Your Brochure Rack

Does Your Brochure Rack Rock?

brochure-rack.jpgIf your brochure rack is a dust collector or merely a neglected wall decoration, it’s time to put it to work and grow your practice!

Waiting for patients to take your brochures is the first mistake. Drug manufacturers shamelessly promote their wares by interrupting your patient’s favorite TV program, yet you’re somehow afraid to hand a brochure to a delighted patient to give to someone else?

Sure, some of your brochures will be discarded in the back seat, thrown away or somehow “wasted.” Constrained by predicting whether a brochure will reach its intended target or not keeps your message safely intact, but limited to the interior of your practice.

Even more significant is the mistaken notion that handing a patient a brochure is somehow self-serving; that it will benefit you more than the patient’s spouse or friend. This is a clear sign that you’ve made practice about you, rather than serving the needs of patients. (This belief is probably tainting other aspects of your patient relationships as well.)

At the root, each of these is bound in an irrational, emotionally-charged concern, handcuffing many from spreading the word, enlarging their practice and helping more people.

How do you remove these barriers? Here are some suggestions:

1. Practice.

Devote a couple of staff meetings to rehearsing the act of approaching the brochure rack, speaking, reaching for a particular brochure and handing it to a patient. Role play.

“We’re focusing on helping people (reach) with headaches this week. Do you know anyone (hand) who gets headaches? Maybe this will encourage them to seek a natural solution.”

“Chiropractic is still the best kept secret in health care (reach). And we have a few more openings for new patients. Will you help us (hand) help others?

Whether you use these words or your own, practice the reach and the hand off. Get it into your muscle so it feels natural. Visualize the brochure reaching a nonpatient who could be helped with chiropractic care as you rehearse. Think of your brochures as creating a reminder for patients to tell others about their experience. Think of your brochures as giving your patient’s testimonials more horsepower.

2. Do the math.

While many offices contemplate massive advertising campaigns, plan practice promotions or conduct screenings, they overlook the easiest, most affordable arsenal of all: their brochure rack. It may not be as glamorous and it may not be as high profile as sponsoring the annual community 10K Fun Run, but it’s considerably more affordable and effective.

Compute the value of your brochure rack. Count the number of brochures you have stored on the wall. At 30¢ to 50¢ each, how much money do you have tied up in colored paper? A whopping $50 maybe $100? If you’re sitting on a couple hundred brochures, even the most pessimistic practitioner can imagine that handing them out would produce a new patient or two. That’s a huge return on your investment! But first you'll want to...

3. De-emotionalize your brochures.

You’re not self-conscious when you give your care recommendations at the report. You don’t feel it’s self-serving to adjust a patient. And it’s unlikely that suggesting home care procedures that enhance their recovery, making chiropractic (and you) look good, produce even a whiff of awkward self-promotion. But hand patients a brochure and it’s as if you’ve turned into a selfish new patient whore!

First, realize that most patients, after experiencing such great results in your office, deeply want others in their lives to experience the same thing. Yet, most patients, even those who enjoy extraordinary results, find it difficult to win over a skeptic. Equipping them with a brochure can actually solve a big problem for them.

Second, unable to adequately explain chiropractic to a friend or loved one prevents many from experiencing the deeply satisfying feelings of helping others. In other words, keeping your brochures in their rack, shortchangings patients, forcing them to rely solely on their spoken words to motivate others, making it more difficult for them and decreasing their effectiveness as a referral agent.

4. Love your brochures.

Chances are, you haven’t even read your brochures, or if you did, it was so long ago you’ve forgotten what they say! So go on a field trip to your reception room and see what’s out there. Make sure they reflect your philosophy and properly communicate the tone and aesthetics of your practice.

There are three or four of us who supply chiropractic brochures for the profession. Each, with a different philosophy and visual treatment. If you can’t find brochures that accurately articulate your worldview, then make your own. They may not have the same upscale look, but any shortcoming in that area will be more than made up by your energy and intention attached to each one of them.

If that’s too much work or too metaphysical, you may find this suggestion even further out there: pray over your brochure rack.

“God, I ask that you bless these brochures and see that they get to those who can be refreshed by the messages they contain. Will you anoint them and allow them to be a source of hope for all who receive them? Will you see to it that they inspire those who can be helped to take action and find out more? And if we are chosen to be their servant, will you send us those we can help, and direct elsewhere those whom we cannot? Amen.”

Turns out those who see a lot of new patients, give out a lot of brochures. Ultimately, it’s a numbers game. The more seeds you broadcast, the more likely some will fall on fertile soil. Those that do will produce a 10X, 30X or hundredfold return. Remember, your job isn't to make the seeds grow. Your job is to broadcast the seeds!