“ Wow, I didn’t know you did that!”

How many times have you heard that when you explain what you do?

I was with a group of businessmen last week at a networking meeting. I’ve been a part of this group for about three years.

One of the business owners was complaining about a leg injury and that he “might have to come to see me.” I’m sure that’s probably happened to you a time or two.

I’m never quite certain how to respond, so I waited for his next comment.

He said he wakes up every morning with severe neck pain. He’s fine after he leaves his chiropractor, but it doesn’t have any lasting effect on the next morning’s pain.

He told his physician he wanted an MRI on his leg and while he’s there to get one done on his neck. He’s a smart guy. He owns and manages a large company with many employees. He makes important decisions regarding his business every day. But when it comes to the healthcare industry, he seems to be a novice.

He knows that I’m a physical therapist. Evidently, he doesn’t understand what I do for a living.

I have certifications in manual therapy and have over thirty years of experience in spinal care. And I have some inclinations of how I might help his neck pain.

There is an understanding gap between us.

On one side of the gulf is his understanding of what physical therapists do for a living. And on the other side is what I know I can do to help him. My question to you is:

Whose responsibility is it to close that gap?

We have two options. Get frustrated at people because of the choices they make regarding their healthcare based upon their world views (I haven’t found this option to do anyone much good). Or step into the gap with a well-prepared conversation starter that attracts prospects to the services we offer.

More often than not, somewhere during the conversation, the person will say…

” I didn’t know you did that.”

Unfortunately, most of the therapists I ask to tell me that they can’t provide a clear, concise answer. I think if you can’t explain what you do to me, an industry insider, the average consumer isn’t going to have any clue about what you do.

Most likely they’ll move on to the next provider until they find someone that can explain the solution in words they understand.

I wrote a blog post on How Do You Talk About What You Do and a how-to guide on How to Talk About What You Do To Gain Respect and Referrals. These resources will help you craft a clear statement of whom you serve, who you are and what you do.

Download the free guide, write your conversation starter so you’ll be ready for the next opportunity to explain to someone what it is you do for a living.

Crystalizing your vocation into a single sentence is one of the best tools to grow your practice one conversation at a time.

Now back to my friend and his recurring neck pain.

Both you and I know that what he’s doing isn’t working. We know that the MRI isn’t going to change anything. After he went over his MRI report with the orthopedic surgeon, the surgeon told him he has arthritis and…

“There’s nothing we can do for you!”

I said, of course, they said that. But just because it’s not surgical, and they can’t do anything doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else who can. The other men in the room got the point, but I wasn’t sure he did or not. It was time to move on.

I owe it to him to follow up on our brief exchange. I’d be doing him a professional disservice if I didn’t initiate a conversation to offer to help him. I’d be cheating him out of an opportunity to get relief before it’s too late.

The next day I got a text from him about coming to see me.

He must have had a rough morning.

After exchanging emails, we finally were able to schedule an appointment for next week. Now I’ll have an opportunity to see if I can help him and give him a chance to say…

Wow, I didn’t know you can do that!

How about you?

Do you have any prospects that you need to start a conversation to see if they might benefit from what you do? I’d like hearing your answer. You can tell me below or email me at heypaul@paulpotterpt.com

PS- After you check out my how-to guide on How To Talk About What You Do To Gain Respect and Referrals email me your conversation starter, I’d love to share it with the community.

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