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I ran across an article that said anytime you ask someone about money. They will always tell you that in order to be happy. They love to make double what they make regardless of if they make 50k a year or five million a year. The answers were double what they currently have.
So obviously growth is a hot topic but especially as we are looking into a new year and of course after the year that we've had I know that growth is on a lot of your minds. In fact, it's one of the most commonly asked questions for me.
That's why I have grown my practice to the high-volume beast that it is today. And I remember this phenomenon, really, well when I was in your shoes, I remember constantly asking people that were ahead of me on the journey. "What's the secret? .. If you had to do one thing?"
There's no secret sauce. There's no grow-your-practice quick scheme.
We teach our patients; We need to remember that growth for a patient's healing takes time and repetition.
And so still to this day the number one thing that has built my high-volume is referrals, and I'm sure that you are just so taken aback by that. Right? So when I was formulating the content for this episode, I was talking to my team and I was like, you know, this is the non sexiest thing to talk about when it comes to growth.
I'm going to say for the last seven years of my 13-year career well over 50% of our growth has come from referrals and I wanted to break down for you how we make that happen.
--> All of you have referrals and word-of-mouth happening but I'm guessing that most of you wish it was more and what happens with this strategy is if you focus on it you will see the numbers that come from referrals and word of mouth dramatically increase. Let's just pick some numbers and say maybe right now you're getting on average five new patients a month that are coming from referrals or from word of mouth. What if we could make that number 20? 20 new patients a month that are coming from referrals and word of mouth in most Chiropractic practices, that's a game-changer that literally will set you on a completely different trajectory for 2021, and that's what I'm here to do.
--> Because in my opinion, this is the number one mistake that chiropractors make when it comes to this strategy is they don't nurture it. They don't think about what's required to see growth with referrals. They don't pay attention to it.
That's unfortunately some small amount of referrals will come through from those people that are just relentless about sharing the message and they're the evangelists for Chiropractic in your practice. You all can think of some patients that you have like that but you're not going to get giant numbers of referrals without really focusing on it. So today, I'm going to break down the first two pieces that I think are really important and pivotal to our referral system and I have many many more pieces to this.
What I've decided to do is I'm going to put together a workshop for you that you can come to join me live and I'm going to go over the rest of the pieces of our referral system in this workshop; that's going to be in January.
--> Access this episode's Companion Guide here: 3 Proven Strategies To Take Your Practice From Plateau to GROW!
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I'd love to have the opportunity to answer your questions live about that. So that's why I decided to give you some here and then we'll continue the conversation in that Workshop.
Today, with regards to our referral system, when I asked myself, what do I do to nurture referrals? What do I do to make sure that people are when they hear about us via word of mouth? Are taking action picking up the phone and calling and making an appointment? These two things we're going to go deeper on today are branding and standing out in your marketplace
Here is a real-life example; Sally goes to work and has been seeing you for a month and she is super pumped about the results that she is receiving. She has a better quality of life. She's sleeping better. She has more energy, she remembers how she's supposed to feel she's super excited about it. And she tells Mary who sits in the cubicle next to her. Hey, you should go check out my chiropractors. I know you've been complaining about your stress and your sleep. I really think that they could help you. The first thing that Mary's going to do is she’s going to check us out. It is very unlikely that someone is going to just pick up the phone and immediately make an appointment from that referral without doing at least a smidgen more research - and this is based on fact. This is based on we have done several focus groups and convert. We've had lots of different point of context conversations with some of our best patients that came from referrals and they all reflect back that this is the process that they took they had that first conversation with whomever and then they did some research and when people are going to research you, in my opinion, one of the biggest things that they are looking at.
Is your brand and your ability to truly stand out and show? What what is the number reason number one reason why they should choose you in a marketplace where they have choices because most of you practice in an area where they have choices, right? They are there several other Chiropractic options out there for them. So, how does your brand really nurture?
That initial referral conversation and how did they very apparently see in their research of you that you are the right fit for them? There is a reason or hopefully a multitude of reasons why they should choose you and not someone else. So this is what we're going to break down a little further. Is that branding and standing out in the marketplace so when it comes to brand
I am extraordinarily passionate about developing a brand that is reflective of the level of service that you provide in the office. So really that's just a fancy way of saying don't be a broke-ass brand. I really want you to hear this. Your website, your online presence, your outward-facing marketing, need to show that you are serious about your practice and you are ready to care for people at such a high level.
I really do believe that appearances matter when it comes to your branding and a big reason for that is most of you are trying to attract families that have disposable income. They are interested in holistic health in different ways of looking at their health journey.
