Follow the leader. It’s a game you probably played as a kid. But you should be playing it now — with your patients. As a doctor of chiropractic, you preach a healthy lifestyle. Only by leading a healthy lifestyle — exercising, keeping your weight under control and not smoking or not drinking to excess — can you expect your patients to do the same.
As a bonus, when your patients see that you practice what you preach, you’ll find your patient retention improve. Here are five strategies for leading a patient by example.
1 Weight loss. Launch a 12-week weight-loss contest for patients — and for you! Put a scale in the office and have the patients do periodic weigh-ins to chart their progress. Reward the patient who loses the most weight proportionate to their height.
2 Nutrition. Do not leave a can of Coke or a cup of coffee on your desk if you are going to ask patients to omit these from their diets.
Provide a source of water for your patients in the office to encourage them to drink more. If you want the patient to use supplements, offer them at your clinic. It is more convenient for them to get them from you and you can explain that the supplements they get from you are much higher quality than what they get from the supermarket shelves.
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And, if you take supplements, leave the bottles on your desk so that patients see that you follow your own advice.
3 Get adjusted. Let your patients know that you get adjusted weekly. This strategy works well when you have associate doctors in the practice. Also, make sure to have patients watch you adjusting the staff and their family members. This way they can see that your entire team is under your care. Encourage the staff to talk to the patients about their own chiropractic experiences.
4 Children. If you want to do pediatric chiropractic, make sure you adjust your own children. But don’t adjust them at home. Bring them into the office and let your patients observe you when you adjust your children and your staff members’ kids.
5 Attitude. Patients come in so you can care for them. You should never let them see anything less than happiness, excitement, passion and love for chiropractic in you demeanor.
Make each person’s chiropractic experience one in which they know that your entire team cares about them and their well-being. In many cases, they don’t get that kind of love anywhere else.
Practicing what you preach can influence a patient to choose chiropractic care for life. The overwhelming majority of patients try chiropractic once. If they quit, they may never return. Treat each patient with care and respect, and, most of all, understand that they are coming to you for their health. Don’t just tell them what to do — show them.
Michelle Geller-Vino is the president of MGV Marketing, Inc., based in Boca Raton, Fla. She consults with chiropractors to increase their community visibility, and her specialty is new patient acquisition. She can be reached at 561-392-5206; or through her Web site at www.mgvmarketing.com.