Increase Your Profits By Thousands!

Whomever owns a clinic must focus on solvency to keep the doors open.  This piece focuses on and teaches you to increase your profits and the success of your practice.

 

Annually healthcare providers invest countless amounts of staff- hours and resources to acquire new patients.  Meetings are conducted, budgets are projected and set, and personnel are assembled. We strategize, scrutinize and improvise ways in which to attract our next big patient — all to increase your profits.

Very often, the most significant question asked at these annual budget meetings is “Do we spend 30% of our advertising dollars on print or social media this year (as opposed to 25% from last year)?”

Too often, very little goes into the strategy of keeping those hard-won patients. Ideally, you also want to keep them over the course of several years. Many practice owners naturally assume that they [existing patients] will stay around for a number of years.

Actually, there’s a huge difference between repeat business and loyalty.  Repeat business means that I’m willing to do business with you again, and again, and again.  Loyalty means patients are willing to overlook others, turn down a better service, at a better price, or even inconvenience.  Patients will do all that just to do business with you.

Those patients for whom you just happen to meet some arbitrary price standard or pricing objective, they’re not very loyal.  Often, those people will do business with you anyway. You shouldn’t try to appease them; they come and go.  If you focus your practice on “price-driven” patients, you’re creating a never ending cycle of profitable years and lean years.

But it’s those loyal ones, …  These patients are the ones who increase your profitability and create long-term clinic success.

So, how do we achieve this loyalty?

There are couple of answers. First, you have to establish why you do what you do. Once you establish your core belief, it’s a matter of identifying those people who share common interests and values.  Now, inspire them to follow you.  Second, your deepest and richest pool of ongoing business is right in front of you — your current patients.

According to Simon Sinek, all promotions (and their subsequent sales) are achieved in one of two ways.  You can either attract patients and have them choose you over the competition by manipulating price points and offers.

For example, buy one get one free, special discounts for…, giving something away for free, or some variation of a value-added concept.

Or, you can opt for the alternative; you can inspire people to follow you with no manipulation or trickery.

Incidentally, I cannot dispute that these and many other manipulations work; without question they do, that’s why the advertising industry uses them. The problem is none of them breathe loyalty or engender trust.

According to Mr. Sinek, only a few leaders and a few organizations rely more on inspiration than manipulation. Some of the big ones that use inspiration to draw followers include Apple computers, Harley-Davidson, Disney, or Southwest Airlines, but you also see the same pattern in great leaders like Nelson Mandela, or Martin Luther King, or John F Kennedy.

He points out that most businesses conduct their conversations and subsequent communication in the following manner:

  • A company begins with what they do in business.
  • They quickly proceed to describe how they do business.
  • Then, very often they neglect to explain why they do business.

Most of their exchanges end up sounding like this:

If you’re computer manufacturer, “We make great computers, they’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Wanna buy one?” Or, maybe you’re a car dealer, in which case you might be saying something like “Our new car has tinted windows, great gas mileage, leather seats. Do want to buy it?”  We are healthcare providers, “We’ve got the best medical people on staff, we went to the best schools, we do great by our patients, we work with some of the largest insurance companies, hire us.”

As you can see, these are merely variations of “what we do” and “how we do it.” These things are great, but they neither inspire nor do they promote you as the leader and authority in your industry.

The question is why anyone should follow you? What is your purpose in business, what’s your cause, what’s your belief, why does your company exist? Do we really need another doctor in town?

Here’s an example that might provide clarity.  Apple Computers’ communication is crystal clear, and it’s direct and to point.  More importantly, they begin by explaining “why” they are in business.

Everything we do, we believe. We believe in challenging the status quo, the way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. We just happened to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

For this thing to work, you have to have three things: 1.You must have clarity of  “why.”  If you don’t know why your practice exists, how will anybody else? 2. You have to have discipline of “how.” You have to hold yourself and your people accountable to your own guiding principles and your own values. 3. You need to have consistency of “what.” Everything you say and everything you do has to prove what you believe at the end of the day.

