Dr. Roger Adams talks about how he manages his practice for incredible referrals from satisfied clients.
Interviewer: I’m pleased to have with me Dr. Roger Adams, who operates Eat Right Fitness, out of Spring, Texas. And Roger’s been doing a lot of work in his practice and today he’s going to share with us some of the things that he uses to help make his practice more effective and also tell us a bit more about where he focuses and some of his concentrations. Roger, we’re really glad to have you here. And if you could please tell us a little bit more about yourself and your practice.
Dr. Adams: Thanks for having me, Jeffrey. I think this is going to be fun. My name is Roger Adams and I’ve been in the practice, at nutrition counseling and personal fitness training, for about nineteen years. I primarily work with clients on weight loss and sports performance. So I will see patients that need to lose weight, either it’s for health reasons, such as chronic disease like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or maybe it’s just some vanity weight. They want to lose a few pounds before the summer vacation. And then I also work with them on exercise prescription and make sure they’re doing the right kind of exercise to meet their goals. I work with clients one on one and in personal training settings and also in small group fitness locations.
Jeffrey: And Roger, do you do any coaching online or through some sort of distance application?
Dr. Adams: Yes, Jeffrey, I do. I see patients here in my office at Spring, Texas in person. But then I also will work with people nationwide via distance methods, whether it be the telephone or Skype or FaceTime or even, you know, just online chats or using Google Hangouts. You know, whatever, whatever is comfortable with the client, you know, I like to tell them I take the excuse of having to come to an office or location away so that we can work virtually just about any time. So I do have been working on that quite a bit the last couple of years trying to build that up. And I’ve got clients right now from California to Maine. So hopefully one of these days, I would, I would love to have almost a one hundred percent virtual practice.
Jeffrey: And that sounds very convenient for the clients themselves. Do you find there’s any challenges managing your clients that are long distance?
Dr. Adams: Yes, that’s a good question. Yes, I do find that the challenge I think from distance standpoint is that sometimes the clients don’t take the sessions quite as serious as if it’s in person. If it’s in person, they tend to be ready. They have their notebook, they’re ready to take notes, they’re a little more engaged. You know, sometimes the sessions, especially if they’re on the phone, you know, they might be doing other things, they might be driving, their attention is not 100% there. So I try to coach them as if to take the distance sessions as serious as an in-person session would be. You know, block off time, have a quiet office or location. You know, don’t be in the car, don’t be multi-tasking. You know, do something that you would…you know, treat it like a normal meeting. And that tends to go over pretty well now. But that’s probably the biggest you know, limitation that I see, or problem, is people aren’t quite as good about treating it as serious.
But on the other hand, since I’ve added the distance capability, I have seen people become a lot more adherent to my programs because then don’t have the excuse of traffic or that they can’t see me. I have people here in the Houston area that I’ve never met that prefer the distance sessions just because the traffic here is terrible. So it does have, you know, pluses and minuses. And right now, I’m finding it has a lot more pluses than minuses.
Jeffrey: That’s great. I know that part of your practice has been growing quite a bit. What do you do or what do you find works in terms of marketing your practice?
Dr. Adams: Yeah, you know, marketing my practice…I’ve tried a lot of things, Jeffrey, over the years. You know, from print ads, to online web clicks on different news media outlets. And really the, probably the best return on my investment I’ve had is working with a search engine optimization specialist up in New York. I have a designer that does my SEO and gets my Google listing higher. That’s probably from a standpoint of me paying for marketing, that probably gets my best return. Nothing says, you know, my…nothing promotes my business better than my own clients. So, I get a lot of word of mouth, a lot of referrals, you know, someone loses weight or gains confidence in the gym, then they’re gonna tell other people and other people are gonna notice, and that tends to be some of my best advertising. But for paid advertising or paid marketing, you know, the SEO is probably where I’ll spend most of my marketing dollars at this point.
Jeffrey: And you say that you use referrals. Those are almost invaluable because there’s some credibility there, especially when people are asking their friends, you know, what did they use or who did you use to look so fantastic and get their weight down. Do you find that because you’re now national, that you’ve got attraction, you’ve got referrals coming in from not only just the Spring area but all parts of the country?
