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 to 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?

Are Tired of Your Ineffective & Expensive Promotional Efforts?

If you don’t know what to say or who you’re targeting, you’re shooting blind and your ads are in trouble.  This article teaches you   proven tips for producing better ads!

 

There isn’t much debate when it comes to business success; if you can’t communicate effectively your practice will suffer!  All of your promotional efforts provide you with exceptional opportunities to connect and impart your knowledge with your patients.  As you read on, you will learn proven strategies for producing better and more profitable ads!

Let’s face it, everyday medical practices close their doors and doctors must then practice their skills for a medical group that isn’t theirs, that has a different vision and a contrasting flow.  There are many reasons why this occurs, but clearly two of the biggest and most often sited are the lack of sufficient patients, and the practice’s inability to compete against rival doctors’ daily marketing to their existing patients!

Universally, every business school around the world will teach you that there are three primary components to business success. They are: increased traffic, convert prospects into patients, and retain those patients as long-term continual business opportunities.

A key element to these three components is that everything you say to them [patients] must draw them towards you.

If the content of your message is off your entire promotional strategy is in jeopardy. Further, you can’t possibly write compelling content if you don’t know what your patients want.

If your practice can’t communicate effectively, your patients’ willingness to stay with you is tested. Every day, with every ad, your competitors are attempting to woo your patients away from you. The only purpose of advertising is to attract more business. Where do you think that business comes from?

The best and most profitable business comes from people who already believe in your service!

Recently, author Dave Delaney, wrote a great article for The Tennessean (part of the USA Today network), that speaks directly to the specific needs of medical practices!

Mr. Delany writes that “…using a blog can drive a considerable amount of traffic to Producing better adsyour site, which can result in more revenue and a stronger bond with your patients and your business contacts (your venders) and their staff.”

Mr. Delaney’s statement goes right to the heart of understanding your patient’s wants and needs. An effective method for figuring out what each patient wants is to sort them by ailment. If you find that the majority of your patients see you for TMJ, plantar fasciitis, or breathing problems, etc. that is what you will write about in your blog. Continue reading Are Tired of Your Ineffective & Expensive Promotional Efforts?

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

Emotional Content Marketing: Tapping Into the Psyche of B2B Buyers

If you desire success with your clients and patients, you must apply emotions within your marketing content!

 

In a recent and very enlightening article, written by Wendy Marx, for business2comunity.com, titled Emotional Content Marketing: Tapping Into the Psyche of B2B Buyers she points out that the approach with which a client is contacted is makes the difference between long term success and a single transaction.

She states that when it comes to business to business (B2B) buyers, you may think that a more calculated, technical approach to content marketing should be used.

Is that true?

Ms. Marx checks out why you need emotion in your B2B marketing, what types of emotional responses to elicit, and how to make your content more emotionally appealing.

The big question is: Why B2B Buyers Need Emotional Content Marketing Techniques?  The truth is, if ever there was an occasion to use emotion in content marketing, it’s with B2B buyers. Why?

  • Because the sales process for B2B buyers takes 22% longer than it did seven years ago.
  • Is this because today’s buyers are more indecisive? Not at all.
  • In fact, 82% of B2B buyers think that everyone is pretty much selling the same item. The competition is huge.

Continue reading Emotional Content Marketing: Tapping Into the Psyche of B2B Buyers

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!

Why 80% of our B2B content marketing fails

Like many companies, in the last 12 months, the main focus of our marketing strategy was to produce content. And lots of it; which is why 80% of their marketing failed.

 

Doctors are no different than any other business person who are regularly trying to generate more business; but, the messages you send your current, past and future patient has to be on point.  Otherwise, having poor content just lead to marketing that fails.

Recently, author Chris Sheen wrote a very interesting piece in econsultancy.com, regarding the issue of business development, specifically on the topic of content marketing, titled “Why 80% of our B2B content marketing failed” were he breaks down some very specific points regarding the type of content businesses produce that completely miss the mark.

Mr. Sheen writes that upon further inspection, it turns out marketing professionals might have been focusing on the wrong metrics.

So whether you’re a B2C (business-to-consumer, denoting trade conducted via the Internet between businesses and consumers) marketer or B2B (business-to-business, denoting trade conducted via the Internet between businesses)marketer like myself, you’re probably under a fair amount of pressure to produce content.

Bill Gates famously declared that “Content is King” back in 1996 (yep, 20 years Saying the wrong thingago!) while more recently, respected marketers like Ann Handley have taught us that the best content is useful, enjoyable and inspired.

They are sentiments I happen to agree with.

Which is why I tasked our marketing team with increasing the amount of content we published for our blog ‘The Abandoned Cart’ in 2015.

And the team delivered. We went from an average of one piece of new content per week in 2014 to two or three in 2015.

While we were high fiving each other feeling like we’d done a great job – we missed an important question… who cares? 

The number of new blogs, videos and stories we publish is a great vanity metric for us to point at as a marketing team. And yeah, it looks great on a graph… Continue reading Why 80% of our B2B content marketing fails

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!

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 business 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!

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 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 business 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 customers, like baby chicks, that have never used your particular products and services or thought about this subject before, but all they need is to be imprinted with your brand and they will follow that business no matter where they lead, and all they know is that they must correctly use your firm!

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