Learning from the Godfather of PT workshops Chad Madden

Learning from the Godfather of PT workshops Chad Madden

Ray Berardinelli: I am here with Chad Madden. I first learned about direct response marketing from him. He was kind of aware with this whole thing and I learned about workshops from him.

He's the Godfather of Physical Therapy workshops because that's where I learned about and I never heard of anybody doing workshops. My practice was in a little bit of in transition and everything had changed.

When I started killer marketing, I really learned about the workshop for the first time and something that really changed my practice. Everything kind of changed for me when we started to implement a lot of the stuff we were teaching. And I learned a lot of it from you. 

What brought you to start doing workshops? 

Chad Madden: Well, it was a little bit of necessity. The first workshop ever, I did back in 2001 for a high school football team, was around rotator cuff injuries. It was just kind of like the team asked us to do it. I was the PT and there was a trainer in there as well. They wanted to do shoulder injury prevention and I volunteered to do it.

I really didn't have the need in that setting until I was in private practice. We started to see this huge decline in this referrals. Hospitals were buying up with physicians in Central Pennsylvania. I knew that I had to figure out how to go direct to the consumer.

I started looking outside of the community or outside of the physical therapy industry, and I saw other industries such as financial services, vacation rentals, and timeshares. There's an infinite number of industries that are doing workshops. I did want to provide valuable information to the community that ultimately resulted in us being in better control of running patients.

This huge effort there really started in 2008. I think the first workshop that we did there, we had 27 people in the room: three were editors and others were PTs family doctors. I quickly realized that we can get people in the room but I had no idea what to do when there are people in the room.

So it's a pretty tough learning curve in the beginning, but it was really awesome. We had a huge competition. The competition kind of been a melting pot, bury for the eye of the storm in Central PA with not only the hottest practices but also we have a lot of competition. We have two major corporate PT companies that are headquartered in Central PA. So it was really out of necessity.

RB: Now in your workshops, you’re really a hands-on kind of guy. You like to get somebody up in front of the room and get hands-on. Would you mind talking about how you choose which person within the room within the given workshop that you're going to bring up? What do you look for if, like for example, you're doing the low back pain side? 

CM: I cherry-pick before I even start with delivering content in the workshop. In the very beginning, I go around the room and ask people to share the first name and either what they want out of the workshop or their main problem.

For example, if I'm doing back pain and sciatica workshop, we're going to look for a very simple SI joint. We look for somebody who is in pain when sitting, changing positions, when getting out of the car, or someone who easily crosses his/her left or right leg but having difficulty to put his/her right shoe or sock on.

I'm looking for something that I could get in a dramatic way to win through the 5-Minute Miracle. Those who most likely have been mismanaged in the past, they've seen other PTs or chiropractors, they’ve been to massage therapy, or they've had injections that didn't work.

RB: So that chronic person has really been struggling.

CM: Exactly. The one thing that I want to say about workshops is I’ll back myself into a corner a little bit for a demonstration. That's just my personal preference. I know some therapists out there are scared to death to do a demo, let alone stand up in front of a group of people and talk.

I'm sure I know what I'm looking for. It's something very easy to treat where I can do a very simple light mobilization and help the person move better five minutes from now in the room.

RB: And you're really good about letting everybody else in the room see what's happening. They're seeing that win with you helping somebody who has been in chronic pain for a long time to get better.

Regarding your sequencing, you give out information and handouts within the workshop. For somebody that's getting started, what would you recommend that they have together for that first workshop?

What things that somebody who's just starting out that you would recommend that they have like the systems and things in place or the vision for the first workshop? We have people in the group that expressed interest but said they're afraid of making the leap. I was looking for something that you should have: these number of things such as handouts, confirmation calls, and some of the stuff we're talking about.

CM: Great question. Once somebody registers, whether you're using a print ad, direct mail, calling in, online automation, a registration form, or anything like that, just think through from your own process. What you would like to do if you were signing up for something similar?

