Link to Audio Episode
Oliver :: Welcome to the molding private practice show where we help healthcare practitioners in private practice, keep true to their purpose, and build a life of mastery by providing the knowledge, skills and tools to bring their dreams to life. In this episode, we speak about becoming remarkable and growing personally with experiences, he is ready to go.
Shaz :: Hi Oliver yes.
Oliver :: So I think to start off, are you enjoying these type of sessions? Do you think there is a bit of value that’s coming from it?
Shaz :: You know, what I’ve definitely enjoyed during the last few sessions. I think we’re able to give information out to practitioners that they can find fairly useful, and if they just listened to what we have to say, take one or two ideas away from it, you can definitely see the value in growing your practice by making a few small simple changes.
Oliver :: I Like that, but also want to make it more about us as well. I think over time, we’ll get better with this. I mean, that by no means am I saying, it will be the finished product. But I think we covered it in one in one of the early episodes. The key thing is, with every day, and every month, and every year, I think we are growing as people, I’m talking about you and I and we growing as a company.
I think this is another way of just expressing that. We do it in team meetings, which is, like the easy way, but it’s almost a closed shop. I almost want to use this as the opportunity to kind of like put it out there and say, okay, cool, you know, this is the new things that we’ve learned in a more public kind of forum, and hopefully, people that are following us or, clients that are thinking of working with us, or clients that are already working with us would find huge value in that stuff.
I was speaking to one of our clients yesterday, she’s an educational psychologist and we were just talking about how we level up her practice because she is fairly new into private practice. The I looked at it for her was you almost need to build on each other. What I mean by that is you have one referral source that is working, you have good premises where you have your therapy rooms and now you need to build that next referral source. How do you build the next marketing channel?
I think the same with the show that I am enjoying is that every episode becomes another opportunity for us to build on, to grow and basically just provide more value. I think that is what I am getting out of it.
The Purple Cow :: Strategy for being remarkable
Oliver :: For years, we would pick words, that would almost resonate with us as a company and resonate with us as a team. And one of the first words that I ever picked was remarkable. I think that was in our first interview when you were thinking of joining Kitrin
I got the idea from a book by Seth Godin called The Purple Cow. For anyone that knows Seth Godin is a superstar, when it comes to marketing. You can’t not reference one of his books or his line of thinking whenever you’re thinking of anything marketing related. So the gist of this book is of you are traveling say from Johannesburg to Durban and along the way you always see cattle that’s nothing new. But if you saw a Purple Cow the first thing you’re going to tell someone is “Guess what I saw”.
So the gist of the book is that what you want to do is stick out in some way or form or fashion but obviously not, the flip side of this is being too out there or eccentric. But the whole point to being remarkable. What that means for me is when I look at how we interact with clients or the products that we bring to market, I’m always looking for a little bit of that remarkable part to it.
Anyone could do most things or copy what has been done, but I’m always looking for how do we do it better? How do we make it that someone would actually speak about it in glowing terms. Even if its not remarkable to everyone that it’s remarkable to us and firmly believe in the remarkable nature of what we are doing.
Shaz :: I think everything that we do, we do it with the intention of trying to be as remarkable as we can. And if you break that all the way down to the bare basics, it’s answering the client query at 10 o’clock on a Saturday morning, when they’re not expecting that answer to come through or having somebody available to go, “you know, actually, we can help you with that. Let’s look at it like this.”
I think we spend a lot of time trying to make sure that we don’t fall into those bad service levels. But more than that, I think, from my experience anyway, the best that I’ve heard a client come back to us and say is, “they don’t need to worry about what’s happening because they know the team’s got this”. If you ask for something on a Friday, you know, the team’s got the answer. We know where we’re going, what we’re doing. And as a practitioner, I find that that does generally help with the question of is this remarkable compared to doing something through somebody else.
From a personal level, I think we try in the office anyway, to just make small changes, having really good bean to roast coffee for people, when they come through for a meeting. You don’t get that everywhere. It’s something different. But you know what, when people leave, they kind of turn around and say, you know, when I was at their offices, I could get a cappuccino, I could get a latte and it wasn’t just instant coffee. That’s just one step above, it’s just that little bit extra that makes people remember who you are and remember what you’re doing. It’s the candle that you have in the office that makes people walk in and think the smells like grandma’s home baking, those little moves can turn anything from just a simple, basic, everyday item into that Purple Cow that remarkable thought that sticks with you when you walk out of the building.
Oliver :: Hmm, I like that. Remember, in the first few meetings, especially the new officers, we said when when a client comes through for a meeting, where are we going to get the best coffee that we can and fortunately for us, there’s a Seattle Coffee up the road. So we would always, get someone to go and get Seattle coffee.
