Sometimes in my work, I can initially feel a bit of resistance from new Clients, to doing things differently. Moving out of our comfort zones, even if they’re unpleasant, can still feel daunting.
However, a point has clearly been reached where reality is worse than the effort required to change things.
So we work together to create a shift, approach marketing from a completely different angle and learn new skills to attract new patients. Because our world is evolving at breakneck speed, it’s vital that we keep up lest we get left behind!
However, once I’ve developed my Clients’ mindsets, I can notice a shift in their confidence. And once I’ve coached them in highly targeted marketing they begin using their bespoke strategies to easily attract new patients.
Watching children at play
Sitting on the tube the other day, I noticed two little girls swinging around the central pole by the doors. It was delightful to watch their simple pleasure and also to note that their mother wasn’t micromanaging them! They spun around in opposite directions, the smaller child skimming under the arm of the taller girl, her fluffy topknot ponytail bobbing back up each time.
I realised after a few minutes that they were largely oblivious to us onlookers. They were living in the moment, playing with what was available to them and exploring their surroundings. They didn’t care what we thought and they had no regard for ‘rules’ or what was ‘expected’ of them.
It’s a shame that during our teens we start overthinking everything, something which can often continue into adulthood. The fears in our heads are almost always about what others will think of us or, worse still, peer judgement. Our thinking can ‘make up’ stuff that has no basis in truth but which stifles our ability to reach our potential.
And in business that can threaten our success because if we can’t market ourselves confidently, our results will likely be mediocre.
How to easily attract new patients
That’s why the first thing I work on with Clients is clarity of purpose, playing the long game and developing their expectation of success. They soon shift up their thinking, get over themselves and get out into their communities with powerful messages.
Then they’re soon coming back to me on their coaching calls saying:
“3 new patients yesterday.”
“6 new patients booked in this week already!”
“35 patients last week – and that’s the most ever.”
“I’m so busy I need to look for an Associate soon.”
and after only one week of opening a brand new clinic…
“3 new patients last week, 5 new patients this morning and 3 more booked for Friday!”
It may surprise you to know that these are all actual Client quotes from only the last TWO days!
So strip back that stifled persona and unleash your inner child on the world.
I promise that your new patients will applaud you for it.
The problem with a heart centred business is often the tricky matter of money! Asking for the money can feel so – well – almost dirty. And sometimes it can pierce our ‘lack of confidence’ skin and bring up uncomfortable feelings. I hear this a lot.
In severe cases this results in giving our skills away for nothing. Free treatments. Discounted offers. Groupon giveaways. Then there’s the fear of putting prices up. What might happen? Will nobody rebook? Will people think we’re greedy? So we stay stuck, strugging to make a living and wondering how to change things.
Sometimes this fear around money and charging people for our services can show itself up as the inability to ask a Patient to rebook for next week. It can feel pushy. It can feel desperate. It can feel downright repulsive. So sometimes it’s just easier for us to leave that decision to them.
How does that feel for the Patient?
This fear around money can feel awful for the person on the receiving end of this kind of vibe. They can pick up on our reticence to confidently charge them for the service they need. And in particular that resistance to book them in again when they likely need another treatment can leave them feeling unsupported.
I’ve received this very feedback from people who have booked in to see an Osteopath for a first visit. The key feeling they were left with was that they had no certainty about their ongoing care. They didn’t feel held or confident to decide what to do next either. They believed that the Osteopath was the expert and should be confidently leading the way on their journey back to health.
However, when they were not booked back in for another treatment but told “see how you go” that left them feeling highly unsettled. Because for them it most certainly was not about the money. It was about being cared for whilst they were feeling scared about the pain they were in.
Make it about your mission not the money
If you flip this over and think about what your mission is in your work, you take out the money element entirely. What do you want for your community in particular? What are you doing this for? Who is your work for? Who benefits from your skill, experience and expertise?
For instance, my mission is and has always been about helping more people to find Osteopathic treatment and rely less on drugs. That’s how Osteobiz started five years ago. I saw how treatment dramatically helped my own son Toby’s heart condition whilst he waited for a transplant. It was incredible. I knew there were people who went around and around the NHS system getting no answers and no relief for their pain. I wanted to change that – one Osteopath at a time! And on a daily basis, that’s what drives me on.
Define your mission
Take five minutes now to jot down what drives you. What is it that spurs you on every day? What are you most grateful for? What do you most love about your work? What feedback to you hear?
Working from our higher self or from a place of love changes everything. In this mission, there is a newfound confidence to recommend that the Patient is booked in again because we know they need it.
