Episode 61:

Ways to increase patient volume is one struggle functional medicine practitioners struggle with. Guest speaker Paul Smith joins us to teach functional medicine practitioners creative strategies to do just that using storytelling. He shares:

  • Ways to increase patient volume
  • How to engage your audience
  • What questions your story should answer
  • What stories leaders need to know
  • What doctors can do to tell stories
  • Why stories matter to functional medical practitioners

Why Storytelling Matters

Paul Smith is a leading expert on organizational storytelling, author of three Amazon Books #1 Bestsellers, and storytelling coach. With Paul’s storytelling skills, he helps organizations reach new heights of success.

Everything he teaches is based on his years of research and interviewing successful people from all walks of life to discover they all shared the same secret: Knowledge of the Art of Storytelling.

Now, on the latest episode of the FM Shift, Paul is joining us to share how functional medicine practitioners can use storytelling not just to grow their practices but how storytelling can best help their patients.

Storytelling and the Human Brain

As functional medicine practitioners, helping people is your job. When patients find it difficult to pay for medical services due to insurance not covering your practice, getting patients to come to you can be challenging, and discovering new ways to increase patient volume can sometimes seem impossible.

That’s why you turn to sales and marketing experts to help you get patients through the door. But what if storytelling was all you needed?

When you go to marketing and sales experts for help scaling your business, you’re trying to get people to think, feel, and do something they’re not currently doing. Humans make many of their decisions in their subconscious–the feeling part of the brain–then the conscious, logical, brain rationalizes the decisions.

Good storytelling appeals to both sides.

In medicine, everything is logical. As doctors, every decision you make is based on studies and research, but the analytical approach may not always work for your patient. That’s why medical practitioners must be able to reach both the logical and emotional sides of the brain. Your patients will, more often than not, make decisions based on their emotions.

How Can Doctors Tell Stories?

While storytelling may make sense in many professions, it may be difficult to see how storytelling can work in your medical practice. After all, you don’t have 20 minutes to spare, telling each patient a story.

The good news is, only 10-15% of your words should be a story, leaving 85-90% of your words for regular usage. So, if you see a patient for six minutes, only one minute should be spent on telling your story.

With such a small amount of time allotted for reaching your patient’s emotions with a story, it’s good to keep in mind stories that may relate to the patient. For example, if you have a patient struggling to accept a care plan, tell them a brief story of a few patients with a similar demographic–one who didn’t choose the care plan and saw poor results and others who adhered to the care plan and saw better results.

Beginning your suggested treatment plan like this can help your patients respond better to care plans.

Ways to Increase Patient Volume

About Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a world-renowned storyteller, Amazon book #1 bestseller, and storytelling coach, having worked with industry giants like Google, Hewlett Packard, Kaiser Permanente, and more. With over 20 years working with Procter & Gamble, Paul knows a thing or two about helping businesses thrive. After leaving corporate, Paul set out to discover what made successful people successful, and after ten years and hundreds of interviews, Paul found an amazing thing.

Every successful leader he spoke with all could do one thing: Tell a Compelling Story. Once he realized this, Paul reverse-engineered his research and discovered the secrets to telling stories worth remembering.

How to Connect with Paul Smith:

If you’re looking for more ways to increase patient volume, be sure to also check out Episode #43 of The FM Shift, Creative Ways to Increase Patient Volume in a Pandemic, with Dr. Brad Watts. In this episode Brad talks to us about how FM practices can thrive during a pandemic and in a virtual environment.