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Doctor – What Do You Say When People Ask, “What Do You Do?”

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The Lesson of Magnets?

VR MD

[By Vicki Rackner MD]

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Whether you’re a clinic employee or a private practitioner, you reap the greatest career satisfaction when you see more of your best-fit patients. How do you attract them?

Magnets

Magnets offer an important lesson.

Depending on the orientation, two magnets will either attract or repel each other.  The strength of the magnetic force is called the magnetism.

The way you present yourself to would-be patients, referring physicians and other SENDERS–people who send you patients– will either attract them or repel them.

Your goal is to optimize your magnetism so you will attract the attention of people you want to engage.

It begins with hello. They say you only have one chance to make a first impression.

One of the first questions people ask you at a social event is, “What do you do?”  To generate referrals, answer in a way that increases the chances of attracting your best-fit patients to your practice. You want your listener to say, “Wow!  I know someone who needs to see you!”

***

Magnets

***

The Three Answers

There are three ways of answering this question:

  1. By title: You could say, “I’m a rheumatologist” or “I’m a pediatrician.”

The problem with this approach is that your title brings an image to the mind of the listener over which you have little control.

I was at a wedding when a budding Barbara Walters-type  started interviewing me.  This child said to me, “You’re a doctor.”  I nodded.  She asked , “What kind of doctor?”  I told her, “I’m   a surgeon.”  She asked “What kind of surgeon?”  I told her,  “A   general surgeon.”  Her eyes got big as saucers as she said, “Oh, you’re the person who puts those warning labels on the cigarette packs!”

  1. By diagnostic and therapeutic activity: You could say, “I treat orthopedic injuries.”  or “I treat diseases of digestion.”

The problem with this approach is that you’re asking your listener to become a diagnostician. Is their mother’s sub-sternal burning angina or acid reflux?

  1. By result:  You could say, “I help women make a gracious transition through menopause.”  Or , “I help parents set their kids up for a life of health.”  This is the approach with the highest magnetism score.

The most attractive positioning statement answers these three questions:

  • Whom do you help?
  • What results do you help people get?
  • Why is this result important ?

Ideally you craft a simple, memorable, repeatable sound bite.  You and your staff members use it.  People calling your office repeat it.

Assessment

The most magnetic positioning statements are deceptively simple.  Keep working at it.  You’ll know when you’ve found yours.  You pique the curiosity of your listener.  They want to learn more

About the Author

Vicki Rackner MD, author, speaker, ME-P thought-leader and President of Targeting Doctors, helps financial advisors accelerate their practice growth by acquiring more physician clients. She calls on her experience as a practicing surgeon, clinical faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine and nationally-noted expert in physician engagement to offer a bridge between the world of medicine and the world of business.

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