It’s Not About You: Why You Should Never “Sell Yourself” as a Physical Therapist
By Paul Gough, BSC (HONS), MCSP, SRP, HPC*
The idea that you “have to sell yourself” to patients if you want their custom at your clinic isn’t true.
This idea, better known as advice for landing a job, comes with the false belief that people who need physical therapy make decisions on things like your skills, how many continuing education credits you’ve accrued, how many years of experience you have, how many awards you’ve won, and so on.
Now a lot of people will push back at this statement, but to give it some context: When was the last time you got on a plane and asked the pilot how many flights he’s flown, how many hours in the flight simulator he’s had, when his last training was—or even, when was the last time he’s actually flown this path you’re going on? Nobody does that. How do we choose an airline? On the final destination. We pick the place we want to go, find the airline that fits our needs best, and book it.
It’s the same with physical therapy. The decision to choose a physical therapist or particular clinic is based on the patient’s perception of whether or not you can get them to their final destination.
The easiest way to change their perception? Talk about them. If the conversation is about you, you lose their interest and you lose a potential patient.
So when it comes to “selling yourself,” turn this notion on its head and make the “selling conversation” about them and the destination that they want to get to.
Then you can work together toward that destination and a successful outcome.
*This author has a vested interest in this subject.Paul Gough, BSC (HONS), MCSP, SRP, HPC, is a former professional soccer physiotherapist and founder of the Paul Gough Physio Rooms, a four-location physiotherapy practice in the UK where health care is free. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.paulgough.com.