But, I agree, having a proper coffee machine in the office is now just click of a button and you can basically have the cappuccino the latte or espresso that you want. I like that idea, I mean, I agree with all of those things. What I was thinking about is, I used to use this as well, in my consulting stuff, which was the whole concept of synergy. I think it was at Varsity or so that we were introduced to this concept, but it’s two plus two equals five. Obviously, you don’t pick it up straight away. The idea is the sum of the parts, are equal to way more, I mean, the end product is worth way more if you just start getting the, individual parts a lot better and that idea with Synergy.
So what you saying is exactly right and the way we work, because I think one of our values, as well is continuous improvement, and it’s this idea of just making fine refinements on everything with the idea of then becoming amazing at that one part. So if we look at coffee, going with your example, what is the best coffee machine that we can probably get right now. And yeah, sure we’re not going to spend, a huge amount of money on that. But the best type of coffee probably would be, bean to cup so can we get something like that, and that would be already satisfying that idea of, being remarkable and doing the best you can in that area.
Then if you take that plus the offices plus the candle and everything else, then hopefully the some of the experience, or the some of the components of the experience is worth way more. So, that’s where we went with, with the whole idea of being remarkable. Is anything else that you can think of from a life point of view, or in terms of how we working with clients, that kind of sticks out?
Shaz :: I think over the last few years, with clients having listened to what they’re looking at, or where they might be thinking of going with their practices, we’ve also started to look at what those next phases would be. I think, with that, in itself, we seem to try and always get to grow with them and get them to the next level.
I mean, we’ve got a client who started off working in three separate practices desperately trying to get from A to B. And that small, subtle change of, suggesting we look for good office premises , then, you’ve got good premises, let’s build you a website. It doesn’t have to be the most amazing website out there. But it has to be eye catching, it has to be a little bit of who you are, that makes you stand out from everybody else in the area. We’re now at the point where she’s kind of going, “I don’t have capacity to take on any more people, my practice has completely exploded”.
It’s just from those subtle moves to make her practice stand out from the competition in the area. It was just small, simple tweaks to make people remember, actually, you know, I’ve seen this, or I’ve heard of her, or I want to work with her, because, we’ve heard what amazing premises they are or what the service is like. And I think those little tweaks is what makes whether it be myself as a on a personal level or on a practice level. That’s what makes you memorable to people is those small nuances.
Like you say, you don’t have to be eccentric and out there, but you have to have something that makes people recognize who you are. And I think it’s a good example, to have taken a practice from really struggling to full capacity just by making small subtle changes of how they get things done.
Masterclass :: Remarkable Experiences
Oliver :: I like that example.
So I’m listening to Masterclass, I’m not sure if everyone’s heard about it but think of like Netflix with more curated content based on on entrepreneurs and thought leaders in in their own fields. This weekend, I was listening to one on gardening there was a guy that started Gangsta Gardening, which is, amazing, but the reason I’m saying this is that the one that I’m still watching is by Daniel Pink a sales and marketing guru. He was talking about experiences. which you used it quite a few times in this discussion. How does, how does this relate? I mean, we’ve said a few things in this discussion already but how would this really relate to healthcare practitioner and private practice?
I mean, what could they tangibly do, and what he spoke about was, was experiences and I don’t think we’ve mentioned that word so far, and he said, was when you think about most things, you never remember the product or what it cost? Sometimes you probably do, but what you remember is the experiences, if you look at childhood, and someone asked you “what is what do you remember from childhood?” Most of the time, according to him, and according to the research that he’s done, he said most people, actually picked out the experiences rather than the toys, or the things they got for Christmas or something like that.
So even the Christmas thing, it would be the, the joy of unwrapping the gifts with family under the Christmas tree or next to Christmas tree, and that’s what they remember. So, if I had to advise, one of our clients or any healthcare practitioner in private practice, I would say concentrate on experiences, what do you want to deliver? And how do you want to deliver it. Then make refinements on that.
So simple thing like, you never sent out the invoices on time and clients always had to beg you previously to do that, and three weeks went by. How could you make a small change there that would get that part of the experience a lot better? Sending the invoices out sooner would obviously reduce stress and stuff like that, and bring in more money.
But how could you do that, how could you get better at thing? Well if you’re a lot more deliberate, and you have a list of those things, that you just wrote down, or you’re keeping a note on your iPhone around that stuff, then over time, you will get better at something. That’s important because, we always forget how quickly things change and, and how different it is. But if you look back,four years ago, or two years ago, is it better now? Or is it worse?
