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Practice Management


Anatomy of THE CLOSE
Practice Management
Written by Dr. Eric Kaplan, D.C., F.I.A.M.A.   
Sunday, 27 July 2008 10:52

The Lost Sale

Whether a doctor, lawyer, architect, you are in the business world. The business world is a world of selling. There is a powerful technique you can learn called the "I Want to Think It over Close." This is the only way I know to save this kind of lost sale. You know by now that, when the customer says, "I want to think it over," he is really saying, "Goodbye." You know from your own experience that customers do not think it over. They do not sit there carefully studying your brochures and your office fees with a calculator and a pen.

The key to any system is the infomercial. With a good infomercial, patients should be closed by the time they come to your office. If they say, "I want to think it over," it was something you did in your close that lost them.

 

People Are Often Ready to Buy

Patients who come to your office are ready to buy. I don’t care if they come in for a free examination. NO one fills out a Health History and then waits to see you, not really wanting care.

On the other hand, as many as 80 percent of the people you speak to are probably ready to start care at this point. They just need a little push. They need some help. A buying decision is traumatic for them. They are tense and uneasy, and afraid of making a mistake. They may be right on the verge of saying, "Yes," and they need the professional guidance of an excellent doctor. They will look you in the eye and, when they do, they are saying, "Can I trust this person?" My question to you is, can they?

Patients come to your office looking for trust. You can accomplish this by doing a great consultation and a thorough examination. You affirm this by telling the patient what they need and nothing more. Your Report of Finding should not be a sales-scripted speech like many consultants teach. It should be from your heart and be a review of their problems, objective findings, and necessary treatment. If they trust you, they will abide. But, if you accept the "I want to think it over" at face value and depart, you will probably never get a chance to see them or to treat them again.

 

Be Agreeable

This is how you use it. When the potential patient says, "I want to think it over," you appear to accept it gracefully. You smile agreeably, and begin pulling down the X-rays and putting your materials and their file away. As you do, you make conversation with these words: "Mr. Prospect, that’s a good idea. This is an important decision and you shouldn’t rush into it." These words will cause the prospect to mentally relax. He sees that you are on your way. His resistance will drop as soon as you stop presenting and trying to sell.

 

Ask the Question

You then ask, in a curious tone of voice, "Mr. Prospect, obviously you have a good reason for wanting to think it over. May I ask what it is; is it the money?"

Remain perfectly silent, watching his/her face. Smile gently. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. This is a critical moment.

 

Wait Patiently

Again, you have nothing to lose. If you leave, you have lost this person as a patient, possibly forever. The worst thing that he/she can say is that he/she has no particular reason but that they still want to think it over. However, in many cases, they will reply by saying one of two things. They will say, "Yes, I’m concerned about the cost." Or, they will say, "No, it’s not the money."

 

Diagnose the Answer

If he/she says, "Yes, it’s the money," you immediately go into a series of questions designed to deal with patients about cost or price.

You ask things like, "How do you mean, exactly?" "Why do you say that?" "Why do you feel that way?" "What if I can make it more affordable to you?" "Is this your only concern, or is there something else?"

If he/she says that, "No, it’s not the money," you reply by asking, "May I ask what it is?"

Sometimes you must diagnose the patient’s answer to find the reason. Usually, the problem is money. Remember, if they came from your infomercial, they were presold. You unsold them.

 

Silence Is Golden

Again, you remain perfectly silent while you wait for their answer. In many cases, they will think about it for a few seconds, even a minute or longer, and then they will give you their final concern or objection. They will finally tell you what is really on their mind. They will tell you the real reason why they are hesitating about going ahead.

If you can now satisfy them on this final condition, you can go on to conclude the sale. You can say, "Mr. Prospect, what if we could do this...?" Or, "I think there is a perfect answer to that question."

Now is your time to guide the patient. Remember, they have opened to you. To tell someone you have a money problem or, "My husband won’t allow this expense;" or whatever they have told you is not easy. You have begun trust. Be grateful; be sincere.

Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action. First, you do not have to memorize the words and phrases of your closing technique and practice it as you would for a play or movie. I do not agree with a four day report. Patients want honest sincere answers. Be the Doctor; tell them of their kinesiopathology, histopathology and what is needed to resolve their problem. Role-play this technique with someone else, if you can. The key is to be sincere. Have an outline, a map, and follow it.

Second, use this technique as soon as possible, the very next time you hear those words, "Let me think it over." You can save sales that might be lost forever.

