Why Physical Therapy Is A ‘Grudge Purchase’ – And How To Persuade More People To Want To Say YES At Your PT Clinic

In this PT Profit Academy Tutorial, we show you how to make your PT clinic adverts more successful.

We begin by explaining why the Marketing and promotional material adverts you’ve run in the past, maybe haven’t worked as well as you would have liked.

The Words You Use 

Marketing success… it’s all to do with the “words” you use, and the order in which you choose to write them, and where you place them so that your ideal patient can see them. That’s it!  Nothing much more too it.

To make PT adverts more successful… there’s a certain language that you’ve got to use… a way of communicating with potential and exiting patients that is able to persuade them they you, obviously, are the right choice for them. As they see and understand it.

And “persuading” your potential prospective patient to give you their time, their deductible and their copay is a skill set that anyone can learn …and is one of the reasons why so many of the ad campaigns that our sister company …the “Paul Gough Physio Rooms” run, are so successful at helping us to acquire the right number of ideal patients.

We figured out that the words that we use in our ads had to resonate with the “WHO” we wanted to attract to our clinic — usually people aged 50+ wanting to avoid painkillers and stay active and mobile.

So it made sense to study this topic of “persuasion”, in more depth.

Now I know it’s easy to think that “you’re busy running your clinic”, and you “just don’t have the time”…

… but the truth is, if you want to get more NP’s to your clinic, get a better R.O.I on your marketing – then mastering the art of ‘persuasion’ is the one single best things that you can do to help you get there faster.

So lets look at what REALLY Motivates and Persuades Your Patients to say YES from seeing your Adverts and I’ll start by asking you this question:

“Why is Having Better ‘Persuasion Skills’ So Important In The Advertising and Sales Process?”

Simply put, Physical Therapy is something I call a “Grudge Purchase”. And what I mean by that, is this:

No body really wants to go and see one… and they definitely don’t want to pay for one! Anything to do with something that a person takes for granted – walking, bending over, reaching in the cupboard, or even anything that has fixed itself in the past (like back ache!), OR even never had to pay for themselves in their life (especially since copay and reimbursements are now higher) – is classed as a Grudge Purchase.

Get me out of here!!

If your prospective patient thinks that they can get away without having to pay for health care services, (which is why so many people wait for a long time, hoping that they’ll wake up the next day with no back pain), then the simple answer is, that they won’t even consider it!

Lets be honest… Physical Therapy isn’t exactly something that people look forward to going to… and it isn’t really seen as a ‘desired’ experience to get excited about.

Don’t forget:

- They've got to trust you enough to put

And the fact they have to pay for ALL of those things, makes your PT services a ‘Grudge Purchase’.

When I realized this, I made communication, customer service and the EXPERIENCE my patients would receive, the forefront and centre of my own PT business (the Paul Gough Physio Rooms).

If I’m honest, all of that is actually MORE important than what actually goes on in the treatment room! Hard for PT’s to accept, but it’s the truth.

So now you know that people see your PT service as a “grudge” purchase… it’s easier to overcome the obstacle it presents to your PT clinic profits. And it is possible to change the way people think about your PT service and get more people to be more excited about coming to your clinic and happy to pay their contribution to PT.

Most People Just Aren’t Motivated To Do Anything

Here’s the thing… as a rule, most people aren’t motivated to do anything – and they won’t be even thinking about coming to you until they know you CAN help THEM – as THEY UNDERSTAND IT!…

You’ve got to show people why YOUR Physical Therapy clinic and your service and your solution to their back pain… is the one that they should get off their couch for, jump into their car for, and the one that they should reach into their wallet and pay you for!

Another key thing to keep in mind is that human beings are hard wired to say ‘no’ to pretty much everything.

People will come up with any and every reason as to why they can’t pay for your PT services… yet they’ll likely order a TV from Amazon later that same week for way more than the $500 Copay that is required to come and see you!!

Hence why sales and marketing training actually exists, and why it’s so important to start implementing both of those skills at your clinic, starting today!

Want some help to get started?

Ok… to get you started with some better sales and marketing skills (persuasion!), here’s how to tap into the minds of your prospective patients, to get you more of them, faster…

What Are The Fundamentals Of Persuasion?

1.) The ambition to escape the unwanted, is THE biggest and fastest motivator.

