Thursday, January 31, 2008


"Perception is a mirror, not a fact." - Schucman and Thetford, A Course in Miracles
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Play It Forward Idea #4

Idea #4. Be generous with your authentic praise and recognition of your clients achievement throughout your time with them. That should be easy if you are continually and intentionally positioning them for success in mind, body, and spirit.

Upon completion of their treatment / training, ask if they would be willing to share their story of achievement with others – i.e. with your new clients who may not know what to expect and who may need encouragement, and with your referral sources whose knowing would benefit their other patients. Give them the choice of sharing their experience anonymously or by name.

To enable them tell their story, provide them a page of your practice stationary with the title “My Experience…” at the top. Invite them to write what they would like about their experience and what it has meant to them. They can complete it at your office or return it to you in the self addressed stamped envelope you provide them.

Two alternatives would be to provide them a special phone line that allows them to tell their story to voice mail from which you can transcribe it, or email them a reminder and allow them to email their story back to you.

Be sure to obtain their written permission to use their story.

If they are willing, you might also take a digital photo that can accompany their story (also with their written permission). Invite them to pose with you and perhaps another of your staff who they have come to specially appreciate - perhaps you can even show-off their achievement in the photo. Remember that the photo is an act of recognition and celebration, so take a couple of minutes to enjoy it together!

Post the photo(s) in a prominent location (the wall of fame) in your office for a few weeks for others to see; then move it to an upscale album or two that is placed in your reception area for viewing by those who visit your practice. Include the both their picture and their story in the album.

Make it an inviting album that people will want to pick up and browse. Be sure to include "celebrity clients", and pictures of your clinical team, and special community events or groups you have sponsored. Your album becomes your "Brag Book"... a silent marketing partner that is always in your reception area.


(c) copyright 2008
Performance Builders

Perhaps portions of your album could also be incorporated into your website...
Saturday, January 26, 2008


"To know, and not to do, is not to know." - Leo Buscaglia

I'm consistently amazed at the number of Practice owners and managers who "know" but don't do... There are hundreds of reasons for not doing but all of them spell "missed opportunity", "potential not realized" and "reward left on the table".


(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Friday, January 25, 2008

Play It Forward Idea #3

Idea #3. Routinely give your clients an opportunity to tell the story of their progress and achievement. Invite them to tell it to you, members of your team, or to someone that happens to be in your practice at the moment (e.g. another client, visitor, referral source, etc.).

Why? Because their story is too good, and your reputation to important, to leave its telling to chance.

Give your clients an opportunity to practice telling their story – help them embellish it a little (every good story gets embellished). Polish it! Give it some punch!

Remember, good stories get told and retold. They get remembered. Your client's story becomes your marketing as it is told about the community. Your client becomes your advocate! They do your marketing and feel great doing it!


(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Thursday, January 24, 2008


“The worst prison would be a closed heart.” Anonymous (often attributed to Pope John Paul II)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Play It Forward Idea #2

Idea #2. Provide each client regular tangible evidence of their gains toward their goals – that evidence could potentially be in the form of graphs, photos, video, letter, email, mementos, achievement awards, etc. Be sure it is something of perceived value and would not be perceived in any way as tacky.

Frequently recognize achievements to give clients something personal to take home and brag about. Always be sure the recognition has been earned and is authentic! This is easy to assure if you are consistently positioning the client for imminent success - i.e. encouraging them.

Again make the evidence something that they will want to share, and be able to conveniently share with family and friends - something that will provoke the conversations where they can do a little bragging and in doing so brag about your Practice.

Be sure to include your Practice logo on the evidence you share with them. Then on their next visit be sure to ask them who they shared their evidence with - doing so assures them that sharing is expected and essentially gives them permission to do so.

All The Best!

(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Sunday, January 20, 2008


“I love those who yearn for the impossible.” - Goethe
Saturday, January 19, 2008

Play It Forward Idea #1

Lets continue the previous post by beginning to explore 7 ideas that taken together will provide the framework for putting a Play-It-Forward (PIF) strategy into practice - your Practice. Perhaps you won't change the world, but you are likely to change someone's world.

