Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Features Business Management
Simple Solutions for Success


October 27, 2011
By Barbara Eaton DC

Topics

“He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and, therefore, will never make any progress.”

“He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and, therefore, will never make any progress.”

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We often get off on the “wrong foot” in our marketing and relationships with practice members (PMs) because our target is off. To ensure that we’re meeting our PMs where they are and giving them a bigger vision than the one they currently hold for themselves, it’s imperative that we keep our eyes focused on the goal to provide value as our PMs define value, and to consistently strive to ensure they’re satisfied with our relationship and their care.

Their satisfaction may mean that they utilize chiropractic care for natural pain relief. Is that the best use of chiropractic care? No. However, it is a use. Does that mean we should fail to share with them articles and testimonials, or to invite them to workshops, or to engage them in “white board topics,” etc.? No way, because these actions are directed through our systems, and our systems demand our execution of such tasks and are not subject to our discretion or emotions. They’re systems and our success is in the systems.

How do we ensure that we know what our PMs value, thus guaranteeing that they’ll stay, pay and refer? In this article, I will outline 10 “retention factors.” that are geared to also ensuring our PMs achieve what they value through our relationship with them. These factors will encompass the systems that will help you to educate your PMs, and build relationships with them that will add up to long-term retention as well as new PMs coming your way.

IT’S ALL ABOUT COMMUNICATION
Ask them what you want to know! The best gurus for your business are not on the stage. They’re lying on your tables. They will tell you how to serve them. Will you be quiet long enough to ask and listen?

A solid relationship with our PMs begins with a very probing consultation that includes asking them what their expectations are of you as their chiropractor, while uncovering how they want to live their lives. It’s also most effective to ask new practice members (NPMs) during their consultation what they think it’s going to take in terms of frequency of care to achieve their goals, then once they’re living their ideal lifestyle, what they think it’s going to take to keep living that way. This is “retention factor number 1.”

Factor number 2 is to engage PMs daily in conversations designed to uncover their values and reveal their paradigm about all matters concerning life. My experience proves that the easiest and most effective way to do this is through stimulating white board topics, which I have been offering to the profession since 1999. Ask them to address questions: “What do you value the most about our relationship and your care?” or “What keeps you coming back?” or “What is your favourite benefit of regular chiropractic care?”

In the nervous system, optimum communication yields health in the human body and the same is true in the chiropractic office. If your practice seems to be consistently “stuck” and underperforming, the cause is likely found in your communication! “My schedule is booked solid, my event show rate is 100 per cent, and it’s all because I’ve changed my communication,” says Dr. Maddy Perry, after she’d employed interactive communication as a system within her practice.
 
THE POWER OF TESTIMONIALS
The third factor is contained in the systems established to gather testimonials.

I recommend establishing three set systems to request written testimonials from members, namely, visits eight, 20 and 35. I would subject these systems for gathering testimonials to 13 effective leverages. It is not within the scope of this article to outline these, but my point is that I feel this is important enough to require a rigorously designed, and upheld, protocol. Why? Testimonials are our greatest source of believability and the most effective marketing message you can ever use. Not to mention, when you use a PM’s testimonial you are placing them on a pedestal as the face of health and well-being. They love it!

ENGAGE PMs IN REFERRALS
The fourth factor to ensure your PMs are satisfied and are deriving value (all leading to retention) is to first teach them how to refer and then ask them to refer. Asking for referrals is an act of love and kindness because, when an individual is surrounded by healthy, happy, optimistic people, their health quotient rises and their well-being is improved. It’s simply a matter of quantum physics.

I have devised eight daily systems to stimulate referrals, thus yielding a consistent stream of NPMs from within.

EDUCATION – KEEP IT SIMPLE, RELEVANT AND CLEAN
The fifth factor to ensure your PMs are satisfied and raving about you is to provide excellent and simple education. Remember the formula Education + Relationship = Retention.

Most education efforts fail because of one or both of the following factors:

  • As chiropractors, we are really good at making others wrong and ourselves right. Have you noticed? The problem with this mindset is . . . you’re right and standing all alone. Proving others wrong never makes them take steps closer to you.
  • A common reason education fails is that we often have “diarrhea of the mouth.” Our audience – whether an audience of one or 10,000 – is secretly wondering how they can hit our “off” button.

The solution is to work to share three statements – and then ask a question to ensure that your audience remains engaged with you.

ASK AND YE SHALL FIND OUT WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW!
The sixth retention factor stems from the fact that we fail to ask questions to reveal our audience’s paradigm regarding a given topic. If we randomly offer them concepts, they have nothing to anchor the new information to: they don’t know where to place it in their memory bank, and so, it’s quickly deleted. Then, when individuals don’t track with us or follow our recommendations, we as chiropractors bash them, saying, “They just don’t ‘get it’!” Of course they don’t “get it,” because you didn’t get them first and thus you didn’t help them to establish the proper place to download your new information.

SOMETIMES, CURIOSITY DOESN’T KILL THE CAT
The previous section leads us to retention factor number 7, which is that we must focus on being interested over being interesting. Be completely curious about your audience – who they are, what they think, what they know, how they operate, and what they want. Remember, they already have the answers to the solutions you seek for them to stay, pay and refer.

IT’S ALL IN YOUR SYSTEMS!
The final factor is simple but embodies the previous nine – you must have a system for education! Your system may include a weekly health talk, newsletters, specialty workshops, white board topics, articles, testimonials, videos, books and a plethora of other tools.

The point is clear: you must have a system that is mapped out and then choose discipline over regret as your means of implementation.

Chiropractic success is easy and friction-free once you find the tools that are a fit for you, then take action consistently and unhook from the results. Execute your systems in the same way so that you can measure their effectiveness to determine if they’re working for you or not.

Success is within your grasp. The doors of abundant opportunity are swinging wide open in front of you. Will you commit to mastering the systems for a highly profitable, fun, and retention-strong practice?


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