November 2005
Vol. 2, Issue 5
The Spinal Column

Win $1,000 Worth of Free Marketing Services
Contest Winner: Congratulations Joy Miller
To Grow: Are You in the Front Seat or the Back Seat?
Marketing Idea of the Month #17: Selling Benefits, Not
Letter of the Month
Announcing: Exclusive Network


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On November 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 December issue of this newsletter.

Congratulations to Joy Miller!

Joy Miller is our $1,000 marketing package winner for October. Joy Miller, please contact Sonia at Metro Marketing by Wednesday, December 7th, 2005. To be eligible to win for November, 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: Are You in the Front Seat or the Back Seat?

In six weeks, in six months, in six years, your practice will be somewhere. The question is will your practice be where you want it to be, where you would like it to be?

That depends if you are sitting in the front seat of the car and ‘driving' your practice to where you would like it to be or are you a ‘passenger' in the back seat just hoping for the best and leaving the ‘driving' to everyone else.

Will your practice be the type you want – the size you want? Will it be as profitable as you want it to be?

The choice is yours.

But before we can get started on the road trip to get your practice from where it is today to where you would like it to be, you need to take stock of who you are, what you have and what you want.

The more specific you can be the better. Saying you want a larger practice is nice but basically meaningless.

What does ‘larger' mean? You would get 10 different answers if we asked 10 different chiropractors.

You need to be more specific.

Today you are seeing 100 patients per week and one year from today you want to be seeing 175 patients per week.

That's a measurable goal.

Evaluate everything in your practice:

  • The number of patients you see in a week
  • The number of new patients you see each month
  • The average number of visits a patient has with you before discontinuing your services
  • The average dollar amount you bill per patient
  • The percent of dollars billed that was actually collected from the patient or insurance company
  • The amount of revenue you generate from ‘non-adjustment' income sources
  • The work efficiency of your employees

If it's measurable write it down.

When you are finished you should have no less than 50 very measurable elements that make up your practice.

You could have well over 100 if you really think about it for a while.

Once you've got the list, prioritize it.

If you could change only one thing on the list, what would it be? That becomes number one on the list. Then keep going until you have ranked the entire list.

Now you need to assign a starting number to each of the items on the list.

Average dollars billed per patient. How much is it? If you don't know, just finding the answers to each of the items listed will go a long way to getting you to where you hope to be.

How much do you really know about your practice? Well, isn't it time you found out?

Remember, we are trying to get you from being the sight-seeing passenger in the back of the car hoping for the best, to becoming the driver of the car who decides where you are going and how and when you are going to get there.

Getting all the answers to all the questions could take a lot of time and effort but without a starting point you can't get to your destination.

Once you've made the list, prioritized the list and assigned a starting value to everything on the list, we can get started.

Start with the highest prioritized item. Let's say it's the average life value of a patient.

Well, there are three ways we can get that figure higher:

  • See the patient for more visits per week/month/year
  • Increase the fee per visit
  • Generate added revenue from the patient by more effectively developing additional revenue streams

Now you go further and develop a measurable plan for each of the subgroups. How can you see the typical patient for more visits than he or she is now averaging?

Make a list.

First you have to make a list of the reasons why patients stop coming:

  • Too long of a wait? How long do they wait?
  • Hours open not convenient for patient
  • Patient saw no reason to continue coming
  • Billing problems
  • Insurance problems
  • What else?

Every patient stops coming for a reason. We can't fix it until we know what's broken.

Get the idea?

You need to make a subproject list with every item from your primary list.

If you have 50 items on your main list and 5 sub-items for each, you now have 250 measurable factors to measure and fix.

A lot of work? You bet it is. But it will go a long way to determining where you will be 6 months or 6 years from now.

Once all the lists are done and all the questions have been answered, you need to come up with a specific measurable plan to improve each one.

You need to implement the idea and measure it again several days or weeks later.

If you are moving in the right direction (your intended written goal) keep going. If progress is not being made, it's time to go off in a different direction and try again.

It may take 2 tries … it may take 10 tries, but you will hit upon the right turn in the road.

Just define where you are … where you would like to be … when you would like to get there … and how you plan on getting there.

Measure every step of the way. Your efforts, your results and how they compare to what you wanted to accomplish in writing.

This simple, time consuming, but effective road map design course will take you to wherever you want to be in life, not just with your chiropractic practice but with anything and everything in life you would like to change.

If you would like to make more money or less money … read more books or fewer books. Start an exercise program or end one … gain some weight or lose some.

It doesn't matter.

Write down what you want, where you are now, how you are going to get where you want to get. Measure the changes you make on a daily or weekly basis and enjoy the rest of your life from the driver's seat in the car, not as a back seat passenger always hoping for the best but not in control of your own future.

Good luck.

P.S. As always, if you decide to start this project tomorrow … well tomorrow never comes. Start it now – today!

Marketing Idea of the Month #17: Selling Benefits Not Features

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: Personal Responsibility...Two Words That Will Change Your Life

This month’s idea: Selling Benefits Not Features

It's been true for a hundred years and it's true today.

Features tell and benefits sell.

Everything you say, everything you do, every ad you place, every brochure you give away, every written or spoken word that originates in your practice should focus on benefits not features.

How do you know if you are going down the right path? Two simple words - So what?

Just imagine the patient or prospective patient asking the question ‘So What?' for every sentence they read or every feature they hear from you.

Our hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. So What?

We use the most advanced adjusting techniques. So What?

I graduated from the XYZ college. So What?

I've been in practice for 27 years. So What?

We accept credit cards. So What?

We can help with your posture. So What?

The list goes on and on and on.

Here are two homework assignments for you.

Collect every printed item you have in your office, every brochure, every flyer, every poster, every booklet. Start reading each and every one of them … slowly. At the end of each sentence or statement ask yourself the simple but highly effective ‘So What?' question.

If the answer doesn't follow on the piece you are reading you are ineffectively telling features not effectively selling benefits.

Project number two.

The spoken word. Now it gets a bit harder. Listen to your CA when she is on the phone. Or better yet, record (with her permission) several conversations she will have.

Listen to them together.

After each statement or every question answered, ask ‘So What?' Does she answer the ‘so what?' question with a benefit or does she just continue telling additional features?

How about your interaction with patients? I'll bet you are rich in feature telling and poor in benefit selling. Most of us are.

We assume that what we know and take for granted, others know as well. It isn't so.

Talk about the possible avoidance of surgery or use of drugs as an important benefit not feature.

The cost effectiveness of what you do is an important benefit as well.

Everything you do or say should be a benefit to your patient. If it has one, tell them about it and if it doesn't have a benefit for them, well maybe it shouldn't be part of your practice.

Remember, features tell and benefits sell and don't assume anything.

I'm sure you know that famous line about a person who assumes.

More often than not they are making an ‘ass' of ‘u' and ‘me' too.

Go get your literature and start rewriting. You will see a difference in your practice.

Letter of the Month

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.

Don't forget to check out all the back issues and letters of the month as well.

This month’s letter: Letter to Missed Appointment

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: Exclusive Referral Network

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

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Publisher: The Spinal Column
Director: 800 696 7788, ext. 112

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.

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