Let’s just jump right in and talk about a factor that I know can impact every chiropractic practice out there. Regardless of your background, regardless of the philosophies, the different techniques that are out there for that matter all the different models. The key to all these regardless: you’re in the people business.
More than marketing to new patients
Always remember that it doesn’t matter about your marketing, doesn’t matter about your insurance problems, it doesn’t matter about your overhead. As a chiropractor you know you’re an educated entrepreneur, you know you’re the bill payer. You’re the boss and you have to be the jack of all trades. You have to wear a lot of different hats. But it really boils down to in a chiropractic office you’re still in the people business. It comes down to that doctor-patient relationship and the individual patient experience.
If you’re in a typical modeled practice you’ve got all those hats different hats to wear and you may look at your schedule. You’re going to see 20 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. You really need to look at it as going, “There’s 20 different individuals and there’s 40 different individuals in the afternoon.” They all have to get the same experience if you want that practice to sustain itself and to grow long-term. It’s not about the volume; it’s about the individual. How do you make sure on a daily basis?
Look, we’re all human and each and every day is unique. Some days we wake up and the birds are singing, right? Some days the bird poops on your windshield on the way to the office, right? Some days you’re having staff issues and some days there’s you get a bill in the mail that you weren’t expecting. There’s all kinds of distractions out there, especially in today’s society.
You could jump up and wake up in a great mood and jump on social media and by the time you get off the social media for three minutes your mood has completely changed. There’s all kinds of things to take the distraction away from the fact that when you’re inside that practice, that’s your world and it’s not about you. It’s about how you serve and how you connect with each and individual each and every individual patient and the experience they have with their doctor.
Chiropractic Practice Building
Now unless you’re wanting to practice one of those niche practices where you’re spending a lot of money on equipment, capital expenditure, and you’re spending thousands and thousands of dollars to market new patients and you’re constantly processing new patients over and over and over, well it really doesn’t matter that much about the patient experience in those situations because you’re not going to retain that relationship.
But if you’re building a model that’s self-sustaining, referral-based, stress-free model, that’s going to create a relationship over a period of time maybe a lifetime with that patient. If that’s the kind of practice you’re looking for then we need to talk about consistency. If there’s one word I want you to write down today, first and foremost it’s “consistency”.
Because as I said, each and every day is different in its own right. The staff could be different; we have different challenges. We do have decisions to make, but the bottom line is you have to be consistent in applying that patient. Each and every one of them have the same experience whether it’s 9:30 in the morning, 2:30 in the afternoon. When you’re yawning after lunch or it’s the last patient of the day and you’re ready to go home, regardless consistency is going to be the key factor.
I’m just going to go through a couple of different exercises that I know will impact the effectiveness of that day. You can have all the numbers and you want, but don’t confuse motion with progress. Just because you’re seeing a different a lot of different volume doesn’t mean that we’re being effective.
There’s an old saying that says, “blessed are those that go in circles for they shall be called wheels.” If we’re not efficiently seeing those patients, we’re not proficient in our quality of work with those patients. When we’re not productive with those patients then ultimately you’re not going to be as profitable. Unless you’re going to do a charity practice, where you’re just seeing as many people as you can in an erratic format and you don’t really all care about the bottom line at the end of the day then do whatever you want to.
The Chiropractic Coaching Key: Consistency
But if you’re interested in building that self-sustaining, referral-based, stress-free practice then consistency is the key. I’m gonna give you two components that you can take from this and implement tomorrow and measure it at the end of the day. Measure: did today feel more effective? That is, I’m more in tune and it’s something that doesn’t cost you a dime. You can do it every day and you can have that same feeling at the end of the day. You can know, “Wow the day was a lot more effective and productive than it would have been without it.” That is called visualization.
How many of you show up five to ten minutes before you see your first patient? You expect the staff to open the office up and get everything ready and you’re gonna hit the ground running with full synergy? You’re going to be ready to serve consistently for however many patients you’re going to see?
First and foremost: don’t do that! You want to get in the habit of getting to your office 30 minutes, or more likely an hour, and have time in an empty office to go through and set the expectation. You’re the leader; no one else is coming. You’re the educated entrepreneur; you’re the one that wears all the different hats. You’re the bill payer, you’re everything, the jack of all trades. It all stops with you and if you don’t set an expectation of what we’re going to see and produce in that day then who’s going to do it?
