Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chiropractic Marketing Lesson to Be Learned From Chiros Declaring Bankruptcy

by Frank Sardella

A recent conversation with a Bankruptcy attorney shockingly revealed a trend of chiropractors recently filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. How is this possible?

On another occasion, while I was grocery shopping late one night, I saw a doc I knew stocking shelves! It turns out he had closed his doors, given up altogether and was considering studying to become a physical therapist. How could this be?

Yet another chiropractor recently mentioned that he took a part-time job to "make ends meet" while "things were slow". Why were they so slow?

As bizarre and random as these things seem to be, there is a pattern and a definite valuable lesson to be learned from all this - a lesson that may save a practice or a life: chiropractic marketing savvy.

What Did The Bankrupt and Moonlighting Chiropractors Have In Common?

While it is known that chiropractic does not generate the highest income of all healthcare professions, it is not this fact that causes such financial problems. It is a lack of chiropractic marketing know-how, with the basics of the subject unknown and random campaigns leading to no return on the investment.

The tragedy is that, through no fault of their own, docs were missing the most fundamental components that govern successful campaigns, basics which are apparent but often overlooked.

The TYPE of Marketing Chosen Is Never to Blame.

Name any type of marketing you ever tried and failed at and I will show you a hundred chiropractors who used it successfully. You could show me a hundred more failures, and I'll find another hundred successes. We would go on and on.

In point of fact, it is not the choice of promotion type that causes failure.

So, What IS to Blame for Failed Promotional Efforts and Financial Crashes?

It seems odd that the type of promotion chosen cannot possibly be to blame, assuming a decent type was used. But nonetheless it works out true. So if not that, what then? It must be something in the planning or administration of the marketing - and it is.

It is the administration and coordination of chiropractic marketing that drives it and makes it effective. Though it is not complex when done right, it can be very touchy if not done in the correct order or sequence and with just the right frequency and regularity. This reveals why two practices can use the same marketing types and get drastically different results.

Why Didn't They Teach This Stuff In Chiropractic School?

Through no fault of your own, you missed this one. In all your years of college, you didn't once learn about any of it, even if you minored in marketing as an undergrad. Colleges teach "branding" and other confused concepts rather than the things that really count to keep a business afloat and alive.

You learn patient communication skills and are expected to put these to use with "potential patients" (which is what we call every member of your community who is not under your care). The problem is these are two COMPLETELY different contexts and require near opposite approaches.

How Do You Get a Practice Off the Ground And Keep It From Splattering On the Pavement?

While it would be impossible to give you a crash course in one short article, chiropractic marketing can be mastered by finding good, solid chiropractic marketing ideas, planning a campaign and a schedule of frequent, regular promotional steps using the most cost effective channels that can be found and driving it, pushing it all the way - persisting through even times when it seems not to be working. Trusting that it will you will prevail.

The greatest weapon you have is the ability to realize when you don't totally know what you're doing and ask someone for help who does indeed know. That is your failsafe.

What Can You Learn From a Bunch of Bankrupt Chiros?

As evidenced by bankrupt and moonlighting docs, chiropractic marketing is not something you mess with if you do not know exactly what to do. And it is certainly not something you do randomly.

What can you learn from failing predecessors? Don't attempt something you don't know enough about and know enough to know you don't know all about it. And then you can start winning.

I hope this helps.

Best of luck in practice.

Frank Sardella
(845) 219-1101

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chiropractic Marketing by Your Competition

by Frank Sardella

How Do You Compete, With the Chiro Up the Street?

There appears to be a bit of confusion on the subject of competitive chiropractic marketing. Many of the docs I met over the years have been especially concerned about the activities of the chiropractor on the next block, particularly the ones who are "doing tons of marketing" and are very busy.

A Basic Confusion On the Word "Compete"

Compete -  v. to strive to outdo another for acknowledgment, a prize, supremacy, profit, etc.; engage in a contest; vie (

The basic confusion? It is not the definition of the word "compete" so much as the confusion on who is involved in the competition. Who, after all, is competing with whom? Now we're getting somewhere.

Who Is Competing With Whom?

It just so happens that when you look at another chiropractor as competition, you are chipping away at your profession, an actual, if not visible, group of which you are a member. As a profession, you are all working for the same purpose.

