Marketing Your Practice for Doubling Your Number of New Clients
This is the first in a series of Practice Quick Tips addressing proven marketing concepts for expanding your practice.
The basic rule for marketing is that the more you promote to your target market (potential clientele), the more new patients you will attract to your practice.
Very simple concept.
Yet, we have met with over 6000 healthcare providers to analyze their practices and found that many of them relied almost exclusively on referrals as their main source of new patients. Getting referrals from your patients/clients IS a good thing — keep it up. However, if you want to double the number of new patients, all you have to do is add on some effective external marketing.
How Many Patients or Clients is Enough For My Practice?
There is a certain attrition in any practice as patients/clients move away, pass on, go away to school, and so on. Therefore, there is a need for an ongoing inflow of new patients on a weekly basis.
In the 1,400 practices we have consulted over the last 25 years, most of our clients found that the minimum number of new patients needed is rarely ever less than 7-8 per week per provider in the practice.
If you do very little promotion and marketing, then you will have very few new patients per week coming into the practice. Marketing is both an internal and an external affair. There are many hundreds of ways you can market a practice.
Here are the first couple of simple but proven, effective things that you can implement to improve your marketing efforts and bring more business in the front door. (More to follow in subsequent issues.)
Networking Both Initiates New Alliances and Rejuvenates Older Ones
Healthcare practitioners in your area will be uncomfortable referring their patients to a provider they don’t know. When was the last time you or your staff made a point of contacting the local MDs, Optometrists, Chiropractors, Dentists, Vets, etc. who have patients/clients who may need referring to you?
Make a list of these professionals who you feel would be good network partners to work with, and if you don’t already have a good relationship with them, start one. Call them up, have lunch together, build an alliance and grow.
Business Cards: Simple, Yes, but Effective Nonetheless
This may seem too basic or simple since everyone has a business card. The question is: Do patients ask to take them and give them out and do you get new patients from this activity? If the cards are dynamic and “unforgettable” in design, they will be given out. Make them jazzy and unique. Test several sample designs on 30 or 40 of your patients to find “the” one that is most memorable to them. Some of the worst marketing ideas in history were developed in a vacuum without checking for feedback from anyone else. Don’t make this mistake.
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