As a provider, a smart marketing strategy is to maximize your leads or lose momentum. Let’s face it, when you are in charge of running a busy practice, there are always ten thousand things that seem to demand your immediate and complete attention. It can be a lot like herding cats. And while we all understand that medicine is very much a dedicated specialty that helps people, it is also a business. After all, the whole purpose of creating a website and generating social media buzz is to bring more paying patients into your office. Self-directed patients therefore are really the bread and butter of a successful practice.
Why You Need to be “Johnny on the Spot” When It Comes to Leads
You have to understand that far from being a nuisance, an inbound lead is really a potential patient or a medical/dental buyer in the process of choosing where they will spend money on a commodity in the form of ongoing patient care. When they contact you, they are really conducting an audition of sorts. They will either choose to spend money with you or go elsewhere. Period. Not only that, but they will base much of their medical spending decision on how fast (and how well) you respond.
Think of it this way: when you are shopping online for a product or service, you want a seamless experience. You want to see the product, get information, receive answers to any questions you may have, and do it all within your timeline-not the other way around. You do not want to reach out to a company only to have them take their sweet, easy time to get back to you.
Why Opportunity Knocks, Taps Lightly and Walks Away
Today’s market is much like microwave popcorn. It only takes minutes to get popping. In order to compete, your practice must be hyper responsive or lose the opportunity. People are now accustomed to using a simple search, locating the information they want and then making a decision. The entire process can take only a matter of minutes from start to finish.
If your website is engaging and your content is up to date, your battle is half won. The next half however, is critical. If opportunity knocks, it may only tap lightly on the door before heading down the road to the next practice. To leverage the lead, you must be on your game.
At the very least, a successful practice needs to:
- Respond to a lead as quickly as possible-preferably immediately or within an hour. If you have a chat function (which we offer at VCG), then be sure to have someone monitor that feed so they can answer any questions promptly.
- Respond in the same way that they contacted you. In other words, if they call, then call them back. If they email, then use email to answer them.
- Return their call, email or chat. If they make an appointment, great. If not, be sure to follow up again within 24 hours and again in 48 hours.
- If they still do not respond, at the very least grab their contact information. Add them to your leads system. We suggest a spreadsheet in which you regularly cycle through with points of contact such as email marketing.
Bottom line, if you are simply gathering leads and never using them, you are wasting opportunities to help your practice thrive.