We live in the tangible world at the end of the day. The only way people will know what you believe is if you say and do the things you actually believe. This is the concept behind authenticity.

If we approach business with the standard models of leading with “what we do” and “how we do it,” we have it all backward.  A well-defined “why” speaks to our inner self; it forms bonds and alliances. Actually, this is all grounded in the tenets of biology. It has to do with our human brains and our neocortex; within our brains lays the limbic system which is responsible for all of our feelings of trust and loyalty. It’s also responsible for all human behavior, all decision-making. Continue reading Increase Your Profits By Thousands!

Save your reputation from fake reviews!

It’s been said that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. But, what if that bad deed isn’t true? How do you take back your good name?

 

Let’s face it, a bad review is generally well earned.  If you have built your business on unscrupulous, undependable, or slap-shot quality, you deserve that others find out.

But what if you didn’t do anything wrong? What if you’re the victim of a malicious attack?

How do you get back your reputation and your standing in the community?

It appears that the expression “fake news” has become part of the modern lexicon.  Indeed, lately, it has swirled around the topic of politics.  However, regardless of your political stance, we all turn towards authoritative sources to get our daily information (aka the news media).

With the expansion of social media, these news platforms have broadened immensely; many would argue, this expansion has watered down the quality of the news reported.  Think about it, this medium that we all use determines many aspects of our lives.

The news delivers everything from how to dress in the mornings based on the weather report, how to invest our money based on financial news, even where to eat based on restaurant reviews.

When the very sources that we depend upon to provide us with this valuable information are compromised by bad blood, envy, or downright mean-spiritedness, we all suffer! By no means is anyone suggesting that all news needs to feature reports on rainbows and unicorns, we can handle bad news — just let it be honest, impartial and without an agenda.

The fact is that false narratives (otherwise known as yellow journalism) are nothing new.  Many documented journalistic sources trace this type of news delivery to William Randolph Hearst in the modern era (though it’s been around since men could speak).

However, with the propagation of social media, fraudulent claims (in a printed format) are rampant. These events are concerning when companies hire people to falsely accuse competitors in the business of bad service, negligence, deception, and worse on various social platforms.

In a piece written by Chris Silver for Marketing Land, he explains that increases in extortion-fueled reputation attacks points to needs for changes in the law. Mr. Silver believes that lawmakers must modify legislation to help innocent victims fight back.

Mr. Silver also states that “you do not have to work very long in Online Reputation Management (ORM) before you run into cases involving people who have been victimized by unscrupulous individuals. These bad actors convince these people to give in to their demands to avoid being ruined online. Cases range from human trafficking victims extorted into prostitution to businesses ordered to pay ransoms to avoid financial ruin.

This issue is one of the darkest aspects of the internet, and ironically, it has been facilitated by a portion of the so-called Communications Decency Act (CDA Section 230). It’s time to modify the law to reduce these threats of extortion based on reputation attacks. Continue reading Save your reputation from fake reviews!

3 Easy Steps for Eliminating Your Competition

It’s a crowded marketplace, you have to do everything you can to stand out from the crowd; this means, eliminating your competition and leaving as far back as possible in your rearview mirror!

 

Easier said than done; right?   You read mountains of articles which promise helpful tips but they don’t really deliver enough meat on the bone.  Success can feel like a treasure map that’s missing a few key steps — you have the map but you’re far from the prize.

That’s what makes this article different. As you read on you will learn essential, step-by-step, elements for eliminating your competition.

Please don’t misunderstand my statements at the onset. Business success and marketing articles covering topics like branding, attracting more and better patients, writing better ads, etc. are necessary.  In fact, I would argue they are imperative — but only if implemented.

By the same token, I believe that eliminating your competition is an underserved market.  Interestingly, there appears to be an unspoken disapproval, an attitude of “ungentlemanly-play” when breaching the subject.

I say too bad!  Unless these critical people are paying your monthly bills, I say forget them and carry-on my ambitious scholar!

