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

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

Save Thousands On Your Marketing & Still Get Killer Results!

Promotional efforts can be extremely expensive.  What if you could save thousands on your marketing and still achieve your best results? 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the average business spends 7% of its annual revenue  on their advertising; in raw dollars, if you make a few adjustments, you could save thousands on your marketing!

More importantly, not only can you save thousands on your marketing, you can do it and still get impressive results with your promotional efforts.

Business promotion is a core element of one’s standard operating costs, i.e. “the cost of doing business.” However, how one promotes their clinic is an invaluable commodity for the astute marketer, which requires keen senses!  Moreover, promotional better strategies allow you to save thousands on your marketing!

Your medical practice, like every other business, needs a steady stream of patients to stay solvent. Beyond word-of-mouth and family, you need to engage in some sort of advertising to succeed. Unless you’re prudent, you will probably fall into the government statistic. It also means you will likely be spending thousands on your marketing as well.  As such, it is in your best interest to figure out how to shrewdly boost your returns on investment (ROI)!

Therefore, let’s see where we can maximize our budget, and save you money immediately.

Every business school in the country teaches one very important principle, it costs you significantly more money to get a new patient than to maintain and do more business with your current patients!

*  It is 6 Times More Expensive to Win a New Customer than to Retain an Existing OneThinkJar.com

Additionally, according to Sales and Marketing Magazine, 80% of all people who inquire about medical services take action within one year (emergencies excluded). However, they seldom do business with the clinic they originally contacted. This means you are educating your prospective patients to do business with your competition.

Your best and most lucrative strategy then is to focus on and provide excellent service for your current patients! Above all else, it is far more logical to do business with those people that know you and trust you.

In fact, the evidence is in and the Internet is chock-full of information supporting Save Thousands on Your Marketingthis evidence! Author Tricia Morris, from Business2Community.com, writes an excellent, enlightening, and convincing piece on the subject. According to her research, “the probability of selling to an existing customer is 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.”

Her article titled “It is 6 Times More Expensive to Win a New Customer Than to Retain a New One” further points out the following interesting facts:

  • If satisfied by the customer experience, 73% of the customers will recommend a brand to others, and 46% say they will trust that brands products and services above all others. – SDL Global CX Wakeup Call Report 
  • 97% of global customers say that customer service is very important or somewhat important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand. – Microsoft Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report 
  • 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. – Aspect Consumer Experience Survey
  • 62% of global customers have stopped doing business with the brand or organization due to poor customer service experience.  Microsoft Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report 
  • Once a customer leaves, for in five say they will never come back, and if they do, 59% say they will be less loyal. – SDL Global CX Wakeup Call Report 
  • According to a new PwC Survey, more than a quarter of the U.S. CEOs are increasing their spending on advertising this year. But the most valuable promotion will come to those who not only invest in winning customers by keeping them.

Okay, you now know some very intriguing statistics. So what are you going to do about it? Where do you begin? Moreover, who’s your audience?  Maybe most important of all, what do you say to these existing patients?  How are you going to increase your ROI and the effectiveness of your advertising? Continue reading Save Thousands On Your Marketing & Still Get Killer Results!

The Secret to Business Success: Intentionality

Ultimately business success depends on human intentionality which is the most powerful evolutionary force on this planet.           — George Leonard

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 chiropractic 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 be 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” DC and town.

 “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

To become that local expert, you must approach every promotional effort with Business success with intentionalitythese primary objectives in mind: Every advertising piece should have a strong and compelling headline. Your content should allure and appeal to people’s self-interest. You must provide a tantalizing offer.  You must clearly define your unique stature in the area (your brand). And, you must provide testimonials for those prospective patients who don’t know you and need reassurance.

This is the point at which many chiropractors ask vital and telling questions:  “So, what do I say in my promotional pieces (other than the obvious — I’m a DC)?  How do I know who I’m supposed to reach? Because at this stage of my career, I treat everyone!

The questions listed above are extremely legitimate! I find that many doctors, though they excel at medicine, they don’t often have the time handle the marketing. What they do have, is an abundance of knowledge. Use your knowledge as currency, which if done properly, can reach and touch multitudes. Continue reading The Secret to Business Success: Intentionality

Do You Like Being Invisable In Your Marketplace?

Learn Proven Tips to Use Your Branding & Standout and Get Genuine Practice Dominance!

“When you look at strong branding, you see a promise!” — Jim Mullen

What if every time you send a promotional piece to your patients, that message gets received with great excitement?  It is possible to attain genuine dominance of your marketplace; and, it’s only a few key steps away.  An essential aspect of fruitful and predictable marketing begins with superior branding.

A properly developed brand identifies you as the absolute “go-to” doctors in the area.  Excellent branding allows you to accurately achieve your reward with stable, dependable, and genuine, programmable response and communication rates.

Think of your marketing promotion like a three-legged stool.  You need each leg to be sturdy, or the stool will fall. In this case, the legs of your stool represent your niche, your content, and your credibility.  Therefore, to achieve great branding, you must also focus heavily on the content of your message.  You must spotlight that segment of your market (your niche) for which you want to be known.  For example, prenatal care, make it your mission to provide fresh, innovative, and helpful information that compels Moms to read.

In fact, in an article written for the Balance.com, author Laura Lake says,

There is a lot of confusion around branding, there are multiple definitions, so what is branding?  Decades ago branding was defined as a name, slogan, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these elements that identify products or services of a company. The brand was identified of the elements that differentiated the goods and or service from the competition.  Today brand is a bit more complex, but even more important in today’s world of marketing.