The focus is on the greater good and on the outcomes of our work not on the money – or lack of it! When that shift occurs, the intention is strong and laser focused on them not on ourselves.
Happily, the byproduct of our mission is… money in fair exchange for our gifts and talents.
And the more money we earn, the more lives we can change.
When a new Client comes to me, or indeed a new Patient to you, they are looking for change.
They may be fed up with the status quo, they may be in so much physical or financial pain that they have made a decision to act.
Some may stay very stuck in their own pain, unable to create that shift because of the fear of change and what that might mean. To someone in pain, it might mean that feeling better may alter the dynamics in their relationships and that could feel scary.
Change may lead to us fulfilling our potential
Some may feel fearful of the process they need to go through to achieve better financial stability. What would success actually mean or say about them? Would it make them appear arrogant even? Or would it mean they had deservedly reached their potential?
I have seen people stay rooted to the spot resisting change for all they are worth. And I have seen people take a deep breath, get clarity, focus and stride forwards into the unknown with courage, knowing that ultimately they will be fine.
Change has been a major factor in my life; for a start I’ve moved home 15 times and who knows, I may not be living in my final one…
Having a child with twenty years of major life-threatening illnesses has meant huge changes, massive uncertainty and mega episodes of fear.
Eventually, I was able to stay grounded, solid and focused. I accepted I was on a roller coaster of change that I was not in control of. Instead of worrying myself to death I (eventually!) gave thanks for every single day I spent with both my boys. I felt gratitude for the opportunity to protect and nurture them to the best of my ability. And ultimately I accepted that if I lost my son, I would still feel massively privileged and honoured to be his mother.
My work is all about creating positive change
I keep my eye on business strategies, what’s working and what’s hot! I invest hugely in my own development and put myself on advanced business and coaching courses to ensure I stay ahead of the curve of change.
When a new person starts working with me I encourage them to dream big and imagine a different and more fulfilling life. Our lives are a whole and my mission is to develop the person, not just the business.
Embrace change and strive to always improve
By far, the biggest and most positive changes I see in those I work with are always in improved confidence, personal growth and happiness. Despite the key goal being to increase patient numbers, I have to say that a more confident practitioner and business owner is always my ultimate goal.
Some years ago I realised that change is a constant in our lives. I kept hearing people complaining that ‘things’ had changed and they usually didn’t like that. But really that’s like saying the tide has turned and we don’t agree with it!
We might as well embrace it. And if we don’t like how something is in our lives, then we have the power to change it. Even if that’s really tricky we can still decide to change our thinking around it and keep striding torwards our dreams and goals.
We live in extraordinary times of phenomenal change. Change means that there are new possibilities opening up to us. If we do embrace change and new ways of working or doing things, we continue to grow. Otherwise we could risk stagnation in our business and ourselves and could end up feeling like we’ve been left behind.
Last Friday I hosted the Osteobiz Inspiration Day in West London. Usually I work online about 99% of the time which means I can reach and inspire the global community of Osteopaths, which is very important to me.
However, one day a few months ago, I got a message from Walter McKone on LindedIn. He said, “Golly – how can I help you?” (Don’t you just love autocorrect?!)
I was taken aback as I know that Walter is a highly respected Osteopath, Lecturer and Philosopher. I replied with something vague as I didn’t quite know what he wanted. He asserted, “Answer the question!” a couple of times until I said I’d sleep on it
When the Universe/HIgher Self/Opportunity gives you a prod, it’s a good idea to notice and reflect on what’s possible.
So many keep their eyes down, their possibilities limited and their life experience boxed firmly in.
But when we open up to chance, opportunity, synergy, synchronicity and coincidence, we can explore further and decide if this is indeed the next indicated step in our lives. Being awake and open to these signposts can lead us to grow and develop within ourselves and our work.
Walter’s nudge prompted an idea…
And so the Osteobiz Inspiration Day was born!
The day was planned to be a smorgasbord of tasty, bite-sized lectures and practical activities which were all designed to inspire and stretch the group. Once or twice I felt their resistance to moving outside their comfort zone BUT very quickly they embraced it AND thoroughly enjoyed the gentle challenge of it!
We discussed video marketing, having a clear vision of our future lives, bringing extra tools to our skillset and thinking in a very different philosophical way. At the end I shared several examples of Osteopaths I had worked with who were playing a bigger game.
This conference achieved what was promised – ‘Inspirational’. Such a friendly conference with inspiration from the talks, practicals and colleagues. Gilly loves to do things differently and somehow it works!