I am the target market for my practice. So anything that I put together with our brand has to pass the Krysti test and it's a hard test of so, esthetics and layout of things like your website and all the different pieces that you can think of that someone has access to when they choose. Your social media presence, those are the key things that are really easy for them to go look at when they're researching you right and all of those things need to be reflective of the level of care that you feel you provide.
So here's an example that I have seen happen in our profession over and over.
→ Someone is an amazing chiropractor like the person that you would want to care for you because they're just so good at what they do at the at the art of truly providing great Chiropractic Care and you hear about them and you go look at their website and you're like this website looks like it's from 1995 and there's like nothing about them who they are why they care about Chiropractic. Why they care about me as a potential patient, there's no there's no social proof on their website. They don't have a logo, there's no pieces on the website that helped me understand who they love to serve and why, and it's more like a one-page 1995 business card now.
But I can tell you with certainty that if someone is referred to your office and they are the type of person that is scrutinized and they want the very very best in their life. If they go to a website that feels like you phoned it in they're going to question the referral they might not take action. So this first part is really about how you can ensure that you're not creating any barriers between them hearing about you and choosing to pick up the phone and make that first appointment. So really my first invitation to you is to do an audit. I teach this through my group coaching - It's called the Inside Out framework inside my coaching program and the number one part of the Inside Out framework is to audit your outward facing marketing and make sure that it is reflective of your the brand that you would like to perpetuate. So is it reflective of that highest level of service that you provide? So take some time and really ask yourself if you're proud of all of those things. It's time to fix it up and make it happen. It's really important that you're conscious and you have developed the understanding and outline of the primary person that you are speaking to when it comes to your prospective patient. So who is the patient that you would love to clone in your practice and have a million of them? This is what you need to think about when you are revamping your outward-facing marketing because you want them.
I can tell you that I personally believe that this process of coming up with your ideal patient is dependent on the demographics where you live so someone that practices in a very very small place if your ideal patient is a prenatal patient, but you live in a town of 900 people, how many pregnant moms are there going to be at any one time?
Have some umbrella thought processes with regard to who you're speaking to. So in my world for my practice my umbrella thought process with regard to our ideal patient is our patient is multiple patients.
Example if you decide to do something new with your website and you aren't the target market you're trying to develop ask those two to four patients to look at it for you and give you feedback and there's tons of ways that you can repay that to them. You give them a little gift as being part of your focus group, but make sure you get feedback.
Your kiddos are all grown up, you are in your early 50s, but you really still love serving young families. So you want to talk to moms that have kids that are 12 and under and ask women that are in that demographic so that you make sure that you're really relentless about crafting something that is going to speak to them. It's going to reach them.
You have to be really conscious in order to make sure that you do not lose the referral in this process is why I alluded to this a little bit already, but the bottom line with this everybody is if you're not clear why you are the best choice in your area, they will not be clear either. It is impossible for them to decide that you are the best choice for their life if you are not confident that you're the best choice.
So the exercise here is super simple sit down and write out at least the top three reasons why people should choose you in your community.
We invest so much time and energy into continuing to better our skills. We provide an exceptional service based atmosphere. So we're constantly thinking about how to serve them at the highest level and how we make this an experience and not just a care transaction.
I think anything is helpful for you to have clarity of why they should choose you and then this is the piece that you must infuse in your branding and in how you stand out.
Get over that thought process that is ingrained in us that it's not okay to talk about how cool we are and how much time and energy and effort and love and care has been poured into the experience that we provide inside of our business. It's important for you to highlight those things. So do your best to sit down and figure out again the whole why they should see you. What's your clarity there then?
→ I have two more things to consider in your branding and in standing out in the marketplace. One other piece to consider is can they get a glimpse of who you actually are with this branding and marketing piece? So when someone is referred and they hear about you by word of mouth and they go and start searching through your social presence. So for us our biggest social presence in our area is Facebook mainly just because we live in a more rural area and Instagram is still kind of coming into its own. So even though I personally use Instagram mainly we haven't had as much adoption of that platform yet. So I know that someone who is considering making an appointment that was referred can go to our feed they can scroll through and they can see that not only are we consistent, we're putting out messages on a regular basis. Our team does not just put new patient requests and educational calls to actions on every post because that's boring for them. By the way, that's a very common mistake in the social media world with chiropractors.
The biggest thing that I think, they can do is scroll and get a taste of who we are at our core and that is a massive part of our brand. Our brand is built around the fact that we are an all-women team that puts more love and care and attention into our relationships with these patients. Then really in my opinion anyone has ever experienced in healthcare like these people become a part of our family and we are consistently honoring them, appreciating them, telling them directly how important they are, and how honored we are that they choose us to be a part of that healthcare journey so they can truly get a glimpse of our character on our social media presence. They can get a glimpse of who we are at our core on our website. So really I just want to ask you if you are consistent with your branding and your marketing on social media, for example, that's great. But are you consistent about letting them see you like really understand the heart of your team and that doesn't mean you need to get personal, it just means that in my opinion a strong brand is built.