You would be wise just to walk through your office and start visualizing. If you don’t have a vision the Word says, “Without vision my people perish.” Okay, do you look at that practice as being your practice? What sets you apart from the person down the street? You set yourself apart from the person down the street. It’s not what people say, it’s what you do that sets it apart.
This could be the one thing that the patient comes in and goes, “Man, there’s just something different about coming to this office compared to all other chiropractic offices.” It could be as simple as you setting the experience, you setting the vision. So walk through your office. It takes 10 minutes. Walk through and speak out and it set an expectation of what we’re going to see today.
“I see people getting the healing and the care that they need. I see people talking about their condition and talking about their results with other patients. I see people paying; I see people interacting. I see a functioning practice. I see people sitting in the reception room waiting to be seen. I see a smooth process.”
Speak out Success with Chiropractic Patients
Speak out what you want to see and you’re going to find that that starts following you. Now, on top of that I’m going to give you that’s the volume that’s kind of like the big picture of the day. Set an expectation for the day. Set an expectation for your practice. It’s your practice! It’s your career! I can tell you, you’ve only got so many days in your career.
There’s learning years, there’s earning years, and then there’s yearning years. I can assure you, you only have so many earning years. Each and every day that you use loosely and inefficiently are days that you won’t get back. You think that this is a small factor, but I’m telling you it will impact the production and the effectiveness of that practice.
Get in the habit consistently applying a visualization factor to the Google Earth version of the day, of the practice. Set the expectation now on top of that. How many of you stop and pause because you have a long one patient that’s really talkative that day? You’re getting behind and you find yourself: “I’m 5, 10, 15 minutes behind!” Now you’re starting to rush yourself and you’re just moving into the next patient and the next patient.
Those people down the line, they deserve the best care as possible as well they deserve the best you can provide. It’s not their fault that you’re running behind or you could have a bad experience with a patient, right?
Let’s say you did a report of findings and the patient rejected and didn’t accept care. That rejection could follow you and go into the next the next office visit that’s waiting for you. Now you’re carrying that into it. Stop and realize that each and every visit is important and the sum of all those visits make up the production of the day. That patient deserves your best, so how can you just ensure that each and every patient is different and they’ll be treated as an individual?
Visualize New Chiropractic Patients
It’s called the visualization process. Again, you walk through the office and set the pace for the day. Now, start doing what’s called the door knob principle. The doorknob principle is that every time you reach for a doorknob, whether it’s going into the 1st visit, 5th visit, 15th visit, 74th visit, doesn’t matter.
You’re going into whether it’s a consultation, exam, or report of findings, or re-exam. If you turn a doorknob in your office you need to stop. Take that extra three seconds and just whether you close your eyes, you just reach and you just stop and pause. Say, “There is a lifetime chiropractic patient on the other side of this door that’s going to stay pay and refer and they’re going to get the best care possible today.”
You could say that under your breath in a matter of just three to four or five seconds. That patient’s gonna have a better experience than they would had you had been rejected in the care in the visit before and then you just carried that rejection into the office visit. All of a sudden three four or five patients have gone by before you get back in the saddle. Visualization, whether you’re walking through at the beginning of the day or individually turning each and every doorknob.
I’ll give you one more. If when your feet are just cut out from underneath it and you’re having a bad day, something happened to you. You got a phone call, you got something in the mail, some kind of big distraction. Take the time, I give you permission. Take 15, 30 seconds and just find you a quiet spot and reset. Reset through visualization.
There’s more to chiropractic mentoring
These are small factors and they’re not how to do a proper consultation. They’re not how to increase your closing ratios. It’s not your collection ratios, it’s not marketing. Let me tell you, new patients typically is not the answer to your problems.
That’s what the problem with these niche practices. They’re coming and going they’re not long-term relationships. When they’re gone they’re not returning. That’s not a long-term answer, it’s short-term gain. I can assure you when you’re focused on the details of each and every patient you’re going to find a productive a jump in your production.
Test me! Try it out! Do nothing more than just do this for three days in a row. Do a visualization walk through in the beginning of the morning. Be there early. Set the tone, then go through and do an expectation as you turn the doorknob. You can contact me directly if you want to and tell me at the end of that day was that day more productive and more effective than a day without. Compare it and you’ll find just like the thousands before you. You can’t argue with a principle.
Opinions can be challenged schemes and strategies will fail, but principles will never fail you. This is built on principle.