The decision to open a private practice as a dietitian can feel overwhelming. Will you accept insurance? Will you establish and strictly enforce a cancellation policy? What about branding? These are the kinds of questions that may not have been discussed during your undergraduate degree or dietetic internship but are vital to launching your new business successfully.
Marci Evans, MS, CEDRD-S, LDN, cPT joined us as a guest expert to present “5 Keys to a Stellar First Appointment,” exploring the nuts and bolts of running a private practice as well as how to build rapport with new clients. While Marci emphasizes that philosophies and approaches are not one-size-fits-all (they will likely even change throughout your career and vary client to client!), she shared helpful questions and strategies to keep front of mind.
Hungry to learn more? We’re sharing some of our biggest takeaways here, but remember that members can access the Webinar Library at their leisure to learn more from the brilliant Marci Evans directly!
- Do you have your paperwork organized to share with new and potential clients? Think about how you’ll distribute your welcome letter, HIPPA, insurance, payment policy, and clinical assessment. Email? In-person? Ideally, the format of these materials should be consistent with your other branding. How do your logo, fonts, and colors reflect your practice?
- When your client first meets with you, whether virtually or in-person, what do they see? Be mindful of the furniture, artwork, magazines, and books you choose to display. Are they size-inclusive and welcoming?
- Remember that you and your client are a team. Develop shared goals and expectations, including short-term, mid-term, and long-term visions for your work together.
Amidst all of this, remember to pause and to breathe. At the end of the day, Marci says, the connection with your client is what matters most: “If you have a strong clinical understanding of eating disorders, demonstrate empathy and kindness, and the client is ready to do the work, you won’t have to sell your services very hard.”