You probably get them too. “Double Your Practice in 60 Days!” and “Boot Camp for Marketing Dummies” and similar email subject lines. My first reaction has been derision. But then it occurred to me. These sorts of marketing overtures must actually work or they wouldn’t appear in my inbox. Somebody must be responding to them to prompt their continued presence in my inbox! Who?
That got me to thinking. Perhaps this get-rich-quick-shortcut-to-success mentality is what constitutes a majority of the chiropractic profession! Silly me, taking the high road, thinking that chiropractic was about service, value and a natural solution to the symptom suppression of drugs or the maiming by irreversible surgery! Shame on me. How could I have not seen it all these years? Was I that blind?
By now, most people are no longer looking for the Philosopher’s Stone, which by merely touching it to base metals, would turn them into gold. And certainly most have given up on finding the Fountain of Youth celebrated by Ponce de Leon. (Especially since we now know that beauty actually emanates from the inside out!) And certainly by now, virtually every chiropractor has attended enough “success” seminars to know that there are no shortcuts to success. Right? So why are chiropractic marketers, whether selling decompression units or hawking management programs, so inclined to fashion their overtures to appeal to the least discerning?
They must work.
I know. I’m not exactly thrilled by this observation, but the truth is, if the seduction represented by these types of subject lines didn’t work, they wouldn’t be used.
It reminds me of the wisdom shared by Greg Stanley so many years ago concerning the writing of a help wanted ad for a new front desk assistant. While conventional thinking would suggest an ad something like this:
Front desk assistant needed for growing chiropractic practice. Change the world by and make a difference in the lives of hundreds. Flexible hours. Great working conditions. Complementary care. Call 555-1212.
Back in the day, Greg would have wisely suggested something quite different. Perhaps not these actual words, but you’ll get the idea:
Front desk receptionist needed for brutal, task master chiropractor. If you love long hours, low pay, exacting standards and occasional glimpses of maybe making a difference, call for an interview. 555-1212.
His point? Most chiropractors sugarcoat things so much that they attract someone ill suited to the job. Could that be what’s at work with these cheesy subject lines for the latest gimmick or shortcut to practice nirvana?
I hope not. What I’ve learned in the 56 years I’ve been on this third rock from the sun you call earth, can be summed up in three simple steps:
1. There are no shortcuts to success.
2. What looks like a shortcut was a temporary aberration.
3. See point number one above.
Grasshopper, if you’re one of those still searching for an insider’s secret to success who thinks you can (for 12 monthly payments of $495) buy your way into the long-lasting inner circle of true success, you still have much to learn.
Thankfully, success is ALWAYS who you are, not what you do, what you can buy and certainly not associated with some “limited time offer.” The hard yards required to grow you as you is what patients really want and actually find attractive, influential and inspirational. The buy-this-and success-will-be-yours shortcuts? They attract the most easily deceived, wayward patient. Is that who you want to surround yourself with all day long?
Well is it?
Work on you. Clarify and distill you. Know you. Fail. Succeed. Know what is so. And what isn’t. This is what patients really want. I promise.