The name of this game is success through separation.  My mission is to help you create a massive crevasse between you and your biggest competitor. In short, we want patients to believe that it would be a colossal mistake to use anyone but you.

I aim to teach you how to become the undisputed authority in your county.

However, if your desire is not to reign supreme, then this piece is not for you.  I respect your position; and, I’m not here to twist your arm.  I would suggest, though, that you read our many other detailed articles covering business enhancement.  I promise these pieces are worth your review.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Maybe you’ve never thought about this; every day when you open your doors for business, your competitors are actively and aggressively targeting your patient-base.  How do they do this you ask?

Every time your competitor launches a promotional campaign, wheels are set in motion.  An action has begun can’t be stopped until it reaches its end — to get a new patient.

Fortunately for you, too many ads don’t feature the essential components to make them successful or profitable.  However, it’s just a matter of time before your competitor lands on a good one.  Remember, they are targeting your patients, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them!

Therefore, you have to do everything in your power to stand apart from youreliminating-your-competiton competitors. I am speaking about authority marketing and branding.

As a result of your authority marketing, you will distinguish yourself as the undisputed expert in your field. More importantly, you will brand yourself as the preeminent consul on a particular treatment.

From this point forward, you must look at your practice with a new set of eyes. If you are astute, you have approached your patients qualitatively.  Now, you need to also look at them quantitatively.

What do I mean by that?

From now on, you will need to categorize your patients by treatments they receive. For example, after you do an audit of your patients, you discover that most see you to treat their fibromyalgia.

Now that you are armed with this magnificent pearl of information, it’s time to put knowledge into action!

From this point on, your website, your blogs, and every promotional will be from “Dr. Jones, the fibromyalgia specialist.” If eliminating your competition is truly

Continue reading 3 Easy Steps for Eliminating Your Competition

Want to Increase Your Profits & Patient Loyalty?

There’s only one way to increase your profits; you need to identify and capitalize on those windows of opportunities that each client provides you.

 

A successful practice is the goal; why else would you work so hard?  Having happy patients is also a strong motivation.  Are you making your road to victory tougher than it needs to be?  Learn to identify your current patients’ buying signals and increase your profits.

The bigger question is, are you missing out on fortunate circumstances that often lift your practice to the next level?  You know, those subtle signs that have kept you from increasing your profits, additional procedures and referrals?

If you have answered yes to these questions, your solution may very well be found within this article.  Learn efficient and proven principles for tapping into your patient’s wants and needs — when they’re ready and desiring them!

As a medical professional, you know that there are three ways to grow your business. First, acquire more patients. Second, you do more business with the patients you already have. Third, do more work more frequently with the ones you have.

In the daily rush of building and maintaining a successful medical practice, we often miss faint signs.  These signs transform practices from a “one-and-done” clinic to practices that build their strength on patient loyalty.

Your goal needs to be one of creating an on-going resource as your patients’ lives unfold.  However, before you can be that resource, you need to know your patients. Don’t miss those indirect, yet vital clues that each patient provides.  It’s those clues that determine where they are in their specific life cycles and transforms a medical practice.

Traditionally, the accepted formula for building a lucrative practice consists of putting your nose to the grindstone from morning ’til night, and repeating the following day.

Well, that’s one method, but there is a better way.

Did you know that simply by increasing patient retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95% (this is according to Frederick Reichheld in a study for the Harvard School of Business)?

Also, multiple direct response advertising studies have shown the following:  Up to 95% of all ads written only target 5% of the intended audience.   Conversely, the probability of selling to an existing patient is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

However, a superior plan for reaching success comes with learning how to identify where each current and future patient lies within their own unique life and buying cycles.

According to Sales and Marketing Magazine, nearly 80% of all people who inquire about medical procedures take action within one year (emergencies notwithstanding). Interestingly enough, they seldom do business with the practice they initially contacted. This means you (the practice owner) are educating your prospects to do business with your competition. Continue reading Want to Increase Your Profits & Patient Loyalty?

Having Trouble Getting Patients?

