My Seminar Experience From Hell (and what I learned from it)

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today will be Part I of a 3-part series from a seminar I attended this past weekend. As you will soon read, I thought the seminar was horrendous with a bit of sleazyness sprinkled in. However, there is always a lesson (and an ensuing post) that follows.

I was invited to a chiropractic marketing seminar this weekend. For my friends out there who know about this side of things, it was the type that certainly gives our profession a bad name. Some may call it a ‘Come to Jesus’ chiropractic meeting (maybe I just call it that). For me, it was important to attend because I believe it is hard to comment or have an opinion unless you have been intimately involved within the situation. Also, I always try to be the type of person that learns from every situation of which I am put. I would always get frustrated when after attending a seminar, many people would simply focus on what they didn’t learn rather than what they did. Not to get too much off the topic, but this is more so a mentality in life, rather than an isolated incident.

On a similar note, one of my mentor’s Dr. Jason Brown wrote something similar in this article: Lemons and Lemonade.

So, the point here is that there is always a lesson. Sometimes, it just takes some critical thinking to flip the lesson into a context in which it applies to you.

Lesson #1

Make Contact and Communicate: Much of the seminar this weekend dealt with attracting new patients to the office. Quite frankly, many of the ways they promoted were sleazy (I was trying to think of another way to describe it so as not to use the same adjective over and over, but this is all that came to mind) but the message rings clear. My friends, we can all wax poetic about the best 4×4 matrix progressions, packing the neck on a kettle bell swing, using scratch off scented kinesio tape (I don’t think that exists but it would be cool) but the reality is that we need people to come in and out of our practice in order to, you know, practice. Now, how to do this is certainly up to you. I would give suggestions, but I haven’t mastered it yet. Not even close. At this seminar, they made it a point to go out and meet people. This is step one. In my short time in practice, I can tell you it will not pay the bills to simple sit in the office and hope and pray that people will magically walk through the door.

just because you build it, does not mean they will come

And once you meet people, Step 2 is how to communicate what you do with the public. This is especially important. If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance you are doing something out of the norm. You are defying industry standards, and making things better. Whether a therapist or a trainer, you are giving clients an experience better than the guy next door, but also very different from the guy next door.

Two quick examples:

1) At the gym setting I work, many potential clients come in, and the first thing they ask is, ” Where are all the machines.” This is simply the opinion of many as to what a ‘good’ gym has. Lots of brand new, shiny leg extensions, and treadmills with the ability to rub your neck as you run and a personalized a/c unit, because god-forbid someone actually sweats while working out.

2) Many new patients who come into the office often end up asking if I am chiropractor or physical therapist because they don’t understand how/why I am teaching them to hip hinge, or why, as a chiropractor I am ‘training’ them with leg-lowering progressions.

The bottom line is that we must be masters at communication. We must explain to people why we don’t use machines and treadmills and that yes, in fact I am a chiropractor who does exercise with my patients because it is what I believe is best for them. I want them to know that the days of them walking in the door and plopping themselves facedown on the table for a 3 minutes adjustment are over. And most importantly, I need them to know why. I need to educate them so they understand, which hopefully makes their experience better. Now, hopefully they will ‘get it’.

In closing, I have found that the patients who ‘get it’ become our biggest advocates. They can’t wait to tell a friend or family member about the ‘chiropractor’ in town who assessed movement and gave them exercises to do at home. In the end, I think the people who ‘get it’ help build our practices just as much as any contact out there.

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