Dr. James R. Fedich, DC Chiropractor, Coach, Speaker, & Podcast Host

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Referrals should be the lifeblood of any practice. In fact i can probably tell exactly what is going on in your practice by the number of referrals you are getting. Less than 10 a month, you got big problems. 10-20, doing ok, over 20, your doing it right! Pretty easy. that is the number per month by the way! So, if your not getting over 20 a month, lets do things to improve! Most of getting referrals is taking good care of the patient in the office. Now, that doesn’t mean making them feel better or giving them great care, in fact, that has little to do with getting referrals. People expect you to be good clinically, it is not surprising, you should be helping people, that is your job! That is the biggest thing i can tell docs about referrals, you will not get them for being good clinically, i can promise that! You must exceed expectations to get referrals! How do you do that?

All the little stuff in the office. Too much to go over here. But, friendly staff, well dressed, nice office, smells nice, looks neat and clean, updated furniture, painted in last 5 years, etc. All that adds up!

Best tip to increase referrals? Paint the office! if its been more than five years, paint the office, referrals will go up. Keep the office neat and clean. Get the carpets steamed at least once a year. Trust me, this little stuff adds up! If you paint the walls and steam the carpets, your referrals will go up! Another easy in office idea is to mix up the decor. Patients get bored looking at the same thing over and over again. Move the furniture around, change the pictures around, mix things up!

Ok, you must wow the patients to get referrals. How? Here are some ideas, New patient welcome box! all new patients get a welcome box mailed to their house. Monthly newsletters, birthday cards! Send your patients birthday cards, there are companies that will do that. We use storybook publishing for both newsletter and bday cards! Tell them i sent you for a discount! Go to http://www.stoneybrookpublishing.com/, ask for Sheri, she waves the setup fee for all my clients. Tell her Dr Fedich sent you for a special deal and free setup!

Here is the big one that will bring them in! Send them a shock and awe package. When a new patient comes into our clinic, we immediately mail them out a priority mail box with some goodies in it! Its a small box that we stuff with goodies and a welcome letter. What do you put in there? Make it relevant to you. We include a customized ice pack, one of the bags to bring to grocery store with our logo on it, few samples, and some small things. Get some customized stuff with your logo on it. We have also gone to oriental trading and bought some inexpensive stuff there to put in. This one will really impress the patients. WE have a stack already made up, and when the patient comes in, you personalize it and send it off!

Oldie but goodies! Patient treatment calls. Call all the patients after the first treatment. Old but effective. How are you feeling, better same or worse. Record how they are feeling and talk to them about their care. This goes a long way. Think how impressive, the patient gets a call from the doctor after the treatment, then the next day gets a box in the mail from you? This will inspire referrals. Most referrals come in the beginning of the patient coming in, so, impress in the beginning!

Referral thank you! Sent something for the referral. Now, many states have laws about how much you can gift patients, as well as federal laws with medicare and medicaid. Look up your laws. But if you cant send a small gift, send a handwritten card, probably even better.

What else? Internal events. We do events in our office all the time, wine tasting, pet adoption, appreciation days, etc. Give your patients something to talk about

Ask them for referrals!

Give them tools for referrals, free consult cards, emails, etc!


Pet Adoption Drive

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Here is a nice little promotion we do in the office. Pet Food and Pet adoption drive!

Here is how it works, pick a week, any week. We do it in august because not much else is going on around then. During the week, any new patient who brings in a minimum size of dog food, gets a free exam, consultation and report of findings. Then on Saturday, any existing patient can receive a free treatment for a bag of food. We are doing during the week, new clients only for free exams, and the Saturday, which we are normally closed, we are opened 11-1, free food, free chiropractic for anyone who donates food, and we are having a local shelter bring pets for adoption. So, that is the promo! There are other ways to do it, you can do both new and regular on the weekday, or during the sat. We are doing the special Saturday to have the regular patients come in a separate day, and also not to have the animals upset the other people in our plaza!

You can also just do during the week for the pet food drive, and dont do adoption, either way.

How do you promote it?

