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February 16, 2010
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Great practice promotion: give it away

In your budget for practice start-up, don’t forget to select some giveaway items, those small gifts you give to patients and prospective patients.  You need giveaways for three reasons:

1. Give to Get. We give in order to get. If you give someone a small gift, they feel obligated and want to give you something.  Giving a small gift to a prospective patient might be a way to get that patient to call for an appointment.

2. Give to Encourage Remembering. People don’t always need a chiropractor right away, but giving a prospective patient a gift that includes your practice name and phone number will help them remember you when they do need you.

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3. Give to Encourage Referrals. You can increase referrals by helping your current patients spread the word about your practice.  Give them something they can pass on to others, particularly items with you practice phone number on them.

You can find many suggestions of promotion items in specialty catalogs.

Here are some suggestions for promotion items that work well for chiropractors:

1. Brochures and flyers serve multiple purposes. They can be placed in your office for patients to pick up and read.  They can go with you to events and speaking engagements to distribute.  Flyers can get posted in supermarkets, dry cleaners, restaurants, and other places where you can promote your business to the public.

2. Chiropractic items or items related to your specific type of practice. Crooked (subluxated?) pens may be out-of-date, but how about water bottles?  You can find other health-related items or those that make a point about chiropractic in catalogs.  Something memorable and fun and interesting will catch the attention of potential patients and will give your current patients something to talk about.

3. Children’s items are good for promotion, particularly if you want to emphasize a family practice.  Small toys and crayon boxes and chiropractic coloring books, for example, are a big hit with younger children.

4. T-shirts, while a little more expensive, can be a big draw. People love t-shirts.  They get worn by children, passed down or sold at garage sales, and they will be seen around the community for many years.

5. Refrigerator magnets are the perfect give-away. They have your business information on them, and they reside in a place of prominence in the kitchen, where everyone congregates. If a patient is talking to a friend on the phone, and the friend says, “I need a chiropractor,” your patient can easily give your number.

Be sure your giveaways are of good quality and that all the words and numbers are accurate.  It would be a shame to put an incorrect phone number on a large quantity of t-shirts! Use your imagination and be sure to include several giveaways in your first year promotion budget.

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