Let me let you in on a little secret:
Don’t do anything for free that you get paid for in your business. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.*
Adjusting people for free diminishes the value of what you do.
When you adjust someone for free and they don’t have to trade any time or money for it, it will lose value in their eyes. They will always think of it as “free.”
How much do you value things or advice you get for free? With very rare exception you probably don’t. You probably value it as much as you paid for it, which is zero.
Unless you create an exchange of value for chiropractic, people simply won’t value it. Even family will start taking it for granted (more on that later).
Further, your product will lose value when you give discounts:
Example: I’m sure there are some places you frequent that regularly issue coupons. Maybe it’s a pizza place. Now, if you use a coupon to buy pizza from Pizza Guys, how often are you going to shop there without a coupon? Probably not very often.
If you are craving pizza and don’t have a coupon for the regularly-coupon-issuing pizza place, You’ll probably think to yourself, “well I’ll wait for a coupon to buy pizza from them,” and instead you’ll likely go someplace else for a different pizza.
Bargain seekers make bad clients anyway. Who do you want to be, Walmart or Waldorph?
Do you want people who shop for the lowest price? Or people who look for quality and shop for the best?
Adjusting people for free sets a bad precedent.
When you adjust someone for free a few times, it becomes hard to start charging them. Maybe it had to do with my poor relationship with money, however when I’d adjust someone for free a few times because they were my friend, it became that much more difficult to start asking them to pay later on.
The same goes for giving discounts.
I gave a lot of people discounts when I started out, based on what I felt they could pay.
Not only is doing this unethical and unfair to your other clients, it’s horribly prejudiced.
I’m embarrassed to even admit I did this, however I think it is fairly common in our profession and I want to warn you against it.
Don’t adjust people for free and don’t give discounts. Your fee is your fee.
Can cause serious conflicts later on
I’ve lost friendships from starting to charge people. It was 100% my fault, because I thought “hey it takes me a couple minutes, and these are my ‘friends’ so I can do it for free, why not?”
Well it’s all well and good until they get used to “Free” and start taking advantage of your generosity.
I can think of two acquaintances who stopped coming to me after I began charging them.
A similar thing even happened with my sister who I love dearly.
I used to adjust her all the time for free. However, it eventually came to the point that every time she called me was to say she was coming by for an adjustment.
It might sound petty and mean, however I eventually had to tell her that I can’t keep adjusting her all the time unless she does something nice in return. There’s gotta be some exchange taking place or else people simply won’t value what you do.
So, remember, giving away care for free DE-VALUES what you do, sets a bad precedent for the future, and ultimately can ruin relationships. Don’t do it.
*The one exception is adjusting other chiropractors. Do that for free.