 

Be an Optimist at All Times

The key to any close is to offer hope to the patient. If they do not believe you can help them, they will leave. Everyone wants to be physically healthy. You want to be mentally healthy, as well. The true measure of "mental fitness" is how optimistic you are about yourself and your practice. Learn how to control your thinking in very specific ways so that you feel terrific about yourself, your practice, and your situation, no matter what happens. This attitude will build your practice.

 

Control Your Reactions and Responses

There are three basic differences in the reactions of optimists and pessimists. The first difference is that the optimist sees a setback as temporary, while the pessimist sees it as permanent. I love to borrow money from a pessimist; he never expects to be paid back.

The optimist sees an unfortunate event, such as a patient that does not get well or a new patient that does not show up, as a temporary event—something that is limited in time and that has no real impact on the future. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees negative events as permanent, as part of life and destiny. New patients are either optimists or pessimists as well. The optimists are an easy close; the pessimist will be pessimistic. You have to help them overcome their own mental barriers. Do not drop to their level. They will migrate to your attitude, so take the time necessary.

 

Setbacks Are Temporary Events

For example, if something you were counting on failed to materialize and you interpreted it to yourself as being an unfortunate event, but something that happens in the course of life and business, you would be reacting like an optimist. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees disappointments as being pervasive. That is, to him, they are indications of a problem or shortcoming that pervades every area of life.

 

Don’t Take Failure Personally

The third difference between optimists and pessimists is that optimists see events as external, while pessimists interpret events as personal. When things go wrong, the optimist will tend to see the setback as resulting from external factors over which one has little control. Don’t let one negative patient dictate your protocol.

If the optimist is cut off in traffic, for example, instead of getting angry or upset, he will simply downgrade the importance of the event by saying something like, "Oh, well, I guess that person is just having a bad day."

The pessimist, on the other hand, has a tendency to take everything personally. If the pessimist is cut off in traffic, he will react as though the other driver has deliberately acted to upset and frustrate him.

Be personal to your patients, but don’t take things personally.

 

Don’t Be Nearsighted

Look upon the inevitable setbacks that you face as being temporary, specific and external. View the negative situation as a single event that is not connected to other potential events and that is caused largely by external factors over which you can have little control. Simply refuse to see the event as being in any way permanent, pervasive or indicative of personal incompetence or inability. As a doctor, you have the ability to touch people’s lives—that is a gift that is priceless. Money will come, but only through sincere service.

Resolve to think like an optimist, no matter what happens to you or your practice. You may not be able to control events, but you can control the way you react to them.

React well. Have a great month; see you at the TOP!

Dr. Eric S. Kaplan, is CEO of Multidisciplinary Business Applications, Inc. (MBA), a comprehensive coaching firm with a successful, documented history of creating profitable multidisciplinary practices nationwide. Co developer and President of Discforce the next Generation on Spinal decompression. For more information, call 1-561-626-3004

 

 

 
The Seven P’s of Persuasion
Practice Management
Written by Dr. Eric Kaplan, D.C., F.I.A.M.A.   
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 10:09

1. Perception Is Everything

 

Building your practice begins with building yourself. A Positive attitude is a good thing but not everything. It is the one P in my formula that drives the others. A Positive attitude, comes from within and takes time and effort.

There are seven "P’s" that will enhance your ability to persuade others in both your work and personal life. They are Perception, Positive attitude, Personal Power, Positioning, Performance, Perseverance and Politeness. And they are all based on perception. How do your patients, friends, community perceive you, your practice?

 

2. Personal Power

 

The second "P" is Power. The more power and influence that a person perceives that you have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want him to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help you and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee. Is this not the theory of the Wizard of Oz? People need to believe you are good at what you do. This is a perception. This is why you studied hard in school and go to seminars now: not for the grades which are irrelevant, but for the knowledge. Yes, knowledge for a doctor is power. It is the Power of Confidence which is a strong perception the community will have of you.

 

3. Positioning—Shape Their Thinking about You

 

The third "P" is Positioning. This refers to the way that other people think about you and talk about you when you are not there. Your positioning in the mind and heart of other people largely determines how open they are to being influenced by you. This is where referrals come from. Referrals come from people speaking of you and about you when you are not around. Not getting enough referrals? Go back to the first P, Perception.

In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.

The key is telling the story, the story of chiropractic. Chiropractic is over 100 years old, yet many myths are still attached to our profession.