7 Proven Techniques for Successful Patient Attraction

 

Maybe it’s an overused expression, but patient attraction (besides providing superior medical service) is the cornerstone for building a successful practice. Let’s face it, if you can’t make your phone ring, your practice is in trouble.

Additionally, a large part of maintaining a successful clinic involves keeping the wolves away. What does that mean?  Every day when you open for business, your competitors are actively and aggressively hunting for your patients.

How are your competitors going after my patients, you ask? They do it through their advertising and marketing campaigns. In fact, your competitors may not even realize the chain of events started with a single ad.

Every promotional piece that goes out has been programmed with a selected target. This is a horrible analogy (but accurate), it’s like a heat-seeking missile.  It only has one job, that is to grab the attention of and to compel the reader to pick up the phone and call its maker.

Thus, if you live in an average city (where people will only drive so far to do business with you), whom do you think your competitor is targeting with their ad?

According to David Ogilvy (father of modern advertising), “The only purpose of advertising is to get a new client.

Again, every time your competitor releases a TV or radio spot, a flyer, or some coupons, they’re targeting your patients.  What are you doing to keep them away?   What are you doing that your competitors aren’t?  Are you upgrading the quality and quantity of your business?

Every business keeps its doors open because they attract a constant stream of new patients!  Medical practices are no different; unless you become a patient magnet, you will eventually have to close your doors.

Recently, author Rhonda Abrams wrote an exceptional piece for USA Today titled “Strategies: 10 rules for small business success.”  Ms. Abrams is a long time business development consultant and strategist provides great insight with robust data that should pay serious dividends for all medical practice owners.

She states that she has dealt with all different types of small businesses, and she’s Patient attractionlearned certain realities always apply.  These rules are keys to small business success.  Ignore these rules at your peril: “I’ve seen many new entrepreneurs fail because they ignored one or more of these business basics to be a patient magnet.”

Here are 10 of the most important “Rhonda’s Rules” for small business success:
Continue reading Having Trouble Getting Patients?

Are You Sick & Tired of Burning Thru Money With Weak Ads?

It’s not your advertising; it’s your content, it’s weak so your ads fail!  Learn 3 proven tips for creating a killer message.

 

Patient attraction is EVERYTHING in business! As such, you’re going to learn how to transform your clinic into a patient magnet via improved content marketing strategies!

The goal, however, isn’t to be good at content—it’s to be good at business because of your content.

Before proceeding much further, let’s define what content means from a marketing prospective.  According to the Content Marketing Institute:  “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent messaging to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Like every piece of targeted communication, the only job that content marketing has is to create behaviors among target audiences that benefit the business.

Interestingly, if you research content marketing on line, much of what is written is a very superficial and nebulous.  This means that many who write about content marketing don’t fully understand it themselves.  Hence, the lack of detail and nuance.

So, it’s no mystery that there is great confusion about the subject.  Often you find ethereal definitions describing “content marketing” as a means of communicating that elicits emotions in your reader.  For example, content marketing makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you angry, etc.

Though it is true that good communication relates with it’s readers on multiple levels.  The purpose is to provide a deeper message that doesn’t necessarily focus on the product or service you provide but solves needs.

The ultimate goal is to attract more patients to your practice.  You want to be seen as the “go-to” resource for medical answers within your discipline.  To become a patient magnet you need to understand your patients.  You need to identify who, within your clinic, is your ideal target market, where do they hang out, what do they read, and so on.  You need to know things, like:

  • What details can you tell about your chosen target market?
  • Who are the top influencers in the markets your patients seek; for example, bloggers, websites, podcasts Content or social media giants?
  • Are you receiving email newsletters from the influencers in these markets?
  • What are the latest marketing trends regarding their [your patient’s]needs?

Only when you understanding their needs can you create interesting, relevant and compelling messages which speaks their needs.  This article is designed to teach you how to focus your practice’s message to achieve winning marketing strategies. Continue reading Are You Sick & Tired of Burning Thru Money With Weak Ads?

3 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS QUICKLY!

