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Mark Rhodes

I am a coach, Claire.

My ideal client is a doctor who wants to excel in functional medicine with a focus on hormones. My secondary set of clients finds me somehow: they are patients who have exhausted all conventional and alternative healthcare options AND are still sick.

How have I run my business? It’s not been completely online nor automatic. Besides website, it has required phone calls and mailing of forms, test kits, and supplements.

1. I’ve been a one-on-one coach for doctors since 1997. In its simplest form, they send me their patients’ test results, and I help them over the phone, keeping in mind patient health histories and goals.

The most complex form goes something like this: I give a webinar on a topic and invite doctors to apply for coaching via an online form. We talk on the phone to confirm we are a good match. Then, I have them pay up front and sign a non-disclosure form. Each week for the next 7-8 weeks, I present a video intro of the week’s theme, then give them homework. Homework consists of case studies (health histories and test results) of 5-8 real patients. The doctors have 2-3 days to do their homework, then we go over them via video conference. As a (priceless) bonus, I give them access to me for help with their own future patients.

2. The part of the business that deals with patients began in 2001 and takes a different route. The first short call from the patient comes out of the blue usually and is no charge. “Short” is relative. Ideally, 15-20 minutes should do it to see if we are a good match. However, sometimes it goes much longer. It’s not unusual to have a lot of tears.

For the next steps, I send forms as email attachments: health history, disclaimer, and body systems survey. They fill out and return the forms. The disclaimer needs to be signed. It tells the patient that I do not diagnose nor treat, and it states clearly what my consultation rates are. The body systems survey is a list of symptoms that they tell me how much of an issue each is for them. I analyze the symptom patterns to determine which body systems are in most need of help. I charge up front for the analysis and email the summary. What I charge doesn’t really cover my time, but it gets them in the habit of paying. All other charges are “as you go.”

The next step is to send out test kits to them. They collect samples and mail back with payment to the labs. I get the results from the labs and send copies as email attachments to the patient. Then we set a time for a phone consultation. This is where I make money.

During the phone call, we usually decide on some nutritional supplements. I get payment and send out the products. I don’t make much on supplements really.

I used to take credit cards, but now, I invoice via PayPal.

***The new model for patients will be toward group coaching via membership. I’m in the middle of transitioning now. I believe a membership model somewhat like PreneurPal will allow me to give “free” group coaching, “free” consultations by appointment, wholesale pricing on testing, and deep discounts on supplements. It will be renewable quarterly. Because the benefits compound over time, a month or two just won’t get the patient far enough. Savings to the patient should more than pay for the price of membership.

***The new model for doctors will be toward group coaching via membership. It will include access to me for going over their patient test results. Other facets for the doctor model are in the works. I will still use my high-end coaching that I described above.


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