One of the things you’ll see in advertising land is that the big corporate hospitals will advertise positives. They’ll broadcast an image of a person aged 50+,  riding a bike and looking healthy, and use a slogan something along the lines of “a healthier you”.The problem with that is, that turns people away. People don’t have an ambition to be healthy – they have a bigger ambition not to be unhealthy – those are two totally different things…

Unfortunately through medical school as a PT, you were conditioned to think that what you do =  what people want (to be healthy and active). But that’s not what motivates people… What does motivate people, is if you can move them away from their pain – if you can promise them that your services will ease their back pain, allowing them to spend quality time with their Grandkids that they’re currently missing out on!

Hint: Your marketing messages should always take people away from their pain, don’t focus on the typical healthy, happy, smiley face type images that won’t attract you new patients.

I’ll give you an example:

If you’re having a conversation with a lady called Kathy aged 65, who has suffered with back pain for the past two years, you’re going to find it very difficult to convince her that life is going to be perfect, and pain-free in a couple of weeks time…

But… if you have a conversation with “Kathy” about moving her away from the back pain she’s in right now, and how Kathy will be able to enjoy gardening again quickly, it’s easier to motivate her to come to see you for physical therapy.

Also, here’s the key thing to remember…

2.) Always drag people out of the dark – NEVER into the light

Resist the temptation to think that promising to make a patient healthy is what they want.Hint:  It is! BUT it’s not the one thing that’s going to make them pick up the phone, or book in 10 sessions with you.You have to keep reminding people in your adverts, in your calls, in your prescriptions of care, and in every.single.treatment session – that one session with you, may be able to help them walk for 15 minutes that day instead of the current 5 minutes they’re struggling with.

3.) Take people away from negative emotions – triumph!

Remember, before people decide to come to you, they are nervous, fearful and skeptical.

There’s not enough trust engraved in their mins that your PT services are going to take away their back pain for good. Keep showing them WHY your services are the one for them.

Now you’re aware of how to position your PT clinic’s marketing to be able to acquire more new patients  – now let me explain to you more about this important subject that I touched on earlier in this blog post:

 Persuasion – And The 5 Levels Of It That Exist

Here they are:

Level 1 – I exist, therefore you should buy me!

Level 2 – I’m bigger, better AND faster than others, so buy me! (MOST PT’s ARE COMMUNICATING AT THIS LEVEL HERE!)

Level 3 – I have a unique, new and relevant mechanism that will deliver a benefit, so you SHOULD buy me!

Level 4 – I have a unique, new and relevant mechanism that will deliver bigger, better and faster benefits, so buy me!

Level 5 – I understand you at a deeper level including your goals, emotions and identity..and when you understand that I have crafter something just for you, you will WANT to buy from me.

One thing  you should know, and explains why most PT marketing FAILS, is this…  most PT’s are stuck at levels 1 and 2...the message that they use simply doesn’t connect or resonate with enough people to motivate them enough to say YES to responding to their advert.

It’s akin to saying “I’m a PT, I’ve been qualified for 10 years, here’s my address and here’s my number, call me if you’re in pain”… it really isn’t going to PERSUADE all that many people to want to do business with you or part with their Copay.

So, if you really want to take your business to the Next Level, and consistently and reliably be a able to get more new patients at your PT practice (without needing referrals from doctors), then you need to position your marketing message at LEVEL 5.

Explain through your advertising message why you’re able to help them – that you “understand they don’t want to rely upon pills for the rest of their life” and that you have the perfect solution to help them to defeat that concern.

A marketing message focused on that such as that which I’ve just described – the core desires of your ideal patients –  will resonate and compel people to call your office.

Remember, successful marketing is not so much about you… it is more about proving that you understand the problems that your potential clients are experiencing… and then take the time to show how you can solve them.

If you want some help to grow your PT Clinic without needing referrals from doctors (using Level 5 Marketing and Persuasion skills)… then the next best thing to do is to join my email list:

Subscribe here and I’ll be sure to send you regular tips on this important topic of Marketing:

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Paul Gough

About Paul Gough

PAUL GOUGH is one of the top Marketing and Business Coaches in the physical therapy industry and his Systems are helping clinic owners all across America run more profitable clinics. He is a published Author, Newspaper Columnist and before his stunning success in business was hired by top professional soccer teams. HIS SUCCESS STORY is one that inspires many pt's around the world - at the age of 26 Paul QUIT a high profile job in professional soccer to begin his own clinic. He had NO money, NO business or marketing skills and NO experience - and yet now owns and runs 4 pt clinics and has a proven track record of growing a physical therapy business from 0 - $2m in record time.
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