We email them a shock and awe package with testimonials in there. I wrote a book on back pain which we have a web advertisement for that and they're going to get a copy of it in the future.

Some basic information that's going to dispel, let's say, the 10 most common objections that a person's likely going to have and really crush them. So that when I walk in the room or one of our therapists walks into the room to present, they already feel like they know they can trust us. We kind of start there.

When somebody registers until the time they get to the workshop, it's a very important time frame, like two weeks, four weeks, or even a day. But you want to get them the information so they're indoctrinated that they already know they can trust you. 

Second thing, once the workshop starts, you want to keep it simple. You want to focus on three big points, not more than that. You don't want to overload them with PT jargon or language or scientific medical terminology. You want to speak like a lay person, on literally a fifth-grade reading level with concepts very simple.

The other thing that you want to show them that's really important is during the course you want to share with them that there's hope for them. We surveyed through my YouTube channel -- 3100 back pain and sciatica suffers from all over the world out of roughly 300,000 people filled out the survey form.

Most people who are in pain, if you think about their perspective, they feel like they're all alone and that they have tried everything for treatment even if they tried nothing. They're curious if there's any hope can they ever be better again.

You basically want to demonstrate to them that there's hope for them. Unless there's something that's an outlier or a huge red flag in terms of there's not something musculoskeletal going on but there's something else, you want to show them that they're going to be okay.

So painting that picture, we do it with email and mail for the workshop. We keep it very, very simple. We hand them a worksheet that they fill out during the workshop, which is key. We do the demo, go through three points at the end and what successful treatment looks like. The last 10 minutes of the workshop, that is where you close and where you can make or break.

RB: I love the sequencing. I do some similar stuff. I do ringless calls to voicemail, also with people to try to work them in a little bit more to even engage them a little bit more.

You guys really had some great tools to try to help bring in basically people from cold leads that are within the community that you guys can really help by bringing them into workshops for their local therapists. Would you mind kind of telling us a little bit about your product: what that's going to do and how that's going to help local therapists get more people into the practice?

CM: Right now, people are going online for information. For example, I have a daughter at the pediatrician. I heard a couple of months ago, they wanted to do a treatment for her. I'm not an anti-vaccine but I'm a minimalist, like a centralist as a parent.

The pediatrician knows that I'm like that, and she said, “Hey! By the way, we want to do this treatment. Is this going to be okay?” And I said, “Well, is it toxic?” She said, “It is not. There's research.” So I literally, as we're standing there, googled the treatment that they were talking about, and I'm like, “Wow! This is good. There's research on it. It's safe and effective from a site that I trusted. So sure, let’s do the treatment.” 

I realized that is just what is happening millions of times, every single day, all over the world. People are going online first for basic information. And really what that means is you need to be there.

So with Product X, what we do is we work with literally, directly with Google. Called Matty Ola, when Carl and I met, he was the head of online sales at Tesla Motors. He was the guy that figured out how to sell $100,000 electric vehicle with an email and a webpage, which is kind of crazy and he wanted to bring his skill set here.

So truth be told, many people see me online. I tried to do all that. And I couldn't figure it out online. With Product X, we've gone into Facebook. We have a Facebook ad rep that works for us and shows us exactly how to find ideal people -- typically 45 to 65-year-old people online with Facebook -- and for those people to click on our ads.

Then ultimately, it starts that sequence of automation up until the point where we're having human interaction. Everything we talk with them at the workshop: about what their pain, how their pain is affecting them from day to day, and we can literally get them started on the program.

RB: I love the online reviews. I'm always telling people about how important your online reviews are. Like what you just said. Right now before I buy anything, I scroll the reviews. People are doing it to us. It is awesome that people are doing it.

You guys are helping so many people -- helping them with their practices -- those who don't know where to go or don’t know what to do.

Chad, thank you so much for your time. Thanks for helping me out and hopefully it helps everybody else.

CM: Appreciate it, man. And before we go here, I also want to thank you for being here for not only investing in your own private practice but also for helping our members that we're working with as well and helping product practice across the board.

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