Speaker 1: (00:00)
Welcome to the simplified integration podcast. This is episode number 33, stop paying for consulting upfront. Leonardo de Vinci once said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. And I agree you see the problem with the way that most consulting groups approach medical integration is anything but simple. In fact, it's the exact opposite. It's expensive, it's complicated. And quite frankly, it's exhausting enough is enough. There are far too many amazing integrated clinics that are struggling. I'm on a mission to change that when I've come to find from over five years, working with integrative practices is that simplicity really is the secret deal saying of less is more, is true through a streamlined approach. I was able to create multiple successful seven figure integrated clinics. And now I'm going to show you how you can do the same. Join me as I share with you the secrets to successful medical integration and practice growth. Join me on a journey to greater sophistication through innovation. I'm dr. Andrew Wells and welcome to the simplified integration podcast.
Speaker 1: (01:09)
What's going on doc. It's great to have you here on the simplified integration podcast. Thanks for joining me here for another episode. So today we're gonna talk about the concept of paying for consulting fees or management fees upfront. And just so, just so we're clear, I have flip-flopped on this issue and I'll explain why I've done that and, and why I do things the way we do now. But I want to, one of the things that really there's two things actually that brought this to my attention. Um, and I want to start off with a story recently. Uh, if you look across my, um, our street, our neighbor decided last winter to build an in ground pool. He has a bunch of grandkids, he and she, and they, they like the grandkids to come over and they wanted a pool for them to swim in.
Speaker 1: (01:57)
So the guy, um, hired a pool contractor and a company to come out and they paid him some money to build an in ground pool. Now, this was last November of 2019, and I'm currently recording this podcast in September of 2020. So pay them some money. Contractor came out, Doug, uh, dug a big hole in his yard and, um, started the whole process in November of building the pool. Well, December came and the contractors weren't there. He just had a hole in the ground, uh, January, February comes and there's still no progress on the pool. And my neighbor's like, Hey, I know I keep calling this pool contractor and he's not showing up. I really want this pool to be ready in the springtime. So my grandkids can swim and we can have a good time while spring comes around and still like no sign of the contractor.
Speaker 1: (02:43)
And then finally, one day this pool truck shows up. They drop off a bunch of supplies that they leave, and then they didn't hear from the pool contractor again for another couple of months. So winter has come and gone. Spring has come and gone. Summer is finally here. I go to my neighbor and I'm like, Joel, where does this pool company? Like, you should have your pool by now. And he was like, he's a super nice guy. And he was like, he was pissed. He was like, man, he goes, I don't know what to do. I can't get ahold of them. They keep saying, they're going to show up, but they always have an excuse, like it's bad weather. Or, uh, one of the employees quit or like, there's always something going on. And I said, well, like, hope you haven't paid him for this. Like, why don't you just fire them and hire a new company? And he goes, well, that's a problem. He said, I paid the whole thing upfront because they gave me a discount and I'm like, Oh man. So the problem is this. Guy's got like the pool company has all his money and they have zero motivation now to deliver on the things that they promise.
Speaker 2: (03:42)
And so this guy is stuck.
Speaker 1: (03:43)
You know, he, he can like, he can Sue the company, but then he's got to pay attorney fees and all that. He's like, he's like, you know what? I just have to be patient. I realize I'm not getting this pool by summertime. And it's just a huge mess. And so I feel really bad for the guy. And so alternatively, so we have a pool as well. And this spring, we took the cover off the pool and we looked in there and there's a huge crack of the bottom of the pool. And the pool is like 20, almost 20 years old. It's getting pretty old. And we called the pool contractor and he goes, you know what? Uh, by the way, we had the same problem last year that we patched the crack and patch the hole. And it was okay for a year, but it happened again.
Speaker 1: (04:20)
And the pool guy is like, he goes, listen, this is going to keep happening unless you completely resurface the pool. So we had to bite the bullet, um, hired this company to completely resurface the pool. So they took all the old, like concrete and material out and they were going to come in and retail it and resurface the whole pool. So the difference between how we approach that with our pool company is that we agreed on an, um, a contract that we only pay the contractor for, um, a percentage of the contract based on what work they complete. So for example, if they completed 25% of the pool, we give them 25% of the fee. So we didn't pay anything upfront. We just paid as we went and typical with pool companies is that these guys, you know, they're, they're working on multiple pools in different States and it was tough to get these guys to show up.
Speaker 1: (05:10)
And, uh, and we, so we had, we had to stay on them. We even like enticed them with, with lunch. Like, Hey, if you guys come out today, my wife's gonna make you guys a lunch and we have drinks and coffee and all that for you guys. And, uh, and so the guys came out and, you know, they did a really good job. And the funny thing is here, here's the deal. The pool company completed 95% of the work. They still haven't. This is spring, it's now fall. They still haven't put in the railing and they were supposed to change the light that's in underneath the pool. And they still haven't done that. So guess what? They haven't received their last check. And so until they complete the job, we're not paying them in full, but we still have full use of our pool it's they actually did a really good job.
