So, what specific steps can you take to achieve success similar to the hundreds of chiropractors I have already helped develop a successful spinal screening program? Before we start, let me just say, we each approach business opportunities differently. And, while I don’t know your level of ambition, work ethic or ability to implement a concept, I do know that I get testimonials each week from chiropractors who have successfully implemented the ideas found in my spinal screening training and are making it work for their practice.
Recently, I had a chiropractor write to tell me he had scheduled 20 new patients from his spinal screening. Another doctor emailed me the same week, sharing that he had scheduled 30 new patients from his screening. My own personal record for the most new patients from a spinal screening in one weekend is 72 clients. Think about how many lives we could change if we all were successfully engaging 72 new patients from the community in one screening? I keep a testimonial book of the clients who have come to my practice through spinal screenings. This is motivating for me as a doctor as it serves as a chronicle of the lives that are changed, because I have gone out into my community and offered spinal screenings.
Let’s get started. In this article and the next, I am going to share with you first, how to set up more spinal screenings and make those the biggest and best screenings possible. Second, I am going to walk you through three stages of how to conduct an effective spinal screening. Third, I am going to tell you how to add $100,000 of income to your practice by only conducting four spinal screenings this year.
Finding Venues and Scheduling Spinal Screenings
We are going to begin with some basic, yet useful tips to set up screenings. Sometimes we forget to start with that little known search engine which can really provide some of the most useful information we need to access what is going on in our community. Google – This is my main tool for getting a feel for the key events in my area.
In your search bar, type in “Events” and your “zip code”. Sure, some of the events will have already passed or you may have missed the sign up window, but go through each listing and write down the date of event that looks promising for a spinal screening. Also capture the contact name/information and event details needed to secure a booth. After you go through this list, you can go back and remove the word “Event” from your search bar and include the word “Show” or “Fair” along with your zip code.
Additionally, you can use this technique to look up local businesses (“business” + “zip code”) that you could approach to offer a free spinal screening. You can get even more specific by searching for the most relevant stores in your area. Some great companies to approach include: health food stores, grocery stores, factories or larger companies in your area. This is basic stuff, right? But so many chiropractors don’t think to do this.
Now that you have your list, dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to sit down and call the contacts on your list. Let me talk you through how to approach these companies by phone. Don’t be nervous, this is simple and easy. I use a three-step outline for every call I make. I don’t use a script because I want to be myself and sound natural—remember you are approaching the person to build a relationship and you have a mutually beneficial idea to offer them.
The three easy steps are:
1. Pay them a compliment.
2. Tell them what you would like to do and how it can benefit their company.
3. Tell them how this benefits you.
People are smart and realize that there must be a benefit for your business, so be upfront about it.
The compliment: “Hi Mary, my name is Dr. Tabor, a chiropractor from Pure Life Chiropractic. I wanted to share with you that many of our patients who shop at your store have spoken highly of your products and the level of service they receive at your store.”
Benefit to the company: “Mary, this input from my patients made me realize that you might be interested in having us come out and provide a free screening for your customers. We offer spinal screenings as a community service for many local companies. I thought this might be a good opportunity to partner as we likely have a philosophy similar to your health food store. We check the spine and focus on maintaining people’s health without the use of drugs or surgery.”
Benefit to my practice: “It would really help our practice out too, as it provides me with the opportunity to get my name out in the community and show that I care and want to reach out to the community.”
They key is to be genuine. Ask your patients for feedback if they shop at this health food store or find another legitimate compliment to pay the company you are calling. Being truly genuine means the conversation will look a little different each time, but should include all three points from the outline.
I have one other tip for you as we learn how to set up spinal screenings. If the steps above seem like too much work, skip right to this step. Look up and contact the largest venues in your area. Every city has a place where the big events are held. In my town, we have a civic center. I am always on top of what is going on there. I call them monthly, check their website and follow them on facebook or twitter; keeping my eyes open for the events that will be the most suitable for my spinal screenings.
3 Stages of Effective Spinal Screenings
Now that we understand the right reasons to conduct spinal screenings and have scheduled your next big screening, let’s talk about the three stages to effectively conduct successful spinal screenings.
