Archive for April, 2011...
Filed under chiropractic marketing
As Charles Dickens once said, “it is the best of times, it is the worst of times”. For some the conclusion of the recession leads to better results but for others a continuum of concern. For some the age of computerization leads to the ability to connect with a myriad of new consumers for others the opportunity to claim expertise in particular areas.
While reading a recent trade publication I took notice of the following, “I’m looking for advice and
tips from marketing professionals.” The advertiser requires this for an ebook his is developing. However upon further investigation, one discovers that he is writing a book on chiropractic marketing. More importantly, he is also a D. C. Naturally I was shocked!
For those chiropractors that are in need of increasing patient volume, this requires methods and structures that enable doctors to focus on creating activities that develop perception. These activities build emotion that helps the chiropractor to create brand. Unfortunately many chiropractors are not well versed in marketing for chiropractors so this requires the use of a coach or other marketing professional.
Should you need a coach use referrals, enlist the help of those from reputable sources such as Chiropractic Economics, your local Association of Chiropractors or other sources. But, whatever you do beware the charlatans. Should chiropractors need marketing assistance then ask the difficult questions for experience and most importantly client results. One should question a chiropractic doctor that claims millions in marketing aid but he or she conducts sales training for Xerox!
Further determine the background of chiropractic marketers. Questions need to be asked about experience to determine the marketer is a thought leader or memorable reader!
Unfortunately connectivity allows for some brazen folks to claim self-mastery behind a keyboard and monitor. Yet what is most important is what these individuals do in front of the screen. Before enlisting others for marketing and business development assistance, do your homework, ask questions, seek council and be proactive. There is a large difference between buyer resonance and dissonance! As a chiropractor you have little time and desire for the latter.
© 2011 Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
What best practices have you undertaken to ensure you do not get taken by marketing charlatans? Our readers would love to hear your advice and testimony. Please place your thoughts in the space below.
Filed under chiropractic marketing
Posted by Dr. Drew Stevens on Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Have you ever been in a situation where you know how good you are that you get a bit confident perhaps even cocky? This happens to many athletes or sometimes-professional performers such as singers and actors. You become good at your craft causing you to become arrogant about your gifts. This happens to physicians too.
I was conduct coaching to aid those with their chiropractic marketing and was working with an associate at a fairly active office when I asked John about his principle. John informed me that Derrick was doing quite well with over 300 visits per week and was not in need of any marketing assistance.
Typically I am not concerned about this remark but in the last six months of working with the practice the principle is losing patients at a rate of 23% per month and recent marketing activities are producing zero results. At what point do you yell fire?
The issue with many operating a practice is that:
- They get complacent
- Fail to completely run the practice
- Fail to implement marketing standards on a daily basis
In order to become a better chiropractic marketer, chiropractors need to market daily. Chiropractors are no different than any other service professional. They must conduct daily activities that keep them visible. Essentially, chiropractors need to remain top of mind.
Daily activity requires becoming active in the community and participating in chamber, commerce, religious, education and other community based events. These also include seeking referrals from existing patients to help manifest your brand. The more individuals talk about you there is more perception based on the allure your practice provides. Moreover your involvement does not require much work and provides a better return than would normally be received through traditional advertising and promotion.
Consider for a moment some of the methods chiropractors use such as the Yellow Pages™, advertising in the regional paper or even using coupons through services such as ValPak©. Ironically these methods develop a less than one percent rater of return.
When these procedures fail some chiropractors attempt social media and fail miserable. Why? Because the Internet and social media are similar to attending a very large, noisy and busy trade show. They cannot scream loud enough to be heard and eventually invest thousands of dollars with a zero percent return.
However when chiropractors create chiropractic-marketing activity that creates allure patients brand is developed. This creates an active practice, allows doctors to work less and more importantly creates a steady future stream of income.
My coach once asked me after I broke a school record, “Are you living in your past?” It is best to live for tomorrow not yesterday. Do not become cocky. Become aware of your practice, its results and ensure you create the changes you want to see.
© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
Filed under chiropractic marketing
Posted by Dr. Drew Stevens on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
One of the largest issues today personally and professionally is disarray. The crazy busy world in which we live leaves little time to accomplish the things we want to. It seems that event the standard “To Do” List is over six months old. It is more difficult today then ever before.
There are many reasons why we are not organized however the most important concerns are that when we are not organized we are more stressed and this allows much less freedom financially, physically and finality to issues. According to some researchers the lack of organization is rising by over 30% per year increasing morale and productivity issues in the workplace and added issues at home.
If individuals remain disorganized we will:
- Suffer increased stress and health issues
- Constantly feel out of control without any accomplishment
- Waste more time then we have leading to another issue procrastination
Just to be clear these are not the only issues however by overcoming these issues we will have a more orderly life and a better sense of self-mastery. Time is a priority issue not a resource issue.
I remember a time when I was working in major corporations where some individuals I worked with where either 1) fired for being very disorganized 2) constantly late for meetings embarrassing supervisors and peers and 3) took many “health days” due to stress and other health related issues.
We need to get organized so that we have more control, more time and simply stated more freedom.
So why do people spend little time on organizational skills:
- Procrastination – In 1978, 5% of the population admitted to being chronic procrastinators compared to to roughly 26% of the population today (Steele, 2007).
