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The Craziest Zoo In Music City

Before moving to Nashville, the chiropractors I saw had always been like your typical doctor’s office: front desk, waiting area, adjustment rooms, x-ray room.

Bored people doing boring things.

People moving bovine-like from area to area, task to task.

When I got to Nashville I experienced a chiropractic office that was completely different.

This place was almost like a zoo.

I say “almost” because this zoo had a check-in area like you’d see at a gym, and its animals moved to activity stations before being let into the waiting room where they waited for the zookeeper to see them.

Even the adjustment area was different: imagine half-walls separating the adjustment tables from the waiting patients.

He had this office set up like a machine, so that’s what I named him.

Dr. Machine Builds His Cult

This was a serious operation.

Everyone knew their place. And everyone was excited about it.

While Dr. Machine adjusted patients in one half-walled area, another patient got situated in the adjacent one.

Dr. Machine hardly stopped.

He moved from table to table almost without a break.

When I say he could adjust 25 patients an hour, I’m probably being too conservative.

Want to know the crazy part?

Everyone in the waiting area was being indoctrinated.

While they waited, there were two flat-screen TVs with videos of Dr. Machine giving health advice, talking about the dangers of not maintaining your spine’s health, and introducing his high-ticket upsell programs and products.

Everything had a call-to-action.

The employees were each trained to upsell.

All this while patients waited eagerly for the doctor’s hands to bring their bodies that amazing rush that happens after being adjusted.

Different Phases of Business

What does Dr. Machine’s practice have to do with you getting more patients?

First, I thought it was an amazing setup… I’ve never seen anything like it before or since.

It was a choreographed dance of small business engineering on display for everyone to marvel at.

Second, this practice was bursting at the seams– sometimes you didn’t have a place to sit.

And this office wasn’t small–think of the footprint of a small to medium-sized grocery store.

Now listen…

I’m not suggesting Dr. Machine’s practice was the best model for delivering wellness.

With only a couple minutes spent with each patient, it’s hard to imagine a whole lot of thought going toward long-term healing.

I tell this story because Dr. Machine combined the two phases every business goes through…

  1. Survival
  2. Deep Service

Dr. Machine’s practice was a virtual cash machine, but it didn’t start that way.

First he had to get people in the door to build relationships and get them to come back.

How did he do it?

We’ll get to that in a second, but first let’s look at the two phases of every practice.

Phase 1: Survival

Every business has a beginning.

In the beginning is hope, ambition, a vision of an abundant life driven by the success of your new company.

There’s also startup costs. Recurring bills. Taxes. If you have employees, then you have payroll, additional insurance, benefits, HR considerations…

In order to keep the lights on, you need to get people in the door and do it quickly.

Even if you have a good chunk of cash you’re investing into your business, it won’t last long if you’re not getting people through the door so you can convert them into long-term patients.

Phase 2: Deep Service

In a nutshell, this is the phase of your practice where you have a fairly reliable core of repeat patients. You can count on a certain volume of appointments, and your revenue is pretty steady.

In the Deep Service phase you can either grow through increased volume (as did Dr. Machine), or you can serve your current patients at a deeper level. If you go deeper, your patients get more personalized care, greater amounts of attention, and (hopefully) end up with much better outcomes.

Deep Service is an approach which we’ll cover in different post. (Click here for a taste of what that looks like.)

In this post we’re focusing on businesses in Survival: practices who just need more paying clients…

…and they need them now.

The Fastest Route To More Patients and Clients

Remember before GPS was available everywhere, and you had to rely on a map, someone’s directions, or (gasp!) your memory to get anywhere?

I remember those days.


have a roadmap for your sales funnel

In those days, the worst thing you could do is set out on the road with a destination in mind and no idea how to get there.

Whether you’re using the GPS in your phone or the analog one in your brain… you need a roadmap.

The same is true for attracting clients.

If you’re struggling to find new clients, answering these questions provides a good portion of that roadmap:

  1. Identify who they are
  2. Identify where they are
  3. Identify what they want
  4. Give them what they want

Delivering on Step 4–giving them what they want– is easiest with a well-built marketing funnel, which is what we’ll spend the rest of the article talking about.

Um… What Is A Funnel?

marketing funnels can be confusing

First things first…

If you’re new to funnels, I give an in-depth explanation here.

But the gist of it is this:

A funnel is an online sequence that forces people to take action.

Either they choose to engage with you and move to the next step in the sequence, or they don’t.

