The Nature of the Personal Injury Beast - If you think you can beat the system...you’re probably wrong
Personal Injury, as a whole, can be a pretty confusing minefield to cross. There are different rules for PI patients than there are for Wellness, there are different strategies that must be utilized in the marketing (often having very little to do with Chiropractic at all), there are different expectations for the way your office looks and how your staff behaves, there is a special dance you must do at the full moon…just kidding. It can often feel that way though when you are trying to increase your results and you are not familiar with all of the subtleties that go into PI Marketing.
For example: typically, there are fewer PI patients available in the Summer than there are in the Winter. This has to do with the weather and how many people are on the road. In the Summer there is less rain and it is generally lighter earlier in the morning and later in the evening when the big commute times generally are. This means that there are fewer environmental causes for accidents, which in turn usually means fewer accidents in general. Often, when practices realize this, they think that the best way around it is to only run their Personal Injury Marketing in the Fall and Winter – which would make sense, if marketing was the same as turning your lights on and off, but for PI, it just isn’t so.
If your marketing company is successful with what they do, then their PI Marketing is more like turning on a great long garden hose than it is a light switch. Even if I shut off the water right now, water is still going to come from the hose until it has run dry, and if I try to turn it on after it has run all the way dry, it’s going to take a while for that water to get to the end of the hose. Starting a PI campaign that is going to run successfully takes a lot of prep before it can begin bringing in patients – research, long waits and high prices to receive accident lists, scripts that meet the marketing legalities for your area, a whole team of admin to set up all of the systems that ensure clients and patients get the right information, branding, calls, texts, and emails that add up to approximately 6 contacts with each patient before they decide to set an appointment, qualifying those to ensure practices are not wasting time on unqualified patients, a team of trained sales people to make those contacts and qualify the patents, systems to track the appointments after they are made, and a whole lot more. So, if you shut that off with the intention of starting up again in a few months, there will still be watering trickling through that hose by then.
All of that is really the problem of the marketing company though, right? Well those things can cause issues for clients as well, For example:
- You would prefer working with a company that keeps their overhead low so that they can pass that savings on to their clients, right? Well, if a company is hiring only enough people to accomplish the work they have, then to lose one of those clients means a reduction in the number of people they can pay, but if they know that those clients are going to come back eventually, they may not want to lose anyone…that means that they have to charge their clients more in order to continue holding on to the employees they will eventually need. Staying in the program means that your prices are less likely to increase, and that your pricing is more likely to be locked in as a long time customer.
- If the marketing company that you are working with is a reputable one, they are only taking on a certain number of clients per area depending on the size of the area. But what do you think happens to all of the other practices in your area that want to utilize their services? They go on to a “waiting list” and are informed immediately when an area becomes available. If your spot is taken by someone else, it probably won’t be there when the Fall starts and the accident rates begin to increase. No company is going to be willing to hold your space free, or to remove a happy customer from their area simply because you didn’t want to participate in the program during the slow period.
- Usually, when you start such an extensive program, you are expected to pay a “Setup Fee,” which covers the cost of the overhead required to set up your campaign properly and smoothly. Canceling your campaign, even if for only a few months, forfeits that money you have already spent on setup for your program. So, even if you were able to get your spot back, and were happy to pay the price increase, you would very likely have to pay for your setup again!
All marketing has ebbs and flows – that is particularly true for Personal Injury Marketing. However, a reputable company not only knows this, they prepare for it, and they make it up to you. This is usually accomplished by either holding billing for a particular time period, or by over delivering in the months following Summer to make up for any difference between what you were expecting and what you paid for. Of course, not every company operates this way, but we can assure you that any company who understands PI and is trustworthy will.