I’ll be the first to admit, I DON’T LIKE BEING WRONG. But this week I realized that I was wrong about something regarding referrals, chiropractors, and Black Sheep DC. Let me explain…
When I was in practice, I always believed in the 80/20 rule…or even the 90/10 rule. Most of my referrals were going to come from 10-20% of my patients. Most people are not referrers by nature, so my goal was always to optimize the 10-20%.
A couple of years ago when I started Black Sheep DC (BSDC), it was JUST me. I was the whole community. (Kind of sad…I know.) Just like when I started my practice, I couldn’t get referrals since I had zero people. I had to find ways to grow without relying on referrals.
Thankfully, I’m not flying solo anymore. The BSDC community has grown mainly through content creation and paid advertising. Unfortunately, even though at this point there are thousands of chiropractors who enjoy BSDC content (both paid and free), most of the BSDC community does not refer…just like most of my patients didn’t refer when I was in practice.
But I already told you that I didn’t expect most of my patients to refer, and that referral thought process carried over to BSDC. I didn’t really expect the majority of chiropractors to refer either. So what’s the problem?
The problem is, I WAS WRONG! I lumped chiropractors in the same category as the average person, but that was a mistake. Chiropractors should be held to a much higher standard.
All chiropractors know the importance of referrals. All chiropractors appreciate when their patients refer. All chiropractors would like their patients to refer more. So if that’s true (and it is), shouldn’t all chiropractors be excellent referrers?
If only 10-20% of chiropractors are referrers (just like the average person who doesn’t understand the value of referrals), doesn’t that make 80-90% of chiropractors referral hypocrites? They want people to do for them what they don’t do for someone else. That’s NOT OK.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately…not only for the chiropractors who are part of the BSDC community, but also for myself. Am I an excellent referrer? Am I telling people about the people, products, and services that I enjoy and get value from?
As I asked myself that question, I realized I could do better. I don’t want to ask of others to do what I don’t do myself. That’s part of the reason why I recently created my Resources page, and why I did the Shout Out podcast episode. I want to be a better referrer.
The more I think about the whole situation, the more I feel the need to apologize. When I started BSDC, I took on the role of a mentor/coach for chiropractors.
For some of you, I’m a mentor at a very surface level. You listen to the podcast. You read the newsletter. For others, our relationship is deeper. You’re a NEXT Step member, or maybe we have worked together one-on-one. Regardless, I wanted to apologize for not being better in two specific areas.
First, a good coach has high expectations for his people. Good coaches raise the bar, not lower it. Good coaches expect more, not less. My low referral expectations of the BSDC community were wrong, and not representative of a good coach.
So here’s the new expectation…if you want to be relationship-centered, you need to be an excellent referrer. Develop the habit of referring others to the people, products, and services that you find valuable. If you don’t, you are being a referral hypocrite. Period.
Second, a good coach is a good example for his people. Like I already said, I need to do a better job of practicing what I preach. I need to be a better example. I promise to work on that.
Final Thoughts: Lately, the topic of referrals (giving and receiving) have been on my mind, and it’s something I’m still mulling over. I’ll probably end up talking about it more on an upcoming podcast. Referrals are so incredibly important to chiropractors as well as most small businesses.
I absolutely believe in the importance of having referral systems. I believe it’s important to make referrals easy for people. I believe in creating referral opportunities instead of waiting for them to happen.
But I wonder if I should have had higher expectations for my patients. I could have raised the bar for them, too. I could have been more clear about the importance of referrals and my referral expectations.
Obviously, there is nothing I can do about that now. But I do think it’s important if you are a practicing chiropractor to remember that you are in a leadership position. The same two things that will make me a better coach (raising expectations and setting a good example), will also make you a better chiropractor. There’s NOTHING wrong with that.
Practice Strength Test
I recently created a resource called “The Practice Strength Test.” It’s a pretty simple test, but the information you get from it will really help bring clarity to your practice. If you haven’t done it yet, I want to encourage you to take the test.
Would You Like To Work Together?
Growing a successful chiropractic practice is tough. Trying to grow it alone…that’s even tougher. If you would like some help growing your practice, no matter where you are at right now, I would like to help. Click here to see how.