It Works Like This


illustration of how a marketing funnel works
You put a bunch of people who might be interested in your business at the top of the funnel.

They’re taken through a series of steps, and each step gives them a single choice: take a positive action (i.e., click a button, give an email address, etc.), or bounce off the page.

Raise your hand and be counted, or leave altogether.

By the end of the sequence, you’re left with prospects who’ve said “yes” to you a number of times, demonstrating that they’re open to your message.

It’s Kind of Like a Farmer’s Market

If your farmer’s market is anything like ours, it’s lululemon-clad pandemonium.

There’s a soccer stadium full of people throwing elbows on their way to the vegetables, fruit, goat-milk soap, and other wares both cool and unusual.

(You should see my Farmer’s Market Soccer Flops… but that’s a whole other story!)

The smart booth owners have good signage, good products, and stand in front with a free sample of their best product to get people into their world.

Lots of people ignore the farmer’s market(er) and walk right by…

Some people try the free sample…

This opens the door to a conversation…

The conversation leads to new sales (or at least a sign-up for their mailing list).

Online Funnels Are No Different

You place an attractive offer in front of likely prospects, and force them to make a choice…

Accept the offer or drop out.

There’s really no other option with this set up.

Either the prospect raises their hand by taking the offer, or they leave.

The benefit to you is that you’re only putting effort toward engaging with people who’ve raised their hand.

Would you rather talk to a small group of friendly faces, or a massive hall full of random strangers?

Funnels get you that intimate room of “friendlies”.

The Building Blocks of a Funnel That Brings In Patients Quickly

Since we’re building a funnel for clinics in the first phase of business, we’re not looking for providing high-ticket offers and deep levels of service.

We’re trying to fill the office with appointments.

To do that, we need to figure out three important pieces…

1. Who Are We Targeting?

First you need to consider who you want to work with.

Do you want to take any human being with back and neck pain?

Do you only want to work with athletes competing at a certain level?

Is there an ideal income range you like people to have so you have less of an issue of people choking on your service fees?

Knowing who you want to target is the first step.

  • Know who they are
  • What are their biggest pain points?
  • What’s important to them?
  • What will they miss out on by not taking care of specific issues?
  • What season of life are they in?
  • What do they have to look forward to?

These questions might seem a little out there, but if you understand your best prospect inside and out, you’ll know how to speak to them in a way that grabs them by the eyeballs and pulls them into your world.

2. Where Are They?

Knowing where your ideal patient hangs out online is just as critical as knowing who they are.

Your best patients see thousands of ads a day, so competition for their attention is fierce. But you won’t stand a chance if you’re placing your ad somewhere they never go.

The best way to describe this came from Russell Brunson’s book on funnel marketing (you can get a free copy here)…

Russell describes marketing like fishing:

Your ideal prospects are like fish living in ponds.

Your ads and offers are like bait on a hook.

Not only do you need to put the most attractive bait on the hook for the type of fish you want, you also have to put your line into the right pond.

Wrong pond, wrong fish.

So what “ponds” am I talking about?

They’re everywhere.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • Periscope
  • CNN
  • Yahoo News
  • Drudge Report
  • Google
  • Native Ads
  • Expert Websites
  • WebMD
  • Mercola

(We could go on forever… )
Find out where your ideal patients live online, and it’s easy to get in front of them.

You’ve solved part of the riddle.

3. What Do They Want?

This is key… it’s about picking out the right bait for the kind of fish you’re looking for.

This is the where you figure out what your ideal patients want.

I asked this question to a chiropractor a couple days ago, and he said the majority of his new patients just want pain relief.

For you it might be different…

  • Maybe they need greater range of motion…
  • Maybe they want an alternative to surgery…
  • Maybe they’re just curious.

This Topic Is So Important That We Need To Go Deeper…

When you’re thinking about your ideal patients, you need to consider what they want at a deeper level than physical pain.

Someone in acute pain will always seek a solution as fast as possible.

But what about that person who goes to work every day, comes home and plays with the kids, then goes asleep to do it all over again?

If you’re going to reach people who aren’t physically suffering in a major way, you need to call them out on an emotional level.

Your Patient’s Hierarchy of Needs

In the 1943, Abraham Maslow published his paper A Theory of Human Motivation in which he posits five levels of motivation, in this order:

You can’t do that unless you understand what they need… what they crave deep down.

