Have you ever noticed that people need to feel needed?
It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or professional, “NEED” plays a part in every single aspect of our lives. Understanding this simple piece of information is crucial to long terms success in both your personal and professional life.
I know this is going to sound pretty obvious, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway since it’s often overlooked, but there is a gigantic difference between telling people they are needed and actually making them feel needed.
Let’s be real here for a minute…
Can you tell the difference when someone tells you, “I need you.” and when someone actually makes your feel needed?
Ya, me too!
There is an enormous different between the two! As a matter of fact, when you tell someone that you “need” them, it’s usually not very effective. However, when you make someone feel needed, it can be very, very powerful.
The first approach (telling them they are needed) is the most direct way, but it’s also the most ineffective.
The second approach takes a little more patience to learn to do, but when you master the art of making people feel like they are important, like they are numero uno, like they are wanted, like they are looked up to, like they are actually needed, the results can be nothing short of magickal for both your professional and your peronal life.
For example, making someone like your spouse or your mom or your brother feel needed is much easier than making a perfect stranger (like your patients) feel needed. But if you really want to see explosive practice growth, you need to start making your patients feel needed.
Because it’s a hidden addiction that we all have. …and if you can make people feel needed, like any addiction, they’ll keep coming back for more.
Now, before we go any further I want to address what I’m talking about here so there isn’t an confusion. I don’t want to end up getting a bunch of chiropractors commenting in the comments section bellow telling me how “unethical” this strategy is and how “deceptive” it is, etc, etc, etc. . I want to be very clear! This is NOT about “manipulating” people.
I would never tell you nor would I ask you to do anything unethical or deceptive.
In other words, I’m NOT telling you to “fake” making your patients feel needed. I’m not telling you that at all. As a matter of fact, I’m sure one of the reasons you got into chiropractic in the first place is because you genuinely care about people and you genuinely want to help them.
What I’m saying is it can be hard at times to make someone you just met feel needed. It’s so much easier to make someone you actually know feel wanted and needed, but not so much so when it’s someone you’ve never met before. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re bad people, it’s just the way life is. But knowing that people have a hidden addiction to “needing to feel needed” can be beneficial in our our communication with them, both verbal and non-verbal. If we “practice” and get good at making people feel needed from the first moment we meet them, over time, it will become a natural part of your personality.
Look, we can transform their lives using this process. Do you know what it does for the human soul when it feels loved and needed? It’s the most amazing feeling we can ever experience. And get this, we can transform our own lives too. It’s a win-win for everyone!
So here is a 6 step process that can serve as a guideline for employing this very, very powerful aspect of influencing others.
Now, I realize not every situation or relationship is going to be the same, so think of these as guidelines and not so much like concrete communication processes.
So what does this look like when applied in the real world?
Ok, so the scenario I’m going to use to show you an example of this process will be in your Report of Findings.
Here’s the situation, the patient has already gone through their consultation and exam and now you are delivering your doctors report.
1. Explain the situation as a whole. What is the risk? What is the problem?
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, yesterday you can into my office because you’re suffering with migraine headaches. You’ve been dealing with them for 10 years and I know you’re tired of it. …and the reason you called my office is because you wanted to find out if I can help you eliminate those migraines, is that correct?
Mrs. Jones: Yes. That’s correct.
Doctor: Look, Mrs. Jones I spent a couple of hours last night reviewing your exam findings and x-rays and the biggest thing I discovered is that if we don’t correct the underlying cause of these migraines, they’re undoubtedly going to get worse. It’s a mathematical certainty. I don’t want to tell you that your migraines getting worse is going to create an enormous problem for you in the future, because I feel like you already know that, correct?
Mrs. Jones: Yes, I know that. That is correct.
Notes: There, did you see how I did that? I opened this conversation by explaining the situation. Then I told her what the “risk” was and finally I told her she was dealing was an enormous problem, but notice the way I told her. I told her without it sounding like I was telling her. I employed an assumptive command that made her think it was her own thought.
Remember, the TRUTH IS, it’s going to get worse. You are not misleading them in any way. You are simply helping them realize it’s a BIG problem. People will minimize their problems and patient minimization is an absolute practice killer.
Now, if you honestly don’t feel the patient’s problem is not going to get worse, then DON’T tell them that it is. Remember, we need to be ethical.
But look how I phrased it,
“I don’t want to tell you that your migraines getting worse is going to create an enormous problem for you in the future, because I feel like you already know that…”
Language is so important. You should never just open your mouth to speak. Every word should be well thought out and have a purpose. Speak with the end in mind. And most importantly, make them think it’s their own thoughts.
2. Explain what part the person will play in the situation.
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, in order for me to help you fix your problem, you and I are going to need to work together as a team. Working as a team is the only way we can accomplish our goal of getting you back to living a normal life again.