 

4. Performance—Be Good at What You Do

 

The fourth "P" is Performance. This refers to your level of competence and expertise in your area. A person who is highly respected for his or her ability to get results is far more persuasive and influential than a person who only does an average job.

Average to me is "the best of the worst and the worst of the best." I have never wanted to be average. Regardless of the technique you utilize, be the best at it.

 

5. Perseverance—Commit to Excellence

 

The perception that people have of your performance capabilities exerts an inordinate influence on how they think and feel about you. You should commit yourself to being the very best in your field. Sometimes, a reputation for being excellent at what you do can be so powerful that it alone can make you an extremely persuasive individual in all of your interactions with the people around you. They will accept your advice, be open to your influence and agree with your requests.

This will take hard work; this will take Perseverance: getting up after being knocked down; overcoming rejection; staying in the game after getting a beating; staying on Purpose and being prepared to do whatever it takes, for how long it takes.

 

6. Treat People Politely

 

The sixth "P" of persuasion power is Politeness. People do things for two reasons: because they want to and because they have to. When you treat people with kindness, courtesy and respect, you make them want to do things for you. They are motivated to go out of their way to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals.

Being nice to other people satisfies one of the deepest of all subconscious needs, the need to feel important and respected. Whenever you convey this to another person in your conversation, your attitude and your treatment of that person, he or she will be wide open to being persuaded and influenced by you in almost anything you need.

If they can’t pay your fee, how do you react? Money for many patients is an issue. Be honest, be polite, open your heart to others. Winston Churchill once said, "You make a living by what you get, and a life by what you give?" GET A LIFE.

 

Perception Is Reality

 

Again, perception is everything. The perception of an individual is his or her reality. People act on the basis of their perceptions of you. If you change their perceptions, you change the way they think and feel about you, and you change the things that they will do for you.

People know no other perception of you than how they perceive you and your office. Is it clean, neat, up to date? Look at your office in the eyes of a patient. Ask your staff what their perceptions are. Do they bring in their families? If not, why not? It is not because of money but Perception.

 

7. Maintain a Positive Attitude

 

Think continually about the impression you want to make on others and then make sure that everything you do or say is consistent with that perception. No one said that practicing is easy. No one said business is easy. Both take work—hard work. Maintaining a Positive attitude also takes work and commitment. Read positive books, go to positive movies and seminars. Hang out with positive patients. Don’t let the bad in life bring you down. "If you want to lead the band, you have to face the music."

Be nice to people. Practice the Golden Rule in your interactions with others. Always be polite and make others feel important.

The more people like you, the more open they are to being influenced by you.

Dr. Eric S. Kaplan, is CEO of Multidisciplinary Business Applications, Inc. (MBA), a comprehensive coaching firm with a successful, documented history of creating profitable multidisciplinary practices nationwide. Dr. Kaplan is the best selling Author of DYING TO BE YOUNG, www.dyingtobeyoung.net, and co-developer and President of Discforce, the next Generation on Spinal decompression. For more information, call 1-561-626-3004, 1-866-573-6723 or visit www.discforce.com.

 

 
Putting Value Back into Your Practice
Practice Management
Written by Marc Swerdlick, D.C.   
Friday, 29 February 2008 13:57

Value is a word that’s used in every area of business—chiropractic being no exception. In this article, I am going to explore some of the factors relating to both monetary and intrinsic value, specifically how they relate to chiropractic, and how playing your cards right can be of "value" to your practice.

Regardless of how hard one tries to create it, value is always in the eye of the beholder. It is based on the individual perception of the consumer. You may think your service or your offer is like filet mignon, but if your customer (in this case, your patient) believes it’s like a fast food burger, then that’s exactly what it is. To tell someone that your $17 chiropractic examination is worth $377.77 is all well and good until you consider that there are many people out there who believe that something that’s supposedly worth so much, couldn’t possibly be put on sale at a 95 percent discount. In other words, some folks just don’t buy it.

One of the primary factors that suggests a certain level of value is, of course, price. In today’s society, the price of a product or service is a marker that first gives us some indication of its quality. While outrageously high fees can certainly be a limiting factor in the growth of a business, charging ridiculously low fees can also have its drawbacks. Even though lower fees may decrease the barrier to resistance, excessively low fees may counter any initial efforts made to establish the value of your examination and, in the end, may hurt any additional efforts to establish the value of the care offered in your practice. To suggest that it isn’t an important consideration is simply unreasonable.

