“Remember, if Concierge Medicine is about super-servanthood, YOU have NOTHING to apologize for, ever.”
By Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief
FEBRUARY 2017 – If you have made it past year one in Concierge Medicine, this article is for you. Today, I want to talk to the veteran “DocPreneurs” and physicians who struggle with likability and sometimes, take things “personally.”
I want to talk about setting the tone for your practice and “keeping your practice as unique as you are …”
Hopefully, this is a message that resonates for a few of you.
Okay, so let’s unpack an old business principle and make it new for just a moment.
NOT EVERYBODY LIKES YOU, And That’s OKAY.
As you know, one of our favorite authors around here at Concierge Medicine Today is an author by the name of Jon Acuff. He had this to say recently… When we think about our businesses, we dream about reaching everyone. When you ask an author, “Who is your book for?” they often reply, “Everyone!”
Okay, let’s STOP right there. Push the PAUSE button because here’s the takeaway.
The author continued to say … We tend to think biggest is best and 0.1% feels a bit like a failure.
Wow! Let that wash over you for just a minute.
One thing I’ve observed about Concierge Physicians in the past ten years, it is that few tend to think biggest is best and 0.1% feels a bit like a failure.
This is an amazing entrepreneurial quality. And, notice I said “FEW” and not “many” or “most.”
I think this sentiment is perfect for physicians and more specifically, those in Concierge Medicine and other forms of Private and Direct, Membership Medicine, including Direct Primary Care as well. I’m not talking either about reaching the 0.1% demographically either. This has nothing to do with salaries or earned income. It’s about your practice operating as a business and focusing on what it delivers that is truly unique for your community.
For example, when you started your Concierge Medicine practice, you had a particular patient in mind and a relatively good idea of who was going to be attracted to your practice. That’s what I want to zero-in on … what makes you and your practice truly unique. Another way to say it is … your USP or Unique Selling Point. That USP isn’t going to appeal to everyone. Remember that.
- When we think about “MY PRACTICE NAME,” [INSERT YOUR PRACTICE or NAME HERE] we dream about reaching “everyone.” When you ask a doctor, “Who is your practice for?” they often reply, “Everyone!”
- BUT REMEMBER … What you are creating is NOT actually for everyone. For example, not everyone uses UPS. Fed-Ex is out there too! And that’s okay! It’s not about rich vs. poor or even out of pocket dollars vs. insurance. It’s not about elitism either, It’s about priorities in the eyes of your community. When you build a business, you build it with a clientele in-mind. Why is it someone you know has a new iPhone and a nice new car, they probably can’t afford? And why is it, they didn’t join your practice? It’s not always about price. In fact, in most cases, it isn’t, at least according to the thousands of patients we’ve surveyed. It is about perceived value in the eyes of the buyer and his/her priorities.
As great of an idea as the automobile was, FORD isn’t the only thing people drive 100 years later. We can sometimes forget this when we think about growing a business or you re-center and meet with your staff for weekly or monthly staff meetings. It’s glaringly obvious when you walk out the door of your practice and something we don’t really even think about that often. Remember, your practice is a part of the big picture. It is one unique branch or stem, different from the others yet part of a larger and growing dynamic in your community. You are part of the Free Market Healthcare Delivery Family Tree and not everyone wants to branch out that far. Some do. In fact, many will. But not everyone, and it’s not your fault.
What you are personally creating in your LOCAL 0-9 mile radius around your medical practice is today, truly designed for a very small amount of people. I may be offending some by saying that, but that is today, the reality of our marketplace. It will grow. In fact, it is growing. Our staff just reported to a large national news outlet just last week that Concierge Medicine and its mass market variant identified by lower monthly fees, DPC, is also expected to grow at a moderate pace.
We haven’t arrived yet, we’re still building. But we’re all going to get to the starting line at different times, and that’s going to be something beautiful.
So, when you find the right ones, the patients who love what you are selling. They will LOVE what you are going to do for them and their health. According to the hundreds and hundreds of successful physician stories in Concierge Medicine that we’ve written over the years, that is what makes any medical practice successful.
Focus on those who KNOW, LIKE and TRUST YOU! Businesses aren’t easy. Diets aren’t easy. The good stuff is always the hard stuff. (I don’t know who said that … but I think it’s catchy and you should start saying it to patients …) lol
This doesn’t mean the hard stuff can’t be fun.
Of the multiple Concierge and DPC Physicians I speak with each week directly, I know most, are having a lot more fun. Are you???!!!
Finally, I’ll leave you with this … Great business people and I’d now argue, great doctors know that “you just need to be a superstar in your own backyard …” and you accomplish that by focusing on your strengths and finding people who want to come along for the ride. Not everyone will want to join you along the journey. If too many people do … that’s actually, when you raise the fare and see who still believes in your mission!
More good things are in store for Concierge Medicine and for you in the next year!
PS | “Remember, if Concierge Medicine is about super-servanthood, YOU have NOTHING to apologize for.”