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!

Danger: Poor Patient & B2B Marketing Will Kill!

If your business-to-business and patient marketing message isn’t progressing to accommodate your their journey, you’re throwing your money away!

 

By all standards, strong and compelling  business-to-business and patient marketing will make or break your practice’s relationships more than most company owners realize!

Recently Kimberlee Morrison of Adweek wrote an enlightening review on the essential subject of rethinking the patient’s experience in order to enhance the patient/service provider relationship and subsequently grow and deepen one’s busines-to-business relationships and campaigns.

The influence of social media continues to drive big changes in the customer journey and marketing funnel. Some of the main changes such as the use of multiple devices by customers and the desire for always on customer service have created challenges for marketers.

A report from LinkedIn, titled “Rethink the B2B Buyer’s Journey”, written by Sean Callahan, examines similar changes in the B2B (business-to-business) market and provides suggestions to improve your business.

The report focuses on the changes in relationships between buyers, salespeople, and marketers. The survey included more than 6,000 participants globally, and gives insight into the buying process, and changes that need to happen in both social and marketing content.

Since vendors have focused more on customer service in recent years, buyers have rewarded this presence with increased faith. LinkedIn found that 28 Changing your B2B marketing messagepercent of buyers polled rate their relationships with vendors as very good, and 56 percent rate them as good. What’s more, when assessed over time, only three percent of respondents believe their relationships with vendors are in decline.

The research found that buyers need a variety of content to help them make their purchase decision. On one hand, they need basic product information and demos to understand the product, but they also require thought leadership and other helpful content to help buyers determine where the industry is headed. The implication for marketers is that they must have their message present throughout the full funnel, from awareness and thought leadership content in the upper funnel to data sheets and demos in the lower funnel. This is how to assemble a complete marketing program. Continue reading Danger: Poor Patient & B2B Marketing Will Kill!

5 Ideas For Radical Shifts In Your 2016 B2B Marketing Budget

Busines owners must make significant changes in their marketing perspective or die on the vine; hence, these five ideas for radical shifts in your marketing!

 

Every business owner, whether they are aware of it or not, is in the “new client getting business;” because if you don’t, you will quickly be the next company nailing a “going out of business” sign on your door!  This information is vital!  These five ideas for radical shifts in your marketing are designed to impact your practice positively!

The question is, how are you going about it?  What are you saying or doing that makes you stand out stand out from your competition?  What is your message reflecting?  Is it promoting what you believe what your clients want (how do you know what they want)?

Secondly, and equally important, what are you saying or doing for your current and past clients?

Unfortunately, most businesses do not fully develop and capitalize on the hard-earned relationships they have built!  This faux pas such a shame because this manner of gathering new prospective clients is enormous; it can be a tremendous source of annual revenue!

Very recently Patrick Spenner wrote an excellent piece for Forbes, titled “Five Ideas For Radical Shifts In Your 2016 B2B Marketing Budget.”  In the article, he illustrates very salient points that focus on the absolute need to change the current mindset regarding the manner in which business attracts and promotes new business.

In fact, he says: “From all the B2B buying and branding research I’ve seen in 10 years at CEB, plus all the actual B2B campaigns I’ve seen up close, I’d safely bet half my annual salary that half of B2B brand campaign spending is wasted.”

Belated marketing prediction for 2016: Marketing prediction lists have jumped the shark.

That’s why I’m going to share five ideas for radical shifts in your 2016 marketing budget. Also, let’s face it, there’s a decent chance of a recession on the horizon, and our best friends in finance will come calling with their tin cups (and scythes). Best to be prepared for that budget game. Continue reading 5 Ideas For Radical Shifts In Your 2016 B2B Marketing Budget

The Art of Business Success!

Business success is an Art, but it is also Science and Strategy!

Recently Forbes Magazine, published an excellent and intriguing article called Business Success: Art, Science and Thinking Strategically, written by Ty KiiselThe article is based on Paul Butler’s superior book called: Think to Win: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking, which points out what too often is taken for granted when the immediate solution to building up one’s patient base is found in a “pre-packaged” product.  Truth, business success is an art!

