FOUR HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL CLINICS & PRACTICES
We’ve been operating in the healthcare sector for nearly a decade. In that time we have come across many practitioners and clinics who have built up phenomenally successful practices. They have the same qualities that you would expect to find in any successful business: drive, enthusiasm, dedication, pride, hard work and, of course, expertise. But the secret sauce is the ability to take all those qualities and then go out and sell them. Here are four of those qualities that we see over and over again in successful clinics.
But, the secret sauce is the ability to take all those qualities and then go out and sell them. Here are four of those qualities that we see over and over again in successful clinics.
1. Understanding of Cost Per Acquisition
In 2017 most clients don’t come to you for free. You need to acknowledge this right now. In every area of healthcare, there is now competition and that competition is chasing the same clients as you. Practically every other business sector on earth knows that you need to advertise and promote your business, and healthcare is no different. You may get some referrals or clients through recommendations but building a practice solely based on this strategy isn’t a strategy. Successful clinics proactively control the flow of their clients; they don’t leave it to chance.
To work out your cost per acquisition you need to take all of your publicity and marketing spend in a year (this includes adverts, website costs, mail outs, all costs associated with telling people what you do) and then divide it by the amount of clients you’ve procured through these methods. Don’t include those that have been referred to you as this will not give you good data.
Next, you need to work out what your average profit is per procedure. So, for example, if you make a surgical fee of £500 then this is what you’ve got to play with.
So now you need to ask yourself a question. Based on this information what would you pay as a contribution from your fee to get more clients? Is it £100, £500, £1000? This information is crucial because, once armed with it, you can then start to proactively spend to grow the business.
Marketing isn’t a just a cost. Marketing is an investment that will drive more business. Understanding this is the key to growth. Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you are prepared to give up in profit to drive forward. If it’s zero then you’re not going to get anywhere.
2. Have a Marketing Plan
Everything comes with an enquiry. We call this a lead. A lead is someone who has expressed an interest in doing business with you and each one should be cherished. It’s amazing how many businesses we come across that don’t realise that there’s a cost for each of those enquiries and not following up on them or treating them poorly is like flushing money down the drain.
These leads will most likely come from various different places and we call these channels. Some leads will close quickly, some will take longer. In healthcare, I’ve seen some take days and some take years! Many of the leads won’t close at all and it’s crucial you record these and find out why they didn’t close as in the future it will enable us to minimise lost clients.
Identify the different channels where your leads come from. Is it the website, is it from a directory listing, maybe an article you’ve been mentioned in, is it a particular colleague that has referred them to you? Identifying channels enables you to put a structure around your marketing and you can adopt a strategy to target those channels and get more customers.
3. Tickle Lists and Updates
Track all enquiries and keep talking to existing clients. Get into the habit of chasing up new leads and creating newsletter and web updates to tell your existing clients that you’re still there. In healthcare, the sales cycle (the time taken from initial enquiry to closing a sale) can be very long. Make sure you stay in their lives. If necessary implement a CRM system to keep track of their status.
Existing clients will like to know that you still care, they will say nice things about you and tell their friends how lovely you are, but it’s crucial that you remain in their lives. This doesn’t have to be hugely intrusive, an occasional newsletter, a free consultation to see how they’re getting on or even a birthday card. Your happy clients are your best advertisement and will help you to build your practice.
4. Going Pro
Acknowledge you’re in the business of selling and make sure your team does. If may only just be you and a secretary or you might have a clinic full of staff, but implement a professional sales structure within your business.
Make sure you allocate time in the diary each week to thinking about how you can grow the business. Have a marketing meeting with those in your team who are customer facing and start to brainstorm ideas as to how to grow the business. I’m always amazed that the ‘business of selling your business’ is often left right at the bottom of the to-do list.
It should be addressed endlessly. My making sales a function of your business it will feel less like something that you think about randomly and start to put in structures to grow.
If you need any help with developing websites, newsletters, copywriting or just advice then drop us a line by the contact form or email me at KG@BhmMedia.com or call me on 07768 571 493