14 Ways to Increase Conversions

Here’s a list of 14 ways to improve your conversions with a new patient. The purpose of this article is to give you a quick checklist of items you can run through for your office.

The first time through, see which ones you are already doing in your office. Then start implementing one or two new ones at a time until you have them all in place.

A conversion simply means that a new patient has agreed to your plan of care, whatever that plan is for your office. (If you don’t put together any type of care plan for your office, go and do that right now!)

Ok, so let’s get started…

1. Use Marketing That Brings In Quality New Patients
For this one, we’re going back to the source — where you get the new patient. If you’re giving away free exams to anyone you meet at the mall, you’re going to have a pretty crappy conversion rate. Examples of quality marketing involves condition specific chiropractic ads, internet marketing, referrals, doctor referrals, etc. These people are often times very pre-qualified and will be eager to begin care so they can feel better.

2. Have a Nice Reception Area
The first thing a patient sees when they walk in is the waiting room/reception area. How clean and nice does yours look? Cheap poster frames, toys laying everywhere, stains on the carpet, unpleasant music, and bad smells can all contribute to the new patient second guessing their decision to come in for an appointment. Make it nice. Spend a little money to ‘spruce it up’ a bit.

3. Great Front Desk CA
The new patient should be greeted right away, made to feel at home and be told what to do next. They are worried about what’s going on and what they might have to pay. Your front desk CA should make them feel very comfortable and reassure them that they’re in the right place. This is HUGE! Whatever you do, do not allow your staff to ignore a new patient who walks in.

4. Don’t Overwhelm with Paperwork
Have you gone through your paperwork lately and condensed it to what is absolutely necessary. You only need paperwork that you are going to use or that is required to protect you and your office legally. Don’t pile up pages and pages of questions that you’re not even going to look at or use during the patient’s care.

5. Do A Good Consultation
Make sure your consultation comes off caring and considerate. Listen, really listen, to the patient’s concerns and ask them questions that guide them along. This should take an average of 7-10 minutes. Keep the consultation focused on the patient and not the weather, their friends, or other time wasters. Also, don’t make a bad impression by telling the patient the “rules” of how your office works, that they’ll have to come back for life, or anything overwhelming like that.

6. Perform An Exam With A Purpose
Everything in your exam should be geared toward giving you good information, teaching the patient, or protecting yourself from legal matters. In 99.9% of cases, there is no need to do the 3 hour exam we learned in school. You should also express to the patient the concern you have with problems you’re finding.

7. Measure A Finding (X-ray, etc)
You need to have some objective findings to cover with the patient and base your care on. (I recommend taking an x-ray or set of films for multiple reasons.) If you don’t have an x-ray make sure you are doing some objective test that the patient can see. This is going to be very important in your report of findings.

8. End Day 1 Correctly
I recommend not doing care the first day, except under certain circumstances. Tell the patient what to expect on their next visit and to see your front desk CA on the way out. There are a lot of opinions on this, pretty strongly on the side of not adjusting on Day 1, but I find they aren’t based on any hard evidence. The argument is that patients won’t come back if they get “fixed” on day one. (You could also argue argue a patient won’t come back because they didn’t get adjusted on day one.) I measured it in my practice for years, doing care on some patients on Day 1 and not for others on a case by case basis. My findings? It didn’t matter that much. Many patients who got adjusted on day 1 stayed with me for years and paid thousands in care. It’s really depends on the patient’s mindset when they walk in more than anything. Test it yourself and measure it. Too many people say adjusting on day 1 doesn’t work, but I think they base this on emotion and not actual numbers.

9. Collect Information and Schedule
Your front desk CA should now collect the payment for today’s visit, ask for insurance information (if you take insurance) and schedule for the next visit. These 3 things should be done a specific way. You could do everything right up until this point, but if the patient leaves with a bad taste in their mouth from the checkout, they may not come back.

10. Do A Proper Greeting On The Next Visit
Have your staff welcome the patient back as if they are someone who’s been coming in for a long time. Make the patient feel like part of the practice.

