How to Launch a New Program or Product
If you’re a chiropractor, there are a few things we know about you. You became a chiropractor to help people. As a result, you’re always learning new ways to help your patients. It’s exciting for you to introduce the newest functional medicine programs, cutting-edge technologies and promising lines of supplements, especially for chronic patients. You take classes, get certifications and buy equipment and supplies when you feel strongly about a new program or product.
Of course, we applaud this kind of action. If all health professionals were so diligent about educating themselves and taking business risks, we’d have a much more educated public and a lot less sick people out there! So, before you launch your new program or product, we recommend you take a little time to plan so that your enthusiasm pays off.
Talk to Your Team
The first step to launching any new program or product is to introduce it to your team. Your launch will gain traction faster if your team is involved from the very beginning. Your team can help you educate patients about new products and services, but only if they are updated! Communicate why you are excited about the new venture and what you hope it will accomplish for patients. Share some of your training. One of our clients created a slideshow intended to teach prospective patients about his new program, but “tested” it on his staff first. He used his team’s feedback to clarify a few points, making the presentation even more effective during an in-office event.
Ask for your team’s feedback on launching the new program or product in the practice. The people who run your office are much more likely to identify potential snags or bottlenecks. Find out how the new addition will affect their jobs. Go over things such as: new paperwork patients must fill out, new timeslots needed to see you or other schedule changes, new fee categories to define for billing and new patient flow patterns through the office.
Assign responsibilities to specific team members, along with a description of their new roles (which they help you to create). This teamwork will also ensure that everyone understands the others’ roles and can step in for each other if needed.
Make a Marketing Plan
Ask yourself a few questions so that you can set your intent, marketing message, goals and ultimately your action plan. If you prefer to do this as a team as well, go for it! (Especially if your office staff also directs your social media and website or creates your marketing materials.)
- Define the new program or product. List its benefits and the problems it solves for patients.
Who are your ideal patients for this new program or product? Which patients would benefit the most from it? Do you already have these prime candidates coming to your practice or must you attract a new audience?
Identify the “pain points” of this new target market. What are these patients struggling with that your new program or product can help them solve? What keeps them up at night about their condition? What are they missing out on in life because of this condition? For example, if you are introducing a new supplement that quells inflammation, your ideal clients may be people who are literally kept up at night with pain. They aren’t as effective at their jobs or have relationships that suffer because the pain, lack of sleep and prescription drug side-effects alter their concentration and mood.
Develop your message from the ideal patient’s pain points. You don’t have to be a Madison Avenue advertising executive. The clearer you are, the better. The results your patients will enjoy when their problem is solved or alleviated will sell the product better than any clever slogan. Focus on communicating these results. Continuing from the previous example, you can communicate how the new supplement helps relieve pain without side-effects, which allows normal focus and emotional stability!
- Determine the best way to deliver your message. Start with the marketing you already engage in every month, including:
- Social media
- Your email or printed newsletter
- Your website
- Local advertising
- Your ChiroTV Network, if you happen to be a subscriber (Yes, this is our shameless plug and reminder to our subscribers of the services available to them! If you need a custom module for your new program or product launch, call Steve and he will help you design one for free!)
Determine, based on the scope of your new product or program, if you need a brochure or other information to hand out. Sometimes, you can get co-branded marketing materials from vendors whose marketing departments have already done the heavy lifting!
Give your team members a cheat sheet of quick tips, scripts and answers to frequently asked questions so that they may confidently help patients decide if the new program or product is right for them.
Define the purpose of your new program or product. What do you want to accomplish as a result of introducing it? Set some easy-to-measure sales goals so that you can track your progress later.
Implement and Measure
Once you define these aspects of your launch, you’re ready to take decisive action. This will be easier to do now that you have done the hard work of determining the direction of the project.
Pull together your creative team: Use your messaging to come up with emails and other marketing materials, based on your plans. Create tools for your team to use, like a sales sheet or brochure. Operationally, you may need new forms for patients to fill out. If you use a graphic artist and/or web developer, now is the time to share the details of your ideal patient and marketing plan. They will love this information, as it guides their creative process. If you rely on your staff to produce your marketing, they will be fully informed about the program or product.
Get help from vendors: Sometimes vendors will have co-op dollars to spend, will agree to send a representative to one of your in-office events with information or samples, or they may be able to list your practice on their websites as a supplier of their program or product.
Evaluate your launch with your team and make tweaks along the way: Nothing will launch perfectly. Some assumptions you make may not be correct, but with an informed team, you will be able to reorganize and make everything run smoothly. Have a weekly meeting or add the topic to your regularly scheduled team meeting to discuss the feedback your staff is getting from patients. Add frequently asked questions to your team’s “cheat sheet” that you hadn’t anticipated at the beginning. Take a look at the goals you set and see if you’re hitting your numbers, or if you must revise your expectations.
Don’t rely on your enthusiasm alone to propel your new program or product launch. With just a little bit of planning and teamwork, you can turn your zeal for helping patients into a revenue-producing feature of your practice! Now isn’t that an enthusiastic thought?
ChiroTV Network is a family-run business built exclusively by chiropractors, for chiropractors. Our product helps chiropractors seamlessly market and sell more of their services and products to patients while they wait. For a demo and a free 30-day trial, call Steve Madnick at 888-480-1350 or go to www.ChiroTVNetwork.com