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Dear Bill Take It Or Leave It Annual Plans

Q: After years of take-it-or-leave-it-yearly-pre-paid plans I'm starting to let go. I realized that the patients I look forward to seeing the most are the ones that decided on their own to adopt a chiropractic lifestyle despite my best efforts to "keep them on the bus.” Like you predicted in "The Seminar" I have been rewarded with diminished statistical results. I know in my heart that this is the best long-term sustainable route, but I was wondering if you had any knowledge on how long it has taken other offices to rebound to their former (and hopefully greater) glory?

A: Congratulations for acknowledging the practical realities of Samuel Butler’s quote, “A man convinced against his will; is of the same opinion still.”

Recovering your practice will be a function of how much damage has been done. If you’ve been force-feeding annual care plans for a couple of years you may have an equally long period of convalescence. It just depends how many people you’ve alienated by your well-intentioned, but off-putting approach to patient management.

Mostly what this does is reduce reactivations and referrals, the mainstay of a true practice. One doctor I worked with was compelled to send an apology letter to selected inactives, admitting the error of his ways and announcing his new patient-centric approach. Hard to know whether it was sufficient to remove the bitter taste in the patient’s mouth since it didn’t create an immediate flood of reactivations.

If it were me, I’d spend a weekend with the file folders of those you think you’ve offended. Apologize to the folders. Ask for forgiveness. Invite them back. Then forgive yourself, put the past behind you and move on.

Comments (4)

Theresa Galant,DC:

There is an engineering business above my office with about 8 employees who are female like myself and we get along absolutely great!!!
However, when it comes to chiropractic they are not interested. They come to my office when they have a serious pain and that is all. It seems as though they get the big idea, but they do not follow through and they could just come down the steps ( how much more convenient could it be??)for an adjustment at any time.
I just hate having to see them every day and not be able to get through with my message of life and health. I hate to hound them when they made their position obvious, but I feel a responsibility to their better health and function.

WDE: Sounds like it's not a matter of convenience, but of values. You are not responsible for their health and function. You are not even responsible for the health and function of those who are active patients! Honor their free will choice.


Dear Bill,
I have resisted the technology age for years, thinking it had little to do with building my practice. After only a few weeks with a Perfect Patient site, I have noticed better patient retention, increased referrals, and praise of the bi-monthly newsletter. All I can say is thank you! You make it virtually effortless to build a strong web presence.

Dear Bill:

Several months ago, your Perfect Patients web site inspired the California Chiropractic Association to create a stand alone patient education site. Thanks to you and your effective and voluminous content, the 34 million spines in California are a step closer to better health through chiropractic! Thank you for your inspiration!

Bob Wagner:


I did the care plan thing for about 4 years. I stopped 2 years ago and am still not recovered. Shame of it is that Life College has adopted this for their students so it isn't going to disappear very soon. Go back to one visit at a time. No more family must get checked for you to receieve care etc. You will have to give up at least 50% of your volume and that hurts! You'll do well and in the end you will return to being a healer. Stick to the chiropractic and don't be tempted to the other income makers available. You will have a 1 to 1 ratio I believe to rebuild(in years) so stay strong! My life and income changed but at least I'm not damaging chiropractic or my reputation anymore. The sad part is that so many do the same thing with nutrition, force it on people. I'd just start out by maybe offering an apology gift "thanks a latte" or something and go from there. Good luck!

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From September 20, 2007 4:16 PM

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 20, 2007 4:16 PM.

The previous post in this blog was The Buddy Barrier.

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