Create a strong brand presence with your unique selling proposition and emphasize the benefits of your practice
Unless you are the only chiropractor in your town, you will need to differentiate yourself from your competition through your unique selling proposition, or USP. Even if you are the only chiropractor, you will still need to differentiate your practice from all the other options patients have.
These options include seeing another chiropractor or seeing other health care providers such as medical doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists. It also includes patients’ most-commonly-chosen alternative — to do nothing at all.
A strong, instantly recognizable USP is a central component of your overall marketing strategy. It can make or break practices operating in competitive markets. It is essential for you to leverage your USP, especially when marketing a not-so-easily-differentiated service like chiropractic care. Until you can articulate what your USP is and learn how to capitalize on it, your practice will be just another voice clamoring to be heard.
The unique selling proposition
Simply put, your unique selling proposition is what makes your practice different from everyone else in your market.
A strong, unique selling proposition can help you attract new patients, retain those you currently care for, and reduce patient dropout. For some chiropractors, identifying your practice’s USP will be easier than for others. If your practice is the only provider of a niche product or service, such as “the only provider of non-surgical spinal decompression therapy in the tri-state area,” this will be your USP.
For most chiropractic practices, identifying a unique selling prop is not as easy. Fortunately, there are several ways you can differentiate your practice, even if you provide similar services or products.
Get inside your ideal patient’s head
Before you start thinking about which qualities set your practice apart from other practices, you need to know everything about your “ideal patient.” In marketing terms, this is referred to as your “customer avatar.”
Consider the following:
- What does your ideal patient really want?
- How can your services or products solve their problem(s)?
- What factors motivate their buying decisions?
- Why do your existing patients choose your practice over your competitors?
Be exact. Remember — it is not enough to merely target a rough demographic. You need to know exactly who you want to attract and why.
Once you know this, you can get to work on the next step in the unique selling proposition process, which is to explain how your practice uniquely solves your ideal patients’ problems. Your patients do not want to spend their hard-earned income on chiropractic care — they want to spend their money to have you solve their problems. This could be as simple as getting out of pain, but it can and frequently is much more complex.
Patient avatars: what to include
Create an ideal patient avatar as though you were documenting the personal profile of a living person.
It can be helpful to meet with your practice team members to create a list of your favorite patients. Who do you absolutely love to see show up at your front desk? Who are your practice ambassadors who rave about your practice to their family, co-workers and community? Determining what they have in common is a great place to start. Once you have identified these individuals, consider convening a small focus group comprising them to collect even greater insight into their motivations.
There are several key components to the ideal patient avatar. Begin with demographic information like age, gender and location. This will give your persona a look and feel. Name your avatar and search internet images for a representative photo.
Next, make note of the goals and values that are relevant to the products and services you offer:
- What motivates her?
- Is it more time, more energy, less stress?
- What are your avatar’s challenges and pain points?
- Is she concerned about being there for her family, not squandering the family budget, or finding a health care provider who really listens?
Once you have established your avatar, you can market your practice in such a way that shows how it meets her needs and solves her problems.
Make your practice irresistible
Now that you know who your ideal patient is and the problems she faces, it is time to tell her precisely why she should choose your practice over your competitors’.
Just as advertisements have mere seconds to capture consumers’ attention, your USP should be almost immediately obvious. Let us see how this works using a unique selling proposition template. Note that everything in brackets can be changed to suit the specifics of your practice.
Unique selling proposition template and example
For [your ideal patients] who [need/want the problem you uniquely solve],
[your practice] is the premier provider of [your product or service].
We provide [your unique solution/approach].
Unlike [other product or service providers], our practice is the place in [your market] that focuses on [your ideal patients with your unique solution].
Unique selling proposition example:
“For busy moms who cannot let back pain get in the way of balancing work and home life, Sanna Chiropractic Center is the premier provider of drug-free, non-surgical chiropractic care. We provide you with the cost-effective care you need in a family-friendly setting that respects your busy schedule. Unlike other health care providers you may have seen in the past, our doctors really listen to your needs and search for the underlying cause of your problem. Our practice is the only place in the tri-state area that focuses on the needs of busy moms and their families.”
It is essential that your USP is highlighted in your ad copy, website and landing pages. Preferably, it should be in the headline, or first line of your ad.
Make sure you emphasize the benefits of using your product or service. By emphasizing the benefits of your service, you are placing greater value on the emotional payoff and appealing to your prospective patients’ desire to solve their problems. What’s your practice’s USP? Did you know what it was right away, or did you figure it out as you went through this exercise? Share your USP with your practice team and patients to gain even more insight into your uniqueness. Practice makes perfect.
MARK SANNA, DC, ACRB LEVEL II, FICC, is a member of the Chiropractic Summit and a board member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. He is the CEO of Breakthrough Coaching and can be reached at mybreakthrough.com or 800-723-8423.