Patient workshops are an incredibly effective and efficient means of educating current patients and recruiting new patients. The workshops are the perfect opportunity to educate patients, their families and friends about the many benefits of chiropractic care. Chiropractors who put on workshops in their offices can attest to the fact that many patients who attend the sessions end up staying with the practice for complete corrective care.
Workshops are most effective when you follow a step-by-step plan. The workshops increase patient understanding and enthusiasm and increase your referrals. In-office workshops are also a great way for you to practice and perfect your public-speaking skills.
Audiences at workshops are generally small, and members will appreciate your talk, especially if you encourage their participation. Limit the workshop to less than an hour. A workshop does not have to be long to accomplish your goals.
Here is a sample agenda for a workshop:
- Begin your workshop by welcoming your guests. Then show audience members how to check for spinal distortions or misalignments. For example, is the left shoulder higher or lower than the right shoulder? This is an opportunity for audience participation. Have everyone in the audience check one or two other guests for possible distortions.
- Show a set of X-rays and explain the problem areas. If possible, try to show X-rays before and after treatment so the audience can see the positive changes that occurred because of chiropractic care.
- Clearly explain to your attendees what chiropractic care is. Use plenty of props – a spine, a pinched nerve, a flip chart, etc. It is wise to use lay terms during your workshop. Remember, you are speaking to an audience that is not medically trained.
- Next you should explain the specifics about what an adjustment is. Even your long-term patients may not fully understand the concept.
- Have one of your patients testify about the value of chiropractic. Testimonials inspire everyone, including the doctor. Provide the testifying patient with a format for his or her talk, including: “How long have you had the problem? What solutions did you try before that didn’t work? How did you learn about chiropractic? How has your problem interfered with your life, and how has your life changed now? Would you recommend chiropractic care and why?” The patient who is sharing his or her testimonial should be encouraged to prepare notes ahead of time.
- Close the talk by asking if any guests would like to be checked for subluxations and by inviting current patients to refer their family and friends. Check the guests who are interested for subluxations; and set appointments, as needed, for full examinations.
Never have a question-and-answer period during a workshop. Anyone who raises his or her hand to ask a question during your talk should be asked to talk to you after the workshop. This tactic ensures that you are always in complete control and aren’t put on the spot to come up with “instant” answers.
Many doctors who have never done a workshop say, “I’ll schedule one once I am prepared.” However, chances are you will never get around to the workshop that way. The best motivation is to go ahead and schedule the workshop, and to have a deadline to prepare your presentation.
For your first talk, invite eight special, friendly patients. Perhaps five patients will show. Don’t be disappointed. This is just a trial run.
Everyone is nervous about speaking in front of an audience, especially at first. Do not let nervousness interfere with your success. Just go forward and put aside any apprehension. You won’t be disappointed with the pay-off, in the form of new patient recruits and more educated, enthusiastic existing patients.