There are those who will argue that people will only assign value to something AFTER they experience it. If this is true, then why is it that many people aspire to own material items (i.e., a fine Swiss watch) and do things in life (i.e., a trip to Tahiti), without a personal experience from which to base their desires? People from all walks of life, both rich and poor, will pay dearly for items that they perceive to have value, and price is one of the factors that points them in the right direction.

Another significant factor in establishing value well before someone’s personal experience with your practice is the perception that results from the choices you make in marketing your practice. If you are regularly marketing your practice like you’re a carnival barker who’s repeatedly doing a television commercial for a new "magic potion" (that can re-grow your hair, take out the toughest carpet stains, and is always on sale for $19.99), then your actions may also have a negative effect on the perceived value of your services. In the same way that most people don’t expect to find exquisite jewelry at X-mart, many folks might find it hard to believe that there is any intrinsic value to be had from someone who is always using gimmicks, and frequently giving valuable services away for free (or nearly free).

When you market your services like the guy who runs the local pizza joint ("Buy one large pizza and get two more medium-sized pizzas absolutely free!"), you risk the possibility of prospective patients having difficulties swallowing your "cheesy" offer in the same mouthful that you’re asking them to swallow the idea that you are a doctor who is asking for their consideration in correcting conditions associated with the human nervous system. Some folks won’t have a problem swallowing all of that in one gulp. Those will be the patients who show up at your front door. Unfortunately, you won’t even have a clue about the rest of the folks who saw your offer, got nauseous, and ran in the opposite direction. Perhaps they didn’t see the value of your offer or care because of how it was presented?

Value is also a byproduct of the entire interactive experience between the patient and the practice. The intrinsic value that stems from a patient’s experience with the doctor(s), staff, practice environment, patient education process, and supplementary products/services, should demonstrate that being a patient in your practice is rewarding on every level. In short, exceeding on every level of your interaction with your patients should have them walking away feeling under-promised and over-delivered rather than over-promised and under-delivered.

 

Dr. Marc Swerdlick is a 1998 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, a well-known speaker, and the president of both S Group Inc. and PracticeCentral.com—Chicago-based companies that deliver marketing strategies to health and wellness professionals, as well as to organizations and corporations outside the health and wellness arena. Dr. Swerdlick currently offers his Pre-Sale Strategy, New Patient Acquisition, and Patient Reinforcement Seminars to chiropractors in conjunction with Integrity Strategies LLC. For more detailed information on these seminars, contact Integrity Strategies by going to www.integritystrategies.com or by calling 1-608-865-0466.

 
How to Systematize Your Staff
Practice Management
Written by Dr. Richard E. Busch, III, D.C.   
Tuesday, 29 January 2008 16:23

Whether you are a seasoned veteran doctor or just setting up shop, one thing is certain: you didn’t spend all those years in school to do administrative and office work. That is why you have a support team. You should be the doctor—free to practice and not tied up in the details. Where do you start, what do you do, are things going the way you want and where do you go from here? It is simple; you need a "system," a system that trains you and your staff so well that you can step out of the daily trenches and really function as the doctor.

A definition of system is a well-ordered arrangement of disciplined actions to be taken. The result of a system is to allow areas of your business to operate with predictability and accountability with minimal involvement on your part. Systems can be established which benefit all areas of your business.

None of this needs to be overwhelming; just take it a step at a time. Ask your employees to help. Don’t assume that your employees automatically know what to do; communicate and let them know what you want and why! First, observe and record how your office runs on a typical day. Examine each specific step of the day and look closely at what happens. Note what you like and what you don’t like. Is there a logical and predictable sequence of events for everything from the incoming telephone call to the end of day duties?

Here’s an example of a simple task, yet a vital part of the system: The telephone call—the critical first impression of your office.

• One employee should be designated to answer the telephone first and then a second employee would answer when the first is not available, and within a specified number of rings—the domino effect.

• Each employee is to answer in exactly the same way, for example, "Good Morning, Busch Chiropractic. This is Ashley. How may I direct your call?"

• Decide which employee will always take a new patient’s telephone call, and then the next employee to take the new patient call. Establish an order of employees who can accept a new patient call. You may go as far as to decide which employees will never take a new patient call—the first impression of your office.

• Have a list of questions, so that you can consistently retrieve information that you would like to know about the new patient.

• Get control of the call and incorporate objections and the answers in your initial presentation to the new patient.

• Decide how thoroughly you wish your own incoming telephone calls to be screened.

• Create steps to properly record any telephone message, and what happens to the message. Post-It notes and scraps of paper can get lost, thrown away or buried under files. Have a message recorded on a carbonless message pad or forms which always includes date, time and who took the message.

