If you’ve ever wanted to attract more new patients, keep them longer, convert more patients to maintenance care, grow your practice independent of insurance and have fun doing it your way, this is the post for you.
To achieve all of this (and more), you’ve got one thing to work on: your weirdness. Stated perhaps more positively, it’s your uniqueness (or lack of it) that is holding you back and is the key to your bright future.
The Chiropractic Coma and Financial Freeze
Most patients that enter our offices are lulled into the chiropractic coma either immediately or slowly over time.
If you don’t ever seem to have enough New Patients or can’t effectively convert them to paying customers, your coma-inducing potential is unusually quick and powerful – and needs to be stopped quickly.
If you can bypass the new patient problem, but have challenges keeping patients on a long term basis or converting more of your practice towards maintenance care, you are slowly lulling your patients to sleep – and you need to stop this too.
If you have patients excited to start care and then they experience a sudden financial freeze which renders them unable to pay for their care (or to assemble any number of stall tactic excuses), you have a similarly related serious problem on your hands too.
3 Symptoms, One Cause
Despite the varied appearance of these three symptoms, they all have the same cause.
You are just not weird enough.
Put another way, you lack uniqueness and therefore your solution is not compelling enough to make them act or it is sufficiently sleep inducing to cause them to eventually sack out and ignore you later in care.
2 Reasons Why Weirdness Works
1) Patients buy solutions, not chiropractic.
2) Consumers naturally comparison shop whenever possible
First, patients aren’t buying chiropractic, they are buying a SOLUTION to their problem. There is a problem they want to solve and a goal they want to accomplish. They are looking at their problem and they have decided to explore the possibility that they need to get something done about it.
When you can show the patient that you have the unique solution to their problem, they will pay attention. Mainly because that’s what they are after and also because most doctors don’t listen.
In a perfect world, listening to their problem and offering a solution would be enough. But it isn’t. The trouble is that you are not the only chiropractor on the planet. Nor are you the only healthcare provider of any type. And so the patient’s naturally comparison shopping tendencies come forward and they decide to either interview you or only commit a little.
When you combine that with your “unique” solution, then you are the only answer available. Your weirdness has worked!
Consider the typical chiropractic approach Failure
Unfortunately, while patients are looking for THE specific solution, most chiropractors proceed to A generic chiropractic option to their problems and we allow ourselves to be comparison shopped.
We do our quasi-medical exam which is filled with a bunch of tests they don’t understand and we don’t explain, but look something like the previous chiropractor or medical doctor or physical therapist they went to. We then move a ROF with patients to tell them what we’ve found and give them a mini chiropractic education along the way. Or we skip the ROF altogether and just start with a “let’s see how this works” approach. Same old, same old. Ho hum.
Your NP Answer: Your Weirdness
The answer is actually is in your unique approach. Once you can convince the patient that you understand their problem and have a solution, the next step is to “package” your solution in such a unique way that it defies comparison.
That’s why simply saying we will adjust you 3x week and then re-exam is losing its effectiveness massively. Chiropractors have been using this approach for decades and people have heard it before. Even those of you who go the other direction run dangerously close to looking like physical therapists or MD’s – both of which who easily bore patients as well.
It doesn’t speak anything to what is different about you – and so the guy that is only 2x a week begins to look better, as does a bottle of pills, a DC who is a little cheaper, a PT who is covered better by insurance, etc.
When Your Vanilla Spills Over
Perhaps the worst news is the fact that your vanilla care – lack of uniqueness – also affects your long term ability to keep and convert patients.
After all, if you get them better, why come back? They can always just ignore the problem, find someone cheaper or think that your approach (like those who have gone before you) didn’t work.
When Your Weirdness Works!
Contrast that with the patient who looks at you as the only one who truly understands their problem and is the only one who has THE solution for them.
What happens to them when the problem recurs? It’s back to you to see what to do.
Why maintenance? Because that’s part of your unique approach rather than an add-on optional solution they don’t understand.
Why pay cash? Because no one else does what you do!
Get Unique Not Ugly!
So, yes. You must get weirder, as in unique. No need to wear a watermelon hat, grow a Duck Dynasty beard or go creepy with the psychological mind bending techniques. We’re looking for uniqueness here, not docs that are cuckoo for cocoa-puffs.
Find the unique angle to your approach and communicate that. Position yourself so that you are beyond comparison – in ways the patient can understand. And then package it so that your patients commit to your approach in full and not just piecemeal (or based only on what insurance covers).
This doesn’t necessarily mean long term care plans but it does mean that you have plans to keep yourself in this patient’s mind as the “go-to” expert forever.
There’s a huge difference and massive potential in taking your practice from where it currently is to where you want it to be!
Want to Attract & Convert MORE?
If you hurry, you can still catch my Elevate Your Practice online workshop, which covers strategies on how to attract and convert more patients – along with how to deliver those services more efficiently and effectively. And Protect your practice while doing it. Yep, all under one roof. Hope to see you there!
In the meantime, stay tuned for Part 2 – How to Position Your Practice For More Patients, Fun and Profits (by Being Weird)