If you are like most chiropractors you become one to share the results you experienced yourself through chiropractic.
Chiropractors are filled with passion for healthcare but often have none for the business side of chiropractic. Yet, to change people’s lives through chiropractic, the business side needs attention— especially the marketing aspect.
There’s a concept in business called the “marketing funnel.” It’s the process by which a person unaware of your product or service moves through a process (the funnel) to become a repeat customer (patient) and ultimately an evangelizing fan.
When you picture a funnel, you see that the top has the widest area and the potential to capture a great number of potential customers; in your case, patients. However, as you move toward the bottom of the funnel, only those who truly have confidence in your product or service will remain.
Ideally, everyone stays in the funnel but effectively employing this strategy engages potential patients such that the number of truly interested parties are narrowed down for more effective and efficient sales.
In this case, the “S-word” is sales. Chiropractors rarely like to think about it this way, but selling is what they do when educating a patient on the benefits of chiropractic and how it can help. As a parent, you “sell” your child on teeth brushing and homework. In your practice, you sell patients on doing what is best for them. The more people you sell your message to, the more who will be helped in your community.
Top of the funnel
This is where the potential patient pool is largest, and it’s where you employ strategies to make people in your community aware of what you do and how you can help. There are many ways to get people to enter your funnel, such as Facebook ads, online searches, lectures, screenings, television, and radio. Think of any place where people looking for what you offer can find you.
Your lead-generating campaigns should always have a way for those with interest to contact you directly, either by calling or signing up on your website. Once someone has entered your funnel, the follow-up begins.
Middle of the funnel
It would be ideal if a potential patient sees your ad and decides to show up at your clinic, but that typically doesn’t happen. Statistically, it may take anywhere from five to 30 contacts before someone interested in your service finally decides to make a purchase.
Of course, if someone is in a car accident and needs a chiropractor, they will likely make a quick decision about where to go. But not all potential patients are sure about chiropractic and may only be considering going to a chiropractor. These people, in the middle of the funnel, need lots of follow-up from you.
Surveys show that 80 percent of businesses only make one attempt at following through. We live in a fast-paced society, and people are busy juggling more and more.
Someone who was initially interested in what you do may still be interested, but too busy to call you.
You can serve your leads with constant follow-up and education on the benefits of your services. Your community needs what you have to offer, so make communicating with them a top priority.
People go to businesses that they know, like, and trust.
Take the necessary steps to stay in touch and deliver great content to nurture and build a relationship with your leads.
Bottom of the funnel
The bottom of the funnel is where you can show a prospect how incredible your office is. Once a potential patient enters, your entire team should remember they are still “selling” the potential patient—everything matters.
The front desk needs to have specific and welcoming scripting. Everyone should be calling the potential patient by name. The office should look great, be clutter-free, smell great, and have calming music. The environment matters.
You are going to change people’s lives, so help them make the buying decision by having your practice put them in a buying mood. People buy on emotion, and a cluttered, noisy, and outdated office doesn’t feel good and people are less prone to purchase from one. This is your opportunity to convert a shopper into a patient and ultimately into a raving fan who will refer other patients to your practice.
While each part of the funnel has specific objectives, how you achieve them is up to you. At all three phases of the funnel, you should use email, phone calls, and snail mail.
Email: While emails can be generic and impersonal, they can also be individualized. Tailored email makes the recipient feel valued. More and more people check their email on their phones, so it’s easier to stay in touch with your leads and customers night and day. Be thoughtful and strategic in your messaging. People will engage with great content and helpful tips.
Phone calls: Too many chiropractors neglect this in their practice. Don’t make that mistake. Nothing is more powerful than speaking to someone directly. This is where you will see the biggest bang for your buck, because it’s the most personal way to reach people. Have someone in your office dedicated to making calls during a certain time each day. Scripting will make a big difference when personalized for the potential patient.
Snail mail: Although it looks like physical mail is going the way of the dodo, statistics show that almost 95 percent of people open their mail daily. Because email is such a vital part of what we do now, physical mail gets overlooked, but it is a huge opportunity for you to cut through the clutter. Your messaging can be educational or a special offer—just stay in touch. A mailing can be a postcard, a newsletter, a promotion, a birthday card, or a free sample. For an extra boost, spend the time and money to send something a little bigger, because bulky mail stands out.
While marketing funnels may seem foreign to you as a chiropractor, having optimized marketing funnels creates a strong business that serves more patients. Track the results obtained in each phase. Keep track of the time of day people answer their phones, which emails they open, and what mailings they respond to. Efficiency and savvy busi- ness sense will improve your business and increase sales, ultimately helping more patients.
Nancy Singleton is a 1989 graduate of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic Assistants. She has been consulting and helping doctors grow their practices for more than 25 years. She and her husband, Todd Singleton, DC, teach chiropractors how to implement multiple cash systems into their existing practices. For more information, call 801-707-697, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit singletonsystems.com.