3 Tips To Avoid Summer Practice Slump

Over the years I have come to realize that summer tends to be a slower time for many practitioners. I too struggled in the summer months, and I had multiple marketing poles in the water at the same time. So for those of you who are not doing consistent marketing, summer may very well be a very difficult time of year.

Since you may be heading into a “slow-down” I thought that these 3 tips could help jumpstart your practice or at least keep you from s-l-o-w-i-n-g too slow for your own good.

  1. Reactivate your inactive patients. It’s inevitable, patients fall out of care for whatever reason – their lives become busy, they think they’re “healed”, they are not familiar with long-term care, or they may have just plain forgotten about you. Now, barring any notion that they just don’t like you, this group of “inactive” patients are the easiest ones to bring back into your practice. Send them a seasonal newsletter,  a “We miss you” postcard, or a letter letting them know that you have been thinking about them and would like to bring them in for a seasonal tune-up. Send them a discounted gift certificate, health pass or call to action card. Something that can help motivate them to come in for a tune-up.
  2. Host an Acupuncture Happy Hour event. This is a great way to get people into your practice that are curious about acupuncture but have not taken the first steps yet. By offering a mini-stress reduction treatment during your happy hour event, helps to overcome 2 of the biggest objections most people have about acupuncture; 1) does it work? and 2) Does it hurt? I usually offer a mini-stress reduction treatment using Point Zero and Shen Men of the ear. Those two points, as you ell know, are powerful at reducing stress and calming the mind. Therefore, people who attend your event will leave there floating on cloud nine. Hence squashing the “Acupuncture does not work” objection. And objection #2 is shifted when people realize that using tiny ear needles, like Seirin J Reds, 1/2 inch are not painful. Offering a mini-treatment like this is a powerful way to convert prospects into paying patients, and a great way to jump-start a slow time of year.
  3. Host a Patient Appreciation Day. A PAD is a special event that will encourage active and inactive patients to invite their friends and family to come into your clinic and meet you in person. It’s also a good excuse for you to not only give back to your patients, but to promote your practice. You can tie in the AOM Awareness Day and invite your active and inactive patients and their families to celebrate with you.A PAD is also a fantastic networking tool. It’s a great way to connect with other healthcare providers in your community. Scour your local bulletin boards and yellow pages, and search the internet for practitioners who practice in and around your town. Invite doctors, massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, herbalists, and yoga instructors. The list is endless. By expanding your community with other practitioners at your PAD, you can double your fun, double your exposure, cut your costs, and generate various referral streams.

Here are a few things that I do to give my practice a “jumpstart” this time of year.

  • I mail out a fall newsletter, and some “summer” related postcards that mention the change of season and keeps me in the front of my patients’ mind, it’s a friendly and professional letter giving some updates about you and your clinic and invite your patients to come in for a checkup. (CLICK ON THE PDF LINK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE LETTER)
  • I send out a letter to my inactive patients and include an summer bookmark.
  • I hand out patient education help sheets on the Spleen/Stomach health. These are designed to help stimulate a seasonal awareness with my patients and give them a boos up in taking care of themselves this time of year,
  • I ask for referrals from my patients, letting them know that I’m now accepting more new patients.

To make this super simple for you, we’ve put together our Summer Jumpstart kits. It’s a great value and helps to get patients rolling in again and your practice humming!

 

Click on the PDF link below to download the sample patient letters

2 Comments

  • Laura Christensen

    October 12, 2011

    We would love to reactivate patients but do not have a good system for keeping track of people digitally. We have to go through our 6000 charts. Last time we did a mailing, we got 1000 pc returned. What program do you recommend for keeping track of who was here when and contact info.

    I was not able to use your reactivate patients workshop material for the same reason. It was too daunting. And I am too busy to do all the calls, need my staff to do them, but we are so disorganized.

  • There is no good system that I am currently aware of outside of using some of the automated features that FullSlate or another online scheduling service has to offer. I have had the same issue with having too many inactive patients, but I took it one step at a time. I started with the “A” patients. The ones I love and the ones that love me, who fell out of care within the past 6 months. After we reached out to them, we moved forward to others. as for 1000 returned postcards, well, if they are returned with new address, with is often the case, then you can update your data base accordingly. I usually send off 3 postcards, roughly 7-10 days apart. And I make sure I have some call to action to motivate them to give me a call to get back on the books.