Thrive In Five: Persuasion, Your Key To Patient Compliance

*The following is an actual transcript. We do our best to make sure the transcript is as accurate as possible, however, it may contain spelling or grammatical errors.*

Hello everybody and welcome to Thrive in Five, I’m Dr. Dennis Perman, and I’ll be your host for today. Today. We’re going to be considering persuasion; the secret way that you get people to comply. You know, Red Motley said, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something,” and most of us professionals feel there’s some stigma associated with sales. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. We have to be good salespeople in order to get the results that we want; we just don’t call it that. Those of us who are a little bit more upper-crust refer to it as, “Persuasion.” Persuasion is the act of causing somebody to accept a new idea or a new perspective that changes their viewpoint on their life, or on whatever it is that they’re doing. And people do what they do for one of two reasons, either because they want to, or because they have to, well, somebody who wants to it doesn’t require a whole lot of persuasion. Somebody who has to well, the fact that the matter is, we have to make sure to deal with them, so that they know what they need to do.

So when a new patient comes in to see you, they typically come in because they have some kind of a painful problem they want help with. And the fact is they have to be there. They don’t want to; they have to. So they come to you, you advise them, you help them, and then they get to a point generally speaking, where they’re feeling quite a bit better. Now we have a challenge, because they no longer have to be there, and we may or may not have done what it takes in order to get them to want to be there. This is where persuasion comes in.

Now, there are two necessary preconditions for you to engage in the process of persuasion. First, you must know what you’re trying to persuade the person of. Second, you must be sure to gain and maintain rapport, we’ve talked about this many times on Thrive in Five, by matching and mirroring; by causing the person to feel that you are enough like them so that they feel a sense of familiarity or commonality. Now, once you do this, now you said about on the amazing journey of trying to persuade them to what it is that you want them to want to do. Now, why do people want to do anything? Because they value it. They do what they want to do because they find that it solves some problem for them, or it gives them some pleasure, or helps them avoid some pain, and this is the critical key to persuasion. If you can uncover the patient’s pain point, not necessarily the physical pain that they came in with, but the pain point that causes leverage, the pain point, that causes you to have something we have persuasive control over the conversation.

So in order to do this, you have to find out what’s important to them. Now, if you listen, you’ll hear it in their conversation. They may tell you that they have to get well because they love to golf, and they can’t golf unless they get better. They may tell you that they love to garden, and their garden is being overtaken by weeds, and that they need to get out there, but they can’t because they don’t feel well. Or they may tell you that they want to be able to play with their grandchildren, or they may tell you that they just want to be able to work and support their family. Listen carefully, because you can’t persuade them based on your values, you have to persuade them based on theirs. Now, by understanding what’s important to somebody, you can show them how what you do gets them more of that.

So if somebody, for example says, “Gee, doc, I hope you can help me because I really want to be able to get back out and golf.” Then you can say, “You like to golf, huh?” And they’ll say, “Yes.” And you say, “So then I guess if I could help you get out of trouble, and then you could get back on the golf course, you wouldn’t be too unhappy about that, right?” And they say, “No, that’s exactly what I want.” And then you say, “Now, if we get you to the point that you’re feeling better and you think that you’re all better, what if it turned out that it would improve your golf game if you continued on with your care, and we restore the natural balance and coordination of your structure? What would happen if you had more strength and power because your body and your legs were working better together? What if your eye-hand coordination was better? Would that improve your golf game?” “Absolutely.” “So then I want to let you know that we’re going to work diligently together to get to the point that you’re feeling better, but our work is not done there. At that point, we’ll really be able to start working on helping you to improve your golf game by giving you more of your natural resources to work with.”

Now, what are we talking about here? We’re talking about getting this patient to want to come to see you. The moment that they want to. It’s no more battle. It’s no more problem. They do it because they choose to do it. The essence of persuasion is getting people to choose to do what you want them to do. If you have to force the gears, it doesn’t work because if something has naturally right, nothing can stop it. But if something is not naturally right, then nothing can force it. In this way, you can use this model and the outgrowth of it to be able to create more persuasion in your practice and thereby create more compliance.

I hope you enjoy this material. It’s my pleasure to deliberate to you. Tune in to Thrive in Five every Monday at 3:00, and it’s our pleasure to serve you in every way possible. This is Dr. Dennis Perman signing off for now.