The actual competition, then is between groups, not individuals. So, rather than Chiropractor A vs. Chiropractor B, the groups are chiropractors and whoever the designated enemy of chiropractors would be that particular week. Pick one. There are several. How about pharmaceutical salesman. They do more sales in a day than you do all month. Now, there is a true competitor!

How About Medical Doctors?

Is it medical doctors who should worry you? According to Julianna, my MD Referrals coach, who has had much successful experience in generating MD referrals in her former practice, the majority of medical doctors actually got into medicine to help and still desire to help their patients. It is for this reason medical doctors will begin to refer to you after being given proper enlightenment on chiropractic.

Additionally understand that those pharma salesmen are blasting the MD's in your community as well and are winning in competition to get their attention. And, THERE is competition worth fighting!

Indeed, you do not pose a threat to medical doctors in their estimation, hence you can work together. They are not your competition.

Rogue CA's: A Hidden Source of Wrong Impressions

As may have been experienced by many doctors, disgruntled former CA’s or patients tend to talk negatively about their former employer or doctor to their new one. The combination of stories heard can slant one’s opinion of the target doctor without ever having known him personally.

In defense of so-targeted docs, consider what you would want other doctors in your profession to believe from those who have left you. You may have a new look at this instantly.


Do the Math: There Are More Patients Than Your Clinic Can Handle

Google how many chiropractors are within a radius of your office. Then research the population of your area. Divide the population by the number of docs and you will have the number of people for whom you are responsible in your community. If the number is a quantity you can handle at your existing practice size, you have my blessing to go into competition with another of your own.

Are You Strong Enough to Singlehandedly Compete?

What is the cost of being a lone ranger? Thousands more on medication. Banding together with your fellow area professionals creates a juggernaut of on-purpose activity, with chiropractic marketing power beyond your wildest dreams. What is the harm in finding out for sure? At least, cut the doc up the street a break. You would expect the same in return.

Become a true competitor. Educate your community on the dangers of modern medicine and the miracles of innate healing. And never compete with a fellow chiropractor as your real enemies would win and then everyone loses.

I hope this helps.

Best of luck in practice.

Frank Sardella

Monday, March 17, 2008

Avoid Chiropractic Marketing Mistakes: Prerequisites to Screenings

by Frank Sardella

Are you tired of doing screenings or have no more time for them? Do you find them demeaning or degrading? Are you simply not effective at them? Do you simply lack an abundance of places to go?

These are symptoms of a violation unknowingly made of one or more of 3 key chiropractic screening "prerequisites" that are essential for chiropractic marketing success.

What Are The 3 Prerequisites To Screening Success?

Overall, one-on-one interaction with prospective new patients has proven to be the utmost in chiropractic marketing. Why, then, have so many docs reported dismal failures from screenings?

A triad of interrelated components reveals quite a margin for error in patient recruitment. Viloating them explains failure while heeding them makes success inevitable. In fact these may very well be the ONLY factors hindering practice expansion.

1: Chiropractic Purpose

Without getting into a heavy dissertation on chiropractic purpose, relevent and pertinent as it may be, screening failures are ultimately traceable to some weakened drive or purpose in doctor and staff.

One of the interesting observations about this is that past failures in screenings tend to deter future ones and the apparent remedy, proven by actual experiment, is to get the screener to do more, not less screenings. This remedy is infallible in reviving the screening result. The purpose returns and all is right again.

2: Frequency of Events

Screening scheduling is the most underemphasized importance and gets dismissed to "simple admin" or a waste of time. Yet it turns out that there is a direct correlation between the frequency and volume of events in relation to the results gotten. There is a wealth of information to be known and used on this. Setting specific intervals has a set and predictable result on volume and ultimately new patients and practice income and expansion.

3: Choice of Venue

The least important of these three aspects, this one is listed simply because it is the most assigned reason to failed screenings. In their efforts to beter explain and feel a little better about a bad day of promotion, screeners tend to blame venue or event traffic when, most often it is the lackof purpose and event frequency that is key.

 Without purpose and strategic scheduling choice of venue is both circumstantial and irrelevant. .

The Best Direct Chiropractic Marketing Strategy

For best results, secure three things before scheduling or attending your next screening event.

1. Light a fire under your purpose any way you can.
2. Learn a proper scheduling method for running an optimum screening calendar.
3. Find out how to get into the best-producing screening locations.

There is your simple, winning combination for successful chiropractic screenings.

I hope this helps.

Best of luck in practice.

Frank Sardella
(845) 219-1101 or visit