Great Sales Or Great Culture, You Can’t Have Both…Kind Of…!

Let’s call a spade a spade. This industry is quirky at best….

As a profession, we essentially originate from a ‘mom’ and ‘pop’ entrepreneurial background, therefore there is no real precedence for a “career path” for our associates, and to make things even
more challenging we “hire” for the most part self-employed practitioners.


It even says it in the name, self-employed a.k.a. SELF-ish. There is no pleasant way to describe, not only Chiropractic associates but just about any “self-employed” dominant industry, like dentists, doctors, vets etc.

Additionally, you would think that simply employing “them” would solve the challenge of them being so very self-absorbed, but alas, the industry norm dictates their behaviour, whether they are employed or self-employed.

No matter what you do …their “self-employed mentality” persists in part mainly because, whether they are self-employed or not, they are still “commission based” meaning their emphasis will ALWAYS be first and foremost on their success NOT the team’s success.

However, there is also an advantage to this…in the fantastic book “Tribal Leadership”, businesses “like us”, are described as “phase three” companies. In a ‘phase three” company, general conversation amongst the team is a, “I am great” conversation. Now for a great culture you want
your team to mostly be having a “we are great” conversation, AKA a “phase 4 company”. The “we are great” conversation, is basically the very definition of an effective team culture.

BUT I warn you, in our industry this is near impossible or if you do manage it, it is fleeting at best. The reason is because “they” will always associate their success with two main factors….

1) Their OWN patient visit numbers


2) Them owning their own clinic in the future. Neither of those involves
you, your vision or your practices vision AT ALL.

You are, in every way possible, in their minds, just a stepping-stone in their careers. BUT on the positive side, “phase 3” companies are often very successful because people are intuitively MUCH MORE MOTIVATED to succeed because essentially, they eat what they kill, therefore driving sales in the right direction BUT at the expense of culture.

YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT. Meaning, you can’t have a self-motivated selling machine and a team player, they seldom if ever go together.

If you want to read a fantastic sales/business book I highly recommend the late Chet Holmes’s “The Ultimate Sales Machine”. In the book he states simply that by nature, the best sales people are NOT great team players they are intensely motivated to PERSONALLY achieve…I, ME & MY are their favourite phrases BUT damn, they do great numbers.

The only thing you are meant to take away from this page is YOUR SANITY. Simply put, this is the reason that the culture in your practice never quite seems to “GET THERE”.

IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Let it go and EMBRACE THE WEIRDNESS and count the cash!

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