Thanks to Today's Chiropractic for permission to reproduce this article!
By Dr. Eric Plasker
If theres one thing chiropractors have in common, its their search
for the secret of how to attract and retain a larger share of patients in their
communities. Reaching and attaining your percentage of that market can seem
like a complex number game, but there is one simple and effective way it can
be won, and it starts with a family focus.
Can you imagine the impact it would have on your practice enrollment if instead
of marketing your services to singular patients and their individual health
problems, you began to focus your efforts on educating and enlisting entire
families into a chiropractic wellness model that mirrors your own lifestyle?
You will be amazed at how quickly your bottom line will flourish and the positive
impact you can have on the health of your community when you create a family-focused
practice. In fact, chiropractors from every political affiliation and practice
orientation from rehab to PI and workmans compensation are adding a family
base to their practices because they know it will create a foundation for continuous
growth. They have discovered that the secret to building their dream practice
and serving their community lies not in limiting their scope and focus to treating
one particular type of condition or symptom (such as back pain) but in implementing
marketing and office systems that will appeal to multiple generations by meeting
the needs of everyone, not just one family member who happens to be in pain.
Isnt it true that you would never think of allowing your own family members
to go through life without regularly checking them for subluxations? So, lets
begin operating our own practices and profession in the same way that we live
and participate in chiropractic in our personal lives because its this
kind of congruency that is so important to your success!
You can start the process of aligning your practice with your personal beliefs
by conducting an honest evaluation of your current systems. When you do this,
you may discover that one of the reasons why you havent been attracting
families to your practice in the first place is because you arent truly
family-oriented in your philosophy. In fact, what may be closer
to the truth is that you are running a families as an after-thought
practice where multiple members are coming onboard purely by chance.
To truly maximize your scope and reach in your community, make sure that families
form the foundation of all of your thoughts, practice systems and procedures.
Its a subtle change in orientation and operations that can bring huge
returns- one that focuses on the family instead of the individual. One of the
greatest benefits that you will experience is the enormous satisfaction of becoming
the family doctor for your patients and making a huge difference
in the quality of their lives. Utilize the following simple steps to support
you in establishing a families first practice:
Adopt a Families First Consciousness When you communicate the benefits of
chiropractic to your patients, speak to them as if they were one of your
own family members. Share with them the reasons why and ways in which you
and your family members participate in chiropracticas a lifetime healthcare
choice instead of just a quick fix for fatigued or aching muscles,
joint or nerve problems.
Shift the focus of your communications away from presenting chiropractic
as an effective treatment for alleviating unwanted symptoms toward its proactive
role in preventing injury and supporting health goals by boosting the bodys
immune system and natural ability to heal itself.
Make this kind of dialogue (about the positive impact chiropractic can have
on their health and well-being over a lifetime) a daily part of your discourse
during your Report of Findings, health talks and lectures. Explain to your
patients how chiropractic can benefit them (and each generation of their
family) through every stage of growth and development, and you will attract
patients who will make a commitment to chiropractic and to you over a lifetime.
Institute a Family Appointment System You can enroll your staff and patients in the
families first mentality with a few simple questions. When a
patient calls your office, always instruct your front desk staff to ask,
Are you interested in booking an individual or a family appointment?
Then have them ask, Is this appointment for treatment of a specific
health problem or for general wellness? When you ask these types of
pointed questions, you will instantly convey to your patients the broad
scope of your services and the various levels at which they can participate
in chiropractic care in your office. Remember, dont schedule appointments
for family members at different times of the day or week. Put them all on
the same day, back-to-back. The beauty of scheduling whole families in one
time slot is that you can double or even quadruple your capacity with little
more effort than you would expend on one patient. When they arrive, escort
them to the adjusting area altogether instead of one at a time.
Arrange Your Office Flow for Families Do an assessment of your daily visit procedures.
Are your current systems structured with the goal of serving one person
at a time or do you need to alter them to cater to multiple patients? Is
your adjustment area large enough to accommodate a whole family? Do you
have adjusting tables sized for both children and adults? If not, make sure
that you build an office area that is customized for families and when you
do adjust, have all of the family members lying face down, relaxed and ready
to go as they wait for their turn. Some simple office flow modifications
can go a long way without you having to invest in any major construction
projects or cost.
Offer Family-Oriented Fee Systems Remember, you should always implement internal family-oriented
efficiency systems first before you adopt a family fee system. Once you
establish efficient office procedures for families, it should take you the
same amount of time to adjust a family of four as it does just two people.
If however, you discover that you are not able to adjust multiple family
members in this time frame, do not proceed with implementing a family fee
Make sure that the family is set-up in your computer system under one account,
so that checking in and out will be effortless. Once you become efficient
in both your family-oriented adjustment procedures and financial structure,
your practice income will soar as your cost per visit drops.
Fashion Your Marketing Messages For Families Many
chiropractors mistakenly choose marketing materials that focus on how chiropractic
can provide relief for an assortment of symptoms and unconsciously limit
their patient base to the individuals who have these ailments.
When selecting your marketing strategy, remember that the type of patient you
attract is going to mirror the message that is in your print or broadcast material.
Warm up your marketing with messages that talk about health and wellness instead
of sickness and symptoms. If your marketing uses verbiage about car wrecks and
whiplash, you are going to attract people who have this history (and who will
be history in only 3 to 10 office visits) after their symptoms subside. However,
if your marketing emphasizes wellness and the long term positive impact chiropractic
can have on health throughout every stage of growth and development, then you
will start attracting entire families who are willing to commit to chiropractic,
you and your practice over a lifetime.
And finally, label your care plans as family wellness or active
life plans in support of this modern wellness philosophy. Have photos
of families hanging in your office and a display board showcasing family-oriented
success stories that will motivate and inspire your new and potential patients
with the message that chiropractic is indeed a family affair.
Remember, there has never been a better time for the chiropractic profession
to impact our nations health and welfare than today. Use some of these
strategies and systems to build a first-class family practice, and soar into
abundance as you spread health and wellness in your community.
Dr. Eric Plasker is a licensed chiropractor and the founder of The Family
Practice, a chiropractic coaching and training organization providing all the
systems, tools and support to build a highly successful and profitable family
practice. For more information call The Family Practice toll-free at (866) LEAD-DCS
(532-3327), ext. 118, or visit thefamilypractice.net.
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