Your Business? Look Like You Want to Succeed
Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
you in practice for yourself? Or launching a business? Or adding
specialized or integrative services to your current practice?
do you think is the number one thing business people (and that includes you)
can do to successfully market your services?
number one thing you can do, according to Harry Beckwith, author of
Invisible Touch and Marketing the Invisible, is: Look
like you want to succeed.
impression would you get if you went to your insurance agent's office and saw
letters from the practice name missing from the building directory, or saw
metal letters that were tarnished?
you had the experience of being handed a tri-fold brochure that had obviously been printed on a low-end home printer? (Note: Printing
your own brochures is OK by me, as long as you use good quality paper on an
excellent quality printer and have a outstanding design layout).
would you feel if you called your accountant and got his answering machine
with a message that included barking dogs and a juvenile jingle?
much confidence would you have in a consultant who sent you an email without
proper punctuation, or sent you a letter on blank paper without letterhead?
Little, Grow Little
of these examples point to what I see is a common phenomenon with physicians
as well: reluctance to invest in marketing or
"showcasing" their business. Or in developing their skills beyond
a minimum required to maintain licensure.
you are serious about business, look it and act it. Investing in good
quality marketing materials, cards, office furniture (if you need an
office), administrative help (or virtual administrator), consulting or
coaching help---all of this signals that you believe in yourself.
you don't believe in yourself enough to invest in "looking and
acting" successful, no one else will believe in you.
have seen several physicians who wanted to launch a side venture or
consulting practice who approached their business in a casual manner, not
attending to or investing in those things that tell people: "I am
in business, I take this seriously, I take you seriously as a
client." Unfortunately, their results reflected their effort.
Necessarily a Lexus, But Not a Beater
and acting successful doesn't mean that you must buy a Rolex and
Lexus. And as a physician business professional you may think that
having the Lexus (or if you're on the anti-material end of the spectrum, a
Subaru) is statement in itself. "Looks" isn't just about what you
"wear," it's about how you make people feel who are in your
company or to whom you provide a service.
at yourself and your business as a total package. Look not just at your
"special expertise." Your patient or client is experiencing
the whole enchilada of your business offering or practice---from the parking
lot, to the receptionist, to the recording on the voicemail, to the
you are a patient or client meeting you for the first time:
your client or patient feel confident in you?
your client or patient feel important?
are the reasons to invest what it takes to "look and act like you want
R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE is an executive coach and business consultant.
She is president of The Gaillour Group and director of Creative Strategies in Physician
Leadership. Dr. Gaillour is a professional speaker on healthcare leadership,
technology and cultural change.
She can be reached at