Like a creation by DaVinvi, there is a whole lot of science and strategy that goes into making a notable of of art!

This is a highly important and vital concept!  We have been writing and speaking about the creative aspects of business capturing and retention for years.

To be successful in business, you [the medical practice owner] must implement strategies to increase the amount of viable business opportunities in their area as possible.  They need to be able to convey their message clearly, concisely and efficiently in order to insure that those prospective patients do business exclusively with them.

The successful medical practice owner implements game plans in order to get all new  Business success is an artpatients without advertising, develops strategic network relationships, they alter the paradigm of the marketing in order to create steady streams of new referrals; and more importantly, they enrich their patient platform.

According to the article, regardless of the business you’re in, we all understand the importance of making data-driven decisions.  In reality, the idea of “following your gut” without any information to back up your instincts, has about the same odds of regular success as flipping a coin.  While Butler argues data is essential to good decision-making and strategic thinking, he says the right data isn’t always very complex data. Continue reading The Art of Business Success!

BUSINESS DOMINATION: Stand out and separate from the crowd

The content within your marketing message allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace; business domination requires solid communication, your success depends on the value you provide!

 

Not enough medical practice owners treat their practice as an actual business.  Too often they [medical practice owners] don’t think about where their patients come from.  Generally speaking, most cities have a finite number of citizens living within them.  Those numbers vary a bit when you consider travel between cities (but that too is limited when adding drive-time).  However, to thrive and enjoy business domination, you must entice other doctor’s patients to come to you instead!

We often receive calls from clients who ask us how they too can stand out from the crowd.  This is the first in a three-part series of our on-going business development strategy.  Actually, it is more of a mantra (Business Domination and Strategically Confiscate Your Competitor’s Best Patients). We also teach these strategies through our report, entitled “PR Secrets Used by The Top 1% Chiropractors in America.”

An essential element that these top doctors excel in is the message that they convey to their patients; also known as the content within their message.

We have found that the desire to stand out from your competition is a universal trait regardless of profession.  For example, as a Chiropractor, what evidence do you provide that you are “the best solution in town?

If your advertising message doesn’t separate you from every other Chiropractor, you are just one more ad in a crowd!  Merely pointing to a sign in the parking lot or a generic “I fix back” in your ad won’t be enough to dominate your marketplace?

According to Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer for Content Marketing Institute, says that,

As content becomes an increasingly important element in business, it moves beyond being a support activity like human resources or accounting. It becomes a core activity, and joins the ranks of cost, technology, service, logistics and design as a potential source of differentiation and competitive advantage.“*

You must pay very close attention to this extremely specific, yet subtle, detail for business domination; it lays with the content within your message!  Think about it, what are you saying that compels clients to select you over every Business dominanceother provider of your service in your area — it’s a choice you know!

Essentially, desire to dominate your marketplace seems to be universal; however, actually taking that step requires a deliberate action!

If you don’t wish to lead your marketplace; then this series of articles really isn’t for you!  However, if you truly yearn to capture the lion’s share of business in your area, then you absolutely have to separate yourself from every other chiropractor in your town, county, or region.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, while driving the point home, Superman doesn’t assume his super-powers only when he puts Clark Kent to bed.

Once of the surest, most time-tested, ways to get immediate attention is to tweak your current public relations and marketing campaigns.  But what do you say and/or do to create that push?  Maybe, at this point, it is time to consult someone who can provide clarity on this subject.

Listed in this special series, are a few ideas that, even if you are already working with a PR agency or marketing company, you can implement immediately in order to separate and differentiate yourself from every other business professional in your area.

Again, the goal, through your company’s message, is to make you/the firm into the leading expert in your geographical area!

Large companies (like Coca~Cola, Toyota, or Apple Computers) aspire and carefully craft their actions towards total market domination.  Small businesses with a leading expert strategy flourish by establishing themselves within a carefully selected segment of a market; they target a market niche that they can realistically hope to dominate; often times that means displaying their unique business approach in order to create separation between all the other similar businesses in the area.

