Don’t get me wrong. I am not calling you arrogant, self-centered or even cocky. I am not accusing you of being oblivious or ignorant, nor am I implying you haven’t a clue about what your prospective new patients are thinking. This is not a commentary on your screening, conversation or even basic communication skills. I’m not even calling you desperate. But, take a moment to consider your past chiropractic screenings, the appointments you booked and new patient no-shows you have experienced.
I’m talking about those solid ones that seemed so promising, yet ended up in patient no-shows. Ask yourself: Were they really that into you? Chances are they weren’t. And there are several reasons why which can help you better understand what it takes to create a real, live, honest-to-goodness arrival in your office.
Patient no-shows may have deceived you into believing they are into you
All I can think of is that movie in 2009 called “He’s Just Not That Into You” where, in the story, there was an array of guys that one of the main characters met and dated, all of whom seemed “into her”, but who gave her vague signals as to their interest level, whether they would call her again and what their intentions were going forward. Though the movie was a comedy, it’s not that funny when it happens to us.
You may have heard me giving the example of that “amazing close” I did at a Whole Foods Market screening where I closed a family of three and collected three $40 cash deposits, only to have the doctor report them, surprisingly, as new patient no-shows! $120 deposit, completely blown off. And for what? I was as befuddled as you find yourself when this sort of thing occurs. Undoubtedly, such new patient candidates are not as qualified as they seem. They must be putting out some false signal, right?. But what?
What signals are they sending that make you perceive they’re into you when they’re not?
Screeners, marketers and doctors alike have looked in vain for an answer to this question. Hell, I have even searched for this secret to no avail! When my searches come up fruitless, however, I begin to suspect I am chasing the wrong element or adopting a false or assumed premise on which to conduct the study. Getting back to this basic I figured it out. It has little, if nothing to do with basic perception of the person’s signals. It turns out, there aren’t any! Not a single one. If they are into you, they will indicate so, plain as day. If not, they indicate that too. You just need to listen, watch and observe. So why, if they’re into you, do they blow off the appointment?
Nearly anyone can get someone’s interest – holding it is a different story
Just because someone is into you now doesn’t mean they will STAY interested. Herein lies the problem of someone you got interested in booking an appointment and never showing up. Here are your new patient no-shows in summation. You may get their interest; that’s easy. But, you need to keep their interest, right up until the moment they walk through your waiting room door.
You need to look beyond the screening. How far? How about 2 minutes? That’s about the time it takes for someone’s interest to dissipate. Don’t take offense. It’s really not likely to be personal. If you made a genuine impression on them, they were interested, at least for the moment. The problem is, you were only interesting for the moment. There are thousands of “moments” in this person’s life. A good screener can get their attention off of all others and focused on the subject at hand. An excellent screener knows how to go beyond to hold the interest.
Are new patient no-shows proportionate to the lack of charisma of the screener?
Answer this question for yourself. Think back to the best screening you ever did. Weren’t you certain you really captivated the person on the subject and really elicited their interest? Charisma had nothing to do with it. In the end, interest is interest, regardless of any other factor.
But they are interested in many things, good and bad. People are interested in the news, the weather, their problems, their career, their bowling league, their families and a host of other things. Many of those things have held their interest for a long time. They are not likely to abandon them for the likes of your discussion. Again, it’s nothing personal.
So don’t get so down when a patient no-shows after only having spoken to you once
Charisma aside (which, itself, can close deals in one meeting), accepting a call to action after an in-depth, interesting conversation, has but limited duration. Life, which the person cast aside for a moment while you spoke, comes back into full view. And there you stand, a spec on their radar from having been, if only for five minutes, the center of their attention, all while, ironically, they are and remain the center of your attention.
As I said in a recent episode of my Road Rants podcast:
“…even if you got them to CRY at the screening, how quickly, the moment the person walks away form you, you are off their radar. And, you HAVE to realize that!”
That emotion you provoked is a true feat of strength. But it dissipates faster than is observable to the naked eye. Don’t wonder if they’re thinking about you. They’re not. They’re back onto what they were thinking of before you met them. It’s nothing personal. It just is.
This conversation is about what you do. It is not about what they do!
The people you close are the center of your attention, and they keep your attention. The reverse is not true. This is your career, your profession, your life. It is not theirs.
Undoubtedly, one or more things are the center of attention of these prospects you meet. You have much competition to overcome to win that number one spot. The work it takes should not be underestimated. It is far more than you estimate, I assure you.
Keeping them in the moment so they don’t become new patient no-shows
The good news is that you can command their attention by finding ways to keep them in the moment. Use your imagination.
(HINT: “Hello, Kate, I am calling to confirm your appointment tomorrow for a consultation with the doctor” is not keeping them in the moment!)
Every conversation, real or virtual, should be geared toward placing them back into that moment or creating a new one. These attitudes and mindset shifts can and do evaporate at various speeds. Never take for granted anyone to be “in the bag” as a sure-fire arrival. Follow this advice and you can make a marked improvement in your screening batting average. If you are clever enough, you can make patient no-shows into “something that happens to other doctors and screeners” but certainly not you.
For tips, tricks and other advice on how to handle this problem, and for ways and means to keep prospects “in the moment” and arriving to your clinic in fact, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Set up a free 10 minute call with me to get your mojo back on creating the flood of arrivals you want and need.