Notes: Do you see how I let them know that their “role” in this situation is going to be as my teammate? People feel needed when they feel part of something. And now that we have both been “recruited to the same team”, it creates an inherent bond between us and the patient instantly feels needed.
3. Emphasize how important their role is.
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, your role in our doctor/patient relationship is the most important role there is. …because if you don’t show up for your appointments, I can’t help you. I know I didn’t need to say that, but it’s true, right? I mean, I think you and I both know that in this relationship, you are the most important person here.
Notes: Ok, do you see how I explained how important their role is in the current situation and how I’m reinforcing just how important the they are? The patient now feels even more needed than before.
4. Make it a point to show them how they are PREFECT for the role.
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, I don’t accept every single person that walks through my doors as a patient. Even if I know I can help them. I base the decision of accepting them as a patient on two things.
#1. Can I actually help them? …and Mrs. Jones, the good news is that I can definitely help you.
#2. Is the patient dedicated to getting better? Willing to follow my lead? Do they have a positive attitude? …and finally, are they team oriented and willing to work with me to reach our goals?
If the answer is “No”, I refer them to the guy down the street because I can’t be more dedicated to getting them better than they are. Does that make sense?
Mrs. Jones: Yes. That makes sense.
So like I said, not every person qualifies to be a patient here. (pause and look the patient in the eye) But you do! As a matter of fact, you are very uniquely qualified to be a patient here and I’m excited to start working with you.
Notes: Notice how I explained, “I don’t accept every single person that walks through my doors as a patient.” and went on to explain the rest of my criteria. I’ve seen other chiropractic coaches try and teach this method, but they only teach half of it.
The half they teach is the first half. “On Day 1, tell the patient you don’t know if you can help them on. So they leave your office wanting and hoping that you can help them. Then, on Day 2, tell them you can help.”
You’ll hear them say things like, “Mrs. Jones I’m not sure if I can help you, but I’ll let you know tomorrow during your report of findings. If I don’t find subluxation, then I’ll need to refer you to another doctor. BUT!! If I do find subluxation, then I can definitely help you!”
That’s all good, but that’s the least important part. The most important part is the emotional criteria that needs to be met in order for you to accept them as patient. Notice how I listed all the criteria and then told the patient that she meets all those qualifications and is “very uniquely qualified”.
She now feels “accepted” and when people feel accepted, they feel needed. The patient is now feeling like a million bucks and feeling a ton of self worth!
5. Acknowledge that a sacrifice will be needed on their part.
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, you’ve been dealing with these migraine headaches for the last 10 years. They’ve robbed so much time from you. All those days you had to call off work or couldn’t attend family functions like your sons graduation. It’s just not right and I’m sorry you’ve had to sacrifice so much already. But here’s the deal, I know you’ve already sacrificed so much time because of these migraines but the truth is, it’s going to require that you sacrifice a little more time in order to get rid of them. You’re going to need to set aside 40 minutes each day, 3 days per week for the next 3 months. The twenty minute drive time here, twenty minutes in the office and then the twenty minute drive home. But if you sacrifice this little extra time now, you won’t ever have to worry about sacrificing more time in the future.
Notes: What I did here was acknowledge the time sacrifice the patient has already made in her life and I acknowledged that the patient is going to need to sacrifice a little more time in order to get to where they need to be. But do you see how I made it seem insignificant to the sacrifice the patient has already made? I compared “missing her son’s graduation” with just two hours per week of drive time and treatment time. There’s no way the patient is not going to comply with sacrificing “a little more time”. You now have a solid commitment from the patient.
6. Ask if you can count on them to help.
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, can I count on you to be here?
Notes: Again, this makes the patient feel needed because “I’m counting on THEM.” Think back to the last time someone was counting on you. Didn’t it make you feel significant? Of course it did! And we all want to feel important and significant. It’s human nature.
So, how long does it take to implement this strategy? Well, as you can see, not much time at all. Maybe a few minutes.
This strategy can be used in all aspects of your life.
Do you want get people to donate to your church? Want to get your 10 year old son to pick up his room? Ladies, do yo want to get your husbands to do laundry or wash the dishes for you every night? …or maybe get them to give you a nice massage or rub your feet? haha!!
Actually, this bring up a good point…
ONLY USE THIS STRATEGY FOR GOOD!
“This strategy is very powerful and can easily be abused if you’re not careful. So please, be ethical with your new found powers.”
In conclusion, when you’re ready to make your proposal, employ these 6 steps that I mentioned above and WATCH what a difference it makes!
I hope you found some real value in this blog post. I’ve been working really hard to give you some real world actionable strategies (real meat and potatoes) to make you and your office better!