Patient newsletter

Signs in office


Press release

That is about it!

its a good little summer promo, try it out, give me a shout! drfedich@milliondollarclinic.com

Ugly Sweater

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hey There! Hope you are ending your year in a big way! Don’t totally throw in the towel during the holiday season. I speak to doctors all the time who take off for two weeks for the holiday, then they wonder why they are slow in January and February. Its definitely important to take time to spend with your family, just dont shut down the practice! Get some coverage, split time with associates, keep pretty normal hours. You may slow down a little bit, but you wont have so much to recover!

I actually enjoy working around the holidays! We decorate the outside of the office, the inside of the office, and have lots of fun! Patients bring cookies, presents, all sorts of stuff during the weeks of the holidays! Not great for your waistline, but its fun!

We also do some fun holiday events, this year we are doing an ugly sweater day! see our facebook page here.


We have also done cookie contest to see which patient made the best cookie, holiday parties, and all sorts of stuff to make it fun! Its also a good time to catch up on projects and set up the new year. We use some downtime to catch up, straighten up, and get ready our promotions for the next year! SO, enjoy the holidays.!!!

Online Appointments

Friday, December 09, 2016

DO you allow your patients to make appointments online? How about paperwork online?

Well, you should! Make it happen. There is not a lot to write about this, but i will give you some basics

  1. Have your new patient intake paperwork online. You can have the paperwork as a PDF on your website. This will save the patient and you time, as they can fill it out online ahead of time. I know there may be specific paperwork based on their specific conditions, etc. You can have multiple forms on the site, or just your basic intake. That is what we do, just have the basic intake needed for all patients on there, and then you can have condition specific paperwork done in office. I think it is too confusing to have all that info on the website.
  2. Let patients make appointments online. I would recommend two sections, new patient appointments, and regular patient appointments. You don’t want to have your schedule all messed up! If your site is built using wordpress, there are very easy plugins that will do that. I had used a wordpress plugin on my prior site. But now, i have a custom site and the appointment part was custom made. Long story short, this is a job for your website team! Hopefully that isn’t You! I can refer you to several companies. Make sure you limit the appointment slots available, maybe only one or two, and don’t let people make online appointments in your busiest slots. Most of the programs will email your front desk staff. Pretty simple


Back to School

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Well, it is August 31st here, and in the northeast, that means back to school! many of you are already back to school in the south and west. But here in the northeast, its back to school week! So, what does that have to do with your practice? Well, one thing, it usually messes everything up for a few weeks. For most of us! Now, i know dentists get slammed before back to school. All the college kids want their teeth looking good before school, and all the parents want to get it done before the hustle and bustle of school begins. Also, hair dressers get very busy, and of course back to school shopping takes off like crazy! Targets and walmarts and staples are busy. So, what does this mean for you in private practice? Well, for most of us, it means a couple of off weeks to be honest. Parents are going crazy getting ready, starting the school routine. They will usually miss appointments, wont come in for two weeks etc. Also, we see our teachers don’t come in, but once this two weeks is up, they start flocking back to the clinic!

Why am I bringing all this up for a million dollar practice? Well, simply it will mess you up for two weeks. Don’t fret about it, don’t stress, and I would say don’t try to change it. Some holidays and seasons we can market people in, etc, but For me, back to school you cant beat. Parents are just too busy, and they are going to miss some appointments. I'm telling you these two weeks have to have the highest missed appointment rates for most docs. What do you do?

  1. Don’t schedule major promotions during this time, no one will come!
  2. Do something for teachers. They are usually the best patients for most of us. They pay, stay, refer, and usually have good insurance. There are several teachers promotions you can do
  3. Get ready! Cause usually right after this, if your keeping in touch with your patients via newsletter, etc, they will come rushing in. Vacations are over, Holidays are far down the road, there is not much distraction until thanksgiving. This gives you a few months of growth.
  4. Fine tune your procedures, make sure all the little things are going very well! Fine tune your scripts and procedures

That is about it! This one you cant fight, you may be a little off for two weeks, but go enjoy labor day, and get ready, cause after that it is time to grow! There are growing seasons in a practice. Its hard to go up in august when everyone is away, or December when people are consumer with holidays, but after September and spring are the times to grow the clinic!

Summer Slow Down?

Friday, July 22, 2016

A lot of doctors complain of a summer slow down. They just slow down July and august, everyone is on vacation. I hear the same thing around the holidays. Well, June was just our best month ever, and we just had our best week every in July. So, i don’t believe it! well, what happens?

