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Are You Marketing To Everyone?
    Last week I took my little brother and his friends trick-or-treating.  Along the way, something dawned on me (aside from the fact that we'll probably have candy until next Halloween).  I realized that there was a pattern to which houses we were stopping by.

    At first I thought it was my imagination, but after the first hour it was self-evident - we were only going to the houses with the lights on.

    Huh?  Let me explain.  When I was a kid, and went trick-or-treating, I would knock on every single house in order, regardless of whether the lights were on or off.  My justification was that I didn't want to miss out on any possibility of getting candy (what if someone had the lights off, but they still had candy?)

    Thinking back to those years, I remember that about 95% of the houses with the lights on, had candy, and only 5% of the houses with the lights off hand candy.  So when I averaged them out, about 50% of the houses I knocked on gave me candy.

    And looking at my brother and his friends, I found that unconsciously I was leading them to only the houses with the lights on.  Without even realizing, I was learning from the mistakes of my youth.

    And the results spoke for themselves, 95% of all the houses we went to had candy, instead of the 50% that I used to get.  In fact, after the three hour period, my brother and his friends each had a pillow case full with candy - almost twice as much as I used to get!

    But what does this have to do with chiropractic?  Everything!

    Most chiropractors I know are exactly like the way I was when I was a kid.  They want to attempt to get every single person as their patient (houses with the lights on and off), instead of just those people who might be good candidates for chiropractic (houses with the lights on).

    And their argument is exactly like mine - they don't want to risk the chance of missing out on a potential person becoming a patient, no matter the unlikely hood.  And like me, they face the same limitations - there are only so much resources available (for me it was time, for you it's time, money, and effort).  So you can use these resources to try to get everyone and succeed only 50% of the time (if even that), or you can concentrate on only those who are likely to become patients, and be successful 95% of the time.

    Knowing that you have to be selective about who you try to get as patients is one of the most important steps in growing your practice.  But who should you try to get as patients?

    You need to aim for only your ideal patients - and forget everyone else.

    Make a list of the characteristics of your ideal patients - their age, sex, income, whether or not they have children, and any other characteristic which may apply to you.

    Once you've created that list, you willl want to figure out ways to get in touch with these prospects.  That's really beyond the scope of this article, but here are a few brief possibilities.

    1) Give a health talk in a company or organization where there is a likely hood that your ideal patients are members.

    2) Do a screening in an event where your ideal patients are likely to come.

    3) Advertise in media that your ideal prospective patients read.

    4) Rent a mailing list which is composed of your ideal prospects, and mail to them.

    5) Leave your business cards and brochures in businesses which your ideal patients patronize (dry cleaners, restaurants, etc.)

    Will you miss out on some possible patients if you focus on only your ideal patients?  Sure you will - but who cares!

    You'll only miss out on 5%, but now your average will be 95%, instead of just 50%.

    And just like I learned this lesson from Halloween, once you understand and apply it to your practice-building activities, you're going to notice that you're getting more patients, just like my brother got more candy.

    Oh, by the way, even though my brother and his friends each filled a pillow case with candy, they only gave me three pieces!  Oh well, I suppose the lesson I learned was worth more than candy.  But just in case, maybe next year I'll dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating myself!
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