• For existing patients, create a form titled "Patient Messages." Use an 8½ x 11 inch paper and then transfer any details about the patient. Paper is cheap! Make a copy for the doctor and place a copy in the patient’s chart. These can hold vital information that could help you in any future matters.

Here is an example of an intangible point that has a tremendous impact. Think about all of the great service you have received in your life. Perhaps it hasn’t been often. Regardless of where you were: whether it was a local diner or a five-star restaurant, if they provided great food and great service without your asking, you will remember this. You would wish to return and you would definitely recommend it to friends. Great service is what keeps people coming back, sometimes taking priority over the cost of the product or service. Quality and service is remembered long after price.

You want to be the clinic they come back to and recommend to their family, friends and neighbors. Train your people to deliver world-class customer service within the system. Tell your employees exactly the attitudes you require to be exhibited, as they are a direct reflection of you. Patients go where they are wanted and stay where they are appreciated. Attitudes of employees are based on the attitudes you create. This will create more patient referrals and recommendations to new patients. And, if you and your staff have exacting methods, procedures and scripting, the patient’s confidence will be at its highest before care even begins. This is all part of a system.

The goal is to identify and record every detail of every step of every process in your office. A procedure will be created and documented for everything from "Answering the telephones" to "What to do if …. " Every situation will have a specific action and/or response to be taken.

Your staff can learn how to create an appropriate barrier between the doctor and patient for situations that the doctor should never handle and always defer to the staff. This will eliminate the number of "got a second" and "what about this" questions from both the staff and the patient. This will make your office smooth, sophisticated and avoid outwardly awkward moments.

 

Here are some examples of patients’ concerns that will be overcome by the preparedness of the employees, and this is an important part of a system: You train your staff and you defer to your staff, and never outwardly become involved with the financial end and details such as the following of your patients’ care.

• Why don’t you participate in an insurance network?

• Why do I have to pay for my care?

• Why won’t you file my insurance?

• Do you discount your fees for cash payments?

• Will Medicare pay for it?

• What if it doesn’t work? Is there a guarantee?

• I want to pick up my X-rays now.

• I want an appointment today.

• I missed my appointment this morning; can I come in this afternoon?

• I don’t want X-rays taken because Dr. So-and-So never did.

• Dr. X didn’t do it that way.

You begin to create a blueprint and, once this is completed, it will be used by anyone that works for you. You record everything that you and your staff actually say and do daily. Once your processes/procedures/protocols and scripts are set, they should be recorded in training manual form. Things that will be covered are anything from the "new patient" first phone call and all the information you wish to provide to the patient and also retrieve from the patient, to the way a patient is processed, consulted, examined, reported and all the financial data. Well-trained, systematized employees will take a significant part of the work away from the doctor and establish the highest level of confidence in the patient. These employees will become a vital part of your improved stats, and will become an important role in the new patient inquiries, report of findings, patient conversion statistics, and patient success stories.

When portions of your system are documented, test the processes, rehearse and role-play. Run the business exactly as you have written it down. When you are done, don’t change a thing. Don’t allow an employee to change a thing! Remember, the employee should be able to read, learn the steps and follow them. You can ask for feedback, see if corrections need to be made, and then let go—trust your employees and trust your system.

Your staff must have the desire and discipline to follow the blueprint, but also have freedom and authority to act if there is an exception which needs to be made. Anticipate the unexpected and have generic responses in place. When this is done, there will be no doubt or hesitancy of what is the proper process and protocol of the office, and most situations will be dealt with immediately and correctly! Bear in mind, there might be periods of time when one or more support team members are absent for whatever reason. Cross-training should be a key part to your system. There should be the trained utility workers, those who know all aspects of your office tasks (scheduling, answering phones, faxing, filing, etc.) so that, even when someone is absent, your business flow is never interrupted.

Your office technology, accounting, finance, HR, technology support, administration should be part of the process. All of these departments should be defined and assigned. There are many back office duties that need to be entirely segregated from daily staff and could be economically outsourced. Delegating tasks that do not pertain to what you do as a doctor will help you become more focused and effective; although, you still need to be reported to and you must have a set of checks and balances.

Now that you have given your staff a blueprint for the system and you have clarified and communicated exactly what you expect—step away from the trenches and enjoy being the doctor with total practice freedom.

