Attract New Patient Members

Attract New Patient Members

New Patient Attraction Through Appreciation

by Daniel and Richelle Knowles, D.C.s

Attract New Patient Members

New patient attraction through appreciation is a fun and effective way to attract new patients into your office. Our personal favorite is a practice member appreciation program that we developed for our practice. It’s simple, and our practice members love it.

You first need to decide who your ideal practice members are by developing a list of qualities and characteristics. For example, they are people who keep their appointments, handle their finances in a timely manner, are enthusiastic about the changes they’ve experienced, and perhaps belong to a certain demographic you’re reaching out to.

Once you’ve decided the characteristics of your best practice members, sit down with your team and select four to eight weeks’ worth of “Practice Members of the Week.” We find it efficient to select them all at once for one or two months, maybe even for the whole quarter.

Once you’ve done this, the appreciation begins. Train your staff to look out for the people who are practice members of the week to acknowledge them during a regular office visit a week or two before the times for which they’ve been selected.

Use these key elements:

  • A practice member of the week testimonial form. This is a sheet on which you can include their picture and a few questions for them to answer, such as how long they’ve been in care, what their lives were like before chiropractic care, their original motivations to seek care, and how chiropractic has positively impacted their lives? Allow them to share personal comments about their experiences in your office.
  • A gift bag. Use a nice glossy gift bag, like you’d bring to a party, and fill it with goodies. We have given a water bottle with our logo, a chocolate bar or other treats, a gift certificate for the care in your office, a gift card for some other business in your area (such as a $5 gift card to a smoothie bar or coffee shop that you have a relationship with), and/or a chiropractic or uplifting book that you often recommend. Have fun with it. We also include a save-the-date card for our practice member appreciation banquet and a letter asking for an online review.

The Fun Begins

When it’s their week, and the practice members of the week come for their office visits, the front desk welcomes them with a congratulatory greeting like, “Congratulations and welcome! You are our honored practice member of the week. We’re so grateful to serve you and for your faithfulness and follow through with your care. We’re inspired by all the great changes you had that we want to honor you. Here’s a little gift goodie bag with some special gifts for you.”

Walk them through what’s in the bag and point out the special save-the-date card for your practice member appreciation banquet! Tell them they are welcome to bring friends and family. Ask them to complete a brief form about their experience under the care and take a picture with you. Also, make sure you have them fill out a privacy form, giving you permission to share their pictures and testimonials in the office and on your website or social media channels.

Now you have the opportunity to parlay this into even more impressions for your office. Other things you can do:

  • Ask them to share their experience of care on video so that you can post it on your Facebook page and YouTube.
  • Request that they complete online reviews of your office and then reproduce it into a social media post on your Facebook page.
  • Create a post for your office blog and share that in social media as well. If you have a video, post it on YouTube. You could also use it in your weekly email newsletter for practice members as part of a “practice member spotlight.”

We’re Not Finished Yet

Once a quarter, host a small gathering for the most recent practice members of the week at a nice restaurant. Pick a restaurant that will seat 20 to 30 people in a private room and book the dates for the whole year. Pick a weekend that’s related to a holiday so you can create a theme for each event, for example near Valentine’s day in February, Mother’s day in May, a date that perhaps is near your office anniversary, or October or November for an Oktoberfest or gratitude theme.

When you’re about four weeks away from the event, send a printed invitation (similar style to a wedding, graduation party or bar mitzvah invitation) for the practice member appreciation banquet. Since your team gave them a save-the-date card, remember, this is really a reminder. It’s a nice touch when they get a pretty invitation that looks fancy and is hand-addressed. Two weeks out, call this group for confirmation of attendance and send a confirmation postcard. Remember to add to the invitation and confirmation postcard, as well as the confirmation phone call, that family and friends are welcome, up to four guests at your expense.

The Big Night

Have your team arrive early, and decorate with balloons or table centerpieces. Have goodie bags on the place settings. In these bags you can include gift certificates for your office, movie passes or treats. We often have office or chiropractic t-shirts as well. Be sure you offer something different than you gave them when you honored them as practice members of the week. Warmly greet your guests at the restaurant as they arrive. Truly make this banquet an appreciation of your practice members.

After people are seated and have placed their food order, the staff should briefly say some complimentary and appreciative words as well as a brief introduction for you. You should share a brief message of appreciation and then have everyone introduce themselves and share their experiences of care in the office. This activity alone will generate 10 to 20 testimonials, as each person shares something about their experience of care in front of your guests. You may not necessarily get a lot of guests, but the ones you do will be quality.

