More Marketing Dollars
Equals More Patients
Contrary to what you may think, the secret to attracting more patients into functional medicine practice is not MORE marketing.
Marketing can = more leads and potential patients… assuming that your marketing works.
But that doesn’t mean that those patient leads are going to become compliant paying patients. The ONLY thing that has direct influence on you getting more paying, compliant patients is your ability to sell yourself, your unique FM service, and educate the patient to the point of understanding why they can’t do anything except comply with your recommendations.
Here’s the life cycle of a typical office. As you can see, SELLING/EDUCATING is the only thing that translates into practice success.
Marketing = more prospects.
Selling/Educating = more patients.
Systems to treat patients = freedom and sanity for you and your office.
Results = referrals.
Favorable patient experience = patient retention.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen good doctors spend a ton of money on lead generation, only to lose patient compliance because they didn’t know how to or were afraid to sell and educate. Don’t let that be you.
If you’re a good doctor.
If you know you can deliver the results.
If your patients share a health care philosophy with you…
…then you have an ethical obligation to sell and educate.
Selling is Not Bad…
Now, most doctors have a hang up with selling because the first thing they see in their mind’s eye is a used car salesman. Sure, that’s one type of selling – if you can even call it that, but that’s NOT the type of selling that you should be doing.
Selling, as it relates to our healthcare, is nothing more than a transference of knowledge. In essence, you have to establish to your patient that the only sensible health care option is doing things your way. This should be an easy sell because functional medicine makes so much sense.
You may be saying to yourself that you can’t be successful with functional medicine because you live in an area where people can’t afford it. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to live in a “rich area” of town or cater to “high end” clientele. People are starving for real health care and they will pay for it because it has tremendous value.
I see on average about 400-500 new patients per year. More than 90% of them comply with my recommendations. My practice is booked out several months, and I never ever think about cost as a factor for care recommendations. The patient is relying that you will advise them on what they absolutely need, not what you think they might be able to afford. What your patient can and cannot afford is none of your business. It is not your decision to make, it is theirs.
Focus on these three factors that are the core foundation of persuasion
- Have great bedside manner. Be genuine and get to know each of your patients on a personal level. Likability and trust are critical factors in someone deciding to comply.
- Give them what they NEED and you will also be giving them what they WANT. Every person who comes in to see you has their own reason for needing care. It is your job to make the connections between their wants and needs for them. This breaks down any doubts and fears for treatment they might have. Figure out what they want. Why they are their to see you in the first place, and show them how your recommendations can help them achieve that outcome.
- Create massive value. The number one reason why patients don’t comply is not money – yes, they’ll tell you that they can’t afford it, but in reality, money is not the issue… Value is. It’s not so much about one’s ability to pay as it is about their desire to pay for your services. Think about it, if you saw tremendous value in something wouldn’t you find a way to pay for it? In part, value creation is a byproduct of past patient experiences and results. i.e. Testimonials. The use of testimonials helps the patient realize that other people with similar problems could get better. Post testimonials on your website so that all potential patients can see your past successes. This creates tremendous value perception and establishes you as an expert.
You can also create value by giving free health information to your patients on a regular basis. I put together another great post on how you can implement this easily here <<<
Now, if you are trying to grow your practice, build it from scratch, or transition from insurance based practice to functional medicine, you won’t want to miss the only seminar for Functional Medicine doctors focused on business, marketing, and practice growth strategies. February 8-10th, 2019 in Sugar Land, TX, I have assembled a Dream Team of Doctors and business experts to help you take your practice to new heights in 2019!