When marketing their chiropractic practices, many chiropractors rely on low prices to attract new chiropractic patients. This practice is certainly understandable. All doctors need an ongoing source of new chiropractic patients to keep the doors open—and offering low prices seems like a logical way to bring in new business. But take a bit of chiropractic marketing advice, if you’re doing this, you may be setting yourself up for a host of problems in the long run.

Pricing sets expectations

Before you get ready to dispute this statement, we ask you to consider the following scenario. Let’s say you made a trip to your local discount shoe store, the one with the really cheap, but functional shoes. When you walk into the store you probably have a certain set of expectations. Most likely you don’t expect to receive personalized customer service, you may believe you’ll have to compromise a bit on quality, and you probably don’t think the shoes will be extremely durable.

Contrast the budget shoe store with a visit to Nordstrom’s—a retailer known for their quality shoes and service. When I walk into Nordstrom’s I know I will be paying more, but my expectations are quite different. I know I will receive high quality customer service from a salesperson who is well trained in pairing a client with the right shoes. I also know that I can expect to find a wides selection of well-crafted, stylish and durable footware. And, if for any reason after purchasing my shoes, I have questions or concerns, I know I can count on Nordstroms to be there to support me.

Translating this into a chiropractic scenario is easy. Your clients will perceive you exactly the way you market yourself. A trip to the internet validates our concerns. After entering the search term “what does an average chiropractic visit cost?” we find a post under Yahoo Answers where a reader, John, responds to this same question by advising the questioner to choose the more expensive chiropractor. John goes on to say,”…You want mercedez healthcare, not hyundai.”

We believe this sums up general public perceptions quite well. Although you and I may recognize that a chiropractor who is charging $40.00 for an office visit and adjustment, may be just as good as his counterpart who charges $75.00 or $80.00, your prospective chiropractic patients may not see it this way. Most patients expect to pay for quality healthcare. A super low price may suggest inexperience, and low value—not to mention, desperation.

Your skills are valuable

Your fees should take into account your time, overhead, and the value of your skills. A chiropractic education is expensive. You need only think about your school loans and the amount of debt you took on to validate this fact.

Although it makes sense to offer discounts for an introductory visit or to a select group of clients, (active military personnel, for example), your standard rates should allow to cover your financial responsibilities and allow you to make a reasonable profit.

Your choices affect the profession

Here’s another factor to consider. If you set low-ball fees, particularly prices that are well below professional standards, you will be contributing to the overall undervaluation of chiropractic. Even today, too many people are in the dark about the many benefits chiropractic medicine, By appropriately valuing your time and talents, you’ll enhance your patient’s view of chiropractic.

Please understand that we are not recommending that you never accept a fee that is lower than you would like. Sometimes ethical considerations come into play, as in the case of Medicare patients. We are just suggesting that using price as a basis for chiropractic marketing can be problematic.

There are many free or inexpensive chiropractic marketing tips offered within this guide that can help you effectively market your practice—without lowering prices. You can market to Attorneys and MDs, build a powerful website, host a community event, and promote your chiropractic practice through local business directories… and this is just a small sampling of ideas. Consistent marketing will help you break through the price barrier.

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