Dr. Adams: Yeah, it’s slowly picking up. I mean, I get more referrals from some of the previous locations that I’ve lived in, both in other parts of Texas and up in the Northeast. But I am getting referrals from other parts of the country, whether it’s from clients that have referred friends and family, or, you know, they see my name in some various magazines or media publications. So…yeah. So yeah, the referrals are really what I take to heart because, you know, they know a little bit more about me, they’re a little more vested, they’re a little more interested than someone that’s just randomly inquiring. So yeah, yeah, I’ve seen that it has picked up quite a bit.
Jeffrey: Now another question, back to organization. With in-person consultations, distance consultations, different time zones, how do you keep everything straight?
Dr. Adams: That can be a challenge across time zones. So I use…you know, I’m very heavy with electronic media calendaring, to keep me in as far as my clients, mobile calendar and desktop. I use Acuity scheduling platform because I do like the fact that it lets my clients see their stuff in their time zone, it lets me see mine in my time zone. So that does help alleviate any confusion with the time. Because before that I was having some issues with the time zone confusion, not sure if people were in a certain time zone or not. So that helps, you know, keep it tracked. Also, the scheduling app that I use with Acuity will, you know, it allows me to keep track of whether it’s an initial consultation–is this the first time someone’s coming in? Is this a follow-up? And I can make an annotation in there and designate that it’s a distance session that I’ll be calling them, you know, via Skype, or FaceTime, or are they gonna be calling me on the phone? So I can add that so it really helps my, my planning. So that when I look at my day each morning, I know exactly what to expect.
Jeffrey: Perfect. And that’s bundled into the WellClient application, is it not?
Dr. Adams: That is correct. Yeah, the WellClient app bundles all that for me. It really helps, you see everything, see everything at once. You know, I need to see things all at one time and that really does, that really helps me.
Jeffrey: Yeah, and the more people I talk to, the more people use not only the scheduler and things like well client to automate a lot of the very tedious front end things. For instance, I know that a lot of new clients will, you know, go to a website, and then they’ll inquire and then it’ll go back and forth. And if there’s no system in place to automate that, that can suck up a lot of time, especially arranging that first visit. So you wanna make sure that obviously if a client is, is selecting you based on what’s on your website that they are a good fit and they could kind of do a lot of the investigation themselves. So providing you know, downloads for them, ability to opt-in to a newsletter that you have, or even setting up something where you automatically reach out to them via Email and that’s all kind of working automatically in the background. That can really help kinda simplify things and allow you to spend more time really doing what you want, spending time with your family and working with the clients you really wanna work with.
Dr. Adams: Yeah, and that’s one thing I’ve noticed with my well client application is that it’s helped me capture people early on, at least their information, you know, their email, their contact information. But it also helps me engage them because the majority of people are looking for people online. And if you can engage them with a email, with a text, with a, you know, a download, something that gets them thinking that, you know, this isn’t just a static website, there’s somebody behind it that I’m gonna be working with, you know, it’s given me a lot more comfort as I’m growing my mobile practice and my virtual practice. Because I’m able to reach out to people, you know, quickly, almost instantaneously when they do get to my website. And you know, whatever they can’t find, you know, I can, they can get an immediate response when they create an account, or when they sign up for a newsletter.
Jeffrey: Yeah, that’s becoming so important as clients and prospects are getting more and more familiar with websites not just being just like you said static, but you know, having a person that they could, you know, reach out to and really see if there’s a fit there. Things that automate that are becoming more and more popular in being able to increase the number of really satisfied patients that people take on in their practices.
Dr. Adams: Oh absolutely.
Jeffrey: Fantastic. Roger, if someone’s listening to this, how can they get a hold of you? What’s the best way for them to reach you?
Dr. Adams: There’s a couple of ways, you know, email is always the easy way, my email address is pretty straightforward, it’s Roger, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or they can call me on my business phone, and that area code is 214-289-7215. Again, that’s 214-289-7215. Or they can go to eatrightfitness.com and connect to any of my social media accounts and get information there.
Jeffrey: Yeah, and I know on your website you’ve got lots of fantastic content. You’re always up to date and I do encourage people listening to this to go check out Roger’s website. There’s a lot of information there and a great opportunity to learn. Roger, I want to thank you again for coming on and talking a little bit about your practice, some of the things you use for marketing, and some of the tools you use to help you automate your practice and allow you to spend more time really doing what you love.
Dr. Adams: I do appreciate it. Thank you so much, Jeffrey.