Developing Successful Associates
“Well Noel, you need a two-level fusion – 5-6C and 6-7C. We can do that now, or a year from now when you’re screaming in pain.”
How’s that for a close to an ROF? I knew it would be a cold day in hell before I’d let him cut on me. I’ve seen the human debris many of those surgeries create. No thanks.
I drove away from the surgeon’s office depressed and wondering what in the world I’d do. Just a couple months earlier I personally was seeing over 420 visits a week and my clinic was happily churning away at 650 to 720 visits a week. But that was before my accident had cost me 75 percent of the strength in my right arm, I couldn’t practice and I was in constant severe radiating pain. I knew my life was going to change, I just didn’t know how.
For your information, I didn’t have the surgery. I designed a chiropractic and PT program and adhered to it religiously. Years later I’ve completely rehabbed and have no strength or neurological deficits whatsoever. Thank you, chiropractic.
Want to know what happened to my practice? We went from 700 a week with me working IN the practice to seeing over 2,000 visits a week with me working ON the practice. In fact, I was on a two week vacation when I got word we had seen 2,000-plus patient visits that week – I was 7,000 miles away and under 80 feet of water. This article is all about how I turned a career-ending injury into the best job in the world – developing successful associates.
To start with, I needed a good hard look at three things:
First, how the business part of my practice was working. After looking at the business I knew I needed better systems and more consistent training. Remember, you get what you inspect, not expect. Better training cut my stress in half and increased my profit margin significantly.
Second, how to get lots and lots of new patients from internal and external marketing. As for new patients, I had been unconsciously good at referrals and marketing for years. I took what I knew and packaged it up to teach to my D.C.s. This worked so well that we could open a new clinic with 161 new patients the first month without me even being there.
Third, how to attract and develop top-notch chiropractors. IF my practice had a prayer of going on without me, this was and is my most important project. The following are my First Seven Essentials Steps for Developing Successful Associates:
- Get a clear picture of the benefits. Here’s my short list of benefits:
- Help more people: You can double or triple the number of people served by chiropractic in your community with associates. Plus most of the D.C.s you train will be grateful for the help. Many of my former associates are still good friends.
- Have more fun: it’s fun to teach good systems that you know work, then watch someone else succeed and reach their goals.
- Be more successful: You can serve more patients, and your associates are profitable and well-paid in as little as 60 days. Not to mention that I increased my free time and income.
- Get a crystal clear picture of who to pick and how to develop them.
- The first thing in the interview I’ll ask is “what do you want to be doing in five years?” If the goals don’t match yours, don’t hire.
- As for the training, my motto is “two hours a week times 50 weeks a year equals $1,000,000 practice.” I provide consistent training in all areas of success. I can hear some now say “I don’t have the time!” Do you have time to have a rotten associate? My two hours a week in training has given me doctors and staff that run $500,000 to $1,000,000 practices for me with no other time required. Not training correctly is THE biggest mistake doctors make.
- Handle the new patient problem: Great DCs who can’t get new patients fail. Average DCs who know how to get new patients succeed. Add training on how to get new patients and start your associate with external marketing THE VERY FIRST DAY ON THE JOB.
- Build what the associate really wants: Associates want to be successful. I truly care about my associate’s success and I’ve designed a success path they can follow that leads them to great skills and an opportunity for owning their own practice.
- Build in protection: You have an extremely valuable asset in your practice. To protect it you’ll need a well thought out, well written contract modified by an attorney in your state or province. Never hire anyone without one.
- Plan on hard work and problems: I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t work hard at this. But once I assembled the systems, templates and protocols, the whole thing almost runs itself.
- Assemble a mastermind of other successful DCs who are developing successful associates: Recently my mastermind group met in Hawaii to brainstorm, instruct each other and improve our skills. We had a blast. This type of group is an absolute must.
These seven steps can be the start to replicating your success in others and developing successful associates.
Noel Lloyd, DC