- Instant gratification – we operate tactically because we desire instant recognition
- Distraction – Internet, Facebook, Blackberry, iPhone is providing people with constant distractions and excuses to put things off.
- Fear – People do not move because they are fearful of risk.
In order to overcome procrastination one should:
1. Get the things you hate to do completed first. Stop putting things off until tomorrow or the next day since it will not get accomplished anyway. Get the calls, the reports, the meeting with the nasty client all out of the way first and the remainder of the day is easier.
2. Stop seeking alternatives through email and voice mail. Many individuals hide behind electronics. Refrain from wearisome habits and confront the issue. The manner in which to stop poor behavior is confronting it. This is what you tell your clients, isn’t it?
3. Stop pondering. More time is spent on not conducting the task then physically doing it. When surveyed, 93% of participants stated that blowing off the issue took more time than the physical issue. Pay bills twice per month; make calls and emails first, etc.
4. Prioritize. Most people simply lack good planning and goal setting. The only way to stop sputtering is simply to prioritize. Plan the day and stick with it, do not enable interruptions.
Here are some additional guideposts to make your day operate smoothly:
- Create time frames – block out times in a day for specific activities and events. Do not enable interruptions during these imperative times.
- Hold yourself accountable – ensure success by keeping to times and to goals. You hold your clients and relatives to specific schedules why not yourself?
- Seek success not perfection – Stop seeking perfection it doesn’t exist. Move and act. The final 20 % you put into anything is dysfunctional. The final 20 % is not relevant. When you are 80% ready you move. People do not appreciate the additional 20%.
- Keep only one list – good organizers place information in one place so that they are not distracted. The problem with most people is that they don’t keep a list at all. Others have too many, to remain atop the issues have one list such as a to do and keep it in a location where you are most apt to view it.
- Keep a notepad wherever you are – One of the best methods for organization is to keep pen and paper with you at all times, if you are technologically desirous then a recorder. During a single day individuals have numerous thoughts. When was the last time your great idea would place you as the world’s wealthiest person only to forget the idea hours.
© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All Rights Reserved.
Filed under chiropractic marketing
Posted by Dr. Drew Stevens on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
One of the things that many chiropractors and their staff suffer from is job burnout and stress. We live in a crazy busy world with multiple demands so understanding how to handle stress and applying mitigations allows for a more relaxed life and return to what you simply enjoy doing – helping others.
Perhaps the single biggest requirement for setting boundaries is to have a healthy selfishness. Since we are talking about your burnout and your stress it is imperative that to understand that the biggest word that you’ll have to conquer is the word no. Learn how to say no more often. Time does not renew once it is gone it is gone, it must be a priority.
Second, look at issues from three perspectives: Seriousness/Urgency and Growth establish boundaries to determine what is most important. And what is not. You might want to even think about Stephen Covey’s list of urgency and importance in the four quadrants that he discusses in his book “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People”.
When you establish boundaries of both urgency and importance there is less of a chance of feeling overwhelmed issue are now prioritizing and can place items in a rightful order. In addition you can then dismiss any ambiguity and clarify your day the more direction.
One of the first boundaries to help you with interoffice personnel is that boundary or boss and other staff. There are many instances where people love to just delegate things to you simply because you let them, you feel compelled to do so or you are unclear whether it is your job. Remember that there are numerous things that occur during the day that make it urgent to others but not to you. Throughout the day the pressing issues of people, problems and processes often inhibit each of us. Remember that you must set boundaries so that individuals do not intrude on your personal space. With that in mind no one and I mean no one should ever enter your office with more information than was originally discussed and no one should ever leave with more than they entered with. This includes bosses and other employees.
You need to ask each of them for time frames and to assist you in prioritizing what is important or urgent and when it is needed. Everything is a negotiation and if you do not negotiate your boundaries others will make a home in your territory.
One other boundary that you might also establish is that of difficult people or vendors or even interoffice staff. When individuals are annoyed or frustrated they simply desire to vent on others yet this can waste time. It also adds to stress because you think of the other issues you need to complete while listening to the person that is upset. Simply tell individuals it is not your decision, does not meet your timeframes but you will gladly discuss later or you are not the proper person. Most importantly when you take time to listen to this trivial issues annoyed people become personal creating more stress because they insult you personally. Do not allow others to provide you with a) unsolicited feedback and b) insult you personally. Issues and barriers are created to allow flow. These are professional issues and must never be taken personally.
Finally might want to work backwards during times of strife. Thinking terms of what is the shortest distance to get to the point needed. Most people tend to work from first to last and while I do not disagree with this point sometimes it is better to understand what the end goal is. By simply thinking like a nonfiction (chapters rather than the entire) it becomes easier to break tasks into small components making the job less cumbersome and more importantly was stressful.
©2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
Drew Stevens PhD, practice management and chiropractic marketing expert and author or the soon to be released Magnetic Patient– Secrets for Attracting and Keeping Patients, teaches chiropractors how to be consistent and relentless with their business development efforts. He provides quick methods to becoming more visible in a busy world – even when you are a solo practitioner on a tight budget!. Dr. Drew presents revenue-generating strategies that leverage and grow your practice and its success. To end the struggles and gain more patient volume, contact him today for a FREE No Obligation Business Acceleration Strategy Session or call 877-391-6821. How is your practice? Find out with the business development scorecard.
Posted by Dr. Drew Stevens on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011