1. Perception Is Everything
Building your practice begins with building yourself. A Positive attitude is a good thing but not everything. It is the one P in my formula that drives the others. A Positive attitude, comes from within and takes time and effort.
There are seven "P’s" that will enhance your ability to persuade others in both your work and personal life. They are Perception, Positive attitude, Personal Power, Positioning, Performance, Perseverance and Politeness. And they are all based on perception. How do your patients, friends, community perceive you, your practice?
2. Personal Power
The second "P" is Power. The more power and influence that a person perceives that you have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want him to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help you and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee. Is this not the theory of the Wizard of Oz? People need to believe you are good at what you do. This is a perception. This is why you studied hard in school and go to seminars now: not for the grades which are irrelevant, but for the knowledge. Yes, knowledge for a doctor is power. It is the Power of Confidence which is a strong perception the community will have of you.
3. Positioning—Shape Their Thinking about You
The third "P" is Positioning. This refers to the way that other people think about you and talk about you when you are not there. Your positioning in the mind and heart of other people largely determines how open they are to being influenced by you. This is where referrals come from. Referrals come from people speaking of you and about you when you are not around. Not getting enough referrals? Go back to the first P, Perception.
In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.
The key is telling the story, the story of chiropractic. Chiropractic is over 100 years old, yet many myths are still attached to our profession.
4. Performance—Be Good at What You Do
The fourth "P" is Performance. This refers to your level of competence and expertise in your area. A person who is highly respected for his or her ability to get results is far more persuasive and influential than a person who only does an average job.
Average to me is "the best of the worst and the worst of the best." I have never wanted to be average. Regardless of the technique you utilize, be the best at it.
5. Perseverance—Commit to Excellence
The perception that people have of your performance capabilities exerts an inordinate influence on how they think and feel about you. You should commit yourself to being the very best in your field. Sometimes, a reputation for being excellent at what you do can be so powerful that it alone can make you an extremely persuasive individual in all of your interactions with the people around you. They will accept your advice, be open to your influence and agree with your requests.
This will take hard work; this will take Perseverance: getting up after being knocked down; overcoming rejection; staying in the game after getting a beating; staying on Purpose and being prepared to do whatever it takes, for how long it takes.
6. Treat People Politely
The sixth "P" of persuasion power is Politeness. People do things for two reasons: because they want to and because they have to. When you treat people with kindness, courtesy and respect, you make them want to do things for you. They are motivated to go out of their way to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals.
Being nice to other people satisfies one of the deepest of all subconscious needs, the need to feel important and respected. Whenever you convey this to another person in your conversation, your attitude and your treatment of that person, he or she will be wide open to being persuaded and influenced by you in almost anything you need.
If they can’t pay your fee, how do you react? Money for many patients is an issue. Be honest, be polite, open your heart to others. Winston Churchill once said, "You make a living by what you get, and a life by what you give?" GET A LIFE.
Perception Is Reality
Again, perception is everything. The perception of an individual is his or her reality. People act on the basis of their perceptions of you. If you change their perceptions, you change the way they think and feel about you, and you change the things that they will do for you.
People know no other perception of you than how they perceive you and your office. Is it clean, neat, up to date? Look at your office in the eyes of a patient. Ask your staff what their perceptions are. Do they bring in their families? If not, why not? It is not because of money but Perception.
7. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Think continually about the impression you want to make on others and then make sure that everything you do or say is consistent with that perception. No one said that practicing is easy. No one said business is easy. Both take work—hard work. Maintaining a Positive attitude also takes work and commitment. Read positive books, go to positive movies and seminars. Hang out with positive patients. Don’t let the bad in life bring you down. "If you want to lead the band, you have to face the music."
Be nice to people. Practice the Golden Rule in your interactions with others. Always be polite and make others feel important.
The more people like you, the more open they are to being influenced by you.
Dr. Eric S. Kaplan, is CEO of Multidisciplinary Business Applications, Inc. (MBA), a comprehensive coaching firm with a successful, documented history of creating profitable multidisciplinary practices nationwide. Dr. Kaplan is the best selling Author of DYING TO BE YOUNG, www.dyingtobeyoung.net, and co-developer and President of Discforce, the next Generation on Spinal decompression. For more information, call 1-561-626-3004, 1-866-573-6723 or visit www.discforce.com.