Repetition

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I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.  The most important thing you can do to build your practice is continuing education.  It creates long-term practice members and it creates referrals.  We seem to hate to repeat things.  Many chiropractors have given up lay lectures and orientations because they just got tired of saying the same things even if it’s to a new person or new group of people every day or every week.  Then they wonder why their practice levels off or even goes down.  It must be the economy!  People hate having to repeat things and people hate having things repeated to them.  I am reminded of the wife who after 30 years of marriage complained to her husband that in all that time he never told her he loved her.  His response, “I told you I loved you the day we got married.  When and if I change my mind I’ll let you know.”  Wives need to hear it often.  Similarly, practice members need to hear chiropractic explained often.  Not because they have an emotional need but because they forget.  Rebecca West once said, “The trouble with mankind is two-fold, He cannot learn truth that is too complicated and he forgets truth that is too simple.”  Chiropractic falls into the second category.  The simplicity of it slips the average person’s mind, especially when they are constantly exposed to the outside-in thinking of the therapeutic approach.  People are bombarded every day with drug advertising, news about diseases and their treatment, and the idea that being sick is normal.  You cannot tell them once about chiropractic and expect them to grasp the big idea and more important, hold onto it.

I may have told this incident before.  (One problem with repeating is the danger that people will think you are getting senile.  But it is worth it if it gets the message across).  Anyway, a new practice member came to the office and said he was there with no problem simply because a friend had told him it was good to have your spine checked regularly.  He came weekly and then after a few months he discontinued care.  A few months later, he returned and when I asked him what had kept him away he said he had been feeling good.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that the man knew more about my office (getting adjusted regularly) before he came in the office than he did after being there for a few months!

Here is the principle: when the rate of forgetting exceeds the rate of learning you have lost them as a practice member.  You must have a continuing education program in your office.  Your continuing education program must have two aspects to it:
1.  A new and deeper understanding of chiropractic.
2.  Repetition of the basic principles, the foundation of what your office is about.  Now if you can tie these things together, if they can get some new information and a re-education   of the foundational stuff sandwiched in among the new material, then you’ve got a winning program.

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