We'll consider another idea every few days till all 7 are discussed and then we will piece them all together into a single Practice changing strategy. By implementing these ideas in your Practice, it will certainly change your world.

Idea #1. Measure performance gains for all clients and patients on the basis of one or two overarching goals they define – i.e. based on functional abilities that are important and motivating to them. Sure, you can have your professional goals for them as well, but there will be nothing more inspiring and motivating to them than their goal! It is what will keep them coming back and tuned into you!

What is it they want to be able to do or achieve? ...To get rid of pain, to be able to do something without pain, to be able to do something again, to be able to do something for the first time, to find pleasure, to prevent something from happening, to fulfill a dream, to become, to...

Keep it personal, that way it will be something that they will want to talk about in their circle of family and friends. You want them to talk! Even better you want them to brag about what they accomplished with your help!

It all begins with your understanding of, and commitment to, their personal goals. In doing so, you forge the first link in what will be a PIF chain reaction that will grow your Practice and your influence.

All The Best!


(c) Copyright 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008


“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character”. - Albert Einstein
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Play It Forward

I had a GIFT Fellow comment recently about having watched the movie Play It Forward, with Keven Spacey, Hellen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment - perhaps you remember it. The Play I Forward philosophy says, when someone does you a favor, don't pay it back but instead play it forward. Suppose that philosophy caught on... how could such a chain reaction change the world, your world? She posed the question, what would a play it forward strategy look like in a physical therapy Practice.

That's an interesting question...

A fundamental premise of Applied Functional Science is encouraement,or "positioning people for success". There are important pay-it-forward marketing strategies that have significant business implications for those commited to excellence and growth. I'd like to share with you some ideas over the next several postings that create pay-it -forward, word-of-mouth marketing opportunities that can benefit clients, community, and practice.

In addition to client benefits, there is a tangible business asset side to it as well that builds practices and provides rewards.

First a little perspective…Keep in mind that people buy from, and support, those they like and trust. But before they can like you they need to find you – that’s where marketing comes into play. So consider a strategy to build a pay-it-forward element into your marketing plan (if you don’t have a marketing plan consider this model as a potential foundation for building one). This is not an overnight marketing scheme that exploits people, but rather a marketing strategy that is built on relationships and respect – one that builds sustainable growth and loyalty.

Here are three marketing insights that you ignore at your expense…

1. New clients are the result of someone making a decision. So the question to ask is, “What can I do to make decisions to use my Practice easier and faster?” Remember faster decisions mean more decisions because a deferred decision too often results in no positive action being taken – i.e. a passive “no”.

2. People are too busy to research and fully consider every decision they must make. Many people also feel unqualified to make decisions about complex issues pertaining to everything from health matters, to vacation destinations, to automobile selection. When it comes to these matters people tend to defer to the advice of others whom they trust. Think of it as a shortcut (faster and easier) to a decision.

3. People are generally adverse to risk. That’s why "try it before you buy" offers tend to be so effective – they provide low-risk opportunities to experience and experiment. And, that is also why "word-of-mouth" recommendations are so powerful.

So how does one practically turn these “TRUTHS” into an encouraging and empowering pay-it-forward marketing strategy that can produce the chain reaction that culminates in growth for the Practice and more people benefiting from your expertice? More on that next time...


(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Monday, January 14, 2008


“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” - Henry Ford
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Compensation Negotiations

I had an email from a colleague recently asking about compensation expectations of a prospective part-time therapist. The back-story is that the therapist was coming from a large Midwestern city and moving into a smaller community in the southeast. The employer was taken back by the compensation expectations of the therapist.

In such situations there is no substitute for fact finding to sort through the fog of conflicting expectations. Here are some of the considerations that needed to be discussed...

