The Most Asked About Spoke
As you work to serve people in your community and deliver the best care possible, do you ever feel like you get the SAME questions asked over and over – often by the SAME person?
If so, we can relate. As we invest numerous hours almost every day in the role of coaching business owners (practice owners), we hear some of the same questions over and over. Whether it’s been in the area of launching and owning multiple practices, being the clinic start-up division of a large healthcare franchise or now as we focus specifically on assisting providers to successfully make clinical weight loss a part of their wellness model, it is no different.
The #1 asked question we get is always
“How do I get more new patients?”
(Or, as we prefer to call them in weight loss, more new clients).
In this blog we are going to re-visit the Wheel of Business and focus on the ever-important spoke called Marketing. Make no mistake, the answer to this recurring question CAN be a very long one. In fact, when it comes to “marketing” we invest significant time in our up-front training and have numerous resources on our dashboard. Of course, it’s almost always a topic of our one-on-one coaching calls. Then, every month we send timely resources to our providers and discuss marketing on our group calls. In other words, this spoke of the wheel is one that truly requires ongoing focus, energy and creativity.
Here’s the bottom line: marketing is crucial, time consuming and MUST be systematized. While we can’t share our entire system in this brief blog, we do want to share some basics.
First, realize and accept this: when it comes to external marketing in wellness care, there are NO “HOME RUNS”. Believe us on this one! Although every provider seems to be on a career long hunt for THE Home Run approach to marketing, they pretty much all come to the final realization that it does not exist. Even we, through all our professional roles referenced above, have tried virtually everything out there. There are NO home runs. The truth is simple: you must develop a multi-faceted approach to the new patient game. In other words, focus on “BASE HITS”!
Below, are the key Base Hits our most successful weight loss providers have mastered and CONSISTENTLY implemented. These work in ANY practice and with ANY service center. Remember them as “The Four S’s”.
Base Hit #1: Surveying – Good ol’ pounding the pavement to meet and greet hundreds, if not thousands, of community members whether they are at work, home, the soccer field, you name it! We have developed an entire system and set of products for corporate or business surveying specifically because we feel it is so highly effective. Bottom line: You MUST get OUT of your office and IN to the community. Remember this: The more you meet and greet, the more you will treat!
Base Hit #2: Speaking – We believe this is THE easiest, quickest and most effective way to share your message and mission with good passion and purpose. Yet, it is certainly one of the least understood as far as effectively attracting people into your practices. Again, a system of where and how to do these will help you maximize your results. We’ve seen providers schedule and perform dozens of talks before they even launch their practice or new service. Others have secured relationships with entire school corporations, police forces, etc. to do repeated and routine talks. They become the expert and go-to provider for these organizations. Do you think those providers have a new patient challenge? No way!
Base Hit #3: Screenings – Often viewed as “unprofessional” or too confrontational by some providers, but you have to decide: Do you want to “feel” professional and comfortable as you sit in your empty office? Or will you get out and do what it takes to teach and lead your community? Done with good technology, effective systems and a well-trained staff, these are hard to beat! This is one marketing strategy we highly suggest you learn to do … and do right!
Base Hit #4: Social Media – This is obviously THE way to market these days. Everyone KNOWS that. The challenge is everyone doesn’t DO it! It seems that the biggest challenge we see with providers doing this is time. Well, let us re-phrase that … The true cause of it being under-utilized is the USE of time. We have found the key is establishing who on your team will spearhead … and, who all will contribute … to this branch of the marketing. You, as the leader really should play a role – preferably as the messenger. You need not DO all the editing, writing, posting, etc. But we see it work best when the practice leader is regularly seen and heard. It makes the social media relationship personal. Keep in mind that social media is all about engagement and that requires consistency. Give this strategy time to build trust with followers as you provide them something of value. Do not always try to sell. Repeatedly doing so may cause followers to disengage. So, work to educate and lead your followers. Set aside established and reserved time for this. Knock out several messages. Then let your team run with it. And, remember, there are companies that specialize in handling multiple daily posts for you. Leverage those services. Social media can provide leads, referrals, reputation and more. So, it’s imperative in today’s world.
Before we close this blog out, we have to say that an important 5th or “BONUS” Base Hit. S #5 would, no doubt, be Social Involvement. Like it or not, as a provider you have the responsibility to be a leader in the community you serve. People will look to you for more than just “feeling better”. You CAN be one helps individuals shape better lives overall. You can help develop a wellness consciousness in your community. Getting involved will be essential. This will start with volunteer and civic clubs, the local chamber of commerce, your church, and other community impacting groups. Everything else you do will be more effective because of your social involvement and leadership.
So, how are you doing with those Base Hits? Are you doing any of them? How consistent are you? Could you have a higher batting % by improving or adding any of them?
Be sure to know that each of the 4S’s touched on briefly here must have a specific and effective SYSTEM behind it. So, if you choose to not work with a team who already has it all in place, establish YOUR systems first. A system will specify the way to get things scheduled, the proper way to do each strategy, tools to use, samples of things to say, tracking results, effectively following up … and more. Once again, that’s too much info to try to convey here!
Here’s the bottom line: Marketing a practice or new service IS simple … but it’s NOT easy! It takes a plan, a system and massive action! If you don’t have marketing systems – or it feels overwhelming to do so – or you have repeatedly failed at trying to create them, we urge you to get connected with someone who can help you … so you, too, can “Base Hit” your way to success!
More concepts on the Marketing Spoke will come in follow up blog posts. Meanwhile, if you would like to learn more about the Activate Metabolics program and some of the marketing we have in place for you, simply Click or Call today!