|New Chiropractic Practitioners Guide
By Sharon Gorman, D.C.
How do you get the patients through the door after you open the door? That is the question. I could write volumes on it yet here are some quick ideas to get you started.
The Old Fashion Way
Make believe you are running for office. Shake hands, HAND OUT CARDS. Go where people are and meet and introduce yourself. Not everyone knows that they need a Chiropractor so the more people you meet the more of a pool of future patients you create. Get involved. If you have time become a volunteer. Make sure you don't get too involved and take your focus off of your practice. Remember whatever you focus on will grow.
Hand Out A Gift
I got this idea from a local bakery. They sent someone walking around town giving them a nicely wrapped plate of cookies to all the local merchants. My variation. We ordered mints and on the wrappers we put our phone number and wrote Adjust-mints on the wrapper. (There is actually a company that sells them). We bought plastic bowls and filled the bowl, wrapped it in pretty cellophane and a ribbon and gave the merchants free Adjust-mints. We are looking for any reason to get out and meet people.
Grand Opening Party
The more noise you can make the better. We had a local band come and play. We had a barbecue going and had rented a tent with chairs and tables. I had another Chiropractor as my guest speaker and advertised that too. We even had a watermelon eating contest. I handed out literally 100's of flyers. I gave one to everyone I came into contact with.
Very costly, I got one bit of advise about advertising. Don't bother unless you use your picture or your staff's picture or your families picture. You want to connect with them. A picture is worth a thousand words.
When I first opened my practice (almost 20 years ago), I found advertising to be effective. Now I find the best way to get new patients is to get out and meet them. Our best screening each year is at the local country fair. We have screened everywhere from health fairs to business expo's to malls to flea markets. We have also in more recent years been welcomed at running races and walk-a-thons. In this electronic era we live in nothing touches people like someone who touches people. A handshake or a kind word goes a long, long way.
Each month we create a calendar on our computer. We put our hours on there and note if there will be any change. We put on any in office events that are going on. We mention any activities that we are participating in outside of the office. It keeps the patients connected. We send it out to our e-mail list and hand it out over the counter. We don't mail it at all. On the back of the calendar we write a short newsletter. I write a short article and we put a blurb about anything special going on in the office, a new baby born, an in office contest or even a Thank You list for bringing in a Holiday gift etc. On this and all of your correspondences with the patients make sure you include your name, phone numbers, e-mail address and web site address. I know this sounds like common sense but you can't believe how many times these things are forgotten.
This has become my favorite way to communicate with the patients. I usually keep the mails very short and limit them to about 2 a month. I remind patients when I will be closed. I remind them of an Open House. I stay connected. I started with my active patients and I never take anyone off unless they ask to be removed and that has only happened 1 time. Ask them to check out your web site and encourage them to ask their friends to do the same.
My best advise about getting into places to do talks or screenings for that matter is to utilize your best resource. Talk to your current patients or if you are just starting then talk to anyone. Ask them to help you out. Ask them what clubs, organizations or Church groups that they belong to. Ask them if they can bring you to a meeting or if you can possibly come to speak. What do they say, "it's not what you know, it is who you know." Make it your business to know people. Once they like you and like what you are doing then put them on your practice building team. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most people will be flattered that you respect their opinion and will welcome the opportunity to help you.
Make The Connection
Remember eye contact. People connect to you a lot faster when they are talking then when they are listening. Become a good listener. There are two ways to build any kind of business. You can build from attraction or promotion. Some promotions were listed above. Become attractive. People will want to be around you when you want to be around yourself. People will also want to be around you if you got what they want. Be an example. Let them feel that spark inside of you. Be super friendly, be super loving. Step out of your comfort zone and be there to supply their needs. Always remember that we are in a service business. Serve. One other note. Don't waste any time wondering why things aren't necessarily turning out exactly the way you think they should. You know what I've heard said: "Expectations are pre-meditated resentments." Be too busy serving to get stuck in expectations. The time you spend "worrying" takes away the time and energy you can be using on growing your practice.
Don't Get Bored
I shared a few ideas with you today but I'll tell you now that 6 months from now I will be using some different ideas. If I believe that some PR idea I have will work then it usually will. If I don't think it will work then it definitely won't. Even the best ideas I've had have worn thin after a while. Sometimes I won't do something anymore and then after a while it sounds like a great idea again and then it works again. I have a planning session with my staff every three months and we make out a plan that way the practice's growth is less dependent on my mood. If it is already decided and planned then the chances of me following through are much greater. By bringing my staff into these planning sessions then I am creating a team with my staff. We create a common vision and plan. That works.
Stay Around The Winners
If you want to be more successful then hang out with people who are more successful than you. It is crucial that you create a support system of people who are doing what you are doing. The most important part of staying successful is having people in your life that are also committed to being successful. Come join us at the CHIROPRACTIC FELLOWSHIP OF PENNSYLVANIA. Be part of a group that is dedicated to bring Chiropractic to the world.
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Ron & Sharon Gorman Presents Our 2nd Focus Chiropractic Retreat
When: Thursday, March 18th at 7 P.M. until Sunday, March 21st at 12 P.M.
Where: The Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, Florida
For more information call me direct at: 570.350.4091
Speakers include... Drs. Charisse Huston, Michael O'Halleran, Paula Hedgelon, Peter Lawrence, John Mediera, Lou Panuccio, Nicole Poirier, Chuck Ribley, Pennie Schwartz, Marilyn Shore, Chriss Sigafoose, Diane Tellier and a special 3 hour session with Dr. Ginger Grancagnolo Ed.D. Silva Method Instructor and author of the book WHO WOULD I BE IF I WEREN'T SO AFRAID?
The Alumni and friends of Life University have been participating on a weekly conference call. The purpose of the calls are to support the school. The emphasis thus far has been on recruiting efforts. The calls have been awesome. It feels so good to see what we can put together when we get our minds together. The last call had over 100 people on it. Many of the top administrators and Board members have been on the call to brainstorm and answer questions. The next call is Tuesday January 13th at 10:00 pm Eastern time, 7:00 pm Pacific time.
I will be on the road the next month representing Life University and I hope to see you. If I don't know you make sure you say hello. If you know of anyone that isn't included on this list and would like to be, pass on my e-mail address. This list increases each week and as you know I haven't ever abused it in any way.