Abstract: One of the most common ways chiropractors sabotage their new patient attractability is to talk themselves about new patients in unhelpful ways. Discover what this negative self-talk is, and replace it with something more resourceful. 3:27
Tags: self-talk, internal dialogue, new patients, chiropractor marketing
Probably little else produces such negative health effects as an unwillingness to forgive others. Our so-called "justified resentments" cause untold suffering. Like drinking poison, hoping it will hurt someone else, our self-righteous indignation does little more than to remind us how powerless we are over others.
This week forgive patients who choose to ignore your recommendations or behave in ways that sabotage their health and longevity.
This week forgive staff members who underperform or reveal their humanity by their limitations or lack of training.
This week forgive family members for their habits, lack of support or the misuse of their power or trust.
This week forgive yourself for falling short of the mark, passing judgment on others and creating, and then drinking, the poison of unforgiveness.
In other words, forgive everyone for everything. Because true success is actually a shedding process, not an acquiring process.
Remember, you can be right, but have an empty reception room. You can be right, but have cancer. You can be right, but push away those who love you. Being right is often the source of divorce, war and untold suffering. Being right must be very important.
I bet you can't remember the last time you were "right." Neither can the patient, staff or spouse who was "wrong." However, they do remember the bad taste it left in their mouth and its accompanying odor of superiority.
Next time, let them be right. (Don't tell them!) Notice what happens. The world doesn't end and what would have been the source of unattractive confrontation passes unfettered by anger or self-inflicted, life-shortening hormonal changes in you.
Imagine an inactive patient telling a friend about you. "You should see Dr. SoAndSo. He's always right!"
I don’t normally cover this sort of thing, but a heads up from Dr. David Boyd brought this video to my attention. Might want to give some thought before you discard that old copy machine if you want to remain compliant with HIPAA regulations!
While you can protect the privacy of your patient’s private information by being more mindful of what happens to the digital copier in your office, who knows how information about you and I is being mishandled by larger businesses who turn in their leased copy machines for a new one every other year!
You cannot have peaks without valleys; crests without troughs.
Yet, many have been convinced that their practice can grow indefinitely. The roller-coaster practice that so many are familiar with is perfectly natural. Winter summer. Inhale exhale. Work rest.
This is different from an underperforming practice. A long down without an up is the marketplace voting with its feet, sharing some feedback about your relevance, value or arrogance. But ups and downs are natural; healthy actually.
So, be careful that you don't let others medicalize it, convincing you to "treat" it with a series of seminars, phone calls, some new gadget or shame-producing comparisons with other chiropractors. Continuous, unbridled growth may occur in a Petri dish or in the body as a deadly cancer, but a bust always follows a boom.
More serious is not having the faith during the troughs to rest, recreate and reinvent yourself for the next mountaintop experience.
The number one chiropractic marketing strategy is to educate patients. Educated patients get well faster, ask better questions, have greater respect for their chiropractor and are more likely to refer others of the same ilk. After almost 30 years of being immersed in the patient education realm, this so obvious I feel a bit self-conscious even writing about it. Yet, most chiropractors rely on the least effective way of educating patients.
I’m NOT talking about which educational videos to use or what chiropractic brochures to hang on the wall! Those are convenient distractions that keep many chiropractors from a far more relevant and productive debate. The fact is, brochures, videos, health care classes and most of the other techniques or procedures for “educating” patients are merely forms of patient “teaching.” (Teaching is outside-in. Education is inside-out.)
After dedicating most of my adult life to patient communications, I only know of three ways to educate patients. Here they are, from least effective to most effective.
Q: “Our new associate doctor and massage therapist have been conducting posture screenings at health fairs. He has them fill out a stress questionaire and asks for their name and email address. The practice management firm that he has recently joined suggests that he call the prospects after the screening to try to schedule them for an appointment. Is that a good approach?”
A: One school of thought is that if prospective patients are willing to divulge their contact details, go for it!
However, a phone call, depending upon how it is made, can come off being somewhat confrontational. If it were me, I’d send a “report” or information about their condition via email or send an Answers brochure with a cover letter via snail mail.
I can imagine how tempting it would be to call a prospective patient and “ask for the order.” But be careful. Depending upon how it is done it can be seen as “undoctorly,” or worse demonstrates a profound mistrust of the prospective patient. I know. Trying to get these sorts of commitments is justified as “being in the patient’s best interest,” but it’s parental, manipulative and often self-serving.
Seems like some chiropractors have taken their practice out of Drive and eased into Neutral. Neutral is where you can rev the engine, make a lot of noise, burn fuel—but not actually go anywhere. Perhaps that’s better than Park, but neither moves your practice forward.
In Dr. Seuss’ amazing book, Oh the Places You Will Go! he describes this as the waiting place:
“…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.”
If you have the unfortunate task of dealing with rush hour traffic, you know how exhausting it can be. Unlike cruising at higher speeds, stop and go traffic requires greater presence and there's more opportunity for mishaps.
Many chiropractors practice this way. Adjusting a patient or two. Then reading a magazine. Adjusting a patient or two. Then surfing the Internet. Adjusting a patient or two. Then doing some paperwork. Adjusting a patient or two. Then returning a phone call. Their day is filled with interruptions and attention stealers, defiling the sacred time with patients.
Cluster book as best you can. Then, during those rhythm-breaking lulls, remain focused by working on your business. Listen back to a recording of your last report of findings. Improve your website. Clean a closet. By staying in the zone, you'll deliver better adjustments and help more people.
If you’ve had your head down helping patients, you may not be aware of a dangerous trend taking place in the United Kingdom. There, under the heavy hand of the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) regulatory body, many chiropractors are discovering that they cannot promote chiropractic for any health problem other than those proven by randomized clinical trials (RCT).
In other words, the fact that subluxated, colicky babies often respond to chiropractic care cannot be mentioned because there aren’t any RCTs of sufficient quality to “prove” that chiropractic care administered to infants with subluxations has any effect. So, ignore the countless personal experiences you and other chiropractors have had with subluxated bedwetters, asthma sufferers, those oppressed with PMS or other conditions. Ignore the firsthand evidence that you’ve experienced with your own eyes and hands. If there’s no RCT to support your experience, you’d better not be mentioning that to patients or posting it on your website!
Apparently, it’s this clarity, made possible by ignoring millions of cases, that makes so-called “evidenced based chiropractic” so safe and appealing.
"I can't pay my bills, but I'm practicing just as I did when I could."
"I'm not making it, but I'm doing it just as I was taught."
The "I-want-success-but-on-my-terms" crowd is quick to reveal that they're doing all the right things—yet it's not working. Oh sure, successful chiropractors do stuff, but what they do is the result of what they believe.
Not: "I need to make more money so I'm going to add this new gadget."
More likely: "I believe my income is proportional to the service I render. Who can I serve that I'm not?"
Even more likely: "Who would I need to be to attract those who can benefit from my unique approach to health?"
Instead of making it about themselves, busy practitioners (or those who want to be) make it about patients or prospective patient. Results are a reflection of your heart and motives, not procedures
Abstract: Our language and choice of words profoundly affects our experience. How you define the services you offer and the words you call your customers (patients) affect your attractability and whether you have a series of short-term relationships or “collect” a tribe of once-a-monthers. 5:29
Tags: language, patients, clients, practice members, suffering, sick care, life care, chiropractic marketing, marketing ideas