Confessions Of A Loss Of Sales From My Own Physical Therapy Clinic

Ever noticed a drop off in the number of people who don’t follow through on your POC?…

Ever blamed “they don’t have the money” or heard your therapy staff saying “they say it’s too expensive” as the reason why it’s happening?…

Well, I noticed something similar beginning to creep into my own clinic these last few weeks.

Here’s the story:

So we offer “prescription foot orthotics” to any of our patients who needed them to aid recovery and or prevent future problems.

And they’re not cheap.

The equivalent of $600 a pair and the profit margin is HUGE for us.

Even better, they really do make a difference to people with low back pain, knee pain, flat feet, etc.

The problem we run into is that the government funded health care service in Britain (the NHS), also offers what look like “orthotics”.

And even though they’re nothing like the “made to measure” ones that we offer in terms of their success – patients will often tell us they’ll try the freebie NHS first.

And so over the last few weeks, more and more patients were doing just that.

Hurting our sales and jeopardising their own health choosing to opt for the “crappy” inserts given to them free.

(They rally are bad!).

So here’s what I did:

In our weekly “con-ed” meeting on Wednesday, I asked every therapist to explain to me the reason “why” I should invest in a $600 per of orthotics (and not get the freebie ones off the government).

A.k.a “role play”.

We do tons of it.

Here’s some of the responses I got from my staff (as I played patient):

* “They’ll stop you from suffering again”.

* “They’ll make sure pain doesn’t come back”.

* “They’ll re-align your body so that your bones and joints are in the right place”.

Yawn. Yawn. Yawn… And so my therapists went on.

Giving me different (but still boring!) versions of the same “prevention of pain” line hoping it would motivate me enough to buy.

Thing is, it rarely does.

Despite what we’ve been taught… very few people are motivated enough to invest in prevention of pain.

What does motivate the patient?

“Value alignment”.

Clearly articulating how these, what seem to be expensive (and must be paid in cash!), orthotics can help solve their real problems.

Something like…


“And if you want to be able to get round that golf course and continue to play 18 holes of golf for another 15 years Mr Smith, my recommendation is that you invest in a pair of prescription orthotics that will help you to do so.

I appreciate that you have another (free) option, but it’s my absolute duty to inform you that although they might look like our orthotics, the ones you will get from the NHS will, in my experience, not be the ones will help you to do that.

How would you like to pay?”


…Would probably work better!

The difference?

It’s about their “why!”.

(Why I’m “REALLY” here!).

Thing is…

“Prevention” is way to hard to sell.

Most of your patients… they can’t see into the future to imagine what life will be like if they don’t take your advice.

All they care about is getting out of pain or being more active in the NOW.

Anyway, the result of the chat I had with my therapists?

An immediate bump in sales.

Want some help to get more people to follow through on your POC?

Start here if you do:

Show Me How To Get More Patients To Agree To My POS! >

Have a great weekend 4th of July weekend 😉


Paul Gough.

Why It’s Wrong To Assume Patients Know What They Want From PT.

“Success in PT is about giving people what they want”…

That’s what one (awesome) PT told me this week during a strategy call.

Would you agree?


I didn’t.

Not one bit.

See, I’m 110% convinced that most patients have no clue what so ever why they’re coming for therapy.

(Hence why so many are so difficult to keep on schedule!)

And I say this in my own clinic, to my own staff, that it’s the job of the therapist to clearly determine the “why”.

Sure, they’ll tell you it’s for back pain etc etc, but it’s much more than that.

Way more.

Let me explain it like this:

You walk into a TV store at your local shopping mall… and you’re ADAMANT that you want a 42”, Sony Plasma TV…

And that your budget is $1000.

Now what will happen is that MOST sales people, will sell it to you.

Why wouldn’t they?

You told them that’s what you want.

But, what if the sales person stopped to ask you just a couple of questions BEFORE the purchase…

Just to make REAL sure that you’re going to get what you really NEED!…

(Not just what you currently think you want!).

Questions like:

* “Do your kids like to play video games, Sir?”

* “Do you like to watch action movies and have the volume up loud?”


* “Do you love to watch baseball and NFL… and is watching it in the clearest possible picture, really important to you?”…

And once he has the answers to those questions…

It’s then HIS job… as the expert on selling TV’s.. to ETHICALLY tell the customer that the purchase he’s about to make, isn’t the one he needs.

Even, tell the customer that he’d be much better off ordering the panasonic TV with surround sound and HD, that is $400 more expensive…

But if he did, he would leave the shop a LOT happier – even though he paid MORE!…

The point?