11. Give A Short, No-Fluff Report
Again, this one is somewhat controversial in chiropractic. Some chiropractic coaches will tell you to give a long winded speech here to hard sell the patient on care. It’s not necessary if you did what you should have on Day 1. A report should not take longer than 10 minutes. Tell them what you found. Tell them if you can fix it and a BRIEF summary of how you’ll do that. Layout their care plan and explain why it takes time. Go over the cost (this is best if your staff does the financial part). If insurance is involved, have that prepared and covered by your staff at this time.

12. Get Paid For What You Do
Have a simple, easy to follow payment plan for your patients. At least 2 options of payment, 3 at most. Remember, very simple. I have seen so many complex systems that almost force the patient to “go home and think about it.” For me, this means prepay with bookkeeping discount, CareCredit, or weekly payments.

13. Adjust the Patient
This is where you get to adjust and perform your other services with the patient. Whatever you do with them, remember they may be a little timid and unsure of what’s going on. Consider the patient’s level of comfort with what’s going on and be considerate. I’ve seen too many chiropractors scare people off with performing a rough first adjustment. The doctor never knows that was the reason the patient didn’t come back, but I can assure you it has happened in many an office.

14. Schedule Future Visits
It’s best if you can get your patient’s care plan scheduled out for the term it runs. Sometimes this is called a MAP, after the Parker Seminars famous “Multi-Appointment Plan”. It’s best to do this on paper first, hand a copy to the patient. Your staff can put it in the computer system later.

New Homeowner Marketing for Chiropractors

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Each year, over 41 million people in the United States move into a new home. This will mean a complete change in where they buy products and services from.

Many of these new homeowners will want to continue their chiropractic care after moving. Some will have injured themselves doing all that heavy lifting. Others may decide it’s finally time to do something about their health. Whatever the reason, many of these new movers are going to need your chiropractic services.

A New Mover Letter

What better time to send out letter introducing yourself as the premier chiropractor in town? Think about it. Most new residents to a city or town will use the service providers they come into contact with first. Because many chiropractors fail to market their practice properly, these new movers are are going to use the internet to look one up.

Why leave it to chance whether they find you or not?

I recommend getting a quality list of new homeowners and mailing them a specific marketing letter. The letter should welcome them to the community, introduce who you are, mention your practice and how you help, plus give them a special “New Mover offer” to come in. I’ve even given away a free product just for the new resident stopping by to meet us. Why? Because if they actually do come by, they’re likely interested in “checking us out”. So why not give a gift to welcome then to the neighborhood.Who are they doing to think about when it’s time to see the chiropractor?

Other than the letter, you’re going to need a quality list of new movers to your area. Preferably from a low cost source that can give you names and addresses each month as people move in. I’ve used companies in the past where half my letters came back as undeliverable. But recently I’ve come across a company with exceptional service.

You can learn more about them at Movertrends.com. You’ll find their website very easy to use. I especially like how easy it is to drill down and pick the county or by zip code. (As a reader of this blog, you can use my discount code to get 33% off any order at MoverTrends.com. All you have to do is click through the link below.)

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How many addresses should you start with? The answer will depend on your monthly budget for marketing. But I recommend at least 500-1000 names to start with. At the low price and with the above mentioned discount code, the addresses are only around 20 cents per name. So you may want to even go back and grab the last 3 months of movers as many of them are still looking for a chiropractor.

How to Get My New Homeowner Marketing Letter.

Are you concerned about what kind of letter to send out? Writing a marketing letter is not your favorite thing to do between seeing patients?

No worries. I’ll give you a copy of my letter for free. All you need to do is forward your email receipt from your Mover Trends order to our email: support at dcpracticetools.com (with the @ sign instead of the “at”). My staff will then send you (via email) my new homeowner letter in MS Word format, so you can edit as needed. Then, just have your CA print the letters, stuff them and stamp the envelopes.

Of course you could choose to send a postcard instead to save a few pennies. But I’ve found a letter to be more personal and get a better return on my money. These new movers already get a ton of postcards in the mail. Your postcard is likely to end up in the same places as the rest…in the trash can.

How many new patients can you expect from this type of campaign each month?

Depending on how many people move into your area each month, and what your budget is, you could get anywhere from 1-10 new patients a month. Not bad for something simple and inexpensive like mailing a new mover letter.

Grab the list of new movers to your zip code by visiting…

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Why Do We Do It?

