Where is your chiropractic marketing RIGHT NOW? This article is to help you END New Patient ‘problems’ FOREVER!
Common chiropractic marketing wisdom says that the solution to problems faced in most practices would be solved with more new patients. The truth is this, more new patients may or may not handle the exact problems plaguing any one particular practice, but I am sure you could agree that most of us would be at least a little better off with a couple extra new ones each week. That is because acquiring new patients IS A VITAL aspect of chiropractic practice. Therefore, knowing how to maintain a steady stream of new chiropractic patients into your office is no less important than knowing how to deliver a high quality health care service- from the standpoint of maintaining a healthy business that can continue to service your community.
So… how can you create a steady stream of new chiropractic patients into your office? Well, it’s not by thinking like a doctor. That is because “doctor” is a particular hat within a health care organization and has little to do with marketing. Chiropractic marketing is composed of different hats that are not the “doctor” hat.
In fact, the reason some speak disparagingly about other chiropractors who market their practices is because they worry about the “image” the doctor is creating for the rest of the profession. The “image” concern has its origin in the fact that in this society, a doctor belongs in the health care delivery division of a company, not the marketing division. That is not to say that I believe chiropractors shouldn’t market themselves- to the contrary, I KNOW IT IS VITAL FOR CHIROPRACTIC PRACTICES TO DO CHIROPRACTIC MARKETING EFFECTIVELY AND ON A LARGE SCALE. I’m simply pointing out WHY someone may think it’s odd for the doctor to be doing the marketing.
Chiropractic marketing is essential. Here is why:
I believe that it is essential for a chiropractor to not only know how to do the various chiropractic marketing actions (regardless of whether he does them himself or oversees these activities in the practice) but also to understand the subject of Chiropractic Marketing so well that he can think like a marketer. Another words, it’s not good enough to just do some chiropractic marketing, or hire someone to do it for you. If you want to get rid of your new patient problems forever, then YOU need to be able to think like a marketer-and really be effective in your application of what you understand about the subject.
So, here is the guarantee. [quote_right]If you learn to think like a marketer and you are effective in your application of the subject, you’ll never have new patient problems again[/quote_right] (except problems created by too many new patients-a relatively small club you’re invited to join). All you need to do is really develop your understanding of marketing, and then be effective with your application. If you do this, you’ll find that it’s not hard to drive massive numbers of people into your practice.
As I write this article on chiropractic marketing, I can already start to feel a few of the readers out there cringe. But before you make a decision as to whether or not these ideas are valid consider that there is a very important distinction to make. Once you’ve recognized the fact that there are multiple hats within an organization such as reception, billing, therapy assistant, etc, and that sometimes those “other” hats are worn by someone whose main duty is something else, such as office manager, owner, or even… doctor, you can start to sort this out successfully.
So what is the Chiropractic Marketing Hat?
The key is to wear the ‘hat’ you need to wear when you are doing the activity that requires that hat, and don’t confuse it with other hats you may need (or want) to wear at other times! This datum has many applications. If you are the doctor in the office, and you need to cover the reception post, be the receptionist when you do it. Another words, while up at the front desk don’t give a consultation instead of rescheduling the appointment-reschedule the appointment! When you go home at night to the family, wear your hat as mom, dad or spouse, not doctor or owner of the clinic!
To the point of this article, when you are providing patient care, wear your hat as doctor, not receptionist, biller or marketer. This is the time to think like a doctor! And when you are chiropractic marketing, wear your hat as the marketer- and put that doctor hat down! Think like a marketer while wearing the chiropractic marketing hat! For goodness sake, do what you are doing when you are doing it! Not something else! That is sanity!
With that in mind, there is a clear cut difference between understanding the subject of Chiropractic Marketing and knowing how to do a few chiropractic marketing actions. For example, you may know how to give a lecture or do a spinal screening (both marketing actions), but you may not know what makes those actions a success, or a failure. To not know the basics underlying any successful marketing action is a tremendous liability and creates a situation where the business owner is at the effect of his environment-unable to alter his approach to adjust to changing times! Sound familiar?
Understanding the subject requires an understanding of the basics which underlie any successful marketing action. Once you know and can apply these basic fundamentals of Chiropractic Marketing, you can think like a marketer and actually make any chiropractic marketing action more effective. You’ll also be able to come up with your own chiropractic marketing actions. The chiropractors who can do this never miss an opportunity because they are always able to think like a marketer. Their kung fu is strong!…and so can yours!
[quote_box_center]So, what is the first step to thinking like a marketer? Well, giving up any sort of “holier than thou” attitude most of us get when we become an expert in a field of study-such as chiropractic. [/quote_box_center]
How many doctor friends do you know who suffer from ‘expert-itis’? The correct viewpoint is one of a humble leader willing to communicate with those in the vicinity- in a way that they will understand. Be genuinely interested in others despite the fact that they may not know or care about you or chiropractic. This opens the door to understanding people and their motivations. Only then can you get busy establishing lines of communication to many, many people.
To sum it up, don’t just be interested in getting others to know you and what you do. You must be genuinely interested in getting to know others.
Next, figure out how to get yourself educated on the subject of Marketing and its application in the field of chiropractic. There are many books, videos and training programs both inside and outside our profession with which to achieve this objective. Even if you were to spend one hour a day for about three months studying the subject of Marketing, you’ll find yourself in a whole new realm of understanding-literally an expert compared to other doctors. In just 90 hours of study, you would probably give yourself more tools than you’d ever need to run a busy chiropractic office.
After that it would be the application of those tools. To get really good may take a few more months, but actually, you’ll come to find that you’ll probably see results from the outset of your studies because you’ll just start to think differently. Each and every chiropractic marketing facet you employ is kind of like a Lego toy. Each Lego can represent a particular program that produces ‘x’ number of new patients, such as a referral program or a corporate event. Build yourself a diverse castle with these marketing Legos and you have a chiropractic empire with vast flows of new patients… consistently. This principle is exactly what I mentor other doctors on, as well as how I apply chiropractic marketing in my practice that I run remotely.
In review, this all is dependent on you studying correct data on marketing and successfully applying it. In any subject, there is true data and false data around-so you will need to also use your skills of data evaluation. However, some of us are doing absolutely nothing in the area of chiropractic marketing. So, luckily, if this is the situation for you, you can fall back on the fact that doing SOMETHING is almost always better than doing NOTHING! In which case the validity of the data that you study would be of lesser importance than whether or not you were actually active in the area of marketing. Nonetheless, the truer the data, the better the chance of results. I follow the practice of finding a successful action, and once it is proven to work, then I pour the coal on it to reinforce the success long-term. You can try all kinds of new shiny patient attraction tools out there, however, you will need to ground your practice on solid proven marketing approaches… ones that work in YOUR office.
In summary, guarantee yourself a prosperous future, with lots of new chiropractic patients, a thriving practice, helping those in your community lead happier, healthier lives! All it takes is a shift in your perspective away from the ‘expert’ and into the shoes and head space of a marketer. Do this on a large scale and you’ll likely find tremendous fulfillment every day. Lesson of the day for your chiropractic marketing: learn to think like a marketer and make it happen!
To learn more ways for effective chiropractic marketing approaches for developing more chiropractic new patients and chiropractic business systems, give us a jingle at the Chiropractic Business Academy at 1-888-989-0855.
Dr Eric Huntington, DC is a national chiropractic speaker, ICA State Assemby Representative, Maryland Chiropractic Association Board Member and President of the Chiropractic Business Academy.