Jul 1, 2021
Dr. Ben Sweeney
Dr. Ben’s Corner: Improving Profitability by Selling Alternative Pain Relief Options
Alternative pain relief options, including supplements, devices, and topical products, are being used more than ever by those suffering from intermittent and chronic pain. Chiropractors and physical therapy clinics can improve their profitability by offering these alternative therapies as an adjunct to their services.
The Appeal of Add-On Pain Relief Products
A visit to the chiropractor and sessions with physical therapists remain the main course of treatment for millions suffering from chronic pain. Still, many patients are frustrated by the pain they experience in between appointments. For most people, daily visits or even weekly visits aren’t practical. Work, family, and other commitments make it difficult. As a result, pain that responds well to chiropractic treatment or PT may flare in between sessions.
Having something on hand that patients can safely use to alleviate pain provides a sense of security and control over their pain. Many patients also prefer pain relief that isn’t a prescription medication. Patients are more likely to return to use your services if they feel they are being given new options for home use that they may not get elsewhere. For your practice, this means more consistent bookings and good word-of-mouth advertising.
Up-Selling Increases Profitability
Did you know that 80% of profits for most businesses comes from 20% of their current customers? By offering alternative pain relief options as add-ons, you can improve your bottom line. Patients who are already using your services are open to professional suggestions for how to continue to improve physically. Stocking pain relief products that patients can take home with them allows you to increase revenue without finding new clients.
When new patients come on board, be sure to let them know you also have products available that can improve their results if used in addition to in-office procedures. Remember to train your staff, including your receptionists, to discuss add-on products with patients. As patients are leaving, whoever is taking payment can open up a dialogue about alternative pain relief. “Did you need anything to keep the knee pain under control this week? We have some options that can help.”
What Products Should You Offer?
There is an impressive array of products that are appropriate for chiropractic and PT practices. These generally fall into two categories: Health and wellness products or pain relief products.
Health and Wellness
Many of today’s chiropractic and PT offices offer health and wellness options to reduce the potential for health problems rather than simply treating problems after the fact. If your practice provides maintenance care or health and wellness packages, consider adding nutritional supplements and tools to help your patients with a healthy home lifestyle. Exercise equipment such as foam rollers to stretch out the spine and elastic bands for resistance work are inexpensive to stock but offer a high profit margin. Patients appreciate not looking for equipment elsewhere when they are told to exercise or stretch at home.
The majority of chiropractic and physical therapy patients experience some level of chronic or intermittent pain. This is often why they came to your clinic or practice in the first place. Offer products that help minimize pain in between appointments. Your patients will be more comfortable in between appointments and feel they are getting better results from your treatment plan.
Some popular alternative pain relief products on the market include topical pain relievers that can be easily applied. Some of these come in convenient tubes or roller bottles small enough to tuck into a bag or purse for relief on the go. Pain relieving patches that slowly release pain relief over several hours can make life easier for patients with low back pain who have to continue working, whether seated or standing for long periods.
Another highly effective pain relief product is the TENS unit. In the past, these have been expensive and difficult to use. Attaching the leads and adjusting the intensity of the impulses isn’t appealing to some patients, but recent developments have made them easy to use, inexpensive, and effective. PainGone offers a TENS pen for at-home use that quickly relieves pain with just the push of a button. The technology of the PainGone device provides Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation pain relief that is portable and easy to use. PainGone can be used on both nerve pathways and acupressure points to provide temporary relief without using drugs, bulky appliances, heat, or ice packs.
Marketing Alternative Pain Relief Devices
The book Marketing Metrics says, “The probability of selling to a potential customer is 5 percent to 20 percent. The probability of successfully selling to an existing customer is 60 percent to 70 percent.” With those kinds of numbers, it’s apparent physical therapy clinics and chiropractors can dramatically increase their profitability by selling alternative pain relief options to their patients.
You can’t sell what your patients don’t know about, so be sure to mention the availability of alternative pain relief devices and health and wellness products at the end of each appointment. Have pamphlets on hand with information about the products you carry.
At the check-out area, display any supplements, devices, and other products attractively. Invest in a quality display or shelf, and make sure you have at least a few of each item on hand at all times. You don’t want to run out. If your stocks aren’t always fresh, you can lose sales when patients are checking out or paying at the front desk. Don’t forget to restock periodically. Keep the area uncluttered and professional.
Consider bundling your services with alternative pain relief devices as well. A treatment package that includes a PainGone TENS pen or topical analgesics for home use is an attractive offering to patients who like the idea of paying one flat price for multiple treatments. Including supplements or devices in the price reassures patients that you are looking out for them even when they aren’t in your office.
Offering alternative pain relief options to your patients increases your profits while improving their lives and minimizing their pain. All of this will ensure your patients continue to return. They may also spread the word to others that you are providing options that others aren’t offering. It’s a win for everyone.
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