

Practice Building

Ask yourself, do I want more clients that appreciate my work, pay the fee for service, give great reviews and refer a bunch of similar people? Uhh, yeah, yeah I do!

I have a saying. If you don’t have any clients you don’t need a clinic and this is our topic for another instalment of Barefoot Practice Management’s getting “Success in Life and Practice”.

There are a myriad of problems to getting the golden client (re-books, great review, awesome referrer), or the magical Unicorn client (refers 50 patients that actually show up), even the OK client (shows up and pays) would be nice.

Well I can say I have had them all, even one that threatened to kill my secretary, and two month later, was arrested for assaulting someone else, they even gave me a bad review before going to jail!

Over time it becomes clear the business side of our lives is much like any other business. You did realize you are in a business, right? That may be step one for you. Think about it like this. You open the best restaurant in your town. What is missing?

Customers, well we can fix that. We will just tell them we have the best restaurant in town. That will do it, right? No, not so much, as they already have their favorite places and are not even OPEN TO LOOKING AT A NEW PLACE.

Have you ever had a favourite restaurant? How long was it your favourite? I can tell you it was not forever and the reason is, things change, people change, events happen and that is the gap you need to insert yourself in and tell them about your great place. Converting them to your business, where you work very diligently at maintaining a consistent and improving environment.

This leads to the first “action” step of our talk.

Step #1. Get really, really, really (did I say really) good at talking about what you do in plain English (or the working languages of you area). You must be able to listen and answer in the language your future lifetime customer understands. If you ever tell them their Qi is Xu, prepare to get a new career after you spend your life savings on this one.

(Secret #1.) If you confuse a person, they will not tell you, they will just go somewhere else. Don’t impress them, just relate to them. I think this is difficult and things like Toastmasters, or speaking groups are a must-do thing. That’s the “action” step, go join a speaking group

Step #2. Get in front of a lot of different kinds/groups of people. There are two reasons for this (there are 15 reasons, but let’s focus on two).

(A) You just do not know when someone is looking for a new restaurant or in our case a clinic. When you get a large, diverse group of people in front of you, I guarantee some will be looking for your services.

(B). Reason two, do you get slow times in the clinic? I never get slow times. I have had 100% full booking (13/day) for years and years. How did I do that? I got really good at action step #1 and I met a whole lot of different people.

If all of your clients come from your running club, I worry for you as one day they will not. But if you have a running club, Tai Chi club, law offices, construction company, referrals from massage, chiro, ND… You will always be full.

The action step is to figure out ways to get in front of different groups of people. Always be looking for ways to “grow” your referral network. I used the word “grow” to remind us all, some crops take a long time to grow and others are quicker. Be persistent it can take time to get some referral sources working properly.

A couple of last quick steps:

Step #3. Always be learning. Everything evolves or atrophy’s (grows or dies). You pick, or the choice will be made for you. (hint – without attention most things die). Action step, always be learning, simple enough.

Step #4. Every week stand, sit and lie in every place your clients do. Make sure it’s clean, inviting, comfortable and shows some of who you are. The action step I hope is obvious.

I have roughly 25 steps that I follow and we will get to them as time goes on.

I have had a full clinic for a long time, it took a long time to get it that way but I have NOT paid for any sort of advertisements in 17 years. I just tell my people the benefits of what our medicine can do for them and I have gotten good enough at it that they do the rest.

Please be kind to yourself. All business is tough, this is no exception. You will have so many great days and there will be some that just suck. As your clinic gets busier and busier it is a numbers game, you will have more of all types of days.

Read that again, more of all types of days.

"Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity." — Lou Holtz

To have Success in Life and Practice you will need to overcome adversity, but win or lose you will experience adversity. Get the skills to overcome adversity.

Ward started Barefoot Practice Management, to teach and demonstrate how others in the field can be more successful in clinic and personally. He holds certificates in professional coaching.

You can find his courses covering this topic in more detail and other key areas at Net of Knowledge and worldwide partners. (Insert hyperlink)

Prior to his near fatal MVA, he ran large businesses in 30 countries, dealing with millions of dollars and hundreds of staff. He has run clinics large and small since 1996.

Ward’s goal is to ‘Guide Acupuncturists to Success in Life and Practice.’

“Natural therapies returned my life to me. I will spend the rest of mine doing that for others. Practitioners have the right and obligation to help others and make their family successful which includes financial independence.”

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Practice Management - Course 1


Without clients you do not need a clinic. How do you fill it up and have your clients keep it that way? Find out here, from basic to advanced. Step by step it is simply a matter of doing it. You can actually have a full clinic all the time. I do.

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