Now it is your turn to share a 10-minute message about chiropractic and impart something loftier or something they may not already know. Acknowledge your honorees for being pioneers in healthcare and seeing the world differently. Thank them for their commitment to you and your practice. Close with a statement inviting any guests to come in for a promotional evaluation, or to utilize a gift certificate that you may have included in goodie bags. Have a team member ready to make appointments if necessary.

Make sure you get lots of pictures of the event. You can then take these pictures (and remember, you already have signed permission slips, right?), and post them online as well as print copies for a bulletin board in your office so people see pictures of you having fun with your practice members.

Perfect As You Go

We’ve run a program like this in our office since we opened, and we keep developing and making it better each year. Use your creativity, have fun with it, and remember that creating a great practice is about building relationships with people so that they appreciate the level of care and quality of attention you give them. One of the core values of our office is to treat everyone as if they are family. We wholeheartedly recommend you adopt the same core value for your office and enjoy the results.

*Originally published in Sherman Magazine Fall 2015

Animal Chiropractic

Animal Chiropractic

Ensuring critters benefit from chiropractic care, too:

Maria McElwee, D.C.

by Beverly Knight

Animal ChiropracticMaria McElwee

Maria McElwee, D.C., ’14, has always had a love and passion for two things: chiropractic and animals. Her dream-come-true is that after graduating from Sherman she has been able to successfully marry those two passions in her career.

McElwee grew up in Conyngham, PA. Her mother, Joanne Gallagher, D.C., ’82, and her uncle, John Degenhart, D.C., ’80, ensured that she grew up “with the chiropractic lifestyle.” In fact, one of her earliest memories as a child is that she would pretend to “adjust” family members. And she would always dress as a chiropractor on career days in grade school. “I loved everything about it,” she says.

But it was the love of animals that permeated her young life. “I think that was instilled by my parents, especially my dad,” she says. “They taught my siblings and me to always be compassionate and caring. Life was to be respected.” She was the kid who, while walking to the school bus in the morning would pick up all the earthworms off the road after it had rained so they wouldn’t be run over by cars. And she clearly remembers almost getting her thumb broken protecting a spider that someone was trying to smash with a dictionary.

Her father, a carpenter, would bring home animals that had been uprooted or injured on the job site and she would nurse them back to health and take care of them until they could survive on their own. “My parents would always tell me that I had a bond with animals that they had never seen before, and I didn’t think anything of it.” She had barn cats and one of her pet chickens would even hike with her, she says, adding, “I never had normal pets, but I always had an understanding with animals.”

McElwee completed her undergraduate studies at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Because she knew she wanted to go to chiropractic school, she chose a degree program that would include the prerequisites through the core classes or electives, graduating with a B.S. in exercise science. And, best of all, attending Bloomsburg meant that she could continue doing 4-H and drill team with her horse.

Her family connection to Sherman was a factor in choosing the school for her chiropractic education. She had grown up attending Lyceum with her family and had great memories of the time spent at Sherman when she was younger. Those memories, coupled with Sherman’s dedication to personal attention, led her to the decision to attend, a decision she never regretted. “They always gave you the one-on-one attention when you needed it and made you feel like family,” McElwee says of the instructors who were always available and helped her successfully complete her degree program.

Selling her horse, the animal she calls the love of her life was the hardest thing she had to do as she was preparing to enroll at Sherman, even though she knew she would still be able to see him on occasion. “Animals were always a big part of my life,” McElwee says, explaining that giving up her horse broke her heart. “During chiropractic school, it was hard with all the strays that were around. I was always helping with the animals when I could,” she remembers. “My friends would pick at me because I acquired quite the ‘furbaby’ family by the end of school. We are one happy family and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she says of the animals that have always been her love and her passion.

“I had an interest in working with animals through chiropractic, even though at Sherman, I focused on people,” McElwee explains. As graduation approached, she decided to look into animal chiropractic as an option and saw that it would be possible to make her dream a reality. Following that dream, McElwee enrolled at Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic in Wellsville, KS, after graduating from Sherman in fall 2014. She completed her coursework there, becoming internationally certified in animal chiropractic. She is quick to point out, though, that she maintains her “human” license while living her dream of working with animals.

That understanding she developed with animals as a child serves her well in her professional life. Critter Chiropractic, her mobile animal chiropractic practice, located in Sugarloaf, PA, close to her family home, allows her to go to horse barns to keep people from having to trailer their animals. “People appreciate me coming to the house when their cat or dog needs care or is nervous to travel,” she says of the successful practice that she has grown in the area. “I see myself down the road having a farm where people can bring their animals to receive chiropractic care and other beneficial care by holistic practitioners,” she says of her dreams for the future. “But I will always offer mobile services for the care of animals that need it.”