Grow your business through proven strategies to increase your traffic, convert the curious into patients and retain your patients for years to come (all the while, providing additional necessary procedures).

 

Business success doesn’t occur by accident! Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Michael Dell didn’t succeed on a whim. They consciously and intentionally pursued, explored, and diligently worked hard to attain the brass ring. Therefore, so must you!

You took the time and effort to hire a real estate person, find an office space, and secure your loan.  Then, you had that office space built out to your specifications.  After that, you hired contractors to fill your new clinic with phone lines, computer equipment, and medical equipment. One can only presume that your intention was to be as successful as possible.

You were diligent in your efforts to create a suitable location for your medical practice. You secured a beachhead for your enterprise.  Now comes the moment of truth; the time when you must attack your prosperity intentionally!

In this spirit, your task is to raise your hand and to tell the world that you are open and ready for business!  Additionally, your effort needs to cultivate your reputation, to stand out in your area, to become a local expert. In so doing, you can begin to develop your foothold on being considered the “go-to” doctor in town.

We know that this active pursuit of excellence is supposed to happen.  It’s a shame though that far too many doctors don’t approach their business in this manner. There seems to be an attitude that simply by hanging their shingle over their door, patients will come!

Maybe it has to do with the amount of time that passes between a college business course and the actual practice of medicine. Perhaps, it’s in this period from beginning one’s practice to thinking about attracting more patients that the disconnect occurs.  The fact is that from the moment you opened your clinic, the competition was on!

Every business school in the country teaches that business success is a daily struggle for survival. Every day someone is going out of business. Likewise, every day someone is trying to build their business; however, in a crowded marketplace every time a clinic gains a new patient, someone else loses one!

Though you can make the argument that the world is your “patient” oyster, depending on geographic limitations, population density, availability, and opportunity, your pool is not nearly as large as you may believe.

The fact it is that every day your competitors are actively marketing to your patients. If they’ve done a good job of incentivizing, they are doing everything they can to compel your patient to become their patient!

This book has a single purpose: to show you how you can keep your patients (both current and past) from jumping ship and increasing your profits. As we go along, you will also learn to attract more patients and increase your clinic’s traffic and earnings.

Additionally, we plan to show how you can maximize your budget to reap the maximum benefit from your marketing efforts.

Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new patient than it does to keep an existing one?

The reason that it costs so much more to attract a new patient is because patient acquisition has a very measurable cost. Let’s face it, and every business needs a steady supply of new patients, but it comes at a high price.

Some of the standard patient acquisition costs center around things like outbound, or traditional, marketing (including advertisements, direct mail, cold calling, and so on). Add to that the costs of event marketing, sales, and business development salaries, set up the maintenance of compelling websites, blogs, social media, etc., these things add up quickly and immediately attach themselves to your bottom line!

That’s why patient retention can dramatically and positively impact profits. According to a fascinating article in Marketeer.kapost.com, titled Customer Acquisition Versus Customer Retention, studies performed by Bain and Company, along with Earl Sasser of the Harvard business school, have measured that just a 5% increase in patient retention can lead to an increase in profits somewhere between 25 and 95 percent.

They go on to point out that: Current patients are more willing to try new services. Existing patients are 50% more likely to try new services and spent 31% more, on average, when compared to new patients, which translates to cross sales and up-sales.

Secondly, you already have the trust of your current patients, so they will be willing to truly listen to what you have to offer (without the standard resistance that comes with a perceived sales “pitch” from an unknown source).  The probability of providing additional services to an existing patient is 60 to 70%, while the likelihood of providing those services to new patients is just by to 20%.

The third benefit has to do with advocacy and trust.  Your current patients are your best advocates which impacts prospective new patients that want to know by what means to be your patients, giving perspective patients a glimpse of the patient experience your brand provides.

A clear model of the benefits of a defined client retention strategy is played out every day with the Disney Company.  Think about it, when most people are asked about their experience at the park they respond with “It was incredible!”3 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS QUICKLY!  They often overlook standing in long lines, the hot, humid weather, or ever-rising ticket prices.  If the trusted customer experience that has allowed Disney to have an attendance growth over 30 years.  Returning customers trust the Walt Disney brand and know what to expect when they plan to visit for the coming summer. Continue reading 3 WAYS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS QUICKLY!