Steven Bruce and Claire Short, Academy of Physical Medicine
Steven and Claire do excellent work in bringing us great CPD which is available online to suit busy schedules. Since I had the cutting edge idea for Osteobiz some 5 years ago, it makes sense to have even more opportunities to learn online. It saves on time, money and energy travelling to distant places and having to find childcare in many cases. It’s lovely to spend valuable time with others sometimes but easily accessing quality learning and CPD has to be a great resource.
I’ve long admired Emma Wightman’s intrepid spirit, as I’ve watched her traveling to Kenya and treating the Maasai Mara people. As you might imagine, facilities are basic and the team work tirelessly to help as many as 400 people a day who queue up in the heat to get vital help.
Emma’s presentation was so poignant and powerful that several in the room were inspired to look into joining Emma on her next trip in October.
After a hearty lunch, Anji Gopal, Osteopath and Yoga Teacher gave us clear insights into the benefits of adding yoga to the Osteo toolkit. We could have listened to her reassuring velvety tone all day! She guided us through a few moves which energised us after a spell of sitting and post lunch sleepiness.
Dotted throughout the day I shared some new material around business development. But by the end of my afternoon session I had many powerful and inspiring stories to tell about some of my own Clienits’ brilliant succeeses. Between them they’ve created rapid growth, added in a rehab facility, developed a real community health hub and built a clinic which is so elegant and beautiful that I well up with emotion every time I look at it!
An eclectic mix of speakers kept us engaged. By 5pm I didn’t want the day to end…
Osteopathy and the Philosophy of Empathy
Walter McKone’s talk on Osteopathic Philosophy soon had our jaws dropping as he sped us through the history of the great thinkers. He explored ways of changing our thinking and perspective and I’ll admit my head practically exploded! He demonstrated the change he could make in his treatment. Changing his intention via the touch on the shoulder of a senior Osteopath and she was clearly amazed at the greateer level of impact he could make.
The entire room were left wanting more.
At the end of the day, Team APM returned to share with us a video they had created for one of our group. We were all suprised at how powerful it was, after much of it was filmed whilst we had watched. The editing was excellent and Lucy came across as friendly and expertly skilled.
My heartfelt thanks to all these speakers who helped me to create a superb day for our delegates! Also to my sons, Max and Toby, who dealt wth the tech, organisation and time-keeping!
Well organised event which captures your attention the whole day. You come away with lots to think about and even more to implement. Thank you Gilly and team!
In conclusion, this room of Osteopaths were inspired to return to their Practices and play a bigger game!
Shyness and confidence issues are huge within the Profession and it’s something I always tackle on my courses and in my VIP work. I’ve witnessed the struggling and nervous, develop and flower into the epic Osteopaths they were always meant to be.
And that’s a superb goal for you too. Helping more people in your community back to health. Helping them to feel empowered to take better care of themselves. Guiding them to live their lives with less pain and greater freedom is a gift and an wonderful path to be on.
And if or when you decide to play a bigger game, it would be an honour to nurture you and your Practice to serve your community like never before.
Meantime what can you do today to motivate and inspire your potential new patients to find their way back to health?
Self confidence is a tricky customer! I spent my childhood wondering why all my school reports said, “Lacks confidence”! You might find that surprising, but it’s true!
I thought I was confident but now, looking back, I can see that I was hesitant and unsure about raising my hand or standing out from the crowd. It’s taken a few decades to sort my head out and stop those self destructive notions from affecting the outcomes I’ve wanted in my life.
Even when I launched Osteobiz four years ago, the old mind monkeys were laughing and poking fun at me.
Who on earth did I think I was, eh?
What made me think I was best placed to help Osteopaths to build their Practices?
What if it all crashed and I looked like a right numpty?
Dreaming big is something I’ve always done but my own self confidence has often got in my way and made me doubt myself, my skills and my worth to the world.
Being self confident is not about being arrogant
Issues around self confidence is a common problem I find amongst Osteopaths too. Thankfully though, arrogance is a trait I rarely see in the profession. Having self confidence in our own value, our skills and our abilities is absolutely critical in business.
When we don’t particularly rate our own worth, it can transfer to our potential customers. They can feel that reticence and feel unsure about whether or not you are the right fit or right Practitioner for them. This all happens on an energetic level. You know how it feels when someone doesn’t gel with you or just isn’t your cup of tea?
