June 2005
Vol. 1, Issue 12
The Spinal Column

Win $1,000 Worth of Free Marketing Services
Contest Winner: Congratulations Robin Wright
To Grow: How to Get Your CA and Office Staff to
Help You Grow Your Practice
Marketing Idea of the Month #12: Developing an
"Upstream" Referral Network
Letter of the Month
Announcing: ChiroCommunity.com Exclusive Network


Win $1,000 Worth of Free Marketing Services

On June 30th we will be awarding a free marketing program valued at $1,000 to one of our subscribers. To be eligible all you need to do is be an active subscriber to The Spinal Column.

The winning doctor will be announced in the July issue of this newsletter.

Congratulations to Robin Wright!

Robin Wright is our $1,000 marketing package winner for May. Robin Wright, please contact Sonia at Metro Marketing by Thursday, June 30th, 2005. To be eligible to win for June, just sign up for our newsletter and look at it when it arrives in your in box. It's that easy to win a $1,000 marketing package.

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To Grow: How to Get Your CA and Office Staff to Help You Grow Your Practice

Your ‘CA’ and office staff can be working for you, with you or against you.

The choice is up to you, not them. Your job is quite simple:

  • Pick and hire the right people.
  • Motivate them by remembering the magic WIIFM.

The right, motivated employees can help grow your practice.

The wrong or poorly motivated employees can help to dismantle what you already have.

Yes, the future size and profitability of your practice is largely dependent upon your people and chiropractic medical skills. But please do not for one moment minimize the impact your support team can have on your success or failure.

If your ‘supporting cast’ is obnoxious, rude, inattentive, non-caring, unresponsive, nasty or just plain mean-spirited, your practice is going nowhere except maybe backwards.

How often do you eat in a restaurant where the food is good but the service is poor and the staff rude and inattentive?

How often do you revisit an establishment where the product or services is fine but you just will not deal with ‘those kind of people’.

Are your employees ‘those kind of people’?

Lets start at the beginning.

How many prospective patients never even get the opportunity to meet you or to be taken care of by you simply because your ‘non-friendly gate keeper’ has scared them away.

It all starts with the hiring process. Skills are learnable. Changing one’s basic personality is just not going to happen.

You can teach any bright person the mechanics of running the office. An anti-people person will always be that regardless of what you say, do or even pay them.

Sure it would be great to hire a person with the right personality and the right office skills. That would be a home run. But if you have to choose between people skills and office skills, go with people skills … you will win out every time.

Attitude over aptitude. Never forget it. The person you hire or already have working for you either has a positive attitude and genuinely enjoys working with people or doesn’t.

If you are not sure during the interview process, you’ll know within two weeks.

And people don’t change. So if you made a mistake, you’ll know it within weeks.

Make the change. Move it. The right person may be the next one you interview.

If the truth be told, we hire for the job skills first, unfortunately.

Why? Because we are basically lazy. We want to get the position filled with the least effort on our part.

Be honest with yourself. Which of these two candidates would you hire?

One candidate has worked in other chiropractic offices and despite her ‘wish it was Friday already’ or ‘does the phone have to ring’ attitude, knows how the office operates and could be up and running in less than 24 hours.

Candidate number two, though bright, has never set foot in a chiropractic office but just oozes with genuine people skills. Loves people, loves life, loves to help people. But will need tons of training and your time.

Which one would you hire?

If you are truly honest – 95% of the time it would be the quick-fix first candidate. It would be the worst decision you have ever made or are about to make.

Look around your office. You know if you are being supported by the right ‘people’ people or not.

Making a change in the short run will be time consuming and maybe even expensive. But in the long run it will be the best investment you could ever make.

Okay, you now have the right people. Now for part two or WIFFM – What’s In It For Me?

Even nice, friendly, caring employees need and want to feel appreciated and not taken for granted. There are hundreds of ways (not to mention thousands of books you can purchase on the topic) to thank and acknowledge your employees and not all include money.

You can start with a simple thank you. When was the last time you said thank you with no strings attached to it?

  • Write thank you notes. Be sincere.
  • Have an open door policy. Make the time to meet and listen to your employees. Ask the simple question “If you had a magic wand and could make any three changes, what would they be?” Then listen very carefully.
  • Give specific feedback about their performance on a regular basis. The good as well as the areas that need improvement.
  • Create a work environment that is open, fun and trusting. Do your employees trust you? Are they loyal to you? Have you earned their trust and loyalty or just demanded it?
  • Make them ‘partners’. Not just in how the office is run but financially as well. Give them financial incentives to help grow the practice. Let them help to reactivate dormant patients … or get first visit patients to come back … or help sell products you may offer. Have a contest or a ‘pot of gold’ that you generously share with them. Give them realistic opportunities to earn 25% over their base pay with incentives that you and they will profit from.
  • Give them opportunities to grow and learn new skills with seminars, workshops and training tapes just to name a few.
  • Time off. Money is important. Recognition is critical but time off is not far behind. Again, maybe after an exceptionally busy day or week they leave a few hours early on a summer Friday afternoon. Or, maybe a day off for their birthday or 5th anniversary working for you.

The list of ideas is endless.

We’ll assume for the moment that you have the necessary people personality and chiropractic skills to be successful.