The three stages of the spinal screening correlates with the three biggest mistakes chiropractors often make in carrying out their screenings–which ultimately undermines the effectiveness of their screening. If the chiropractor doesn’t set up stage one correctly, this will not set up stage two which in turn diminishes the effectiveness of stage three and getting the client to your office. So, it is important to understand the concept fully. It doesn’t matter what technology you are using for the screening. Whether you are using posture, thermal, palpation or massage to screen for spinal problems, subluxation—whatever you use to determine whether you can help that person in your practice–you must go through the three stages.
First, stop the person and engage them in conversation. This is where doctors make their first mistake. As someone approaches the booth or walks near the booth, chiropractors will ask a yes or no question. We are bombarded each day by a million marketing campaigns, so we are programmed to automatically fend off the onslaught with an automatic response of “no”. The question, “Would you like a free spinal screening today?” presumes that the person knows what a spinal screening is and when they should get one. Also, I just asked them a yes or no question that they have a conditioned negative response. After a 1,000 negative interactions, of course you will dread the spinal screening environment.
Instead let’s tweak the question to, “Excuse me sir, when was the last time you had your spine checked?” Asking the question in this manner will completely revolutionize your response ratings. You are forcing the person to subconsciously reach into their limbic system, that is, memory center, to respond. No matter how he responds, he can’t really say, “no, thank you,” and walk away. Well, he can, but most likely won’t, because he can’t easily give a reflex answer. He will probably look up, accessing his memory, and indicate that he isn’t sure or acknowledge that he doesn’t really understand what a spinal screening is. This is where we get to explain what we are doing and invite him into my booth. This changes your whole interaction for the spinal screening right off the bat.
The second stage is to screen them and tie in their symptoms. Many chiropractors don’t use a tool to help assess the person’s symptoms or stress factors (and also gather their contact information). Now, I am not a symptom-based chiropractor. But a wise man once said, “Their symptoms are their ticket to the show.” That is to say, people are motivated to address their symptoms.
In my own history, chiropractic completely changed my life when I was 16 years old. I had horrible radiating pain down both of my legs and could barely walk. In fact, I couldn’t lift up my legs by myself. I went to medical doctors, the emergency room and did just about everything short of surgery. Then my parents took me to a chiropractor. After about three months of daily adjustments, I was completely transformed back into a normal 16 year old kid again. I was able to walk, run and play sports. That change in symptomatology is what inspired me to become a chiropractor. Of course, I have since learned that regular chiropractic adjustments help maintain your health. In fact, my whole family practices spinal hygiene and gets chiropractic adjustments.
So, gather symptoms through something like a stress survey. Don’t feel the need to palpate and then guess their symptoms. You don’t do that at your office, why should you do that in a screening? In fact, you shouldn’t. However, it is in fact your duty, to use your screening tool (and I have recommendations for screening tools I am glad to expand on) and observe whether there are some symptoms that might be related to their spine. This is where you will have your greatest connection with the potential patient. Where you will increase the number of new patients that come into your office from each spinal screening that you conduct.
The third stage is simple. Have your CA schedule an appointment and collect payment on the spot. Sometimes a venue may not allow you to do this. But you should at least get a deposit. This is really a key component to getting the new patients through your office door. Otherwise you will be very frustrated by the amount of “no shows.” Now give them a big discount for signing up for an exam at the screening. Or even donate half or all of the payment to a charity.
Working these three stages will help you to maximize every single spinal screening that you do. Trust me! Try these techniques at your next spinal screening and see if you don’t grow the number of lives you are touching with the message of chiropractic and the number of new patients in your practice.
He began his career in one of the largest chiropractic offices in the state of Texas, where he was in charge of spinal screenings, and learned all the marketing strategies it takes to build with a 1400 visit per week practice. He now runs a thriving practice in Houston TX, which he built from scratch with “low cost” marketing strategies, such as, spinal screenings, dinner workshops, and business lectures. Throughout his career, he has performed hundreds of spinal screenings and meticulously perfected his techniques. He now coaches chiropractors all over the world on how to share their unique message of health, and bring in tons of new patients using his simple methods.