Fast Tips - III: Summer Time Tips
Jun 14, 2004, 16:35
Fast Tips: III SUMMER MARKETING IDEAS
Summer is a great time to promote your services. Actually, it is always a great time to promote your services, but the summer months provide unique opportunities that are relatively easy and inexpensive. Here are some ideas:
- Screenings. They still work! The problem with screenings over the years is that the old posture analysis machines, whether made out of PVC tubing or flashy chrome, have been used by two or three chiropractors at every outdoor summer event since the mid 80’s. This has a tendency to get boring if not annoying to potential screenees. Additionally, with closed panel insurance plans, the office that screens a potential patient is often not a provider for the insurance plan of the person whom they are screening. So, it can be tougher than it once was. Despite this, we have offices that still produce new patients from screenings.
The most important ingredient to any successful screening is the attitude of those doing the screening. Are they upbeat, forward, friendly and talkative, motivated by a strong sense that people need to be free of the stresses that your office can remedy? The second most important ingredient is a thorough objective and/or subjective screening done with excellent communication. And of course, third, where appropriate, the scheduling of the appointment.
To update your screenings, and make them more productive, you can bring in other testing tools, such as SEMG, Metracom, etc. You can also offer different and more services. Consider “flexibility testing,” computerized range of motion or “joint mobility testing,” back and neck analysis, etc. You can also offer a free “pressure point” check, a five-minute massage for all local community members who get a posture analysis, a drawing for a free ice pack for anyone who receives a complimentary spinal screening, etc. You should also try to do cooperative screenings with other chiropractors if you can find out ahead of time who is planning to participate in the event. You can also set up alliances with other chiropractors, or other doctors such as podiatrists, dentists, etc., while at the event. These alliances can also serve you long after the screening event is over.
But most importantly, invest in the people doing the screenings. Their skill and commitment is more important than testing machines. Limit screenings to 4-5 hours maximum per staff, if possible. Keep it fun. Make sure there are enough people to help, and set up a training or rehearsal time beforehand to go over and practice, if necessary, the screening procedure. (We can help with the training.)
One other note: Screenings are both direct and indirect marketing. That is, although you should work to get appointments made for a complimentary consultation and exam at your office, you should also use this time simply to network and hand out cards. Nothing works better than face-to-face marketing in our media saturated environment. Even if the person does not come in immediately, if they had a good experience with a friendly person, they will be more likely to see you in the future. We have seen people make appointments months later from screenings, or from other sources such as patient referrals, that said they had also talked to the doctor or staff at a screening event. 6 If your screenings are not up to par, or if you are not sure screenings are for you, give us a call.
If you don’t want to do screenings, (and even if you do) there are plenty of other activities in which to become involved.
- Networking. There are so many outdoor events, from pancake feeds to runs, special picnics to fishing competitions, that you can’t help but bump into half of your community just by walking around. You can attend for just an hour, buy some food, talk to an old acquaintance, meet new people, find some way to interact, and of course, hand out volumes of cards.
- Donations. Many activities will accept a donation from your office, which helps to support their event or cause. In exchange, they promote you and your services. Since these are usually local and informal events, the promotion acts as an endorsement from the local event leaders in your neighborhood.
- Participation. Many events, such as a run or a community barbeque, simply require your participation. Get out there and help flip hamburgers while wearing your office T-shirts and get active with those who are also active. Find a list of upcoming events in your local newspaper, on the Web, or from your Chamber of Commerce and schedule you, your family, and your staff to attend this season’s summer activities, playing in community near to you...
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