As therapists we ASSUME that what patients want, is what they tell us.

The problem is, they have no idea what we can REALLY do for them.

Just like the guy in this story wanting a new tv…

…he would have no clue that there is a specialist TV for his needs – or given any though to what his REAL needs are – as the average consumer assumes they’re all the same.

(How most people see PT).

Yet when it’s pointed out that more specialist options exist – ones to suit is CORE desires and based on a TRUE understanding of the customer – the more he is happy to PAY.

The relevance to you and your team?…

Learn how to ask the RIGHT questions.

Spend an extra minute really trying to GET the people you serve at their core level.

Then offer *specialist* PT solutions to your now emotionally charged patients.

Figure out how… and you’ll kiss good bye to problems called “copay” and “deductibles”.

Want to know how you do it?…


Get some one to teach you more Powerful “Prescription Strategies”…

I’m waiting here, to teach you:

Yes! I Want To Boost My PT Income Without Finding More Patients ! >

Hope this helps.


Paul Gough.

Secrets To Boosting Patient Compliance: The True Story Of An 84 Yr Old Knee Pain Victim Who Thinks She Doesn’t Need Therapy.

In which the question is asked:


“Paul… I’m having trouble finding a reason WHY one of my patients needs to continue to attend therapy.

She really needs treatment on her knee following surgery – and yet is currently resisting our suggested treatment sessions and is only attending simply because her doctor told her so.

She doesn’t know why she has to attend… and no matter how many questions we ask, she says “n/a” to everything that we might suggest as an outcome goal we could help her achieve.

She’s 84, has lived on her own for 40 years and isn’t all that socially active – so we’re having a hard time connecting what we do to her lifestyle goals.

How would you suggest we talk to this lady?”.

– Coaching Group Member asked to remain anonymous.



Let me start by saying that I hear this type of question a LOT.

Both in my own clinic, coaching my own therapists, and in my work with owners.

See, problems with compliance arise more common than most PT’s would dare to admit and often times it’s because they get lost in their own “verbiage” – or, worse yet, they’re still using language and asking questions they were taught in college.

So lets “psycho-analyse” this patient with the goal of REALLY connecting her to therapy (and getting the 8 more sessions she really needs).

And here’s exactly how I do it:

First of all I shut my eyes.

And I ask the PT to describe this patient to me in detail.

I’m listening….

And I get told she’s 84, that she’s lived on her own for 40 years since her husband died and isn’t socially active… and therefore isn’t particularly motivated to go out of the house three times per week for PT.

On the surface of it, I could see why this patient might give compliance problems.

But in reality, all of these reason are THE reasons WHY she needs to come for PT.

See, this lady is in a FEARFUL place (…home is where she’s comfortable).

Possibly resents being told what to do (…since her husband died, she’s made ALL her own decisions).

Is intent on just “surviving” (…instead of being active day to day!)

And doesn’t want leave the house if she doesn’t have too.

So now lets talk this through:

This lady has lived on her own for 40 years.

So what is she clinging DESPERATELY too?


And more than that, she wants to preserve her “self-worth”.

And the fact that she doesn’t want to leave the house – that’s in your favour too…

…because if she wants to avoid being forced to live in an assisted living place, or care home, then she needs to attend you therapy sessions which will help her to continue to live in the family home for as long as is possible.

There’s not a more compelling reason for an 84 year old widower to arrive for therapy on her knee, than to preserve all of these things.

The problem is, no matter how many times you ask her “what do you want from PT?”… she will never tell you this simply because she’s never heard of a place where you can walk in and order “independence and self worth” from the menu.

So how does it come up?


YOU bring it up.

And you tell her that you see so many other ladies in there 80’s who come to see you (social proof and hope!) and what THEY all wanted to achieve was to ensure independence and mobility is intact, so that they can preserve self worth.

That’s it.

And it works because you’re connecting your treatment plan to the CORE desires of the patient who realise you GET them better than anyone else.

Do that, and you’ll get more compliance AND more profit at your clinic because you’ll confidently and ETHICALLY be able to prescribe as many sessions as is needed, to achieve THAT goal.

All right…

Lesson over for today.

Maybe more teaching like this next time.

In the mean time… if you want some help to be better able to get more compliance (and quickly boost profit), I’m the guy to coach you.

Talk to me about it here:

Investigate Your Opportunity To Quickly Get More Compliance From Patients! >


Paul Gough.