|Dynamic Chiropractic – October 8, 2007, Vol. 25, Issue 21|
By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
Each of us has choices to make in how we live our lives. The worst example is someone who goes to work, comes home, never interacts with anyone and never does anything outside of meeting their own needs.The best example is someone who is constantly impacting the quality of other people's lives, from the moment they get up to the time they go to bed.
People who invest time and love into other people's lives create relationships with them that transcend mere acquaintance. They create a bond, the quality of which is communicated to others.
Just as people talk about the bad things that happen in their lives, they also talk about the good things. They naturally tell others about the people who have blessed them. The profession of chiropractic is, by definition, a position from which you are called to be a positive force in people's lives. When you introduce health into a person's body, you impact their life (and the lives of those around them) forever.
Those who have regained their health will naturally want to share that with the people they know. The easier you make it for them to do so, the more likely it is that your patients will talk about you and refer people to you.
So, what are you doing to help your patients tell their story of health through chiropractic? (If the answer is nothing or doesn't include information you are putting in their hands, you are probably missing opportunities.) The first step in creating community in your area is ensuring that your patients have great things to say about you and are equipped to tell (and show) your story. Providing excellent care, positive communication and more than what's expected (notice I didn't talk about discounting your fees) is a way to impress all customers.
The second step is regular communication. If you never talk to your patients, they will never think of you until they have back pain, etc. You can begin to accomplish this with a personalized e-mail newsletter, birthday/anniversary/holiday greetings, etc. You can really make an impression by passing on information that will address their health issues and improve their quality of life.
As the saying goes, people sometimes don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
The final step is getting involved in the various communities in your area. This is really easier than you think. You can be the unofficial soccer doctor, volunteer to talk about chiropractic at high school career day, serve meals for the homeless at Thanksgiving, etc. Every group or gathering includes a community of involved people. Join that group and you become part of that community. Serving that community from the heart will cause people to admire who you are and the profession you represent.
Make yourself, your practice and chiropractic famous by serving your community, serving your patients and providing excellent care. Create an image the leads people to seek your care based upon your values and the example you set. Create a community of people who are proud to say they are your patients.
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