The goal with any marketing campaign is to generate leads. Well, how do you turn these leads into paying patients? How do you get a new patient to come back to you in the future (or refer business)? Start by thinking like a patient and understanding what they want in a practice.
I’ve outlined four criteria for converting leads, and increasing recurring patient ratios, based on what patients like. Some of this is pretty obvious, but you would be surprised to know the number of practices that fail to prioritize these tactics:
- Make a great first impression: Follow up quickly with any and all leads. This means within 24 hours, maximum. Make sure your staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They need to know enough to answer very basic questions, but primarily they need to focus on getting the patient in the door. Teach them basic sales by providing loose scripts to follow and then practice with mock calls. Having rude, pushy or overly sales-y receptionists is a recipe for disaster.
- Mastering the Consultation: Once you get a patient in the door you’re well over halfway there. Having an impressive office will certainly lend to a good first impression, so check out this article about using your office as a closing tool. In addition to answering all questions and really listening to the patient’s concerns: show your expertise through before & after photos, walk them through procedure (prep, day of, recovery), and show how the procedure works. Make sure you set realistic expectations. Lastly, leave-behinds are crucial. The patient should leave with your marketing material in-hand. This includes brochures with your website, YouTube videos, review sites, and more.
- Send a card: After the consultation you may even consider sending the patient a card thanking them for stopping by your office. If they happen to become a new patient the cards become that much more important. A follow-up thank you card after the procedure is a great place to start. Your staff should also consider sending birthday cards to each and every patient. These cards can even include a special offer.
- Keep in touch with an email newsletter: make sure that the patient agreed to opt-in first. If so, get in the habit of sending emails once to twice a month with quality info. This means basic tips, upcoming events, charity work, and occasionally, specials. Make sure you’re not overly promotional all the time.
As you can see, #1 and #2 are geared towards turning a lead into a paying patient, while #3 and #4 are focused on turning a one-time patient into a recurring patient. All are very important though.
If you have any tips of suggestions to add please feel free to leave them in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you. If your practice would like to learn more about improving its marketing strategy and tactics please leave us a note here. You can also reach TRBO directly at 877-673-7096 x2.