Over the years I have worked on my own self confidence and picked off those annoying mind monkeys one by one! I have looked for the evidence that indeed I do know what I’m talking about. I have checked that what I offer is fit for purpose and tweaked and improved things to ensure I’m giving the best value possible. And yes, I have increased my prices when I believe that I’m selling my services way too cheaply.
How does self confidence affect bookings?
Call me woowoo but I have come to believe that the kind of vibe we put out there dictates what we receive in return. The more self confident I have become, the more of my perfect clients have come forward to work with me. More than that, wonderful opportunities, collaborations and inspiration make their way to me. All these things allow me to help the very people who want to build better businesses and help more people in pain.
It’s win win all the way.
So here’s a tip. If you ever struggle with self confidence, start your day with a few minutes with yourself.
Now imagine all those new patients happily rushing to their appointment with you. Imagine how grateful they are to have finally found your magic hands. And imagine how happy they are to pay you a fair fee for all that you give them.
How exciting does it feel in your belly when you see your diary as full as you wish it to be? How rewarding is it to hear the testimony of your happy Patients? Will that put a self confidence token in your piggy bank so that you can continue to stride forwards?
Do you see the correlation between your self confidence and your success?
It must feel amazing to help people back to health every day. I can only imagine how exciting and rewarding that must feel.
Talking of self confidence, I was again interviewed by Steven Bruce at the Academy of Physical Medicine yesterday. Having battled up the M1 and arrived just 5 minutes before transmission, thankfully, those pesky mind monkeys didn’t have time to get started!!
It was a great discussion and actually not at all scary! We were talking all things Facebook and how to get the most out of it. Check out the video recording here – you can skip past the (carefully selected) music if you wish.
APM provides high quality online CPD on a variety of topics relating to your Practice and development of your skills. They will even make and host a FREE website for you! I think that’s astonishingly good value.
And if you’ve never been on Steven’s First Aid Course, you’ve missed out on some thoroughly rewarding training and his highly entertaining delivery. I got to see some of his teaching yesterday and I cried with laughter so much that my mascara ran! I certainly won’t be forgetting those key messages as they’re now deeply embedded in my memory!
It can seem like quite an expense to trek to a conference, spend hard earned cash on transport, hotels and food whilst also missing out on treatment time. However, having travelled halfway around the globe to attend the New Zealand Conference recently, I observed and recorded several major benefits to attending.
1. Inspirational Osteopathic Conferences
Many Osteopaths I talked to over the three day Conference came out wanting to be better Osteopaths. In fact, they came out feeling even more proud of their profession and what they stand for. It was such a privilege to be a part of the whole event and witness the excitement!
Given that many Osteopaths work alone, sometimes in a small treatment room with no other colleagues to bounce around ideas or tricky cases, spending a few days talking shop with friends old and new is a real tonic.
At both this Osteopathic Conference and last year’s iO Convention, I witnessed a real buzz and an excitement with several hundred Osteopaths chatting together.
2. Creating stronger bonds within the profession
Charles Hunt, Vice-Chancellor of the newly named University College of Osteopathy had a chat with me in Auckland about the simultaneous meetings which the Osteopathic International Alliance were holding. What was encouraging was the way in which this group of key individuals were collaborating together to help ‘younger’ member countries to organise and regulate themselves.
At the same time they were also able to decide how to go about further promoting the benefits of Osteopathy with the wider healthcare industry. This will ultimately mean that the entire profession will move forwards together and operate in a similar and cohesive fashion.
3. Learning from Osteopathic leaders and experts
An Osteopathic Conference or Convention allows you to get in front of thought leaders and experts in their fields. Better still there is the opportunity to satisfy your curiosity to know more (one of my favourite qualities in an Osteopath!) and to question those Lecturers further and gain better understanding.
Having a variety of topics within each day means that you can explore many aspects of your skill set too. Here Marcus Daws tells us how he learned new skills which he could put into practice the very next day when back in Clinic.
I urge you to consider attending the next major conference that you can get to, even if that means some additional expense. There is nothing like the buzz in the room of a group of like-minded and passionate individuals ready to learn more, exchange ideas and inspire one another to be the best Osteopath that they can be.
The iO Convention is on 20-22 October in St Paul’s, London and I’m very excited to be there again this year. It will no doubt be the same wonderful Osteo hugfest as it was last year. Finally meeting many Clients and contacts after only communicating online is such a thrill for me!
This year I am very excited to be sponsoring the Principal of the Year Award at Saturday evening’s Gala Dinner. I can’t wait to find out who will win! Afterwards, I’ll certainly have my dancing shoes at the ready too.