When she started her work with animals, she discovered that they benefit from chiropractic care in the same ways that people do. “They are exposed to physical, chemical and emotional stressors of daily living, and that has an effect on their nervous systems,” she explains, adding that caring for animals is made difficult by the fact that they are so good at hiding pain and compensating for it, something they do instinctively. “They are silent sufferers and amaze me every day with what they endure. It is the best feeling in the world when I am able to give their body what it needs to start the healing process.” The reward for her is seeing animals relax and “get the joy and brightness in their eyes again.” It continually amazes her that the animals relax and trust her to work on them.

Though all of her patients touch her heart, she remembers some of whom chiropractic care was life-changing. One, a little corgi in a cart supporting his hind side was one of her first patients. Everyone had given up hope on him except his owner, who thought that chiropractic could help him. In the beginning, he couldn’t walk or support himself in the hind end. After the first appointment, he started to support himself and stand. After the second one, he started to walk and improvement continued. “To see him trotting around would bring tears to my eyes. He amazed me with the healing within his body. Every day is wonderful when I see changes like this, big or small,” McElwee says of the rewards she reaps in her professional life.

Her advice to other students about to embark on their professional lives is to follow their dreams and passions, no matter where they lead. And, she says, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. Anything is possible when you put all of your heart and soul into it. That will always shine through. The most important thing, though, is to believe in yourself, because that is all that matters in the end.”

*Previously published in Sherman Magazine Fall 2016

Board of Trustees Welcomes Dill, McCoy

Board of Trustees Welcomes Dill, McCoy

New Members of Board of TrusteesShawn Dill and Matthew McCoy

Shawn Dill, D.C., and Matthew McCoy, D.C., have been appointed to the Sherman College of Chiropractic Board of Trustees. Their terms began on May 7, 2017, and members serve four-year terms.

Dill is a 1995 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic. For eight years he practiced in Costa Rica, where, along with establishing what many consider to be the largest upper cervical practice in the world, he also authored the law that regulates the practice of chiropractic in the country. Now back in the U.S., he is the CEO of The Specific Chiropractic Centers, which operates eight knee chest upper cervical specific clinics and offers consulting services.

He is a past member of the faculty at Life Chiropractic College West, having served as the director of the Institute for Advanced Care in Chiropractic. In addition, he has also served as the chair of the Council on Upper Cervical Care of the International Chiropractors Association.

McCoy is CEO and co-founder of ChiroFutures and also serves as vice president of the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation. He was a professor at Life University for 17 years in the clinical sciences division, where he also served as director of research. Prior to that, he was in private practice in Kirkland, WA.

He is the past owner and clinical director of four integrative health care centers in South Florida, and he currently serves as editor of several healthcare journals. McCoy is actively engaged in research in such areas as health outcomes, pediatric and maternal health, and outcome assessment. Sherman College named him Chiropractor of the Year at Lyceum 2017.

“The Board of Trustees of Sherman College is excited to have Dr. Shawn Dill and Dr. Matt McCoy as our latest appointments,” said Sherman College Board of Trustees Chair Peter Kevorkian, D.C. “They both bring to the board perspective and experience that will help advance the governance of Sherman College in this pivotal time in the college’s history. Dr. Dill is a leader in training doctors in Knee Chest Upper Cervical Specific adjusting, and Dr. McCoy is intimately involved in chiropractic research, education, and politics. We look forward to their contributions to the board, the college, and the profession.”

The Board of Trustees at Sherman College of Chiropractic is a visionary group of professionals dedicated to carrying out the college’s mission, goals, and objectives to educate doctors of chiropractic, conduct relevant research, and serve humanity with high-quality health care.

Why You Should Read Every Day

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Relaxing after work

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable.

If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet.

It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

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New Chiropractic Practice

New Chiropractic Practice

How a Website Benefits Your New Chiropractic Practice

how a website benefits

Have you completed your comprehensive chiropractic education and are eager to begin helping people in your community with the skills you have worked to develop? Developing a successful chiropractic practice takes more than the applied technical and theoretical knowledge you have accumulated during your studies. Effective marketing practices are an important part of establishing an accomplished clinic, and today more than ever, that means creating a good website. An attractive and functional website is a great way to showcase your practice while making it easy for potential patients to find you.

