Most chiropractors are under the mistaken impression that referrals come directly from the results that they attain in their offices and the better their results the greater the number of referrals. Often they will begin to adjust people and not see the practice grow as they feel it should. If they are in the least inclined toward mixing or less than fully grounded in the philosophy they begin to add therapeutics in order to get better results and to get more patients. The chiropractor inclined toward straight will bounce around from technique to technique very frustrated because all techniques are pretty much the same in results achieved. However, by chance one may be philosophically or technically more suited to him. Or perhaps the entrepreneur who sells this technique is very charismatic. Consequently, he gets excited about it. That excitement is perceived by the patients and causes referrals. Now his practice is beginning to grow and he assumes that it is because his new technique is getting better results. Here’s the principle. Patients who are excited about chiropractic are the ones who refer.
Patients do not get excited about results. People expect results. If you take your automobile to a mechanic and he repairs it do you run all over town telling your friends and loved ones to go to this guy? If someone asks you who is a good mechanic, you may tell them but that is probably the extent of it, and how often has that happened? Sixty years ago it was a little different. Chiropractors were not as “recognized.” People went to them not as “primary providers” but as a last resort. You may get excited about a mechanic who fixes your car when the best “factory-trained” mechanics in town could not correct it. That was part of the reason for the growth of chiropractic. People went to chiropractors after trying everything else and got well. Today people go to the chiropractor as a first choice and they go expecting to get results. That is part of the price we pay for our “forefathers'” success. They do not get enthusiastic about results, especially if those results involve back aches and stiff necks. Even you, the doctor, do not get excited about results. Can you imagine a patient saying, “Doc, my xyz went away under your care.” And you respond, “It did?!” That would not build confidence in you. After all, we are not doing anything unusual or spectacular. We are simply putting into effect the law of nature that says when nerve interference is removed the body has greater ability to heal itself. One of the side-effects of the modern chiropractor’s success and increased popularity is that patients expect to get results in the chiropractor’s office.
There is another thought to be considered on the subject. If results in chiropractic are centered on relief for a named condition, then there is even less likelihood of referral. Patients may get excited about you as a reliever of headaches. If they have a friend with headaches and you have relieved theirs, they will refer. They are not going to refer in their friends with other conditions because, quite frankly, you have not convinced them with results that chiropractic is “good” for those other conditions.
Chiropractic success today cannot be based upon results. It has to be based upon patients getting excited about chiropractic as a way of health. Sadly, too few chiropractors are excited about chiropractic as a means of restoring and maintaining the fullest innate expression of health possible. Until and unless the chiropractor gets excited about chiropractic, the patients will not get excited and referrals will not come. As a result, the practice grows slowly or not at all.v5n3

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