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5 Marketing Lessons from a Dog Chiropractor

November 11, 2013

ChiropactorI started ballroom dancing when I was 12 years old. Then I stopped. Then I started back again. And after years of women using me like a wall to lean on, I was in such pain that I couldn’t even sit without feeling it.

So I gave up dancing for good and started going to a chiropractor.

A lot of people think chiropractors are quacks. In this country, we like to take pills when we experience pain. Plus, watching chiropractors in action, cracking necks or whatever they do, is scary as hell.

Because they have to get over these hurdles, it’s been my experience that chiropractors are very good at marketing. They have to be in order to stay in business.

What Can You Learn About Marketing from a Chiropractor?

1. Sell a Remedy for Pain – If the pain is bad enough, people will pay just about anything to be able to rid themselves of it.

Almost every business has a “pain” option. Let’s say you’re a marriage counselor… “Stop your divorce” is usually more effective than “have a better marriage” when it comes to marketing.

Need more examples? Politicians during an election cycle are great at this! And politically-charged talk radio is full of “remedy for pain” advertising. Listen to an hour or two Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity and you’ll get an earful of ads talking about how to discipline your badass kid, survive the supposedly upcoming financial crash, and fix your low testosterone levels.

2. Any Other Problems? – The doctor who treats me also has a wide range of “related” services for people in pain, including massage therapy, foot baths, and allergy treatments. She has this ultrasound thing that speeds healing of muscles and another thing that looks like a laser, which helps inflammation.

Not sleeping well? She has special pillows for sale.

Every business can do something similar…

A friend of mine used to own an online record store for musicians. When he started the company, he would literally mail out CDs to people who ordered them. It was a good business for a while, but more and more customers wanted downloadable music. So he added it! He also added other “promotion” services for the people whose music he sold, including web hosting.

If your customers have a problem that you can solve, why not do it?

3. Any Other Markets? – Is your dog in pain? How about your baby? If it has a spine, it’s a potential chiropractic customer!

Back to my friend with the online record store… He had the software, the warehouse, and the shipping in place for CDs. Do you know what’s similar to CDs? DVDs!

Everything was in place for him to roll out an online DVD store. And he did.

I started my business working with musicians. Non-musician people found out about what I was doing and started asking me to help them build their audiences. So here I am!

4. Do It Again – Almost nobody visits a chiropractor just once and some people, like me, go on a regular basis indefinitely.

Can you sell to a customer more than once? Can you get him on recurring billing?

5. Pills, Potions, and Lotions – When you leave the chiropractor, you go past a wide variety of products to help you along your path to feeling better. They have everything from food supplements, to itch remedies, to vitamins for sale.

There is a reason so many multi-level marketing companies and some of the biggest companies in the world (like Proctor and Gamble) sell “pills, potions, and lotions” — they’re consumable. Every time you use finish a bottle, you’re a good prospect to buy more.

Do you sell information or ideas? Good news! Live events have a “consumable” aspect.

You can buy a DVD of an event, but once something has happened, you can’t go back in time and experience it live again. The only thing close to that first experience is a second event, which has the same qualities and can only be “replaced” by a third.

If you’ve got a great marketing example from a chiropractor’s office, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to post it below or contact me via Twitter.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Monday, I analyze the good, bad, and ugly about the marketing behind a common business or famous personality. See other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for something (or someone) you’d like me to analyze for this series, contact me via Twitter.

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