Do people go away in the summer more? Of course they do, i am not going to argue that. However most people do not go away longer than a week. Only in really wealthy areas where people have summer homes do you see that. That is not a problem for most of us. If you practice in one of those few areas, I suppose you would just have to prepare for the slow down, cut back staff, store cash and take some time off. I cant imagine there are all that many areas like that.

So, what happens for the rest of us.

Few things. Usually the doctors and therapist want to take a lot of vacation time. This is the main reason for the slow down. If your not treating people for two weeks or more, it will take 10 weeks to recover the lost volume for volume business like chiropractic and physical therapy. SO, you think your only taking two weeks all summer, but it will take the rest of the summer to recoup. Now, this depends on your practice size, etc. The bigger the practice and more coverage you have the less of a setback. But if your still the major treating person, this is the ratio about 1 week vacation 6 weeks to get numbers up 2 weeks 12 weeks to get them back! So, what do i want you to do, never take vacation? Of course not.

Small vacations are great, a long weekend every 90 days is good, take a Friday, or Thursday and Friday every 90 days. Do that all year. I would highly recommend it. Then take your week. Just plan when you take it, and realize what is going to happen to the practice.

What else can you do about summer slow down?

Make sure you continue to run promotions. I do the TV promo during the summer which works well

Stagger staff vacations so you don’t loose too much momentum

I am not a fan of shutting down the whole clinic for a week or two for summer break.

Make sure you have coverage. If your a solo doc or therapist, hire a fill in per diem. You want to continue treatment and be available for emergency.

Don’t get the summer head, where you want to leave early every night and BBQ. You have to keep your head into the practice!


Thanksgiving card?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Here is something a little different for your marketing! I am definitely not the first one to recommend it, but it works! So, a lot of practices send a Christmas card. A good idea, no doubt. But, think about it for a minute. How many Christmas cards do you get? A hundred? I don’t know about you, but I don’t even see most of them. They come in the mail, my wife hangs them on the wall on some sort of Christmas card holder and I never even see most of them. Maybe she points out one or two who have new kids, or something like that, but I walk right past them every day. At the office we get them from vendors, suppliers, doctors, etc, so I get a lot of them! Now, it is nice to think of your patients during that time of year, but you’re probably getting lost in the shuffle. You're just one of the hundreds of cards out there. Also, we have gotten so sensitive and politically correct around the holidays. A Jewish person certainly doesn’t want a Christmas card, better call it a holiday card, but guess what, Jehovah witness don’t like that either.

So, what to do? WE send thanksgiving cards! Why, well you’re thankful for them being your patient, and no one else is sending them! How many thanks giving cards do you get? Probably none. That is something for your patients to talk about now isn’t it! You can put an offer in there, or not, I can justify either way. Sometimes it’s nice to make contact with your patients without selling them anything. You can buy them and address them yourself, I use storybook publishing, they do the whole thing for me, and they personalize the card which is cool. It will say Dear Jim, Happy Thanksgiving, etc. They do the whole thing; you never even see the cards. Pretty cool. SO, give it a try this year!



Teachers Appreciation

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Teachers are great people, they lead, teach and inspire our children. Also, my wife and family are all teachers, and they usually have good insurance! They really are the best patients for many practices, they are usually very respectful, don’t miss appointments, have coverage, have stress, and are likely a candidate for your service.

So, if this is true, you should work to recruit, or encourage teachers. So, how do you do that? Well, i have tried several ways over the years, and I will touch on some of them here.

Teachers appreciation lunch. This is a pretty good one. Teachers appreciation day is in May, I believe it is May 9th every year. Most schools will celebrate the whole week. We have seen schools make a really big deal about it, and have something special each day, and some totally ignore it! Either way you win, if they aren’t doing anything, and you do, well, your a hero, and if they are already planning a lot of stuff, you get in there.

Here is the problem, schools usually have a lot of gatekeepers and rules. So there are several ways to get to the boss man/ woman. Get a patient to intro it, and intro you. Probably the best way, you should have a patient at each school in your area. Get an intro, go from there. You can also try to contact the boss directly. This can be done, just be patient. You will have to go through a secretary, probably a few other people. Be patient. Smooze.

Go to the PTA. This works great. If the PTA is running the appreciation week, they will be happy to help. A quick online search should turn up info on the PTA president.

