3 Communication Tips: Ask, Ask and Ask.

Previous patients may be singing your praises, but is are the praises translating into more clients?  Consider how you are communicating with the people who want your services.  What do they really want to know and are you answering those questions?   How can you communicate with them more effectively so they want to come into your clinic.

First, listen to what the potential patient wants to know.  This may be different from the question they are asking.  Do they want to know if acupuncture works or do they want assurance than it will work for them?  Are they wondering if you know your stuff or if you’re just some flake?   Ask them more questions when they ask questions so you know the information they really want from you.

Second, keep your answers short.   If someone asks how acupuncture works (and everyone does) realize that acupuncturists go to school for years to learn this answer. You can’t do it justice in 30 seconds.   Let people know that.  Then ask them further questions about themselves and their condition and answer those questions.

Third, make sure all their questions are answered.  Once again, ask questions of the potential client.   Find out if they learned what they wanted to learn.  If not, find out what they need to know.   Be honest if you can’t answer that question in a short answer.  It’s fair to tell someone you went to school for three years to learn how acupuncture works.   Give them a short overview of how it can work for them.  Rather than talking about qi and blood, tell trauma patients that basically acupuncture works by bringing blood flow to the traumatized area and helps the body’s innate healing ability.   This may not be the most thorough or even technically correct answer, but it is the truth as far as it goes.  It’s also easy to understand and remember.

To sum up, ask questions, ask more questions and ask if all the questions have been answered.   Communicating that brings people in isn’t about talking about you as a practitioner or the greatness of the medicine.  It’s about showing an interest in the person considering the service.   Asking questions is one of the most important and effective ways to do this.

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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