So really each person on my team is a huge part of how we display our brand and it's they are the foundation to which our brand has grown to the level that it is today. And so really it's important for you to remember that people connect to people and so again, you don't need to get personal but you need to give them an opportunity to really see who you are. So if you aren't sure if they can see a glimpse of who you are then they probably can't and so this is another great place to ask some of your closest patients. What do you know now about us as a team that you wish we could have elaborated on more on our website or on social when you are first considering coming in that would have helped you make your decision?
That's an example of a fantastic focus group question and it's super important for you to get clarity on that so that you can build it into your schedule and people can really feel like they can have started the connection process.
I can guarantee you that for most of you in the longevity of your career referrals and word of mouth will always be your number one source of growth and so we want to make sure that we're removing any barriers to that piece.
And again, I have a very strong opinion that branding or really lack thereof and the inability to stand out in your marketplace are two of the biggest barriers to pouring some gas on the referral fire if you will.
The last one I have for you to consider today is do you have social proof? So in this outward-facing marketing place where they can actually come and research your brand. Do you have tons of opportunities for them to feel like they are not alone?
I wanted to take our website even deeper to make it as personal as possible. Our philosophy at the practice is my philosophy of how I have built this brand. I wanted it to be displayed on our website in a better way. So I recently just completely redid our website and I hired a copywriter. I would highly encourage you if you are going to go that route as far as a new website that's custom to hire someone that's a person to write copy because in my opinion chiropractors really struggle to write copy that resonates.
She added in a long page of testimonials and I was like, oh my gosh, don't you think that's going to be super overwhelming? Isn't it going to be this huge long page? She said, "On the contrary. I feel like this will be one of the number one things that are going to help them see that they're in such good hands before they even pick up the phone because they're going to be scrolling for days.
So I went with her suggestion and our new website has been launched for maybe like a week only two weeks and we've already had two new patients specifically. Someone at work asked her who she was going to see which we all see everyone and she said well, I don't care who they put me with for my first appointment because obviously based on these pages and pages of testimonials. They're all amazing! So again, sometimes we can get a little in our head about not wanting to overwhelm with testimonials.
I bet some of you haven't prioritized gathering testimonials for a while, but having social proof out there for them to easily see all these positive results is so important in the referral process because again, they heard about you from a friend. So they already have that positive glowing recommendation if they can go look within their research and see a lot more of that. It's going to be 10 times easier for them to make the decision to hurry up and start their process. So it's very vital in your branding and in this standing out and have these conversations for you to prioritize how you're sharing these positive stories. I mean once they're in the office we obviously have lots of avenues where they can see testimonials inside the office to but it's really important for them to again know right off the bat. They're in the right place. You're going to take great care of them and they're going to be in great company of people that are not only satisfied with their raving fans and honestly sharing the stories in your practice is such a skill that it really warns being developed.
So if you're looking to develop that a little bit further, I can't recommend enough the book, Building A Story Brands by Donald Miller. It's so fascinating for you to really dig into this marketing piece further and figure out how to become a fantastic storyteller so that people understand that you are truly their guide that they have been looking for and you're going to help guide them to those health goals that they have. So this is the start of this conversation and you can see why.
I have probably seven more bullet points on our personal referral system in practice that I could go over but I knew that this first chunk would take me some time and here's the thing, it warrants the time. This is the first thing and the easiest thing you can do to ramp up some of those referrals because again when people are talking about you if they have the opportunity to decide that you're not for them we have to fix that and so it's really important for you to take that scrutinize lens and look through all of these outward-facing marketing pieces and just put yourself in the position of the prospective patient that has heard about you through word of mouth.
What are they going to go look at and are you proud of it? That's really the biggest takeaway. I want you to think about today. What are these people looking at? And are you truly proud of it?
So our ending quote for today is from Donald Miller Building A Story brand.
"Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives."
So for all of you out there, we have the best product in the whole world. We get to go out and share the Chiropractic message and help people understand the power of their body. I really can't think of anything else that I'd rather sell. So you have the opportunity to go out and help people make an amazing decision.
So this is your opportunity to take action and make sure that those prospective patients are truly landing in the right place with you because we know they're going to be in good hands with you.
Let me know what action you're taking and we can continue this conversation at the workshop in January where I'm going to break down all the other really important tactical pieces of how we make sure our referrals are always bumping at River Shores!