Rule #1 in marketing is understanding that marketing is not selling. Marketing is the activity, strategies, and tactics utilized to help engage with and build a relationship with prospective customers so that they’re ready to entertain a buying decision.
Any aesthetic practice, big or small, looking to invest in marketing needs to understand not only how marketing works, but the patient journey. The path from pain point to research to finding your practice to making contact to communicating with you can take months or more! And we haven’t even gotten to the consultation phase! In this article, we’ll examine:
- the patient awareness to action path
- the marketing funnel
- the sales funnel
- how to ensure your marketing and sales funnels are working optimally
- how to close more leads
Examining the Patient Path
Every patient’s journey starts with a pain point. Without it, what’s the incentive to take action? This could mean they’re tired of dealing with acne scars or seeing photos of themselves on social media with a little extra weight. Whatever the “trigger,” the prospect has to decide that they need to find a solution to their “problem.”
Similarly, the patient may be well aware of the problem and even treating it, but they’re unhappy with the results they’re getting. Regardless of their experience or education, patients are looking for a solution that you offer.
Understanding the Marketing Funnel
All marketing starts with visibility. Without that, your practice does not even exist in the patient’s eyes. You can gain visibility through paid or organic exposure, but your goal with this visibility is to drive traffic to your website with the intent of then converting them into leads.
The marketing funnel is very straightforward. You can very easily evaluate visibility based on search rankings and paid ad impressions. From there, you can track tarffic and leads in Google Analytics. This makes it easy to make adjustments if something is “off” with your marketing or lead generatin funnel.
Understanding the Sales Funnel
So you’ve generated leads, now you’re set, right? Wrong! You need a savvy sales team or salesperson to help you convert these leads into consultations. Notice that I didn’t say convert them into new patients. Your staff isn’t selling the service, they’re selling the value – and benefit of – the consultation.
Keep in mind that every practice loves warm leads, those referrals that come from happy patients that seem to already know you and like you. These are great and every practice should strive for more referrals, but if you want to successfully grow you’re going to need to put your ego aside and realize that not every lead or prospect knows how great you and the doctor are, so you need to ensure you wow them with your followup process.
In short, in order to grow you need to be able to convert “cold traffic.”
Once the patient shows up for the consultation, that’s where you’ll have to ensure they feel safe, comfortable, and heard, and that you’re the best practice for them. That’s the easiest part!
Many doctors cringe at even the word “sales.” That’s because they associated sales with a stockbroker or used car lot. Sales doesn’t need to be – and it shouldn’t be – sleazy.
The stages of the sales funnel very straightforward:
- Contact Lead
- Schedule Consult
- Show for Consult
- New Patient
However, you may run into different issues within the same stage. For example, let’s say you’re quick to follow up with every lead so you reach a very high percentage by phone or email, but you are finding that many of the leads do not speak English. Perhaps you’re running a specific ad campaign that attracts these folks, even if your campaign is entirely in English! That would be a different roadblock from you reaching out to leads and them not being financially qualified (ie- don’t want to pay for a consultation).
With both examples, you’ve successfully made contact, but you’re unable to schedule a consultation. It’s important to note any and all roadblocks that stop you from progressing through the funnel, such as:
- language barrier
- not ready (interested, but want to schedule a consultation for a later date)
- not qualified financially (they don’t want to pay for the consultation or simply don’t have the money)
- not qualified medically (we’re not here to diagnose them over the phone, but a savvy salesperson can save the doctor time by not scheduling prospects who are clearly not candidates)
- not interested (you may want to re-evaluate your call-to-action headline with your web forms to ensure the lead is actually interested and isn’t filling out an “Ask the Doctor” a question form)
These are just a handful of objections or disqualifiers to keep track of. Keep in mind that even if a prospect falls into any of these categories it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a “bad” lead. Again, this is where having an amazing sales team helps as they can convert lukewarm leads into consultations.
Step 1 to closing more leads is hiring the right salesperson and ensuring they follow a proven script.
Step 2 is ensuring you have call and web lead tracking set up, with lead scoring, to be able to evaluate which stage each prospect makes it to. Data is everything. You cannot make intelligent marketing or sales decisions without quality data.
Ensure Your Marketing and Sales Funnels are Woking Optimally…So You Can Close More Leads
In order to evaluate the performance of your marketing and sales funnels, you need to understand your key performance indicators (KPIs). From there, you’ll want to set benchmarks for growth.
On the marketing side, you’ll want to track:
- search rankings
- total traffic growth
- organic traffic growth
- total lead growth
- organic lead growth
- cost per lead
On the sales side, you’ll want to track:
- status of each lead
- percentage of lead to contact
- percentage of lead to consultation booked
- percentage of lead to consultation show
- percentage of lead to the sale
In a perfect world, you can delineate each percentage per medium, for an even deeper evaluation of the lead quality. As I mentioned above, data is everything, so consider investing in a software to help you track this data.
Struggling with Your Marketing or Sales Funnels? Not Sure Where to Even Start?
Before you take any action with your marketing or advertising, you need to take stock of where you stand. Simply knowing that you average 2,500 visitors a month and 60 leads isn’t enough. You’ve got to be able to dig deeper. The good news is that TRBO can help!
We start with a conversion rate optimization (CRO) evaluation. To schedule your strategy session today simply click this link or call 877-673-7096 x2.