Today’s practices are more aware of the great need to advertise to attract new patients, but they assume that it is as simple as advertising their services or handing out flyers and their schedules will fill up.
This is not the reality, and the truth is that although advertising is necessary to attract new patients and grow your practice, it is very important to keep in mind these points that I am going to explain to you so you don’t die trying and succeed in running advertising.
Use a sales funnel
The sales funnel is the path a person takes before buying any product or service, also known as the customer journey, and it is very important because it is essential to reach people with a message they can relate to depending on the stage they are in.
There are people who have just identified their problem and are just learning about all the different solutions that exist in the market.
Showing testimonials or making an irresistible offer to these people is not effective, you must first show them the benefits of your services, the factors that differentiate you from the competition, and maybe even show them how it works.
Understand the difference between a prospect and a referral.
Most practices we work with at DicoSoft Digital have always relied on referrals. Therefore it is very important for us to explain the difference between a referral and a prospect before we start advertising, to generate real expectations.
A person who comes as a referral to your practice requires a very minimal sales process for this person to become a patient.
Referrals arrive with a high level of confidence because the person who referred them has already had good results and spoke highly of their experience in your office. This puts the referral at ease because they know the practice works well.
Referrals also have an idea of the budget, since the person who referred them usually tells them how much it cost. This makes the person arrive more prepared to buy because they do not attend the appointment until they have a way to pay for the treatment.
Finally, referrals have a higher purchase intent. They have already identified their need and are clear that your services are the solution. They were just looking for a referral to a place where they can get good results.
This is very different with prospects that come through advertising, as they arrive very cold and must be taken through a commercial process to convert most of them into patients.
Prospects who arrive through advertising do not know the specialist or the practice, so their level of trust is minimal. They also don’t know how much the treatment or procedure will cost, because we help them identify the solution, but they still know very little about it.
Having a business management personal
Like any type of business, a practice needs a sales person whose sole responsibility is to generate more patients.
This cannot be just any type of profile, such as an assistant or a secretary. It must be a person with knowledge of sales, who likes to work in sales, and who has all the hours a day that this requires. (It is at least 6 hours a day).
Nor can it be a person who has multiple roles in the office, since the commercial process requires making calls in a timely manner after the person sends their data and doing a lot of follow-up to people who have not yet scheduled their appointment.
It is recommended that this person earn commissions based on the results he/she generates, and that the majority of his/her salary depends on these commissions. This incentivizes the person to generate results.
At DicoSoft Digital we include a sales person when practices hire our services, and we take care to prepare this person very well so that their return on investment is high every month.
Having a CRM for lead management
When a practice starts running effective advertising, people usually start coming in every day asking about services and showing some kind of interest.
If the information from these people is not handled in an organized manner, you end up losing a lot of prospects, as the follow-up is not effective and this generates loss of money for the practice.
A CRM helps to keep all these prospects organized by stages, which allows the sales person to have an efficient and effective management because he/she can identify in which stage each person is.
The stages are decided by each practice, but are normally as follows:
- New Prospect
- No Answer
- Call Later
- Scheduled Appointment
- Canceled Appointment
- Arrived for First Appointment
- Purchased Treatment
- Not Interested
In the DicoSoft Digital CRM that we provide to our customers when they purchase our services we include additional services that help to boost sales and improve the customer experience.
This includes services such as a digital agenda that can be integrated into your website or social networks. Unification of all conversations that people initiate with the office, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, email, or Google. It also includes a task system that generates automatic reminders for sales people to make sure they don’t miss any follow-ups.
Be clear about your target audience
Many practices want to sell their services to everyone who needs them, and while this sounds logical, it’s not the right way to effectively advertise.
Before you start advertising, you need to be clear about your ideal client, and the buyer persona of that ideal client.
For example, if your practice offers stem cell treatment for knee pain, you might say that your ideal customer is people who have knee pain.
This is true, but there are different buyer personas for knee pain. There is the athlete who has suffered an injury and can’t wait to get back on the field. There is the older adult who already has natural wear and tear and needs to use a cane. There’s the average person who simply wants to get back to running with their kids in the park.
All of these people are potential patients, but the message I reach them with in my advertising has to be very different for each to get them hooked and interested.
It doesn’t make sense to show advertising to the senior talking about getting back on the courts or getting back into exercise.
Be very involved in the commercial process
One of the main problems practices have when they start running advertising is that the owners or managers of the practice are not involved enough in the business process.
It would be very easy to tell an employee in charge of advertising, or an advertising agency they hire in the practice to increase sales.
In reality this is a result of a whole team working together, and all the pieces must work in harmony for the results to be successful.
Marketing does not sell, the only thing that marketing or advertising can achieve is to identify people who have the need or are interested in our services. The moment we make contact with the person, that is the end of the advertising and the beginning of the sales process.
It is important for the practice leader to be involved in every phase of the process, to be checking that everyone is doing their job well, and to be very constant in these checks so that the guard is never let down.
To continue learning how to attract patients to your practice using the power of social media, download the free guide.