Wear a lab coat.
To understand why these are the most important 4 words for successfully marketing a chiropractic practice, I want to briefly cover what positioning is.
Positioning is aligning what is known with what is unknown in the mind of the consumer. It is a way to achieve instant familiarity and to be recognized by someone who hasn’t heard of you before.
When I tell you that my daughter is as fearless as Amelia Earhart, you get an idea of her personality by association. This can also work to form a negative impression. If you’ve never been to a Starbucks and I tell you that it is the McDonald’s of coffee houses you will have an idea formed based on the positioning I’ve assigned.
Part of effective positioning is making sure that you are not positioned against something that is loved or admired or for something that is hated. Would we ever tell our customers that we love our work like we love killing puppies? No – that’d be an uphill battle for sure. However, many chiropractors make a similar mistake every day.
According to Gallup, the most trusted professions in America are nurses, doctors and pharmacists. This is a consistent trend and MDs have been at or near the top of trusted professions for years.
Chiropractic marketing suicide
Yet most chiropractors position themselves against MDs and the medical establishment in their promotion, their websites, their blogs. They are happy to provide “alternative medicine.” They decry medical abuses and some even vilify MDs.
This positioning is suicide. These chiropractors have immediately shut the door to the 3/4 of the American population that trusts the medical establishment above every other profession that exists – including clergy, police officers and teachers.
This idea will rankle some of my chiropractor friends. The profession has had its struggles with the AMA and the government. It has been the target of smear campaigns and unfair tactics. I got it. As a member of a minority religion, I hear you.
Do you have so many new patients that you can afford to make 75% of the people you promote to distrust you because you gripe about the medical establishment?
Positioning a chiropractic practice correctly in 5 steps
- A chiropractic office should have the look and feel of a standard medical office.
- The Doctor of Chiropractic should wear a lab coat and stethoscope or scrubs.
- The office staff should all wear matching scrubs.
- When the Doctor wants her patient to purchase a supplement, she should write it down on a prescription pad and give it to the patient to give to the front desk, who fills the order.
- Instead of knocking the medical profession, point out the common goals. Quotes from Hippocrates work well. Instead of “alternative medicine,” try “complementary medicine.” Stress the safety and gentleness of the Chiropractic method, the lack of side effects (no one likes those) and the benefits of your services.
For more information on positioning, I recommend Postioning: the Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries.
If you’d like me to look over your current marketing and promotion, I’d be happy to help. I have a free marketing analysis available through my company’s website. I even give everyone who fills it out a free program they can do based on their answers to immediately boost their statistics.