When you clock in for your shift at Kaiser, your paying client isn’t the patient; it’s Kaiser Permanente. Your paycheck highlights that quite clearly.
When you are doing consulting work, your paying client is the person who sends you the Paypal transfer. And your paying customer when doing telemedicine work is the patient who paid you with their credit card.
Keeping You Accountable
I paid my surgeon directly in Spain, where I got my hand surgery – $250 for each office visit and $8,000 for the surgery. The hospital received $4,000 for the hospital stay.
I kept him accountable, and he delivered above and beyond. The person you pay is the person you can keep accountable. There is something sincere and pure about that.
Does that resonate with you? Maybe not. Perhaps you prefer to shop at the grocery store and pay Fred Meyer, trusting that you can expect some accountability.
But maybe you’re the kind of person who goes to the Farmer’s Market and gets your eggs from John, the snaggle-toothed farmer.
A Private Telemedicine Practice
I run my private telemedicine practice. I am the person who my patients pay, and they can hold me accountable.
My paying customer is the patient who I service and cater to. It’s not the person talking about me somewhere or asking me for free advice through email.
I value my time and expertise greatly. Decades were spent honing this skill and I have found many who value it equally – hence, they are my paying customers.
I don’t care if someone who isn’t paying me thinks I charge too much. The person who pays me is from whom I take feedback.
Connecting with a private telemedicine patient is much easier than with an insurance company or other entity. The patient cares about your expertise and transparency, while the insurance company needs a warm body with a prescribing license.
Who is Your Paying Customer?
If you run a private practice, perhaps your paying customer it’s the insurance company. It’s hard to demonstrate to an insurance company that you are worth more than the $134 they pay you per 99213.
Can you demonstrate value to your paying customer?
The advantage of knowing who your paying customer is is that you can better cater to them; demonstrate to them value to earn more per hour so that you can work less.
Optimize Your Income
In this modern society, earning around $100 per hour offers an enjoyable lifestyle. Working 20 hours a week for 50 weeks would allow you to earn $100k.
Your needs vary, and you can adjust your hourly income accordingly.
I aim to optimize my income to keep up with inflation and work fewer hours.
50 clients per month at $100 per hour is tedious. At $200 per hour, I can interact with 25 people. To do that, I need to demonstrate value to the paying customer.
Identifying Your Ideal Client
It’s important to know who is your ideal client because that will be the paying customer. The one who will hand over their credit card, pay you, and receive value.
It takes some experimenting to reach the ideal client. I’ve had to change some wording in my advertisements and online content.
On this website, physicians contact me frequently, expecting free advice. I am not an asshole for denying them. I am savvy because the person who doesn’t value knowledge won’t make good use of it anyways.
You will never turn the wrong client into a paying client. That’s the wrong approach. The people who will pay you will gladly pay you first and then connect with you.
Filtering Out the Tire Kickers
I get lengthy emails about terrible medical board investigation stories. The person on the sending side expects some insight and free help.
I oblige by sending a few saved links pertinent to medical board investigations. And that’s the extent of our conversation.
The tire kickers will send you emails, text messages, and voicemails. The actual customers will book a paid session with you.
How do I know that?
Rarely has someone emailed me to ask for free advice and then turned to a paying customer.
The person who doesn’t value their time will expect you to do the same. Falling for this trick will waste your and their time.
My paying customers pay me. That’s how I recognize them as customers. And the paying customer is who I want to please and serve.