Then, simply hire people-oriented happy employees who will ask you what they can do to help. Never take them for granted. Never. Treat them (in the decision making process and with financial incentives) as partners and watch the growth of your practice explode.

Close your eyes and ask yourself one simple question.

Right now, do I have the right people working for me or not?

If the answer is yes, never take them for granted.

If the answer is no, it’s time to place a help wanted ad in your local newspaper.

Marketing Idea of the Month #12: Developing an "Upstream" Referral Network

Each month we will give you a proven marketing tip or program that, if done right, will work for you. Collect, read and use all 36 of them over the next three years and you will have put together an effective powerful marketing program to help grow your chiropractic practice.

Last issue’s idea: Treat Every Patient as Your Only Patient

This month’s idea: Developing an "Upstream" Referral Network

There are literally hundreds of ways to market and promote your chiropractic practice and the investment dollars can range from nothing to thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.

But just imagine for a moment if every morning you had your own ‘sales team’ out in the community finding you new patients and sending them your way. Or, to put it another way, as you read this, how many people do you have ‘working for you’, not in the office but out in the community finding and sending you new patients?

If you haven’t put together your ‘sales team’ and cultivated and nurtured them, I’m sure the number is close to zero if not zero.

It starts with making a list.

Who is in a position to send patients your way? You could list almost anyone from the Yellow Pages but I want to start with a more direct list than an indirect one. People who on a daily basis come in contact with good candidates for your chiropractic practice.

  • Employees of sports clubs and gyms
  • Sporting goods store employees
  • Medical doctors in related fields
  • Attorneys (accident clients)
  • Human Resource directors of local companies
  • Health food store employees

Get creative. Actually go through the Yellow Pages from A to Z and you will find many other perfect fits.

Part one is to put together a database of who will be your ‘sales team’. This involves a lot of work and time but without the right target list, the rest is meaningless.

Think of building a home but skipping over the building of the foundation.

The information you want to gather is simple – Name, address, phone number.

Once you have put this ‘sales network’ list together, it’s now time to convert them into your ‘in-the-field’ sales team.

It’s a 4-step process.

They need to:

  • Know who you are
  • Like you
  • Trust you
  • Depend upon you.

Once they have gone from a total stranger to actually trusting and depending upon you, they will send you more new patients than you could ever imagine. And the bigger your ‘sales network team’ is – the more new patients you will have being referred to you on a regular basis.

They will get to know who you are because you will introduce yourself to them either via a letter or maybe via a speaking engagement you will have in front of a group of prospective ‘sales network team’ members.

After you made your target list, be it 50 or 250 names, ask yourself a simple question.

How many of these people would know who I am if I met them on the street, at a party or at an organizational function?

The closer the number is to zero, the more you are going to have to do to get this group to know you.

If they don’t know you, how can we expect them to like you?

Liking you … that’s a function of your personality. You are either a likeable person or you are not. I hope, for your sake, if you really want to grown your practice, that you are a likeable person because if people basically don’t like you, nothing else matters.

Trust you … This group will get to trust you because, over time, you will give of yourself and ask for nothing in return.

Workshops, seminars and newsletters are just three ways you can show people how knowledgeable you are and how they can trust you with their friends, relatives, clients and customers who will someday need the services of a chiropractor.

As they are getting to trust you over time, they will find themselves depending upon you for good information as it relates to their well being.

Putting together a very productive ‘network of referral agents’ is very time consuming in first putting together the raw list and then moving each one along the process of going from total stranger to knowing you, liking you, trusting you and finally being able to depend upon you.

It needs to be a well-thought-out plan and program that is worked on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

It doesn’t bear fruit overnight but when it does, watch out.

Just think for a moment. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and having 100 key people who could be referring you clients all feeling very good about who you are and what you represent.

Actually wanting to send you clients they know can help you.

Well, the odds are that today that patient-generating machine is not in place.

But whether it’s in place 6 months or a year from today is 100% dependent upon what you do about it in the next 24 hours.

Good luck!

Want to discuss? Feel free to call me at 1-800-696-7788, ext. 112.

Letter of the Month: Referrals from Your Existing Patients

Each month we will give you a ready-to-use letter that can be used to help promote your practice.

A professional copywriter would charge you anywhere from $150 to $350 to write you a marketing letter, but as a subscriber to The Spinal Column you get it for free.

This month’s letter: Referrals from Your Existing Patients

Free downloadable copy

Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader

To grow your practice your professional marketing skills are as important as your chiropractic knowledge, maybe even more so.

Announcing: ChiroCommunity.com Exclusive Referral Network

We are excited to announce the successful launch of
ChiroCommunity.com, with a phenomenal response
from chiropractors all across the United States!

Don't let your competitor "lock you out" of your zip code!
Click here for more details

Remember, only one chiropractor in each zip code.

Publisher: The Spinal Column
Director: 800 696 7788, ext. 112
E-Mail: larry@chirometromarketing.com

P.S. If you would like information on our test drive new patient programs with a 100% money-back guarantee (if we don’t deliver) call us at 800 696 7788, ext. 248.

P.P.S. We now have a new program that pre-qualifies the patients we send you. They must have a treatable condition and insurance or a job.

Call for details at 800 696 7788, ext. 248.


Click here for more info on our NEW exclusive chiropractic referral network








































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