DPC Docs: Make it All About the Patient

Do you want to convert more prospective patients into member patients? Is your sales pitch a sad story of burnout and how the insurance companies treated you badly? Patients don’t want to hear this.

They want to hear how you are going to improve their quality of life, their health, and the efficiency and thought around receiving medical care. That’s it.

Sales 101. Ask questions first.

Talk second. If you start with your pitch with how or why you became a Direct Primary Care Physician and what you can offer the patient, you are wasting precious time. You don’t know what they want or what is important to them. Maybe they want access. Maybe they want empathy. Maybe they want cost reduction. Maybe they want diagnostic depth. Maybe they want all of that. You have to questions FIRST before you give your sales pitch.

Sales 102. It’s ALL about the customer.

It’s not about you. Again, they don’t want to hear your sad story about how the system exploited you. They came to your office for happiness, not sadness. They may want to tell you their sad story about all the perceived failings of the system in their care. You should listen intently and empathize, then remember those points in your sales pitch. You aren’t friends. They aren’t your therapist. This isn’t a back and forth conversation of sharing mutual hurts. It’s a prospective patient telling a prospective physician what they are and aren’t looking for in a patient-physician relationship. They are looking for a physician that is excited to go to work every day and think about improving their life.

What questions should you be asking?

Why are you considering leaving your current primary care doctor?

What is important to you in a physician-patient relationship?

What is important to your other family members in a physician-patient relationship?

What is appealing to you about the DPC model?

What are you most concerned about when considering a DPC relationship?

You should get most of what you need from those questions and may even be able to skip some. Then, tailor your pitch to their answers. If ALL of their answers are around access, don’t even talk about money. Or, if it’s all around getting the time to have proactive care, focus on that.  Then, talk about how you are going to partner with them on the journey of health – whatever that looks like for them. Maybe they need to lose 5 pounds, maybe they want to reduce the number of medications they take, or maybe they are great and want to stay that way. Use your discretion to focus your precious “sales” time to talk about the things they care about.

And, ask them questions to see if they are a good fit for you. Are there certain types of patients you just can’t handle? Screen for that. Are you adamantly opposed to mixing essential oils and medications? Say so upfront. Use the interview time to figure out if this is a good fit for both of you. 

I’d love your feedback and ideas on verbiage that has worked..or hasn’t. I believe in the DPC movement and want to see it work. This blog post was inspired by actual events…that happened twice. 😂