 

Dr. Richard E. Busch III, President and Co-founder of Freedom Awaits™, has what may be considered one the largest axial decompression/chiropractic cash clinics, Busch Chiropractic Center, in the United States, and may be reached at 1-866-662-BACK (2225) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by visiting www.freedomawaits.com.

 
Unintended Marketing
Practice Management
Written by Marc Swerdlick, D.C.   
Tuesday, 29 January 2008 16:20

It is said that albert einstein had a sign hanging in his office at Princeton University that read, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." The point that I want to take from that quote is that there are some not-so-pretty byproducts from marketing a chiropractic clinic that certainly count, but are often overlooked simply because they can’t be counted.

At one point or another, many of the tactics that chiropractors utilize in acquiring new patients usually involve something for free or something that is drastically discounted (i.e., a $17 exam). The name commonly referenced for this style of practice building is back-end selling. A back-end approach attempts to attract patients with "an irresistible offer," and then demonstrates a need for chiropractic care on "the back-end." In addition to free exams, free massages, and free dinners, a back-end approach also involves a number of other measures that are designed to get prospective patients to commit to care (often in reciprocity for the chiropractor’s very generous initial free/discounted offer).

Chiropractic is certainly not the only profession to utilize back-end selling; however, it is a profession that (unfortunately) most people consider when someone’s in pain. The idea of visiting a chiropractor as a means to prevent a departure from optimal spinal health is still far from the norm. While a number of chiropractors have done well with back-end selling, there is the potential for unpleasant and often hidden side effects from using some of these tactics and gimmicks: This is what I call Unintended Marketing.

In short, Unintended Marketing is that which occurs when someone perceives your "offer" (free exam, free massage, etc.) as being unprofessional and not dignified of a doctor. Because chiropractors are only able to measure the patients that DO respond to their offers, it becomes impossible to actually measure the potential side effects that may result from their actions. In fact, those who even raise the issue and suggest that a Doctor of Chiropractic may be repelling more prospective patients than he/she is attracting, are often met with more than just a dirty look.

Although Unintended Marketing goes virtually uncounted, the fact of the matter is that it still counts. Even without having hundreds of focus groups that could potentially legitimize the damaging effects of back-end tactics, it’s not that implausible to consider that there are people that are left with a bad taste in their mouth when they see an offer for a free exam, a free massage/free exam combo, a free dinner, and, yes, even a free DVD player. Is it that much of a stretch to understand that some people may not take to a DC who markets his/her services like it was a timeshare? Is it so difficult to think that someone, somewhere may be saying to himself or herself, "I’m not going to a doctor that puts such little value on his service that he gives it away for free"? Again, for the point of this article, I am not concerned about what takes place in other professions. And please understand that I am not rendering judgment. I am simply pointing out something that may be worth your consideration.

Back-end sales tactics often make up the arsenal of new patient acquisition tools utilized by many practice management consultants for the very simple reason that they work. Having said that, it’s important to realize that the success of these tactics is often measured in comparison to the expected results from a direct-mail campaign (about 1%). What’s counted is the number of those who responded to the offer (i.e., a $277.77 complete chiropractic examination for just $17.00). Remembering that "not everything that can be counted counts," it would stand to reason that there is the potential for the offer to have the opposite of the desired effect. The potential unintended side effect of a doctor offering a complete chiropractic examination at a whopping 93% discount could be that some folks walk away with a low opinion of that doctor and the results from that exam.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are other professions that offer freebies. However, the difference between dentistry, for example, and chiropractic is that most people accept regular dental care as part of their definition of prevention. Currently, the same cannot be said for chiropractic.

The main point is that, as a profession, we might want to examine how we market to the public-at-large. I’m not suggesting that back-end sales tactics aren’t effective. Rather, I am simply throwing out the possibility that it may be worth our consideration to take a look at how we present the benefit of our service to those that may be unaware of what chiropractic has to offer, and to those who may have a lesser opinion of chiropractic as a result of outside influences.

 

Dr. Marc Swerdlick is a 1998 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, a well-known speaker, and the president of both S Group Inc. and PracticeCentral.com—Chicago-based companies that deliver marketing strategies to health and wellness professionals, as well as to organizations and corporations outside the health and wellness arena. Dr. Swerdlick currently offers his Pre-Sale Strategy, New Patient Acquisition, and Patient Reinforcement Seminars to chiropractors in conjunction with Integrity Strategies LLC. For more detailed information on these seminars, contact Integrity Strategies by going to www.integritystrategies.com or by calling 1-608-865-0466.

 
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