This week I’ve been talking to several Clients with the same issue. They all ardently want to collaborate with local doctors but they are having great difficulty in getting through to them. Do you have this problem?
One of my Clients has managed to gain the trust of a couple of local doctors but the rest of them are seemingly impossible to get in front of.
Several members of my Shoestring Marketing course have been asking the group for advice on contacting local doctors. It does seem to be a tiresome situation when health professionals are not open to the idea of Osteopathy as a solution to many common aches and pains, let alone some remarkable life-changing results in some cases.
So what is the problem?
I believe that yet again this is the common issue of lack of knowledge! Many local doctors don’t understand what Osteopathy is especially when it gets lumped into the ‘alternative medicine’ group of variously trained or untrained therapists.
Doctors naturally and instinctively thrive on facts and so vague references to ‘releasing blockages’, ‘unwinding compressions’ or ‘realignment’ will send them running for the hills!
So how do you get through to them?
I’m forever banging on about educating and informing your communities and local doctors are no exception. Think outside the box and think about how you can encourage them to spare you ten minutes to succinctly explain what Osteopathy is, what it does and – most importantly – how it benefits THEIR patients. The bottom line is always money – how much will you save their Practice? And given that most local doctors are time poor, how will your assistance in treating their patients help them manage their patient list?
I know that Osteopathy isn’t just a vocation or a business. Almost every single Osteopath I have ever communicated with is utterly focused on the well-being of their patients first and foremost. I believe that if income wasn’t an issue the vast majority of Osteopaths would be treating their patients for no fee. In my experience, that is just the nature of the (lovely) beast! And that’s why I spend every week championing the cause of Osteopathy and helping you find simple and low cost ways to attract more patients.
Try these ideas
Create a Q&A attachment to go out with a brief letter. Make it striking, succinct and informative. Short and concise answers are best so that they can speed read it if you can get it in front of them! Here’s some possible pick ‘n mix questions local doctors may have which you can then answer:
- Are Osteopaths qualified and professionally regulated?
- How many hours tutored/supervised treatment must they complete prior to graduation?
- Which 3 main topics do Osteopaths study to the same level as a doctor (I don’t know but seems that sort of question would place you in a similar peer category!)
- What does Osteopathy actually do?
- Is Osteopathy safe for my patients?
- Can an Osteopath detect disease?
- Can an Osteopath diagnose conditions?
- What happens if an Osteopath detects illness in my patient?
- Will I be kept informed of the progress of treatment on my patient?
- Is Osteopathy safe for the young or frail?
- How does Osteopathy benefit the older generation?
- Can Osteopathic treatment save a patient from surgery?
- Is Osteopathy as effective as painkillers and anti-inflammatories in reducing pain?
- Is Osteopathy just for backs and joints?
- Why would I recommend Osteopathic treatment to my patients?
Or you could even record a short ‘interview’ where someone asks you the questions? It can be done simply on your phone – information here is the key and not Hollywood quality! You could then direct your local doctors to your website page to watch it or give them a link to your YouTube video.
See if you can write a piece in your local magazine answering the same kind of questions and encouraging people to understand that you can work in tandem with their local doctors for the benefit of their health.
Could you write up a couple of case studies, one common back condition and one unusual case where you achieved superb results? Could you add testimonials to back up your evidence?
The main thing is to dispel fears, create trust and even encourage your local doctors to try Osteopathy for themselves!
What if you still can’t get through to your local doctors?
One of my successful Shoestring Marketing members has previously advised others in the group to not even bother with local doctors! She advocates making sure that all the local businesses know who you are and what you do and constantly maintain your visibility within the business community. Regular visits to the different businesses and shops ensures that she stays top of mind and that she’s available for all the usual questions and queries about Osteopathy and what it might help with. In her experience, she has found that to be a far more useful exercise.