Do you ever think about why you became a chiropractor? And not just a chiropractor, but the owner of a chiropractic business?

Some docs, if they will admit it, will say it was for the money. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you still provide good patient care. Many say they did it to help other people, and that’s a noble reason. But you can help people working as an associate.Why take the risk of running and owning your own practice?

When I first went to chiropractic school, I wanted to help people and make a ton of money. But 2 years into practice, I was doing it for a bigger reason.

You see, two years out of school I went through a really hard time in practice. I was only averaging 3 new patients a month and collecting about $3000 – with an overhead of $15,000!

Describing how bad things were would not even do it justice. I was working late almost every night, doing 2-4 spinal screenings per week and holding talks for audiences of one – both with awful results.

At times like these in your life, you really begin to see clearly. Your priorities are stripped bare, and you can’t kid yourself anymore.

That’s when it hit me…

It wasn’t the patients who were suffering. They were still getting quality care and couldn’t tell the practice was suffering (we clusterbooked then, so they thought we were busy!) Even if my practice folded, they could just go on to another chiropractor, so it didn’t really affect them.

It was my family. My pregnant wife who was struggling up three flights of stairs each day in our new “apartment home” – sometimes having to lug over 50lbs of grocery with two toddlers in tow. It was our baby girl, who at her 3rd Christmas, could never know how much our hearts broke because we couldn’t buy her gifts. Or when my son was born, extended family brought food for a gift, since our fridge and pantry were completely empty.

You see, my family were the ones suffering the most. While my patients were great (and I loved helping each one of them), they didn’t really care wether I made $25,000 income that year or $200,000. No one cared about the success about my practice more than me and my family. We depended on it. It’s what put food on the table.

It became totally clear to me then. I owned and ran a chiropractic business so I could do something I loved — helping others get well —  AND make a good living for my family’s future, hopes and dreams. I obviously loved chiropractic, but I certainly wasn’t fulfilling the second part…giving my wife and kids what they deserved. A better home with a yard, food, vacations and peace of mind.

That was the turning point. I knew I had better learn to run a business successfully and grow my practice. Because it wouldn’t matter how much I loved chiropractic, or how good an adjuster I was, if I couldn’t keep the doors open. And most important of all, my family depended on it.

I realized the biggest problem I had was that my practice was missing good marketing strategies. Marketing that brought in a high return on investment, quality new patients, and consistent growth month after month.

Have you every seen a struggling practice that had too many quality new patients? I haven’t.

You know how to adjust. You know how to be a good chiropractor. That’s not the problem. Learning a new technique or a new billing procedure will only get you so far. Marketing is the key. Without it any practice will struggle.

Below are the reasons I run my own business. What are your reasons?

Are Chiropractic Ads in the Newspaper Dead?

Are we seeing the end of newspapers as we know it? Hasn’t the internet pushed the newspapers out of business? Should you even spend money putting ads in your local paper?

Since releasing my Ultimate Chiropractic Ads in January of this year, occasionally I get asked the above questions. So I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of the answers on the blog.

First let’s address the question…”Are newspapers disappearing?

Before I answer this question, let’s look at a couple of other industries going through tough times. GM and Chrysler are getting bailed out and on the verge of bankruptcy. Yet, new cars are still being sold and, my guess is, will continue to be built for years into the future. In the past year, hundreds of banks have folded and been bailed out by the government. But, I predict banks will be around for a long time. My bank just built a whole new wing for “wealth management”.

What do these businesses have in common? They  made bad decisions for years and are now paying the consequences during a recession. The same goes for large newspaper companies. The newspaper corporations grew large and wasteful. They disconnected with their readership and begin to twist stories into one-sided arguments. Plus, they designed and encouraged the use of poor ads for their clients. When the economy took a dip, these same clients were not willing to pay for advertising that couldn’t bring in a return on investment.

So the answer is yes, some newspapers have gone out of business. But, does this really mean anything? Businesses disappear everyday. A few that have folded: The Rocky Mountain News, Baltimore Examine, Kentucky Post, and the Cincinnati Post. However, the important point here is that newspapers didn’t disappear into thin air in these cities. Someone is still printing papers and making money. For example, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Baltimore Sun, etc.

