Archive for December, 2010
One of the biggest challenges when building your practice involves deciding what to charge for different services and procedures. Since you don’t always know what your nearest competitor is offering for similar services and treatments, you have to make sure your pricing is fair and that you are promoting the concept of value to all of your patients.
Many patients who are only shopping for the lowest price pick a doctor who is inexperienced and does a sub-par job. You can emphasize the importance of working with an experienced and highly-trained doctor, and also ensure that the patient understands they are working with you because you offer exceptional value — regardless of the fees and pricing.
One of the best ways to promote the concept of value to you patients is to emphasize all of the benefits and positive outcomes of certain procedures. A fat removal procedure may help them achieve their ideal body, but can also help them increase self-confidence, boost their self-esteem and make them look younger. A facelift can get rid of lines and wrinkles, but it can also make them appear more attractive to their spouse and improve their level of self-confidence.
Strive to highlight the benefits and outcomes of the procedure or treatment at every opportunity.
Offer free consultations, or offer a discount on the procedure if you charge a fee for your consult, so that patients feel more comfortable coming to you when they’re ready to take the first step. Some patients may be more interested in working with you if there is less pressure to see you during the initial stages of their search.
Always position yourself as a trustworthy guide who is prepared to answer all questions the patient has, and be prepared to offer follow-up services at no additional cost. Patients who know that they can trust you will appreciate the value you offer and may be more likely to choose you when they are considering several doctors offering the same services.
As you work on developing a solid online presence, it’s still important to use some offline marketing and advertising strategies to pique and maintain the interest of your target market.
Keeping current and future clients informed about the latest “buzz” in your industry, services you offer, and sharing information about special offers with postcards, personal letters and other tangible materials can help you build your practice. These strategies will also ensure that you stay at the “top of mind” for most patients.
Use some of these offline marketing strategies to attract more patients and dominate your market:
Print advertisements – magazine and newspaper ads can still be effective, but you need to make sure you’re selecting niche publications that cater to your clientele. Think beyond your local newspaper or city magazine. Advertise in local fashion or style magazines if you?re a medical spa or cosmetic surgeon. Run print advertisements in travel and lifestyle publications so that you can attract high-end clientele looking for services you offer.
Join local networks – register with the local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and any social or networking groups in your niche. Being visible in your community is equally as important as having a strong online presence, and will help you connect with other professionals in similar industries. People in these groups can become a very valuable source of referrals for your practice.
Co-market with other businesses — send out direct mail pieces, postcards and other marketing materials in conjunction with a similar business to expand your customer reach. If you’re a cosmetic surgeon, partner with a medical spa that offers services that you don’t currently have so that you can reach their customers. If you’re a cosmetic dentist, partner with an image consultant or high-profile stylist in your area. These contacts can help you build your business simply through referrals and by sharing their customer lists.
Are you finding it difficult to keep your appointment books full each month? Is it getting harder to attract new patients to your practice? Your marketing plan may need a makeover, and there are several ways to start generating more interest in your practice and dominate your market.
Doctors, dentists and other medical professionals practicing in a very competitive market face several challenges when it comes to acquiring new patients. If you don’t know who your “ideal patient” is, you?ll find it extremely difficult to build a successful practice.
Use these three ideas to market to your target patient and start dominating your market:
1. Collect e-mail addresses at every opportunity. Building your contact list is always a priority. Whether you’re hosting a special event, speaking at a conference or promoting your website, one of your primary goals should be to collect the names and e-mail addresses of prospective patients. Patients who are opting in to your list will be most interested in learning more about your practice, and keeping up to date on any special offers or new treatments you have.
2. Use direct mail marketing to your advantage. Send a postcard, flyer or a print newsletter to your current clients at least once every two months to keep in touch. Many of your current clients will be more than happy to refer you to a friend, family member or coworker when they have a positive relationship with you and consider you to be a trustworthy doctor or medical professional in the community.
3. Host community events at least twice a year. Stay visible in your community so that people know you on as a professional in the area. Being visible and within easy reach helps to “break the ice” with many of your ideal patients and can make it easier for you to attract more patients consistently.
Grow your practice with these ideas and PracticeDock solutions that will help you attract more quality patients week after week.