40 healthcare companies made the Fortune 500 list in 2018.
The main concerns for professionals in this field are two-faceted; to deliver stellar patient care and to maintain sufficient patient numbers to keep their doors open.
The truth is that you cannot afford to neglect the business side of things.
However good your skills are as a medical practitioner, you cannot go far without the right marketing strategy.
If you are seeking ways to improve sales, here are seven tips to keep in mind.
1. Content Marketing
You cannot go wrong with content marketing. Isn’t content king?
Content marketing entails availing useful, actionable content to your target audience. Focus on topics that are relevant to your specialty and be as helpful as possible.
Your goal here is not to sell your services explicitly; it is to provide well-researched medical content that shows you as an authority in your field of practice.
Make it a priority to always have up to date content and make it shareable.
2. Create a Website
Your website is your main selling point, even before a patient calls or walks into your practice.
This means you should invest in a good website.
Your website should have as much information as possible; this includes your services, contacts, and address. You should also discuss your specialty and those of other medical practitioners at your practice.
If you take medical insurance, provide information on which plans you are in contract with as well.
Basically, when a patient does a web search, and your site shows up, you want them to have the kind of impression of you that will reassure them that their health would be in great hands under your care.
If this happens, the chances of them calling to book an appointment with you are much higher.
3. Build Trust to Improve Sales
You are essentially asking patients to place their lives or their loved one’s lives in your hands.
That’s a huge undertaking.
To do this, be open, honest and responsive with your clients. Let them know your goal is to see them well and that their win is your win as well.
This might mean taking your time with each patient, which means fewer patients, but then you will be building lasting relationships.
Think about the kind of doctor you would want treating you. That’s who you want to be.
4. Build Relationships with Referring Practices
This is especially true for specialist practices.
Building relationships with primary care providers and other non-specialists can send more patients your way. To do this, you will need to build a strong reputation among referring doctors.
You will also need to deliver excellent customer care and patient care to the patient’s referred to you.
Many referrals contain insufficient patient data and nobody likes repeating their medical history to a referred doctor. This is one area where you can leverage communication to provide an excellent patient experience.
Communication, in this case, would be between yourself and the referring doctor to furnish you with a client’s information before they get to you.
This is an example of a small task that can delight a patient, leading to winning their loyalty and getting more referrals from them.
5. Be Part of Your Community
Your patients will likely come from your local community.
You could benefit from being a part of your community and engaging with them and letting people know you and what you do. This is one way to advance your offline reach.
To be able to do this effectively, you might want to reach out to experienced doctors. Nonetheless, here are a few ways to get noticed:
You can work on simple newsletters that you can distribute in social and public places. Pick interesting, informative topics that help your client’s live healthier lives.
Sponsor an Event
If your business’ financial health allows, you can sponsor a community-wide event.
These do not have to be an expensive undertaking. Even a school’s sports event held in your practice’s name can go along way in getting word around.
Social media, such a Facebook is one way to sell yourself, as well as show off your practice’s personality.
It also allows you to have one-on-one interactions with your audience which is invaluable to your prospects.
Aside from the above, you can also leverage local media and blogs so that your activities are well documented.
6. Train Your Team
To effectively train your team, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want from your practice in terms of organizational culture.
Customer delight is one way to keep your patients not only coming back but referring others.
Ensure that each person in your practice embodies this. This can mean having an appointment reminder system, a warm reception and communication as the health processes move along.
You might provide the best care when a patient does get to you, but everything before that matters as well.
If a patient is not directed on where to pay, or on their health insurance co-pays, these might dent their overall experience of your practice.
7. Encourage Online Reviews
Have you Googled yourself lately? If not, you are doing your practice a great disservice.
All the hard work you’re putting in means nothing unless your patients share your sentiments.
Online reviews show you your patient’s honest feelings and misgivings about your practice, and allow you to make improvements.
Your role does not stop at reading them. Your patients want to feel heard, and prospective patient’s want to see you as a responsive practice.
This means you have to respond to your reviews both good and bad. One way to handle bad reviews is by requesting the aggrieved party to reach you on your email.
As much as possible, try and offer solutions and make a genuine apology regardless of who you feel is at fault.
Remember, your goal is to win back the client, and one client might make several referrals. It helps to salvage broken patient relationships.
Keep in mind that these processes will not produce results overnight. It will take some time to start seeing an increment in patient numbers.
Remember that a business is a marathon and not a sprint. Over time, with continuous, consistent efforts you will be able to improve sales.
Do you feel your business could benefit more from more direct consulting? Contact Dr. Kristofer Chaffin, a doctor, entrepreneur, and consultant to health professional just like yourself.