Let’s talk about giving out offers and heavily discounted treatments in the health care environment.
If someone told you they could give you an x-ray, full body scan, and spinal manipulation treatment for the price of a fish and chip take away – would you do it? Some would say yeah why not – “What have I got to lose“, and others reading this are stomping their feet, screaming ‘RUN!!!!’ at the top of their lungs.
Well, actually it depends on the practitioners as with everything. Some chiropractors give other chiropractors a bad name just like some teachers, marketers, businesses, builders, plumbers, and so on….. Trust is vital in any profession but especially in health care.
Look at this friendly chap in the photo below. What are your first impressions of him? What if I told you he is a chiropractor? Would you let him manipulate or adjust your spine?
As a society, we have been trained to trust anyone who wears a long white coat but don’t be fooled. He is actually a veterinarian and probably not who you want to carry out your next chiropractic treatment.
From my extensive experience in sales and marketing, I can tell you trust is vital to sales, but what most people forget is repeat sales.
I know the concept of “sales” in healthcare might make you baulk, but consider the ethical impact of this. An oft-quoted study looked at patients who initially saw their GP for a course of back pain. They went in, got some pills, and were told that those would fix the problem. Fast forward three months, and X percent were still in pain, but hadn’t been back to the GP. It’s proposed that this is because the treatment the GP provided didn’t work, so they didn’t bother going back. On the other side, the GP is no doubt thinking “Brilliant, they didn’t come back, they must have got better.” This disconnect in what we think is happening during care and what’s actually happening can cause real problems down the line.
Now, apply this to your clinic. Patient gets treatment once and doesn’t come back- what do you think they’ll be saying about you? “Chiro told me the treatment would help and it didn’t, I’m not going to waste my money there again.” Patients trust you to tell them what they need to do and when they need to come in and see you. It’s therefore vital that we manage expectations.
If you had taken control of the situation and if that patient did need to see you in a couple of days or for maintenance and you kept them out of pain and helped them transition into self care you will be their biggest fan!
And this brings me onto recommendations.
What offers do you have in clinic? Refer a friend? Free spinal screenings? Random discounts when the diary looks a little cold?
Be careful how offers and discounts reflect on your credibility as a chiropractor and never underestimate the affect of scarcity to your business.
Do you discount your treatments? Do you discount your initial assessments? Do you discount elderly, young, disabled, friends and family, military etc etc?
Whatever you decide to discount you need to be happy with it and stick with it. Discounts and offers are about consistency and everyone needs to be on the same page.
Ideas for discounts and offers in health care clinics
This list is only a reference for ideas and suggestions, by no means do we suggest offering all of these discounts – choose and adapt the ones that feel right for you and your clinic. However, refer a friend is almost always a great way to keep people coming back.
- Refer a friend
- Friends and Family
- OAP or Elderly
- Babies and children
- New Year
- School Term holidays
- Companies and organisations
- Got a regular slow shift? Discount appointments on these days.
- Marathon runners
- Paying up front for several treatments
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