By Robert Imbriale,
The Motivational Marketer

People are cutting back. They are spending on things that are of immediate importance and putting off anything they can that is not important for them right now. Unfortunately, that includes a non-essential visit to the Chiropractor.

I’ve been speaking with several Chiropractors about this very real situation, which is causing some DC’s to struggle financially. I believe there are ways to mitigate the effects of a sluggish economy and actually encourage continued patient visits from those patients that might otherwise skip a few appointments while funds are tight.

The difficult part in getting patients back into the office is that many have been conditioned to see their Chiropractic care as vital and necessary only when they are in pain. As a general rule, patients still don’t see their Chiropractic care for what it really is: preventative.

The solutions to this problem are not immediate, but there are things you could initiate today that will result in increased patient return visits. To begin with, you must understand that your patients are typically not as well-versed in the real benefits of regular Chiropractic care as you’d hope they would be. In fact, as you probably know, they tend to schedule appoints only when they are in pain, hoping for a quick-fix solution to their in-the-moment struggle.

This is not their fault! This is what they have been led to believe over the years, and it’s an issue that YOU can overcome with your patients, starting right now.

First, you’ve got to be able to put yourself in your patient’s shoes. You’ve got to see life from their perspective. This is what I call “patient-centered marketing.”

What are they struggling with? Are there some seasonal issues that you know you can help them with that they may not even be aware of?

An example of this is the flu season. Many patients refuse to get flu shots, and tend to go through the flu season hoping they won’t get sick. What solutions can you provide for them to help them make it through the flu season without incident? Do you have a supplement regime to offer?

What you’re looking to do is put forth a message to help them solve a problem that may not yet be affecting them, but may soon be a an issue, by literally packaging what you offer as the solution they are seeking.

Getting your patients to come in more frequently is not rocket science, doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be done with a simple e-mail message, phone call, or mailed letter.

You know why your patients need to keep coming in for care, now all you’ve got to do is CONNECT with them by meeting them where they are and offering them solutions relative to the challenges they are currently facing.

If that sounds like a mouthful, it’s actually much easier than it sounds. Let me give you another example.

Let’s say it’s late in the year, and you know many of your patients will do things counter to what would be in their best interest health-wise. They will be at company parties, they will be eating foods that are rich in white refined sugar, and they will be consuming more alcohol than usual. You now have a fabulous opportunity to demonstrate why skipping a Chiropractic adjustment is simply not a good idea. Their bodies will need more support during these times of increased stress, and abuse.

So you let them know this, then give them YOUR solutions. Invite them to come into your office for a special “Holiday Tune-Up” or “Flu-Prevention visit.

What you’ve done with this approach, although it sounds incredibly simple, is powerfully connected with them right where they are, reminding them that what you do is so much more than simply fix back pain.

Over time, what you’ll have is a patient base that has a better understanding of what you have to offer, and a who will make better use of your services, in good times or bad.

Let your patients know that with increased financial stress, it’s their bodies that bear the brunt of that stress, and now is not the time to be skipping out on their favorite Chiropractor.

You can serve your patients greatly with this approach by both educating them about your true abilities and giving them the added support they need to make it through these tough times.


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    1 Response to "Excuse Me, Have You Seen My Patients?"

    • lisa rea

      I liked your ideas of encouraging health care professionals to expand the streams of business with things like a Holiday Tune Up and Flu-Prevention for increased activity in the office.

      I know several chiropractors that are doing similar things to strengthen their value to the community, as well as, continuing to make a living as money is tighter. People are going to continue to get sick and need care. Many are losing insurance and will need to pay out of pocket. In a sense, this helps natural health care.

      I have talked to several chiropractors lately that have said that if it weren’t for the supplement business they would be out of business or have to find a partner. They are promoting family visits to increase supplement sales.

      If a mother brings all the kids in, for example, for Flu Prevention or something like that, there is a family discount. The idea is to become the family doctor, not just the chiropractor who is thought of only for back adjustments or pain management. By promoting flu season or promoting “Boosting the Immune System” right before a “sugary” holiday like Halloween or Easter you can encourage prevention by keeping everyone in the family well, or at least the kids.

      Now more than ever, families are watching how they spend money and they are making choices about where the value is. They are looking for answers to their health issues and are willing to spend money for supplements to feel good. Parents are looking for answers as how to keep the family well; even more so for their children than themselves. By encouraging family discounts, the parents can stay healthy also and feel good about this expense. They can and are justifying spending with natural health practioners because they will have to spend some money either way if someone in the family gets sick. It will be at the pharmacy with a prescription, over the counter products or supplementation from the health food stores.

      So, becoming the natural family doctor who is trained in wellness becomes a valuable resource to families and is the future.

      Thanks for your post.
      Lisa Rea, N.D.

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