POWERFUL PRACTICES FEATURE ARTICLES
“CREATING HEALTH WORKSHOPS”
… why do them and what information do you put into them?
Three of the most common responses I get when I ask chiropractors about the education procedures used in their offices are:
- that they must get back to doing them again;
- that they used to do workshops and had trouble getting clients to attend;
- they don’t like public speaking
So, why should you do workshops?
First and foremost, do them for yourself. That may sound a bit odd when most chiropractors think they know their chiropractic message and believe they are great at communicating it. The simple truth is: the more you say it, the better you get at it. You will sometimes get questions and sceptics who challenge your beliefs; this only makes your message stronger and clearer. You will get some attendees who just don’t get it – they will challenge you to find other ways to relate your message. And you will get some who don’t understand much of what you say; they just get your certainty and enthusiasm. Every workshop you give clarifies your chiropractic philosophy.
The second reason you give your workshop is that some attendees will learn something new or you will rekindle a flame in them that had been flickering for a while. There is little doubt that if clients knew what you know about chiropractic, they would be under lifetime care just like you. If you have a passion to improve peoples’ lives and help your community get under care, you’ve got to tell them what you know. However your ideal client looks, your chiropractic workshops are one of the best ways I know of moulding good clients into great clients.
Doing workshops can be one of your best sources of potential new client referrals. If you do an inspiring presentation and ask clients if they know somebody who might benefit from a chiropractic assessment, all you have to do then is make the first step easy for new clients to attend your practice. You could have a CA take bookings on the night; you could give all attendees a referral pack (with details of your practice, business card, questions and answers and an invitation) or at least hand out your business cards.
Don’t let your fear of public speaking get in the way of sharing your important message. You don’t have to have aspirations to be a big time seminar speaker, comfortable in front of hundreds of devoted listeners; speaking at a more personal level to a handful is also OK.
Many chiropractors are not sure what they should put into their workshop. Here are some possible points you could choose to cover:
- Reaffirm and expand upon the common points you made in your report of findings.
- Choose some points that you find yourself repeating to clients often; What is it you would like EVERY client to understand about chiropractic?
- What is a subluxation (or whatever term you use in your practice)?
- Explain what you expect their chiropractic care will do for them and how long it will take. Why does it take time?
- Explain the BIG IDEA of how chiropractic works on improving the function of the nervous system. How does it do that? Have some research available for participants to take home, or send it to interested clients after the workshop.
- Explain your concept of heath and where pain falls into that model. Is being sick and unhealthy a natural expression of innate intelligence at work?
- What is Innate Intelligence?
- Tell them your chiropractic story (most people love a good story!)
Most chiropractors, at one stage or another, have trouble getting clients to attend their workshops. This is also why many chiropractors stop doing them; so how do you get clients to attend?
The single most powerful way you have of getting clients to attend, is your certainty that what you have to say is of value. If you and your team don’t believe your workshop is going to help them on a better path to health, then whatever words you use to ask/invite/tell them to attend won’t be effective.
After your certainty comes your commitment. If you would rather not be there and you are inclined to cancel if you only have 1-2 people booked, YOU are not committed so don’t ask your clients to be! Even though I would rather share my message with a group of people, I have given numerous workshops to 1 or even no attendees. The single attendee who reassures you that it will be OK for them to come another night has been sent (by me) to test your commitment. Go the extra mile and show them they are worth it…they will commonly become your ideal clients. If nobody turns up, do your workshop just for the practice; you obviously need more certainty in your philosophy.
The script you and your team use to invite clients is important. I think it is best coming from the DC at the end of the report of findings visit. Make sure you get the client’s agreement. It then goes into their schedule of care and the CA confirms it at the front desk. I like a script such as: “An essential part of your schedule of care is our Creating Health Workshop (or whatever else you would like to call it) where we will explain how to get the most out of your care. We run them in a small group setting every second Monday at 6.30 pm. You will only need to attend this workshop once but you are welcome to bring friends and family anytime. Would this Monday be better or in 2 weeks time?” Pause and wait for an answer.
As with the report of finding visit, getting the spouse or partner to attend is HUGE. Having the partner there assists the new client to get more support from home and this is commonly the time you will get another new client referral – if they knew what you knew, they would do what you do.
When a new client says they can’t make it to the workshop, I usually have 2 responses. Firstly, you can try to match “their bluff” with “Oh, that’s OK Peter, we can schedule an extra 20 minutes on your next adjustment where I will go over the key points with you one-on-one.” Don’t ask if this is OK, just see how they respond but be prepared to do it if you have to, or go to plan B which is a video of your presentation for them to watch at home…obviously less impactful.
At the end of the day, not everyone is going to attend your workshop, so be clear on the options if this happens. Is your workshop “optional” for them to attend, “desirable”, “preferable” or “essential”? Are you heading up the wrong path from the outset if they are not prepared to follow your recommendations? Many practices make this a compulsory attendance in the first month of care and respectfully suspend care if clients don’t comply. It is your practice – your rules. Be clear about them. Some practices insist on attendance before clients can attend as a new client…it all comes back to your belief in your message.
Dr Rick Wren from Sherman, Texas runs monthly workshops at his favourite local restaurant. He invites all new clients along with their guests and has a standing invitation for any past clients to bring guests as well. He pays for everyone’s dinner with the upfront proviso that he gets to do his pitch. Rick’s pitch is genuine and well rehearsed but he knows that his $50-dinner investment more than pays for itself with an average 80%+ of guests becoming new clients in his practice.
Some further ideas:
- Keep them entertaining. Attendees often go away remembering your stories and antics more than your educational message
- Close your workshop with a genuine and heart-felt story and an offer. They will remember the emotions when you make them laugh and make them cry!
- Have your staff and associates attend regularly. Involve them by inviting them to contribute and even run segments of the workshop. They will grow from the experience and have better resolution about ensuring clients come to the workshop. Your CAs need to be your IDEAL clients
- Branch out into specialist/themed workshops. The more you do, the more you will see opportunity to say more about certain topics such as kids and chiropractic, athletic performance, pregnancy and chiropractic, aged care and arthritis, core exercises, nutrition and chemical toxicity, etc.
However you do your workshops, make them your own. Grow in certainty from every presentation you give and most of all, have fun. Let every workshop you give recharge your passion for what you do. This will ensure your attendees feel, as well as hear, your message.
Reference: Syllabus 6