9 Proven Ideas For More And Happier Patients — Secure Your Competitive Advantage

What makes you better than the competition in your patients’ minds?

Any business that enjoys a durable competitive advantage is likely to have a long history of profitability — Warren Buffett

You must be able to emphasize, with clarity, the benefit you provide to your target market that’s better than the competition!   That’s your competitive advantage.

It’s a shame that far too many doctors don’t approach their business as it really is. There seems to be an attitude that simply by hanging their shingle over their door, patients will come!

Every business school in the country teaches that business success is a daily struggle for survival. Every day someone is going out of business. Likewise, every day someone is trying to build their business; however, in a crowded marketplace every time a clinic gains a new patient, someone else loses one!

Though you can make the argument that the world is your “patient” oyster, depending on geographic limitations, population density, availability, and opportunity, your pool is not nearly as large as you may believe.

The fact it is that every day your competitors are actively marketing to your patients. If they’ve done a good job of incentivizing, they are doing everything they can to compel your patient to become their patient!

This article has a single purpose: to show you how you can keep your patients (both current and past) from jumping ship. As we go along, you will also learn to attract more patients and increase your clinics traffic and profits.

There are only three ways to increase your business (incidentally, this transcends all industries):

I. You must increase your traffic.
II. You must convert the curious into believers.
III. You must retain your patients for many years.

These next points refer to vital attachments to the original three laws for increasing your clinic’s profits –

1a. Attract more patients – this tactic correlates with patient retention (points I and III) because, if done properly can lead to referrals of friends and family to your practice.
2a. Provide more services for the patients you have – you achieve this by incentivizing your current patient base.
3a. Raise your prices – if you ever analyze what the market will bear for your services, this strategy may have merit.  You still may want to proceed with caution when using this approach.

Competitive Advanage

Logically, the goal for every doctor, which owns their own practice, is to attract as many potential patients, convert those people into actual patients, and retain the “best” patients for years to come.

The question then becomes “How does someone stand out amongst all of the competition?”

Continue reading 9 Proven Ideas For More And Happier Patients — Secure Your Competitive Advantage

5 Valuable Tips: Building A Referral Business That Works!

A steady stream of patients is extremely vital for the survival of every clinic!  How effective is your referral program with your medical colleagues?

 

The best way to predict your future is to create it!” —  Abraham Lincoln

Medical professionals have built their success on forming and nurturing referral partnerships since time infinitum.  The most powerful of these referral relationships are created when mutual benefits are built-in to those alliances.

This is precisely the point of this article! We intend to show you how to create stronger ties with your medical colleagues. Additionally, this piece will teach you how to provide greater value and separate yourself from other doctors also seeking referrals.

The first place to begin is with the basic inventory of your current actions, for example:

  • What are you doing to position yourself with your colleagues to stand out from every other doctor that requests referrals?
  • Are you a good and beneficial referral partner? 
  • Have you established strong bonds of trust?
  • Are you providing a reciprocal benefit to your referral partners?
  • Have you established a sense (within your colleagues) of superior expectations?

Many clinic owners give no thought to the fact that success in business is an on-going competition for survival!  In order to thrive, you need to implement intentionality!  Every day, you must build into your calendar a plan and action to generate more and better patient leads.

According to noted business development guru, Jay Abraham, there are only three ways to grow your practice.  You either increase the number of new patients, get them to buy more medical services, or pay more for each proceedure.

For this article, we will focus on increasing the number of new patients. We will focus on the other two methods in future articles (as well as in past issues such as in “8 Steps For Increasing Business“).

CREATING AN ALLIANCE

In order for a referral program to work, you have to do some investigative work. You must figure out your colleague’s needs and motivations. There are both Referralpsychological and emotional components in play when referring patients. You need to know about your colleague’s current referral partners. Why is your colleague using them rather than someone else? How committed are they to these people? How open are they to adding to their list of referral partners?  Do they have long-standing ties such as school, social, or fraternal affiliations?