  1. Physiological. Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis.
  2. Safety. Security of body, health, resources, employment, morality, family, property.
  3. Love/Belonging. Friendship, family, sexual intimacy.
  4. Esteem. Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others.
  5. Self-Actualization. Morality, spontaneity, creativity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts.

While academics dispute the validity of these motivators, if you look at the list from a practical standpoint Maslow makes perfect sense.

For example, it’s hard to imagine caring about anything in the “self-actualization” phase when you’re worried about where you’re getting your next meal.

Whether you agree with Maslow or not, understanding what your patient wants at a deeper level is essential if you want to shake them from their normal routine and get them into your office.

A “Professional” Example

If your ideal patient is a professional in his or her fifties who earns more than $150,000 per year, they’re probably not terribly concerned with the physiological or safety levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.

They may be more worried about how they look to their peers, or how much vitality they feel.

Perhaps they don’t move like they used to and they’re newly single, and want to get back the youthful spring in their step that’s been missing for the past 10 years.

Or maybe they’re members of a private golf club and they want to shoot a low handicap.

Well, they can’t do that with a back that’s poorly supported, out of alignment, and is completely inflexible.

You get what I’m saying.

Building the Funnel

The kind of funnel I’m talking about isn’t a monumental undertaking… as long as you do the ground-work.

Here are the funnel steps:

  1. Landing page
  2. Opt-in
  3. Thank You page

Landing Page

The landing page is the first thing your visitor sees after clicking your ad. It should have a powerful headline, and lead with the big benefit you’re offering at a discount.

There’s a science to crafting an amazing offer that I won’t delve into here (for resources on the topic, this is a great place to start, as well as this article for a high-level view of crafting a great sales message.)


Remember when I talked about funnels being about forcing people to make decisions?

The “opt-in” is where the rubber meets the road.

Either the visitor loves your offer enough to raise their hand by giving their contact info, or they bail and decide it’s not for them.

The opt-in is where you force that decision.

Thank You Page

The Thank You page in a funnel is no mere statement of gratitude– you’re reselling the prospect on the benefits of what they just opted-in for in the first place.

In this example we have instructions for how the prospect redeems the thing they just signed up to get. There’s also an upsell opportunity.

What is the upsell?

Well that depends on what you’re selling.

If your front-end offer is a free 15 minute massage, maybe the upsell is a 20-minute add-on cupping session.

If your front-end offer is a free exam, perhaps the upsell is a discounted session of decompression or laser therapy.

The Upsell

I didn’t list the upsell as part of the funnel, but it’s critical that you have a way to offer additional services once they’ve taken you up on the amazing offer that gets them in the door.

The upsell can happen on the Thank You page, on the phone, or when they get to the office.

The point is that you have a system in place with your office staff that walks your patient up the value ladder, giving them a deeper level of service and offers you larger, recurring revenue.

This could be as simple as the masseuse mentioning that the patient’s back feels out of alignment…

Mr. Patient, your disks feel like they’re out of alignment. You said you love to golf, but if you don’t get this looked at it might cause problems with your golf swing (or tennis, or… ). Let’s get you in to see our doctor when you check out to make sure you get this looked at before it seriously impacts your game.

The language could be different, but you get the idea.

The LMT’s been trained to upsell the patient after their initial service, moving them up the value ladder, and expanding the revenue (and the level of service you’re able to offer patients) in the process.

That’s just one example, but there’s a thousand variations.

If the person running the front desk is trained to schedule the new patient for a follow-up appointment, or mention other offers, that’s another way to take advantage of the opportunity of the patient being in the office…

… that opportunity may never pop up again!

Summing Up

So what’s the answer to how Dr. Machine built his finely tuned practice into the revenue engine that it was?


He offered what his patients wanted (this got them in the door)…

Then he upsold them when they were a captive audience on long-term, deeper service programs that kept them coming back.

If you need patients or clients quickly, adding a funnel with an amazing front-end offer is the fastest way to do it.

With the right offer put in front of the right prospect at the right time, you can build a steady stream of patients coming to your office that keeps you hopping, growing, and moving toward that Deep Service phase where true abundance happens.

You may never want to create your version of The Machine, but if done right you’ll never wonder where your next patient is coming from.

Want A Free Funnel Template That Follows This Model?

Whether you’re in the Survival Phase of your practice, or you’re in the Deep Service phase, I have a free funnel for both.

Click the button below to get your free funnels, and use this technology to get people in your practice and develop deeper, more abundant relationships.

click this button to get your free chiropractic patient acquisition funnel


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