Market niches can be defined by region, by special client needs or by demographics, such as a particular ethnic or age group; sometimes just a product that’s a variation on an established one can generate a market niche.  (Interestingly, the word “niche” comes from the French meaning “nest.”)   As a small business you want to build your nest somewhere away from the hawks of big business.

How to Position Your Business as the Only Solution – In a crowded marketplace, it may not be enough just to carve out a niche.  You’ve narrowed your focus, but you still have competitors.  This is the time to distinguish yourself as a per-eminent source of solutions by refining your expertise and conveying it to your target audience.  You need to know more about something, or be better at something, than anyone else, and you have to let people in your area (geographical) know you are that person!

When you can honestly convey such a message, potential clients see you as the obvious answer to their problems and challenges, and the logical choice when they’re looking for a supplier or provider.

To conclude, if you closed your eyes to, and don’t acknowledge the fact that after you leave the presence of your client, you cannot stop your competitors from knocking on their door, calling them on the phone, or sending them an email or an Instagram message, you may be setting yourself up to be the next business owner who has their clientele stolen away by truly compelling messages from hungrier competitors; if this happens too often, then your next “best” move is to close your doors!

 

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From the desk of Steve Cox, Co-founder of StevenVonLoren Marketing Strategists; Direct: 530.492.9971; My personal eMail: stevenvonloren@gmail.com, Amazon Author Profile, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter

Get More and Better Leads: 15 Effective B2B Lead Generation Ideas

Lead generation is extremely vital for the very survival of every business!  What are you doing to get more and better leads and new patients?

 

Many medical practice owners do not consciously think about the fact that success in business is an on-going competition for survival!  In order to thrive, you need to get more and better leads — every day!

For your practice to truly be successful you need to meet the needs of both patients and the people you do business with every day (a.k.a. business-to-business networking).

The question becomes which is the best way to reach all segments of available clientele?

I was reading an article in PureB2B.com, and the author Johanna Rivard wrote an excellent piece titled, “15 Effective B2B Lead Generation Ideas for Your Marketing Campaign.”

I was struck because this is exactly what we have been advising our clients [the Doctors we work with] for years.  It’s not that we’re so smart, but this information is so important and can mean the difference between success and failure!

Ms. Rivard states that lead generation is at the heart and soul of every business, and today, there are multiple ways of generating prospective customers—either through traditional or online methods.

Why must a clinic owner, who desires success, embrace the strategies listed below?  Because sadly, despite all the technological advances that our world has made in the last few decades, no one has created the “new client factory.”  The kind of company whose only function is to crank out a fresh batch of new patients, like baby chicks.  The product is a patients that have never used your particular services or thought about this subject before.  However, all they need is to be imprinted with your brand…

The above comment is a bit tongue in cheek, but Ms. Rivard is absolutely spot on Lead generationwhen she says that having a constant flow of new leads is vital to staying in business, but finding different ways to attract leads that will eventually turn into sales is quite a lot of work.

To get positive results and stay ahead of the curve, here are 15 compelling lead generation ideas for your marketing campaign.

Here are some great examples:

1. Online Generation via Social Media: Social media has changed the landscape of lead generation, and has become one of the primary ways of reaching and engaging target customers. Continue reading Get More and Better Leads: 15 Effective B2B Lead Generation Ideas

10 Steps to Becoming a Patient Magnet

Winning In Business; Becoming a Patient Magnet, Jobs Depend On It!

 

Every business keeps it’s doors open because they attract a constant stream of new clients!  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 solid data that should pay serious dividends for all medical practice owners.

I have dealt with all different types of small businesses, and I’ve learned certain realities always apply. I call these “Rhonda’s Rules.” 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 in order to be a patient magnet.