If you can answer on all of those areas that you’ve identified for your private practice, yes, it’s better the you are obviously, on the right path and you just keep on doing what you’re doing. Refining that until you get to that stage where you can say I think I’m there, then it’s all about maintaining, and just keeping to that level.
Still improving, but not, as drastically as you probably had to do, when you just started out or before you got to that level that you want to do. So I think that’s something tangible for clients and healthcare practitioners in private practice.
Again, if you or, anyone you know is struggling for these ideas, you can look at the content on our website or speak to us. We can definitely help with with some of that thinking. Shaz coming back to you s there anything else from a from a client point of view, or what you’ve seen us doing or anything else, something tangible around remarkable? Well, being remarkable as that has anything else kind of sprung to mind?
Shaz :: The one that does spring to mind is the billing software. I’ve heard it on multiple occasions from clients that the software that they first signed up for, has changed so dramatically over the last three years. Every time we look at introducing a new feature or upgrading something, we’re looking at it from the perspective of how does this make the practitioner’s life easier. And the moment we start doing that, you take it from a very simple, normal, everyday billing software to something that practitioners are looking at and going, actually, this is really making my life so much easier. I think one of the best functions there is that being able to invoice a month’s worth of sessions in 60 seconds, that for me, it’s still remarkable the fact that at the end of the month, you can sit down and at a click of a button, all your invoices are done, and it’s taken you a minute. Whereas before it used to take people, an hour, two hours, three hours, depending on how busy the practice was, I think that stands out for me as perhaps one of the most remarkable things we’ve achieved in the last three years from a software point of view.
Oliver :: Yeah, I still remember pitching the idea to the team. And you know, after doing many of those conferences, everyone would be pretty blown away what, with the idea that we could almost, set an appointment and do the invoicing and allocate the payment in under 30 seconds, as an example.
I remember, after one of the conferences,thinking to myself, “can you imagine being on that stage and being able to demo invoicing 120 sessions, in under a minute“. That was the idea behind it, do all of our clients use it? Probably not but it is that idea of you could if you wanted to, in the same way that you never drive the you never drive your car to the limit. I mean, hopefully not, but you know could do that, if you ever wanted to because that’s what you have on tap.
That pretty much sums up what we’ve been talking about, around being remarkable. I do also want to say, this is more my personal experience, over the years, is sometimes when you do this thing that’s remarkable, like when you saw that Purple Cow, you almost need to blink. And you know, maybe five minutes later you almost have to think about it and say did I really see that? So maybe I got it wrong, and I didn’t see it.
And the reason I’m saying this is for many years I struggled with almost coming out with products that are too innovative and too ahead of the market ? People would always look at that and say “Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense“. Then it’s almost like they get to that level where they do think about it and they say, “Okay, that makes a lot of sense“. We spoke about Zoom sessions, we’ve been doing zoom sessions for over three years. But it’s only this year that, people, started saying, you know, “Zoom sessions”, or “Doing zoom sessions“ and actually using it and saying, we’re going to have a zoom session. I remember the early days trying to convince clients actually, can we do an online session? And almost everyone said, No, they always want to, to see you in person.
It;s kind of those things and I’m not saying, we are amazing, I mean, like, if you want to look at amazing there are companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, and all of those companies that spend billions of dollars trying to figure out where the market is or where the market is going. And, you know, playing in that space.
I think we do it on a smaller basis, but it is still, because we so entrenched in the industry that we are in that sometimes we can see these plays and we know, that’s what needs to happen. You use the example of the client that had three separate office spaces and because we’ve seen so many of those examples, we can easily advise, it’s like, I don’t think you want to be there, you want to be in this area. For that particular client, we did the analysis, and we said, you actually want to be in this area, because, there’s a lot more demand for that type of therapy. And this way, there’s an analytical model that we use to figure that out. Obviously, based on the experience’s of other people, or other therapists in that area and we could advise in that way.
What I want to say about being remarkable. It normally means that you’re going to be ahead of the curve in some way or you catching up to that curve and it doesn’t always get appreciated in that moment. But when you take a step back, hopefully you would have seen actually, that was a good thing. So sometimes it’s all about gut and feel and just a direction, just putting it back in the ground going in that and say, I think that makes sense. That is remarkable for me. So just closing up. Is there anything else that you want to add Shaz?
Shaz :: I think we’ve covered all the points on how to start working on that idea of being remarkable and how to use that to start to build those building blocks to grow.
Oliver :: Okay, amazing so I want to leave it with that.
I want to thank everyone for for listening in for hopefully sharing and subscribing to whatever channel that you’re listening to. And if you have any, any any comments or questions for us, you know you you’re welcome to to contact us. Looking forward to the next episode.
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