Rapport vs. Likeability

Throughout the past few weeks of coaching, a common theme continues to pop up and I’d like to share it with you.  It seems as though when discussing the art of communication, many chiropractors are making a categorical mistake.  Regardless of the history, background, or condition for which your patients are coming into your office, you must have rapport.  The challenge is, most don’t know the difference between rapport and likeability.

Rapport is defined by freedictionary.com, as “Relationship, especially one of mutual trust or emotional affinity.”  Likeability is defined by freedictionary.com, as “Pleasant or agreeable.”

What a huge difference; there is so much more to practice success than simple friendliness.

The chiropractors who have the largest practices undoubtedly are innately gifted rapport-builders.  They understand the importance of creating an emotional bond with their patients the instant they walk into the office, if not before.  Your patient retention, new patient conversion percentage, and referral statistics all depend on this ability.  We are, of course, advocating that you ALWAYS tell the truth to your patients and never take advantage of your authority.

In order to improve your rapport:

  1. Match and mirror the patient’s physiology – tone of voice, body language, posture
  2. Find common discussion points – people, hobbies, culture
  3. Resonate at a higher energy level – smile, certainty, enthusiasm
  4. Manage the patient’s expectations – offer hope, be reassuring, lay out a plan

The fact of the matter is, friendliness is like the diploma on the wall… the patient expects it to be there, even before they walk into the office.  You get no extra points for that – it just makes you a human being.  Go the extra mile and actually care about the patient’s agenda instead of your own.  The entire atmosphere of the practice will change and your results will go through the roof.