What’s the secret to getting new patients, month after month, year after year? How do you set up and run low-cost, high-profit chiropractic marketing plan?
I spent years trying to learn the answers to these questions. I wrote checks totaling in the tens of thousands to ad reps, consultants, and marketing gurus.
What did I learn from all this time and money I invested? Very little, and then quite a bit. Let me explain…
For the first 2 years of my practice life, I struggled just to survive. If an ad rep showed up at my office, I thought I needed to spend money to make money. After all, my coach at the time didn’t seem to advise me otherwise, so I wrote checks faster than a bailout happy congress. Yellow pages, val paks, money mailers, displays, health fair booths, convention center booths, newspaper ads, gym screenings, direct mail — I even knocked on doors (at the advice of another consultant!) 2 years into my chiropractic career.
With all this busyness of marketing activity, I was bound to have a booming practice, right? Not hardly. Mostly I had an empty bank account. (Was I the only one who did this, surely no one else in chiropractic has ever done this kind of thing, right?:)
I learned very little from these people about how to get new patients. They were teaching and selling old rehashed marketing strategies that worked in the 1980′s. That’s when I figured out I needed to study marketing a bit myself, so I could spot an effective marketing approach before I spent the money on it.
Here is my short list of criteria necessary for making buying decisions. Maybe you will find it helpful as well.
1. How much hype and over-exaggeration do you feel or hear coming from the ad rep or sales person? Can they back it up with proof?
2. If it’s a chiropractic coach or guru, do they make you feel good about buying their product or do they make you feel bad, like you are pushed into the sale? (If they are pushy in their approach, how do you think they will teach you to market and convert patients? This is a big clue!)
3. How is the “quality” of new patients using their product or service compared to others? (To many chiropractors worry about numbers and volume, and not enough about quality and profitability.)
4. IS THERE A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE ON THEIR MARKETING PRODUCTS?
5. Is there a long term contract or is it month-to-month?
6. Does their product or service produce new patients right away, do they want me to run ads into infinity because it “builds awareness”?
This was my list. Maybe you have more to add. If so, don’t be shy, post it in the comments below.