Nature has a way of taking our breath away at times. Whether it is coming across a rarely seen animal when out on a walk or discovering a truly unique combination of colours such as a sunset on a cloudy summer evening, we look forward to these amazing encounters. The benefit of coming across these encounters is the incredible feelings that can be instantly created – joy, peace, amazement, wonder, gratitude, love.
Imagine if your clients were to leave your practice after each adjustment in one or many of those states! What would that do for your practice? Would it help maintain your client base? Would it get your clients excited to the point that they would rave about you and your team to others? Would it help their level of healing? Creating amazing encounters for your clients is well worth the effort.
There are many attributes that can define an amazing encounter for a client. At the most fundamental level, two conditions on the part of the practitioner must be created for the possibility to exist. The first is respect. Professionals generally have little trouble establishing a high level of respect from their clients. Respect is created through trust, professionalism, and results obtained.
If we only rely on respect, however, our client’s will rarely be excited about returning. I can remember visiting my podiatrist when I was young. He was very good at what he did – thorough, professional and well trusted – but there was something missing. When it was time to schedule the next appointment, he would recommend 3 months and we would barter for 6 or 9 months! A trip to the podiatrist for us was just not that high on the list of excitement.
What was missing was a key emotional element that makes all good practices great. According to Kevin Roberts in his book “Lovemarks”, people everywhere want to embrace emotion. As humans, we are powered by emotion, not reason. And the most fundamental of emotions is love. It is interesting to note that love needs respect right from the start. Without it, love will not last.
“Lovemarks” are defined by Roberts as products that have both a high level of respect AND a high level of love by their clients. This can equally be applied to the service industry. If there is high respect but a low level of love, we are a brand. There are four things that can help increase the emotional resonance of a “Lovemark” practice: Being, Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy.
Beingness is who you are. The typical formula many Chiropractors follow, especially in their early years of practice, is the DO-HAVE-BE model. In their model of the world, if they DO the things that successful practices do, then they will HAVE the patients, success and prosperity that they aspire to, so that they will then BE happy, confident, abundant, joyful, etc. It can often take years to discover that the model BE-DO-HAVE will provide lasting fulfilment. If I BE loving, present, compassionate and grateful, then I will DO what needs to be done in order to HAVE all that I desire. So what qualities or states would you like to BE to create the practice and life of your dreams?
Mystery in a practice creates a sense of curiosity and excitement amongst your clients. One of the greatest ways to instil mystery is through Bill Esteb’s dry erasable whiteboard concept. Bill suggests writing an ambiguous statement on a whiteboard that will often create such curiosity that the client must ask you or the CA about its meaning. For example, write the word “VOMIT” by itself on your whiteboard. When asked about it, we now have permission to discuss the body’s natural, healthy response to a toxic substance. Other ideas could be “Banana”, “The 3 Bears”, “Mercury, aluminium, and cow’s blood”, etc. Have we created some mystery yet? Other ways to create mystery could be through decorating the office for no reason or for an event and by using questions to help your clients better understand your teachings.
Sensuality entails using the full range of senses in your practice to create the experience you would like your clients to have. What is the colour scheme of your practice? Is it healing, vibrant, chaotic or just plain drab? What have you placed on your walls? Is there music being played and if so, is it classical, soft rock or heavy metal? Don’t forget smells – scented candles and aromatherapy are possibilities. Do you have fresh water facilities, a tea/coffee station, healthy nibbles perhaps? How about models of degeneration, testimonial books to pass around and comfortable chairs to relax in prior to an adjustment? The combination of each of these leads to a particular experience.
Finally, intimacy can increase the emotional resonance of a practice. By intimacy, I’m obviously not referring to it in a sexual way, but intimate in terms of connection. Create meaningful relationships by actively being interested in your clients, being present with them on EVERY visit, and communicating with them in their style (match and mirror) and in terms of their value system.
Dr David Cahill, in a previous Feature Article (“The Patient and Yourself are Indeed One”, Year 2008/Week 12) describes the concept of caring for your patients like they are your mother, father, brother, sister or child. He quotes Dr John Demartini as saying, “To the extent that you see yourself as being separate from your patients, you block your capacity to unconditionally love them.”
Ultimately, providing your clients with an amazing encounter starts with Dr Jim Parker’s principle: “Loving service my first technique.” Develop a high level of respect and add a huge dose of love for your clients. They will respond to greater degrees in helping you establish a “Lovemark” practice through your willingness to be loving, present, grateful and certain with an underlying theme of service.
Create some mystery to stir excitement, sensuality through incorporating all five senses, and intimacy by connecting at a deep level with each of your clients. With this model in mind, you are sure to create many amazing encounters of a CHIROPRACTIC kind!
Dr Ryan Yorke runs a family-based Chiropractic practice in Salisbury, South Australia. He is a Coach and Mentor with The Centre for Powerful Practices and loves to inspire and uplift others to reach their greatest potential.