A recent MarketWatch.com (owned by the Wall Street Journal) report shows newspaper readership down 7% in the last six months. Not surprising, since the economy itself is down more than that. Spending is down. The stock market is down. My retirement account is down 40 %! So, in the big scheme of things, a 7% decline is rather healthy.

Does newspaper advertising still work? Yes, of course it does.  (If a chiropractic office closes it’s doors because of poor marketing, does this mean chiropractic itself no longer works?) But the key is running the right kind of ad.

Here are a few examples of it working in chiropractic offices for 2009…

Dr. Beck, Just an update on the ads I’ve run .  On Feb. 10, I ran the “Could One Hour With This Doctor…” half page ad and got 13 patients to come in . We closed 10 of those for a total of $18,885 already collected. We paid $1134 for the ad. That’s a 16:1 ROI !!

On March 24, we ran the same half page ad and 10 patients have come in. We converted 6 of those so far and have 1 more coming in today for ROF. We have collected $14,,066 so far. That’s a 12:1 ROI !!

I just ran the “Herniated Disc” ad yesterday. We are scheduling patients as we speak.

Denton James, DC

P.S. I ran 2 other ads from another source on 1/21/09 and 3/3/09. The ROI is about 5:1, which isn’t bad, but your ads get us 3 times the ROI !!

Here’s another email I received from a doctor running a full page ad (which is not required with my ads, but he did so to get a bigger ROI)…

Hey Doc,
Just wanted to let you know how great the ads are working for me.  We ran the \”Are you living with sciatica or back pain\” ad on March 30, 2009 which is a Monday. It was $2950 for a full page ad. We had 8 new patients scheduled before lunch on Monday.  For the week we ended up with 14 new patients. We have had 3 referrals so far this week. (the week after running the ad). We have a case $ average of around $1500, so we are figuring about $26000 in income. I couldn’t be happier with the ads so far.  We are looking forward to running another ad in the very near future. – Dr. Chad Keeney

But aren’t online news sites competing with newspapers? Yes, but there’s still a lot of money to be made with print newspapers ads. Many newspapers realize they need an online presence, and are now creating hybrid type papers that are in print and online. Some papers have shut down their print editions, but publish regular online newspapers.

This is why you should be in both places. Never focus on one source of new patients too much. Better to diversify. This is very easy to do on the internet. This is why I spend quite a bit of time teaching about internet marketing in my ChiroMarketing Academy.

No one can say if and when newspapers will become obsolete. If you’re concerned about it, my advice is to stop trying to predict the future and focus on what is working now. The Ultimate Chiropractic Ads are bringing in new patients for chiropractors in 2009.

My final recommendation today is this: Keep running effective print ads for all their worth, while putting more and more empahasis on internet marketing strategies.

3 Must Have Chiropractic Marketing Tools

Coaching clients and blog subscribers are always asking me where they can find certain marketing tools and services. Here’s a list of 3 products/services I recommend you check out and use to grow your practice.

Chiropractic Marketing Web
Chiropractic Marketing Web is Chiropractic Marketing, Websites, and Patient Leads all in one. A done-for-you website system that educates patients on why they should come in to see you and does so over time. For example, when a person searches for “fibromyalgia” on the web and finds your website, they will be shown a video about how you can help with fibromyalgia. They also be asked to leave their name and email for followup. Then the chiropractic marketing web system will send out pre-written emails from the doctor educating the prospect and giving them a special offer to come in for an exam. Plus, feeds and input to social marketing sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. Millions of people use these sites every day to connect to others on the internet.

The Renegade Chiropractic Marketing Letters
This set of letters contain powerful internal marketing tools used in my practice for bringing in high-retention referrals, running promotional events, and reactivating ‘vanished’ patients.

  • Turn ‘lost’ patients into active, paying, referring patients again.
  • Introduce services and products that you sell to your patients right away.
  • Market to New Homeowners in your town and have them become patients.
  • Continual Referral Stream Letter that will compel current patients to immediately send referrals to you (This letter alone made me $100,000 in one year!)
  • Create more referrals from your best patients (80/20 principle) using this VIP letter.
  • Turn other professional’s customer list into new patients using this special “endorsed” letter.
  • A letter to turn special events in your personal life into a reason to contact inactive patients.