Here are 10 of the most important “Rhonda’s Rules” for small business success:

1. Go small to grow big. What’s the one sure way to fail in small business? Try to sell to everyone. A key to small business success is carving out a niche — a particular specialty or narrow market segment — rather than competing for every customer. Don’t just be a marketing consultant: be a marketing consultant patient magnetfor a certain industry. Don’t be a general store — focus on a specific type of product or customer. Small businesses just don’t have the resources of time or money to be a generalist.

2. Take care of your bread-and-butter business. Entrepreneurs have lots of good ideas, but those can distract you from your core business. Before you consider new directions, clearly define what part of your business brings in the money that pays your bills. Concentrate on that first.

3. Clearly define your target market. Analyze the characteristics of your customers; the only way to become a patient magnet is to understand exactly who buys from you. Having a clear target market enables you to be much more effective and efficient in both your product development and marketing efforts. Continue reading 10 Steps to Becoming a Patient Magnet

Patient Magnets Don’t Try Being Everything To Everyone.

Patient magnets learn that the content they use within their marketing is crucial; therefore, you need to understand the myriad of targeting fallacies.

 

Of late, it seems that everywhere you read in business publications all you see are articles after articles discussing “content marketing;” but, no one is saying exactly what that is.  To be sure, these authors are writing pretty lofty articles and they sure get one psyched up to go out and conquer, but little else is provided.  Until you understand what exactly content marketing is, you will have a difficult time becoming a patient magnet!

From a reader’s prospective, who may not be a marketing professional, but rather the business owner who is very interested in improving their marketing results, it is the business equivalent of buying a burger without the meat!

It’s like a business version of the Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first routine;” everyone speaks in circles and no definite answer is ever given.  However, in this case, it’s not funny because we are dealing with real advertising dollars and jobs are at stake!

When discussing the topic of client targeting, content is everything!  But what is content marketing?  The best and most concise explanation that I have come across came from Robert Rose when he wrote “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star.  Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.

With all this in mind, I would like to draw your attention to a recent and exceptional article that was written on the very topic.  The most important take away is that, when it comes to audience targeting, don’t look for shortcuts for becoming a patient magnet.  Columnist Rebecca Lieb writing for Marketingland.com, explains in here excellent piece, called “Content Marketing And Targeting Fallacies,” how to tackle it the right way without skipping some essential steps. Continue reading Patient Magnets Don’t Try Being Everything To Everyone.

How to Become a Patient Magnet Via Your Content Marketing

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!

 

Become a patient magnet by understanding the latest news marketing trends and understanding what your patients want.  This article is designed to teach you how to focus to achieve winning marketing strategies.

In a recent article written by Jinger Jarrett, for the Inquisitor, he lays out Mobilemarketingwatch.com‘s 2016 marketing trends, and they believe that for this year, content marketing is the name of the game for becoming a patient magnet.  Note, this piece was originally written in eMarketer on January 13, 2016.

The article goes on to say, Mobile Marketing Watch reported that the biggest B2B marketing trend in 2016 will be an increase in content marketing. In a report released by eMarketer as stated above, the report said that content marketing will increase because it delivers results for brands.

Mr. Jarrett’s article states that: “No matter the reason, content marketing delivers results, Patient magnetespecially when it comes to the more traditional end goal: generating leads to feed the sales funnel. In a July 2015 Ascend2 study of B2B marketing professionals, 43 percent of respondents asserted that content marketing was one of the most effective tactics for lead generation.”

However, according to eMarketer, “The amount of content B2B marketers are creating is expected to drastically increase in 2016. With this amplified emphasis on content marketing, these marketers have evolved in their approach and strategies—they are looking at the long game and realizing that although waiting 18 to 24 months for results is not ideal, it is the new reality.

Too often the term content marketing is bantered about without any real explanation of what it actually means.  Let’s face it, advertising professionals and media personnel are getting caught in the trap of speaking in “mediaeez;” you know, the kind of talk that everyone in the company know, but no one outside understands.

Therefore, if eMarketer is correct (and there is no indication they’re not a highly reliable source), then how are we going to spend our eighteen months, or even shorten that timeline? Continue reading How to Become a Patient Magnet Via Your Content Marketing