Is Carl Going to Be Your Patient?

Carl has sciatica. He knows this because his wife used that medical thingy online where you put in your symptoms and it tells you what you have.

Carl hates this constant, annoying pain in his right buttocks and leg. Carl has had back pain in the past, but that went away 2 years ago.

Now it’s a “completely different” problem that just won’t go away! And worst of all, he can’t play golf, go dancing with his wife, or even sit for 20 minutes in the car.

Carl knows deep down that if this problem doesn’t get better soon, he’s going to have to see a medical doctor and he’s going to give him a bunch of prescriptions he isn’t crazy about.

He grabs a newspaper on the way to work, and sees an ad for the local chiropractor. Carl knows nothing about chiropractic except that his uncle used to go to one for back pain. This ad is classy, sharp, and has a professional picture of the doctor. The name of the office is in large letters with the phone number underneath the photo.

He briefly makes a mental note that if he ever has low back pain again, he should call this chiropractor’s office.

Carl turns a few pages, reading an article on government overspending and debt accumulation. As he glances down at the bottom half of the page, his mind begins racing. To Carl’s astonishment, there in large bold letters, is a headline that reads “Eliminate Sciatica Without Surgery, Drugs, or Painful Exercises”.

Carl can’t read the “article” fast enough. It describes exactly what he is suffering from. And there’s a solution described and backed up with testimonials.

Carl reads that if he comes in for help during the next 10 days, he will get an exam and x-rays for less than $40. Wow!

Who is article from? Oh, a D.C. Hmmm, not sure what kind of doctor that is. But I’m open to anything that can help with sciatica.

Carl quickly picks up the phone, calls the office, and quickly begs the receptionist to get him in this week, “before this special ends.”

This isn’t a fairy tale. It happens every day around the world. The point of the story is that when you advertise your services, you must enter the conversation already going in the prospect’s mind.

Just talking about the history of chiropractic is not something that a new patient, who doesn’t know anything about chiropractic, is going to respond to.

Your marketing cannot be geared towards what chiropractors love, but not what patients are thinking about.

Once they come in, then you can educate them all about chiropractic and what it can help.
It’s a common phrase in marketing, “what’s in it for me?” At that point in their life, it doesn’t really matter who D.D. Palmer is.

Look, chiropractors can help a lot of different people with a lot of different issues. But, to speak to that new patient on their level, you need to talk to them in their language.

How To Quickly Change Your Practice

How long does it take to dramatically change your practice?

A lot faster than you think…

In fact, I find that most successful doctors I work with have a point in their practice where things really took off for them.

And from that day on, everything changes.

I know it was like this for me. Early on in my practice, I struggled for years trying to bring in enough new patients to grow and make a profit.

I tried all the normal stuff. Seminars, marketing gurus, chiropractic management groups, yellow pages, Val-paks, money mailers, ad displays, health fair and convention center booths, newspaper ads, spinal screenings – I even went knocking on doors after being in practice for almost two years.

After throwing countless hours and dollars at the “new patient problem”, I got a few new ones trickling in. But many of them were not very interested in care, and their conversion rate was terrible.

The problem is, that almost none of these approaches worked. Most of the marketing techniques were overpriced, outdated or too sleazy.

The problem is chiropractic marketing can be a “brutal – and very time consuming – challenge” to building and sustaining a growing practice.

For my first two years in practice, my frustration with getting quality new patients was agonizing, often making me depressed and bringing me close to tears on more than one occasion.

It’s not our fault really.

None of us learned about marketing in Chiropractic College. After spending four years and over $100,000 on my chiropractic education, I didn’t have one class on how to use effective advertising to grow my practice.

All of this led up to a fight for survival for me. Two years into 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 doing 2-4 spinal screenings per week and holding talks for audiences of one – both with awful results.

I got fed up with marketing, “pushing” patients to refer, hard-sell tactics – honestly I was ready to quit the profession entirely.

It wasn’t that I hated chiropractic. It was that no one could show me an effective way to market and grow my practice. I had spent thousands on marketing systems and coaches, but to what point?

My pregnant wife was struggling up three flights of stairs each day in our new “apartment home” – sometimes having to lug over 50lbs of groceries with two toddlers in tow.

This lack of effective marketing tools forced me to look outside the profession for answers. My practice depended on it. I had no time to “hope” something worked. I needed a solution fast!

At the “eleventh hour” of my practice (and just barely in time to save it) I discovered effective marketing strategies and put them into place for my practice. And I began to see results almost immediately.

Finally, real marketing that works for chiropractic. (Unlike all that other crap out there being pushed on us from advertising sales people and over-hyped chiropractic marketing gurus.)

Within 6 months from this point, my practice volume and income had increased by a multiple of 10! I was making $30,000 and could finally afford to take one day off a week to spend with my family. Later my practice continued to increase as I tweaked my marketing and conversion procedures.

Now $30k may or may not sound like a lot to you per month, depending on where you’re at now. But that’s not the point. The point is the change from $3,000 to $30,000 in such a short time span.

What this meant for me was that my kids could have a less stressful father, who spent more quality time with them. My wife could worry less about buying groceries or clothes. And we could go on that family vacation we always talked about.

What would your life be like if your income increased by a multiple of 10? What would change if it just doubled? And what would that really mean to you?

If you’re not using effective marketing, don’t wait. It can make a huge difference to more than just your practice.

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