What to Include on Your Website

Your website should be appropriate to your practice, informing new patients about how chiropractic can impact their health, answer general questions about chiropractic care, and have a simple way of contacting you. A website is often a patient’s first introduction to you, so it’s important that your site provides a positive impression that reflects your service. 

chiropractic website doesn’t need to be very complicated; in fact, you’ll want to provide the necessary information in a simple manner, with clear and succinct, content, attractive images and intuitive navigation. Group content according to well-organized sections with sub headings and spacing designed to make it easily readable. Your homepage should emphasize your core messaging with large images, clear menu options and perhaps a video. Popular pages to include on your website include an about section describing your licensure and details about you, frequently asked questions page, testimonials, services and a “contact us” page.

Tips for More Effective Chiropractic Website

Plenty of design templates are available online to create your own website, but it might be worth hiring a professional for more innovative and user-friendly design. To be easily found on mobile browsers and Google searches, it is ideal to use responsive design to ensure your site works on all devices. Regularly updating your site with blogs, articles and social media integration will encourage return visits from a loyal clientele while enhancing your search engine optimization (SEO). Never copy content directly from other websites, as it will be penalized by search engines.Test your site when it is ready to go, and launch it with promotion on business cards, ads, and social networking sites.

Building on an Excellent Chiropractic Education

Fortunately, chiropractic training and comprehensive education at Sherman College will prepare you for executing a successful business strategy. Students learn the essentials of practice management, automated office procedures, and how to build and maintain a referral practice. The 264-hour practice management observation elective offers qualified student extensive field experience in all aspects of office best practices, including developing effective public relations and marketing. Sherman’s Apple Initiative, advanced technology, and multimedia tools will ensure you have the business and technical skills to support your new chiropractic practice.

Interested in training for a career in chiropractic? Visit Sherman College of Chiropractic to explore our unique program!

Working

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable.

If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet.

It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

SC Representative Donna C. Hicks Visits Sherman College of Chiropractic

RepHicksWithShermanTeam

From left, Sherman College Dean of Clinic Operations and Outreach Dr. Dwayne Hoskins; Executive Vice President Dr. Neil Cohen; Representative Donna Hicks; Sherman College President Dr. Edwin Cordero; Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost Dr. Bob Irwin; and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph J. Donofrio, D.C.

South Carolina House of Representatives member Donna C. Hicks visited Sherman College of Chiropractic earlier this week to learn more about the chiropractic college’s substantial community and economic impact in her district. Hicks, a chiropractic patient herself, met with Sherman College President Edwin Cordero, D.C., and several members of the administrative team.

President Cordero said Representative Hicks and Sherman College share common strategic goals: the health of the community and the economic success of Spartanburg County. “We are both dedicated to the health and well-being of our state on a physical level as well as political and fiscal levels,” Dr. Cordero said.

Sherman College’s enrollment has grown nearly 75 percent over the past three years. This growth brings more students, staff, and faculty to the area, as well as graduates who choose to stay and practice here.

“As Sherman College continues to grow and expand, our contributions to Spartanburg and South Carolina will increase significantly,” Cordero explained. “We look forward to connecting with Representative Hicks to find ways that we can partner for the benefit of our citizens.”

Sherman College contributes to the local economy:
• Nearly 90 percent of Sherman College students are from out of state.
• All students rent apartments or purchase homes; the college does not offer campus housing because it feels it is vital for students to be involved in the community.
• Nearly 1,000 people attend Sherman College continuing education events each year, increasing revenue for local hotels, restaurants, and businesses.
• More than 300 prospective students and family members from across the country and around the world visit Sherman College each year, each staying in town for up to three nights.

The college also contributes to the local community via health services:
• The on-campus Sherman College Chiropractic Health Center provides chiropractic care to local citizens, serving more than 30,000 patient visits each year; all care is rendered under the supervision of licensed doctors of chiropractic.
• The Chiropractic Health Center takes a natural, preventative approach to health care, without the invasive use of drugs or surgery, helping patients enjoy a greater potential for health and optimal human performance.
• Fifteen percent of care offered at the Chiropractic Health Center is offered at no cost to patients in need in the community; all other care is offered at a very economical cost.
• The college partners with several local agencies to provide care, including Access Health, Spartanburg Methodist College, and others.
• Sherman students and faculty participate in more than 100 community events each year, including spinal screenings, health talks, health fairs, blood drives, food drives, school supply collections and much more.

Our Books

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English.

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in some form, by injected humour, or randomised words which don’t look even slightly believable.

If you are going to use a passage of Lorem Ipsum, you need to be sure there isn’t anything embarrassing hidden in the middle of text. All the Lorem Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this the first true generator on the Internet.

It uses a dictionary of over 200 Latin words, combined with a handful of model sentence structures, to generate Lorem Ipsum which looks reasonable. The generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition, injected humour, or non-characteristic words etc.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.