Speaker 1: (05:48)
We're swimming in it. It's really nice. Um, but the difference is we didn't pay him up front. And so they still had skin in the game to complete the job. And although they haven't finished, we can still use it and we're not hassling them. Cause we still owe them several thousand dollars to put in the railing and the light. Um, but for the most part, that thing is done. So the huge diff the only difference is, uh, the different companies, but the only difference is how we paid the contractor to do the work. Now, the problem with healthcare and the problem with consulting in any field, whether it's healthcare, business, whatever is that the contractor has to have some skin in the game. And here's the problem I'm seeing with, with healthcare integration or medical integration, is that you have several what I call big box management companies that charge a really steep upfront fee to teach you how to integrate and to teach you all the protocols and how to run an integrated office.
Speaker 1: (06:41)
And that's all fine. And well, but what's happening is, is that clients and chiropractors are paying 40, 50, 60, 80, over six figures, a lot of money to contract and companies upfront with the expectation that they're going to deliver a really quality and high level of service to their doctors. And more times than not, that's not happening. And the reason I know this is I talk to doctors every single week. Over the last year, I tallied up the number of, um, docs I talked to who integrated, who paid a really high upfront fee, and then felt like the service that was delivered afterward, didn't meet expectations. And a lot of these doctors were, um, successful people, but they either struggled with their, with their integration. They gave up on it, they went bankrupt, or I just kind of limping along and barely getting by. And the management company or consulting group was like, Hey, we gave you the protocol.
Speaker 1: (07:40)
We gave you the system. It's, it's your fault. Like you're not doing a good job or, or here's the other thing is, well, it seems like you're struggling. Maybe you should come to our next live event at the live event. You go, you know, you go to the seminars and basically it's just a huge sales pitch for all these vendors that are supposed to help you fix your problem, or they have a solution to the problem that you're dealing with, whether it's a staffing problem or a billing problem, or a therapy problem, like there's always an upsell. There's always something that they can sell you on. And the reason they have to do that is because they didn't deliver a high quality of service upfront and why should they, you've already paid them all their money. Like there's no incentive for them to help you be successful or help grow your practice or increase revenue or streamline your expenses.
Speaker 1: (08:26)
There's no motivation for that. And so one thing that I would highly encourage you to do is look for, look for groups who, um, and by the way, let me back up for a minute. When I first started consulting, that's the way I did it. If you wanted to learn our systems, you gotta pay a chunk of money. And that's how we operated. And the more I talked to doctors, and the more I realized what the real pain points are for doctors, the more I realized like that system actually doesn't make a lot of sense. In fact, it makes doctors really nervous and scared to come on as a client because they're worried that that's going to happen with their office is that there's going to pay me a bunch of money, and I'm just going to hop to the next client and then hop to the next client, never really delivering a good, a good value for clients.
Speaker 1: (09:08)
And so I really, you know, after this pool incident, and then after, you know, after looking at, at what doctors are really needing and what they're wanting, we changed our system. So now, if we teach you integration, we don't charge these big upfront fees anymore. We actually don't charge anything upfront. And so we take you through, we take you through the integration process. We onboard you. We help you launch your practice. We help develop your practice, but we get paid on the backend. So if you do well, if your clinic does well, guess what we do well, also, if your clinic flops, then we flop right alongside you. We don't make any money. And so we actually have real skin in the game to deliver on the promises that we've talked about upfront, because you all have expectations, doctors, you know, they want to integrate because they want to make more money.
Speaker 1: (09:55)
They want to help more patients. They want to have a sellable asset later in their practice. And so if we can't deliver on that, then what's the use. And so many doctors have jumped into integration because they were promised the world and they just couldn't figure out how to make it run. And the problem with integration is integrated offices. They're difficult to run. They're not easy. And people say, well, your company is called simplified integration. And the reason it's called that as we do make it easier, but it's not easy by any stretch of the imagination. So if you're walking into integration and saying, all right, I got my 200 page manual. This is how to do it. I can, I can read and follow instructions and everything will go smoothly. Like you're in for a surprise. That's not how integration works. Integration is, you know, it's, it's a, it's a heady game.
Speaker 1: (10:39)
You have to roll up your sleeves and get to work, to learn the processes and, and build a good team and make sure that you can, you know, you can take care of your patients at all the little steps that are necessary to run a successful integrated practice. It's a lot. And so we're not a, you know, we're not what we consider a big box management company. We're very selective in the clients we bring on, we don't bring on a ton of clients and we do that. So we can focus on really developing your practice in your clinic to be successful and to reach the goals that you originally set out, uh, when you first integrated. So that is my, uh, position on paying upfront consulting fees. I used to do it the other way. We have switched because we realized that it's a lot more valuable to us and to our clients to do it, um, to do it, uh, in a different way. And so it takes out a lot of the upfront risk. It's a, it's a lot more, um, there's a lot more of a sense of security for clients doing it that way. So that's my take on it. Um, thank you for tuning into the podcast and we hope to see you on the next podcast episode. This is dr. Wells signing out. Have an awesome day. Bye bye. Hey innovators. Thanks for listening to the simplified integration podcast fact that you're listening tells me that you're like me, someone who loves simplicity and the truth is
Speaker 3: (11:54)
Those who embrace simplicity are some of the greatest innovators. So hope you got a ton of value from what we covered on today's episode, be sure to subscribe and share with other docs that you feel could benefit from greater sophistication through simplification and innovation. If you've got specific questions that you'd like answered on this podcast, or you've got specific topics that you'd like me to discuss, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org that's email@example.com.