1. Cost of Living – turned out there was more than a 20% difference between the two communities that needed to be considered.
2. APTA conducts periodic compensation surveys that are posted on its website. Such data provided relevent benchmarking opportunities for comparison.
3. The number and flexibility of hours worked at the two locations could have been a factor.
4. There were important questions to discuss about the relative level of supervision and responsibility required between the two positions in question.
5. There was the possibility that special skills may not have been required in the new position.
6. There were matters concerning whether there was any premium time (evenings and weekends), adverse conditions (hard to staff location), or exclusive services (e.g. high-end club) involved with the previous position.
7. There were potential commuting and parking reimbursement amounts included in the previous salary.
8. There was the possibility that the prospective therapist may have been paid additional salary in lieu receiving employer paid benefits.
9. It wasn't clear initially if the hourly rate the therapist quoted was paid as an employee or an independent contractor… if it was the latter the therapist would be responsible for all payroll taxes - that would add another 7.65% to the therapist's obligations while saving the employer an equal amount.
10. And finally there was the consideration of third party reimbursement between the two communities - how might that affect a Practices capacity to compensate?

Recruitment discussions invariably result in the discussion of compensation expectations of the two parties. More often than not there is a gap between what is offered and expected. Too often a potential deal breaks down or negotiations heat up because the facts are not on the table. The result is comparing the proverbial apples to oranges. Before discussing the specifics of compensation amounts it is always a good idea to explore contextual questions in order to put both parties on the same page. There is no substitute for good due-diligence.

Bob Wiersma
Performance Builders

Copyright 2008 Performance Builders
Saturday, January 5, 2008


"In a sense, knowledge shrinks as wisdom grows, for details are swallowed up in principles....but the habit of the active utilization of well understood principles is the final possession of wisdom." - Alfred North Whitehead
Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Best Practices

It seems everyone is talking about "Best Practice" these days. But lets ask a tough and perhaps controversial question... Is Best Practice what is best for your Practice?

Say what? Heresy are you thinking? Let's dig a little deeper...

If every Practice was just like every other Practice (think clone) - same training and skill set, same service offering, same space and equipment, same patient mix, same community, same location, same competitors, same business performance, same ...well you get the picture; then Best Practice might be just the answer.

Even then one must always ask, "Best for whom?"

The fact is that every Practice has certain uniquenesses that set it apart from the rest - for better or for worse. It is just those differences that make Best Practice problematic. There is of course no competitive advantage in sameness - competitive advantage comes from the exploitation of differences and innovation. If everyone adopted Best Practice then by definition everyone would be average - again, there's no competitive advantage in average.

If all were average, then who would discover Better Practices? How adaptable and sustainable would our Practices be in an ever changing world if there were little to no diversity in our gene pool? Evolution and genetics teach us that the ability to survive and thrive is found in diversity, options, and alternatives.

Could standardized Best Practice keep up with the pace of our ever evolving, rapidly changing, and increasingly more complex world? Where would innovation come from in such a Practice environment? Can conformity withstand obsolescene?

Success in Practice is similar in many ways to success in financial investment, where the first principle is risk management. A key strategy in reducing financial risk while retaining a favorable return on investment is a diversified portfolio. If one were to apply that principle to Practice management, one might be more interested in a portfolio of diversified "Better Practices" than an undiversified supposedly Best Practice.

Performance sustainability over time is more about innovation, agility, resiliency, and adaptability to a rapidly changing environment than it is about the exploitation of yesterday's Best Practice.

Those Practices that are satisfied with being average will be satisfied with Best Practice. However those Practices that aspire to lead, serve well, and earn exceptional reward will be better served by collecting emerging Better Practices and customizing for their Practice.

Best Practice is ultimately a joyless box of conformity. Better Practices represent an endless journey toward new challenges, opportunity, performance, and reward.

Will it be conformance or performance for your Practice?

In which environment will you practice?

Is your Practice plugged into innovation? Is it wired for innovation? Will it power your future?


Copyright 2008
Performance Builders