So, what do you do next. There are a few options

  1. Buy them lunch. Easy! if its a smaller school, or even larger, buy them all lunch! Just get subs and cut them up small. Then see how much you can get in during lunch. Will they let you do a quick talk? Great, maybe not, maybe bring a massage therapist to do free chair massage and talk you up. Or just drop off lunch with brochures and COUPONS! I actually did that once got a handful of great patients. Don’t be too pushy, but a little bit! You want to come back next year.
  2. Chair massages. Bring, hire a massage therapist, tell them free 5 minute chair massage each staff. They will love it. Give them each a bag of swag from your office, pens, pads, shirts, whatever and some coupons. Make sure the massage therapist talks up your office. If your a chiropractor or physical therapist, make sure the massage therapist finds some problems you can fix!
  3. IN office massage. I have offered a discounted or even free massage in the office, to get them in, if you have a massage therapist.

I have also tried teachers happy hour, invite them for a drink and apps, didn't work! Use your head and think about it, and get the teachers in the door! GOOD LUCK!

E-Mail Marketing

Friday, July 15, 2016

Despite the reports stating otherwise, email marketing is not dead. I have been reading about for years that email is dead, all the best marketing people aren’t using email, social media is king, etc, etc. Guess what these people are back to saying now? Get your email list!! Well, what happened?

Well, people were getting too much email with the advances in constant contact mail chimp, infusion soft, etc. It became cheap and easy to email people. Business emailed way way too much, users stopped opening them. So, business owners said email was dead.

So, they switch to social media, facebook, twitter, others. Until one day Facebook for example, made it so only a small percentage of your followers would see a post, less than would actually see your email. Uh oh! Now, you have no control over your list and if you want 20 percent of your followers to see something you have to pay extra. And what if facebook shuts its doors tom, or says, no more business pages? UH OH!!!

so, the people that told me years ago to stop building an email list, or now saying to build your email list, thank god i didn’t listen the first time!

Why have a good email list?

  1. your in control, your list, your names, choose when to email them
  2. Open rates are better than you think!
  3. Its easy to forward an email to a friend!

So, you can easily get 20 percent to open your emails. Our average is above that for years! you must learn to write a good headline, have an interesting message.

Now, you think 20 percent isn’t that good? Well, your facebook posts aren’t getting 20 percent of your own followers. Do you think 20 percent of the people reading the paper see your ad? I doubt it, its actually pretty good!

Plus, people can go back and re-read it, send to a friend, search for it later, print it out. There are a lot of options!

So, email isn’t dead. Make sure you are capturing the emails of all your new clients. I use constant contact, it is easy to use, cheap, and effective. Mail chimp is also popular, and there are more sophisticated ones as well.

SO, get some email address and make sure to email your clients a few times a month!

If your not first your last

Thursday, July 14, 2016

If your not first your last! I think Ricky Bobby said it best! While it was a silly movie its a great point. A million people have said it a million other ways, but i think that puts it pretty simply! Many doctors and therapist aim for certain goals, like a million dollars a year or 300 visits a week, or whatever goal. And those are great! And they keep you going, and you bring them up incrementally, good work! However, your number one goal should be to be number one in your marketplace. You want to be first in the market, the first office people think of for physical therapy, chiropractic, pain management, podiatry, whatever your doing! Not only do you want to be number one, you then want to dominate the market. So, if you are seeing 200 patients a week, and go down the street is seeing 175, well, your number one, that is good,but your not dominating. That should be your next goal, you see 400 a week and they see 120, now your dominating. Not that practice building is a zero sum game, everyone can win, but when you win your marketplace, life gets easier!

If you are dominating, you are not competing, your the only office people think of for what you do. YOU OWN IT! Own your marketplace.

Why do you need to own your marketplace?

Several reasons

  1. Its a goal to set above a volume, and to keep you going. Like i said early, if your doing 200 visits a week, and everyone else is below 150, well, your in first, you win, game over. But if your goal is to dominate, then you push push push forward. You will have a bigger goal
  2. It changes the way you do things! We are doing some neighborhood mailings, i don’t neeed to do them, its busy enough, we have marketing that is working, i want to own our marketplace, the whole town is going to get mail from me! I’m the only game in town!
  3. Things get easier, once you dominate your market, you don’t have competition, you dominate everyone and your everywhere! The new patients come and come and come! Its fun!!!

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