Instrument Adjusting Profits

Did you know using an adjusting instrument in your practice is a huge marketing opportunity? The Instrument Adjusting Profits course will show you how to make use this opportunity. Dr. Orsansky and Dr. Dan have created specific marketing pieces and strategies to focus on the instrument adjusting niche. (They’re currently giving away some free bonuses for anyone who grabs their course.) Even if you don’t use an instrument full time, it’s a good idea to get this course and add those new patients to your practice who are looking for an “instrument chiropractor”.

Only 26 More Charter Members

Since I released the new ChiroMarketing Academy on Tuesday, charter memberships have been going like crazy. There are only 50 charter memberships for half price, and 25 of those are already taken.

Since opening the Academy, I’ve already posted a new article on the 7 ways to grow your practice. (This is in addition to all the training lessons already in the Academy.) This lesson goes into detail about the simple steps you can take to improve retention, increase $ per visit average, and get better conversions with higher case averages.

The next lesson to be posted on the site will be a video training showing you how to use Twitter.com to bring in more new patients. This new social media site is very popular right now with your patients and is about 100 times more effective — not to mention a lot easier and less time intensive — than Facebook.

And don’t think Twitter is for kids. 78% of twitter users are ages 18-49 according to the Quantcast Demographics. How many of your patients are in that age range? Also, surprisingly 21% of twitter users are over 50! (Therefore the kids are on MySpace, not Twitter.)

Join ChiroMarketing Academy now and you’ll also receive two valuable bonuses.

Bonus 1: 15 Internet Marketing Lessons
How To Set Up New Patient Systems On Autopilot. ($497 Value). Each month you’re a member, you’ll receive 4 lessons showing you step by step how to setup chiropractic internet marketing systems on autopilot.  This set of lessons originally sold for $497  until I took off the market to include in the “new” ChiroMarketing Academy membership site. Even if you know nothing about the internet, I can show you how easy it is to bring in new patients at a very low cost.

-Why your current website could be turning patients away – And what you MUST DO
NOW to fix it!

-The quickest, easiest way to get Free Traffic to your web page and how to convert them to new patients immediately.

-The Seven Advanced Strategies for Google Adwords. Use these and you’ll drive tons of qualified patient prospects to your website.

-The “magic words” you must have on your web page to bring you more new patients and  money.
(These alone will improve your conversion from prospect to patient by 30, 40, or even 50%.)

-The single most important strategy to get you at the top of Google, MSN and Yahoo’s Search listings! (I used this one to get ahead of websites that had been around for 8 years.)
dotHow to use Email to build powerful rapport with new patients before they’ve even met you – and why having a follow up campaign is vital to getting new patients to call and schedule.

To grab a charter membership of ChiroMarketing Academy, which gives you a 50% discount for life, click here.

Bonus 2: The Renegade Chiropractic Marketing Letters… Proven Marketing Letters For Referrals, Reactivations,and Event Promotions.  ($97 Value)

This set of letters contain powerful internal marketing tools used in my practice for bringing in high-retention referrals, running promotional events, and reactivating ‘vanished’ patients.

* Turn ‘lost’ patients into active, paying, referring patients again.

* Introduce services and products that you sell to your patients right away.

* Market to New Homeowners in your town and have them become patients.

* Continual Referral Stream Letter that will compel current patients to immediately send referrals to you (This letter alone made me $100,000 in the last year!)

* Create more referrals from your best patients (80/20 principle) using this VIP letter.

* Turn other professional’s customer list into new patients using this special “endorsed” letter.

* A letter to turn special events in your personal life into a reason to contact inactive patients.

With these marketing letter templates you’ll have a system in place to maximize referrals from the new patients that come in from you training in ChiroMarketing Academy – effectively doubling or even tripling your results, at no additional costs.

You can use all these bonus tools, plus the lesson you receive every month in ChiroMarketing Academy, to grow you practice during a challenging economy.

The longer you wait to get started, the longer it will be before you see results. The flip side is also true: The quicker you get started, the quicker you’ll see results.

Stay ahead of the trends in marketing and get effective tools to bring in new patients.Find out more here…