It’s the perception that a consumer has when they hear or think of your Brandingcompany name, service or product.   That being said, the word ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ is a moving target and evolves with the behavior of consumers, I think of it as the mental picture of who you as a company represents to consumers; it is influenced by the elements, words, and creativity that surround it.”

As you can see, to create a successful brand, you must understand the needs and wants of you patients!

You must also establish your credibility.  In a crowded market, where your patients have a lot of choices, you must stand out as a leading expert.  Incidentally, this would be the complete opposite of mass marketing.  You will never be an expert if you try to be all things to all people!

As stated earlier, credibility starts by targeting your market and developing your reputation as a great resource.  In essence, becoming a mini-celebrity to the right people because you’re trustworthy, knowledgeable, and close at hand.

Because of your status, everything you send must be excellent and incomparable.  You must position yourself as the best and only solution! Think about it; you’re not breaking new ground, organizations like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins set a masterful blueprint.  You too can achieve similar results, if you dedicate your brand to that level of preeminence.

*I would invite you to discover more about our unique strategy to develop your Authority Brand.  Read our article on becoming a “resident expert” in your field.  Learn how to create division (from a patient’s perspective) between you and every other chiropractor in town. Continue reading Do You Like Being Invisable In Your Marketplace?

Advertising Mistakes: How Many of These Costly Errors Are You Making?

Advertising mistakes: if your advertising results don’t deliver a steady stream of new patients, chances are you’re making costly, but correctable, errors!

 

The only purpose of advertising is to generate higher profits for your medical practice! Your ad MUST be a salesperson in print, online, on the radio, in your television ad, etc.  Unless your ad convinces the patients to pick up the phone and call you or come into your office, your ads are useless; also known as “Doctor Advertising Mistakes.”  Sadly, depending on the type of error, you even be pushing potential business directly to your competition!

If you look at many Doctors’ display ads, you will quickly notice that most of the ads look alike, and they say the same things.  Worst of all, they all have nearly identical advertising mistakes, such as: “Free Consultant”, “Urgent Care”, and “Medical Care for The Entire Family.”

* Though all these services and details are important, and they all stand on their own merits!  Unfortunately, as it applies in most cases, the only elements that change in the ad are the names of their practice.

Though many (if not most) media conduits provide their basic elements, essential ingredients, and software for an ad.  Too often they [the media outlets] just offer some variation of a cookie-cutter formula for their “advertising platform.”  Which is fine for their needs; however, too often some essential “components” are left out of your ad.

The importance of these elements becomes apparent when you look at your advertising from the perspective of what your ad (In a magazine for example, but it applies to all other mediums as well.  For simplicity, for rest of illustration we will use print advertising) is indeed designed to do for your medical practice.

Every ad is created with two purposes in mind:  1) To attract a stream of new patients; and, 2) To have those patients who see your ad choose your practice over everyone else in your field and demographic area.  Unfortunately, your competitor is counting on the very same benefit!

Print advertising is a medium that allows your biggest competitor to sit next to you in the periodical for easy comparison. Whatever your advertising medium, shortly after your ad appears, or is heard, your competitor’s ad will also be seen or heard. Therefore, as part of your marketing strategy, you have to do everything you can to stand out.

“What business strategy is all about and what distinguishes it from all other kinds of business planning is, in two words, competitive advantage. Without competitors there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain, as efficiently as possible, a sustainable edge over its competitors.”  ― Kenichi Ohmae

To stand out and have your next patient pick up the phone and call you is beyond important.  It is life and death (for your medical practice).  Your ad must be Chiropractic Advertising Mistakesdifferent!  Shockingly, some doctors merely state their name in their ads, and besides a phone number — that’s all.

Interestingly, every consumer has one trait in common with every other buyer.  We all like to buy; we just do not want to be sold!  Additionally, we buy using unique triggers that appeal specifically to us; in marketing terms, it is called the “What’s in it for me?” quotient. Continue reading Advertising Mistakes: How Many of These Costly Errors Are You Making?

Legally steal your biggest competitor’s best patients!

To succeed in your practice, you must develop better marketing strategies so as to legally steal your biggest competitor’s best patients!

 

The idea of stealing may seem rather provocative as business development strategy plans go.  Rest assured; we are not speaking about doing anything that is improper or felonious!  However, if you want more patients, read on and learn why it makes sense to legally steal your biggest competitor’s best patients.

For the record, we’re discussing something that occurs on any given day, in any number of businesses throughout the country.  Every day, at least one company is trying to get more clients/patients.  That means they are calling, emailing, sending 4-color brochures, or knocking on the door of new prospects.

Question:  Where do you think these clients come from? 

An obvious example of what we’re discussing lays within fast food industry. Companies like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, and Burger King find themselves in never-ending battle for market share. This means that they actively compete against one another for their customer’s stomachs and buying power.

Sadly, despite all the advances in the fields of manufacturing and DNA research, Legally steal your biggest competitor's best patientsthere is still no new patient factory!

You know, the kind of factory that churns an infinite number of new patients like candy bars. And all they know is that they need to do business with you!

That means that all those new patients must come from somewhere.  They either come to your competitors, or you try to convince people to have “never-used-a-chiropractor-before” to say “yes!”  Additionally, those patients who have never used your service before, they only account for 5% of the available market.

An astute business development strategy focuses on the 95% of proven believers in your medical services.  Incidentally, those patients are available from you and every other practice owners in town (generally within a 15-mile radius).  Hence, legally steal your biggest competitor’s best patients.

This article is designed to challenge the views of many doctors.  First, treat your medical practice, and its growth and development, like every other business — strategically.  There appears to be a mindset afoot that rejects traditional game plans concerning business development and attracting more new patients. Continue reading Legally steal your biggest competitor’s best patients!