Throwing Elephants Overboard.

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2019

I’ve been presenting on the power of patient gifting and marketing automation for many years. The most common question from audiences revolves around cost. I’m asked, “How much should I spend on a new patient welcome gift, shock ‘n awe package or new start ‘wow’ box?”


My answer has always been the same: whatever it takes.


Clearly, one of the top five reasons why patients don’t refer, which I review extensively in my writings, is that they aren’t welcomed to the practice in a BIG way.


I learned this principle from The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Development Center, The Disney Institute and by studying top producers in home and car sales. Everyone wants to feel special and important. Consumers want to know that you sincerely appreciate their business. They also want something to talk about.


A financial advising firm sends one of the nicest new-client welcome boxes I’ve ever seen. It’s...

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Uncategorized Oct 30, 2019

Three months after its public debut, Uber posted a $5.2 billion loss that’s “impressively vast” even for a company whose business model is based on outspending the competition, said The Economist. Since its inception, Uber has lost a total of $14 billion. A few weeks ago it laid off 400 people from its marketing department, representing a third of the entire division, and has placed a hiring feeze on new engineers.


Uber’s stock is down 20 percent since their IPO in May. It’s expensive to recruit drivers, there’s more competition and consumers are very price-sensitive. Even the most-promising startups, with billions of dollars in venture capital, must answer to the laws of gravity.


Last Wednesday was a private coaching call day. I started early in the morning and took call after call, in 45 minute increments, until late afternoon. In many of the calls, there was a common theme of growth via attempt to ignore gravity. ...

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What Can You See.

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2019

Advertisers wasted $5.8 billion last year on digital ads that were viewed by bots and fake accounts. According to the Association of National Advertisers and fraud-detection company White Ops Inc., “Ad-fraud schemes have quickly risen and been much more difficult to measure.”


No kidding. If ad fraud was easy to measure, we advertisers would fix it quickly. But it’s not, and here we are, wasting $5.8 billion (with a B) each year on fake ads. This kind of makes “fake news” seem not all that bad. At least you can see fake news. Fake ads go nowhere, to walls of phones in China, called click farms (see photo below) that visit your site and click your ads but without human accounts attached to them.

Advertising platforms get rich. You get screwed.


This brings me, quickly, to one big, hairy obstacle in your business. Whether it’s marketing, managing your employees, running your clinic, overseeing your...

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Ask Better Questions.

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2019

Most small business owners are used to giving answers, not asking questions. If you followed around some of the world’s top CEOs and leaders, you would find the exact opposite is true. The best leaders are great at asking questions, so that the best ideas win and the best answers quickly become evident, even if they arise from the least-expected team members.


Management expert Peter Drucker was well-known for asking smart questions like, “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit what everyone knows?” Read that question again and let it sink in for a minute.


Most leaders start their meetings with assumptions, biases and beliefs about their market. They see any change in the market as something to be dealt with based on their existing talents and tools. They almost never assume the solution is entirely out of their wheelhouse. They simply go about fitting every “nail” to their hammer. Drucker’s question,...

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Sell It Differently.

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2019

The latest online shopping craze has a unique twist. Instead of sitting in front of a web browser or flipping through items on a smartphone, millions of Chinese consumers are obsessed with live-stream shopping.


ShopShops employs real people to go into real stores, like a T.J. Maxx in New York City, and stream their visit to as many as 10,000 people live watching from China. These shopping trips are some what of a cross between live home shopping network and game show, where buyers race to get great deals on items that are unavailable in China or often counterfeit.


Buyers can interact with the hosts, asking them questions or making requests to hold up items or model them at a “selfie” distance to see what they might look like in person. The company streams about 220 live shows each month, with an average of $6,000 in sales per session.


ShopShops has employees in multiple cities throughout the U.S., Dubai and London. Easily generating $1.2 to $1.5...

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Perseverance of Beliefs.

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2019

In the 1980s, Ross and Lepper published the seminal work on the perseverance of beliefs. This is the tendency for people to continue to believe something is true even when it is revealed to be false or disproved.

In one study, students took an aptitude test and were told they scored poorly. Later, when they learned the exam was miss-scored, most participants were unable to erase the experience. They continued to persevere in their beliefs.

What faulty beliefs do you have about your practice and what faulty beliefs does the marketplace have about you and the profession of hearing health care? These are million-dollar questions that you must answer.

If I had a dollar for each time an audiologist or specialist told me direct mail doesn’t work in their market or that they are doing a good job answering their phones, I’d be a lot richer than I already am.

Somewhere in the course of their career, most doctors have convinced themselves about something and they continue to...

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What They Want.

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2019

I returned from a great meeting with clients recently and met my assistant to go over our plans for the coming week. If I’m in one of our offices, I like to go walking around and say hello, let people know I’m still alive and, occasionally, like I observed today, I get to see a new employee or two in training.

At our departure desk today, there was a new smiling face in training and a handful of patients checking out, all under the careful guidance of two administrative employees and their supervisor. If this new employee was paying attention, and it appears she was, then she learned a powerful lesson today about what patients and spouses want when it comes to hearing appointments.

Every single spouse at the checkout area nicely asked for the same thing.

Most of these patients were coming back in 1-2 weeks for prescription changes and two were coming back in three months for a cleaning or observation appointment, I’m not sure, I was only in the area for 20 or 30...

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The Life Unlived.

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2019

Adam Phillips is a brilliant writer, psychologist and regular contributor to The London Review of Books. The closest I can come to the kind of people who think at this level, is that they let me subscribe to The London Review of Books. Barely.

Although I don’t agree with Phillips on a lot of issues, I take particular delight in his assessment of couples who come to him with a desire to change something about their partner. He says, “It is not unusual for each member of a couple to know exactly what is missing in their partner; and to know, by the same token, how their lives would be different, that is, so much better, if their partner would change in particular ways.”

I see this with clients and the relationship they have with their businesses. They live as if they know more about the experiences they haven’t had, than they do about the experiences they have had.

They speak in great detail and with great longing about more new patients,...

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Uncategorized Jan 22, 2019

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of social media and Facebook groups. Particularly for pathologic perfectionists (i.e., audiologists), this method of communication is dangerous for several reasons:

First, those who post in these forums assume they assert unique views and ideas, imagining themselves as individuals. Yet, to a great extent, the views espoused are heavily influenced by colleagues, friends in the group, childhood upbringing and society at large. If you could track the views and opinions of the average member inside these groups, as a function of time, you would see them bend towards the average, the longer the member operates and communicates within the group.

This is only one reason why you’ll never catch me dead inside a Facebook group for audiologists. It’s also why you’ll never see a user group with this type of communication created for CEOs of publicly-traded companies. One of my friends and business mentors travels to New York City at the...

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Time is Money.

Uncategorized Jan 22, 2019

Most small business owners have scores of reports they check each month to help them manage their money. Expenses and revenue are tracked meticulously. Budgets are set and regularly reviewed before new investments are made in technology or human capital.

Even the average business owner has some idea of their production, collections and expenses this week or this month and how they compare to the same period last year or last month. The more engaged business owner receives these reports daily or even twice a day, like I do. Yet, almost no small business owner manages their time with the same care and consistency. Time in most businesses goes largely unmanaged.

Think about the number of phone calls, text messages, emails, meetings and unscheduled interruptions throughout your day. Very few doctors have grasped the huge amount of waste they allow into their day because they have failed to set clear rules on how they govern their time.

Leaders at The Disney Institute state it very...

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