“More than features, more than benefits, we are driven to become a member in good standing of the tribe. We want to be respected by those we aspire to connect with, we want to know what we ought to do to be part of that circle.” – Seth Godin

As you can see, you may be asking someone to break or significantly bend long-established ties. In order to do so, you will have to consider “What’s in this proposed relationship for your colleague (ie. what’s in it for them?)?”

It may seem crass to say but we’re all motivated by self-interest. As such, as part of your detective work you need to uncover your colleague’s “why.”  In other words, what is the perceived benefit they stand to gain from you? Continue reading 5 Valuable Tips: Building A Referral Business That Works!

10 Proven Business Techniques For More And Better Patients

Are sick and tried of advertising with no guarantee of results? At last there is a proven method for attract more and better patients!

Webster’s dictionary describes a commodity as a class of economic goods; especially an item of merchandise (such as soybeans) whose price is the basis for future trading.  If you want your clinic to grow, and to get more and better patients, you need to break free of the commodity trap!

We live in a world where your patients have more options than ever before! The fact is that patients are loyal to doctors and not to practices.  However, if the only thing that separates you from your competitors is price then you have become a commodity. Your value has been reduced to the lowest common denominator — cash! You will only get more and better patients if you provide value well beyond a price-point.

As you read this, think back to when you initially opened your doors. Did you intend to open a practice that was only distinguishable by the prices you charge for the services you provide? A clinic where the only discernible difference between you and your competitors is that the decor and color of the scrubs you wear?

As you read further, you will see many examples of things you can easily do to connect more fully with your patients. In so doing, you will also gain greater insight of your patient’s needs while reaching them!

First and foremost, to attain the success you desire, you must take personal responsibility for your promotional efforts. You may not be well-versed in marketing and advertising, but you need to align yourself with someone who is.  Your clinic’s survival literally depends on it!

Additionally, according to the Harvard Business Review, it is up to 25% more expensive to acquire a new patient than to retain existing patients.  Further, Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company states that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25%-95%. So the motto of the story is, you don’t have to spend time and resources to get new patients, you just have to make the ones you have happy.

Jill Avery (lecturer at Harvard business school) states that “churn rates’ provide important and measurable matrices.  This matrix is important because it focuses directly on the lifetime value of a patient and your return on investment.  It’s not just marketers who look at churn, many investors use the metric to evaluate the underlying health of a firm. The higher the churn rate, the more they question the companies viability. Therefore, it’s not just understanding that patients leave, it’s about understanding why they leave.  Then, you must make a concerted effort to make sure that the rest of your patients don’t follow suit!

If you have never considered the value, over a lifetime, of each patient you are in for an eye-full!  The lifetime value a patient represents is an easily calculated formula. You simply calculate the amount of revenue you receive from a patient each time they visit. You would then multiply that figure by the number of times per year they visit. Finally, you would multiply that amount by the average number of years that you retain your patients. As I’m sure you can see, each patient represents a significant amount of revenue to you.

You will also notice that losing patients means that you are handing over thousands of dollars to your competitors. This is not to say that you can’t be discriminating. There is no reason not to exclusively work with your favorite patients. You simply have to be more astute with your promotion and content.  You may even wish to explore strategic affiliations to increase the numbers of desirable patients.

“65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, and it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied.” Source quoted as Gartner.

You should now do some calculations to fine-tune and identify more and better patients. You need to evaluate the quality of your More and better patientscurrent patients. Essentially, you need to determine which patients represent the 20% that provides you with 80% of your annual revenue. Once you establish this number, you then figure out what their primary concerns are. For example, if these patients represent chronic migraines, and you would then target your marketing for that specific ailment.

Stay very close to your patients, so you know their exact needs, today and tomorrow. Your aim is to be irreplaceable as their healthcare provider. Continue reading 10 Proven Business Techniques For More And Better Patients