September 15, 2016

The One Word Every Chiropractor Needs to Remove From Their Vocabulary

By Tristan Schaub In Chiropractic Success, Marketing

Because when used in Chiropractic it’s just “Cringeworthy”

or anywhere really!

Chirosushi summit (1)

It’s definitely not Subluxation…

It’s not Manipulation…

And it’s not Medicine…

It’s “Closed”

So last night I saw a Facebook post from a Chiropractor who was sharing his excitement and joy over a well attended and what looked like a properly executed Dinner with Doc event.

Everything about this post was pure ChiroAwesomeSauce until I scanned this…

“Closed 23 people”

First, full disclosure: I have such an emotional association with this word/phrase that I honestly should travel down the 101 and have a visit with the Walkers for some NET work. But we’ll travel down that rabbit hole in a bit.

Second, I know in my heart that this Chiropractor’s intent and use of this word/phrase in this setting is not one in the same. I know he’s just excited to get people served and help. It’s not his fault.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this word used in reference to converting new Chiropractic patients.

And most likely it won’t be the last. In fact, there is actually Chiropractic systems that using “closing” in the name of their program.

One of my biggest concerns relating to Chiropractic is obviously what public perception would be when and if they see these type of posts. Because with social media and with D.C.’s being friends with their patients on social media the public does see.

There is no problem identifying you are a business to your patients. They get it. That’s why they Yelp. This is most informed generation of patients ever.

There is no issue actually sharing your success and growth to the public – especially if it’s followed up with a story of where you came from or how you got there.

But patients still don’t want to feel like they’re buying  a used car. Used car buyers don’t want to feel like they’re buying a used car for crying out loud.

Take it easy with the entrepreneur side talk and remember you are a guide to health first!

Bottom line: “Closing” patients and letting the world know you did is probably not the best representation of or for Chiropractic.

A history of my association with “Closing”

In my early 20s, I decided I’d rather be the next Elliot Smith or Kurt Cobain and not pursue Chiropractic like my father, uncles, aunts and grandparents. Realizing quick that the rockstar lifestyle was pretty expensive and cougar barflies typically had a limited budget, I had to figure how to make more than the $27 a night strumming mid 90’s Britpop.

So I got a job in sales. And I was good. Really f**king good. Like headhunters in NYC stalking me good.

And I really loved closing.

I loved making money for me and for the people who hired me. I loved talking sales and “closing techniques”. I loved Zig Ziglar and loved watching Boiler Room on repeat. I loved being able to quote Alec Baldwin’s speech from Glen Garry Glen Ross on-demand. I loved being able to tell people my “closing percentage” and why I could even “close” any stereotype in the book and why you couldn’t “close” sh**t.

I loved it.

Until I couldn’t close one day.

Closing the Door on Sales

And my “closing” became labeled consistently inconsistent. And someone new and fresh was “closing” deals faster than me. And everything I did before to “close” couldn’t “close” anything.

So I got out. I figured I was burnt. I ventured or should say slipped into a fledgling anger/stress management company located in San Francisco where I taught classes, built the first ever court-approved online virtual classroom and made a few bucks based on the amazing amount of drivers in California who were filled with rage. It was easy. They sought us out for help. No one needed to be “closed.”

But after selling that company I was pulled back to the dark side.

Churn? What Churn?

In 2008 I had the amazing opportunity to join a start-up focused on patient communication software with marketing benefits.

It was there I learned that I knew nothing about sales.

Oh, I could get people to sign up but getting them to stick around past 2 months was the real problem. My churn rate (percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing) was atrocious.


Because I was “Closing.”

Why Closing Sucks

 The literal definition is ‘bring or come to an end.’

To me it meant and represented; pressure, manipulation, stress, the 80’s, Gordon Gecko, lies, anything you can do to get it done at any cost, buyers remorse, and pain. The customer was a pain in my ass and visa versa. My customers became just another number and that number never had an end in sight.

My customers became just another number and that number never had an end in sight.

I was right back where I was years ago but now I was not just a salesman, I was a brother to my start-up family and I was letting them down. The customers we were bringing on board were ill-informed and not actually sure what they bought because my intention was just to get them signed up. It was actually costing us more money in the long run to acquire these customers.

Why we need to be concerned more about retention than growth

You never stop trying to accelerate growth. But remember it’s about the long-term big picture. The amount of time and energy it takes to bring in a new customer is a lot more than having an existing customer buy more. Generally, prioritizing retention over growth makes a lot more sense because retention has a direct impact on any future user acquisition efforts.


“Speak to me like an Asian man with a math complex.”

My start-up partner and someone I consider to be one of my greatest mentors of all time said that to me when we were struggling.

(don’t worry he’s Asian so he could say that)

Lightbulbs turned on. Fireworks went off. Everything came together. In that one sentence, I understood everything I was missing: Being a Relatable Problem Solver Armed with Data

And I never chased, stalked or “closed” my way to a sale again.

More importantly, our retention rate went up almost 60% because our sales process wasn’t a process anymore. It was an informed decision made by our customers and they were committed to our long-term mutual results.

They were in it to win it!

From Closed to Open

When we are not in the mindset of closing a prospective buyer of our solutions we can:

  1. Build Authentic Rapport
  2. Listen
  3. Be present to provide an edification of a lifetime on our services, history, creditability, and future
  4. Be articulate when presenting data that you NEED TO KNOW
  5. Be trusted to “Raise a Mirror” to the problems and solutions on the table
  6. Collaboratively problem solve together
  7. Open up their world!

And most likely your customer won’t be closing the door on you anytime soon!

Plus you’ll be saying this instead:

“We just opened our door to 23 new patients tonight!”

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