Marketing, marketing, marketing. Once upon a time, you just had to rent a space (oops, marketing), put a sign out front so people knew you were there (oops, more marketing), and you would attract patients or clients who would then tell others about you (oops, even more marketing), and your practice would fill up.
Hmmm… It’s always been about marketing then, hasn’t it? However, times and methods and quantity of marketing required to compete for the public’s business has evolved and so you need to be at the head of the class in this subject in order to have a top practice.
What is Marketing? It is making yourself and your practice known to potential patients or clients and giving them a reason to choose you over other options available to them.
And there are endless ways to do so. With the internet, the whole world can see you if you are present there. However, don’t leave out the myriad of other ways to market.
Some standout rules of marketing:
Almost any marketing method is better than no marketing at all. However, there are things that work much better than others and will make the public think WELL of you and WANT you as their healthcare provider.
Decide on your target market. What kind of patients or clients do you want to attract. If kids are not it, don’t have pictures of kids in your messages. If seniors are it, then have pictures of seniors. (For vets, most of you do this very well with logos or pictures that show what animals you treat.)
Look different – you’re competing for attention. Receiving a shiny postcard in the mailbox at home has become quite a common sight. But they all look the same and say the same thing. What if you did something a little different? Watch for promo pieces you receive in your mailbox that catch your eye and compel you to read them to see what it’s about. Save these in a file and next time you get a flier designed, show your designer what you like best about each piece so he or she can combine the ideas into a piece that is uniquely yours. The same applies to websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on. Surf the web frequently to look at other providers’ sites. There are blow-away websites there that will inspire you. Keep a list of these and show your web designer what you particularly like in each one.
Say something different. Ask and talk about the prospect’s needs. A list of services that your practice offers is boring and does not impinge on the reader. Asking questions about the prospect’s health or issues will engage them by making them think in the direction you want them to.
Don’t waste your marketing efforts. Almost every marketing action you take drives the potential patient or client to your Receptionist with questions, which, if properly handled, will result in a new patient. (These calls are not from people who are sitting at home dialing healthcare practices because they have nothing better to do. They have a need.) While some Receptionists are highly expert at converting this “reach” into your practice into a new patient or client, most have little to no training in how to handle “shoppers” (but try their best). Most practices lose 2 – 5 potential new patients per week because of this point. Sales training for them is essential if you don’t want to waste your marketing dollars and time. (Our Sales Workshop spends some time helping them learn this skill.)
So there you go – use these rules well and fill up your practice with patients you love to treat!
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