With less than one week until Xmas – this time of year can be a difficult one for health business owners for the following reasons:
– Your patients and clients get very busy and don’t place high enough importance on their health and rehabilitation programs.
– Most schools have closed for the holidays so parents have less time to fit in their own therapy and training sessions.
– Cancellation rates increase and follow up bookings drop as people get ready for Xmas and a few days break.
– Your team start to slacken off and think about their upcoming holidays and the parties they need to fit in this week.
– You are also mentally and physically exhausted after a hard year at the coalface and need a break yourself.
But there are business issues that still need your attention – your staff still expect to be paid, your rent and bills don’t stop for the Xmas period and your credit card bill is sure to cause some stress when it arrives in January.
That being said – there is still one essential part of your business systems and procedures this week that cannot be overlooked – the words you say to your client in their last session before Xmas.
The 4 words that I banned from my clinics in the weeks leading up to Xmas are – wait for it:
“Call Me in January”
I can’t begin to tell you how important it is for you to actively promote the continuation of your current treatment plans and fitness program to your clients in these last few days before Xmas – otherwise you and your team arrive back in early January to empty appointment books and low income.
You patients and clients MUST make a physical booking for as early as possible in the New Year – no questions asked.
Even if the client does not exactly know their schedule – book a session and make sure they are told to call you to re-schedule if this does not fit their plans.
The old ” Call Me in January” line – effectively undermines the hard work you have done on your treatment plans to date and makes the client feel that your program is not that important anyway – as you don’t think it is important enough to lock in the next consult date.
Here is a possible script for this last treatment session before the break:
“You have made great progress up till now – however the Xmas break is a dangerous period – as we are closed for _______ (insert number of days your clinic is closed) and I need to make sure we don’t lose any of our hard earned gains. To maintain our progress and to make sure you will be OK to (insert significant emotional event – i.e. “play in the first game of the season” or “fit into that wedding dress in February” ) need you to do ________ ( insert home exercise program) for at least (insert repetitions etc). You then need to make an appointment to see me on Tuesday January 3rd – our first day back – so we can start the next stage of your program – let’s arrange that time now”.
Compare that script to “Call Me in January” and I am sure you will see the value of getting these words right in the last session.
Remember – you are not selling something that the client does not need – if they don’t re-book the session then the client loses, you lose, your team lose, and your business loses – as you did not do everything you could to ensure this client had a great outcome.
Make sure you give this script (or a version of it) to your team as soon as possible – it can save your thousands in lost income and really improve patient outcomes.
I have no doubt that your team are already saying “Call Me in January” – as you read this.
Get out there and fix it NOW – the clock is ticking.