Patients are Trying to Tell You Something… – Advanced Power Coaching for Physical and Occupational Therapists

Patients are Trying to Tell You Something…

And they are not always upfront and direct about it either. More often than not, they tell you in other ways…

  • No-show
  • Cancel
  • Stop coming
  • Don’t give a testimonial
  • Don’t share your info with family and friends
  • Don’t bring in someone suffering that you could help

They are trying to say… (only for those who can handle the truth)

  • “I wasn’t that excited.”
  • “There’s not enough value.”
  • “You’re not doing the right things.”

Well what are the right things?

The “right” thing is not always obvious.

The right thing to most clinicians is commonly…

…to be nice and apply treatment to fix the pain or problem.

But the right thing for the patient is NOT always the same as what we’ve been conditioned to think.

Sometimes patients are looking for someone to kick them in the butt, sometimes a strong home program, sometimes attention and understanding. It’s not always clear and evident.

Kinda like when your wife or girlfriend tells you about a problem she is having. The right thing is NOT always trying to fix it.

And until you know how to determine what the “right” thing is from the patient’s perspective, you are going to fall short and suffer financially.

This training is helping practices make more money without stressing about more new patient marketing tactics.

Some practices are making double the income (with higher quality of care) without needing any more new patients.

physical therapy marketing

What’s the FIX?

  1. The first step is understanding there is a deeper underlying issue with your clinical system and approach. It’s not segmented and personalized enough. And it won’t be fixed with a simple adjustment in a phrase or policy here and there. Just like Amazon only delivers ads we want to see, so should your care be more geared towards what the individual patient wants (because this ultimately becomes what they NEED).
  2. The second step is to stop trying to find a “right solution” to the isolated symptom but rather find the Right Path that fixes ALL the root problems.

It’s kinda like when we as clinicians, if we chase the symptoms and pain we will end up chasing it forever. But when we address the underlying root causes, we get to the finish line faster (the patient included).

Here’s an Example of a FIX

Let’s say you have a high no-show and last-minute cancel rate. Merely installing text reminders and a $35 no-show fee will not fix it. Might curb it a little (to make you think it’s working) but it’s not a real fix. And it won’t last.

It goes deeper than that.

The true causes of high NS/CX rates are:

  • Low-Perceived Value (because you don’t know what they value exactly)
  • Wrong Receptionist
  • Poor New Patient Orientation Procedures
  • Clinical Sessions Lack Excitement for the Personality Profile of Patient
  • Lack of Session Incentive
  • Poor Policy and Enforcement
  • Patient is too busy*

*”Patient is too busy”: This is a pseudo cause. If they have a functional loss that is interfering with an important ability, therapy should not be low on their priority list. Either you have not properly screened this person for candidacy or they don’t see the value. It’s typically the latter.

Addressing the underlying causes is the only true fix.

“This sounds like a lot of work, James.”

No, not really. It’s actually a lot more time-consuming, stressful and costly trying to fix something with the wrong actions. Kinda like fixing a leak with electrical tape (or silly putty). It usually causes greater problems later.

The true fix is the best fix AND it leads to greater rewards, and financial success, faster.

It’s not that hard when you know how to do it and how to discover patient “WANTS”.


Most people spend money on what they want more than what they need (so do we). We don’t need the premium rims, top-of-line leather, the 30-day aged steak, the newest Macbook, Iphone, 60-inch screen, or the pristine green grass but we pay for it.

So you should stop trying to always impose what you think they need and start giving them more of what they want integrated into your approach.

Learn how to determine what a patient wants from you. I will show you how to do it quickly.

To those who think I’m not evidence-based:  You’re wrong. I’m totally evidence-based. I only do that which works quickly for the long-term. There is an overlap of what the patient wants with an evidence-based approach. Most don’t know. You have to know how to go about it.

If you can’t get patients to show up or stay in the program, what good can you do for their physical pain or problem?

If you can’t win their heart, mind and soul first, the body will never follow.

Getting on the Right Path sets you on course to a brighter future with minimal problems and issues that lead to greater profits, quality care, more loyal members, and fulfillment.

I can’t go into all the steps to the true fix here in this short blog post but soon I will be opening up registration to a special training on this topic.

Enter to Win a Free Pass to my special training coming up on “Getting on the Right Path to Fixing All Your Issues” by leaving a comment below.

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James Ko

James Ko, PT is an expert in private practice for physical and occupational therapists. For over 15 years he's helped the most struggling practices become successful and thrive.