Marketing 101 – 5 Tips for Your Therapy Clinic
Confession: I hate marketing. It’s my least favorite part of my job. It is so hard to open yourself up to that much rejection but still stay positive. It feels like the professional version of blind dating, except the other person probably already has a significant other. But effective marketing is crucial to growing a business. Even therapists who aren’t owners of the clinic need to be comfortable going out to talk to doctors and PAs. But it is not a comfortable thing for most people.
So, how do you make it effective and less miserable?
TIP #1 – Be Yourself
Try to go into each interaction as calm and relaxed as possible. Being authentic and genuine sets you apart from the dozens of other reps that doctors and referral coordinators encounter each week. They want to know who their patients will be interacting with. Trying to be someone you aren’t will come across instantly to them and it’s a major turn-off. Let them see your natural personality, warmth and concern for their patient’s care. We all care for our patients, the provider just wants to see that from the therapist also.
TIP #2 – Go Early, Go Often
These providers are busy and they see a lot of reps. One visit from you may seem like a big deal for you, but it won’t stand out to them as much as you would like. It takes roughly 7 points of contact to create a meaningful relationship. You need to keep track of your visits and return regularly to help them remember you. I try to return to each provider every 3-4 weeks, but scheduling doesn’t always allow for that. If I had time I would definitely return to a new office within a second week. Just to be fresh in their mind.
” It takes roughly 7 points of contact to create a
TIP #3 – Marketing Materials
I’m not a believer in pens, pop sockets, water bottles or other items with my name and logo on them. They end up costing a fair amount of money and I think they just get thrown away or lack the desired impact. Think about the last conference you went to and all of the free swag you collected. Did it make you more likely to use any of those vendors? Do you even know where it is? How many branded pens and cups do you have at your house for companies you don’t even know?
Instead, I prefer to hand out educational materials. We have made brochures for CMC OA and Conservative Carpal Tunnel Treatment. It helps to have a reason to be stopping by. Even if its to get a prescription signed or ask the doctor a question. Sometimes, that’s the best way to actually talk to the doctor rather than getting stopped at the front desk.
Tracking your visits gives you control of the information and dialogue
TIP #4 – Tracking Your Trips
Keep an ongoing log of all of your interactions and visits to different offices. You can use a simple spreadsheet or an app like Hubspot. Log when you went, who you spoke to, what was the outcome, and any contact information of follow up information you received. Time gets away from all of us and you will be surprised how much time has passed since your last visit to a given doctor’s office. It’s also tough to remember every front desk person’s name and referral coordinator. Review these before you go in so you can call people by name and reference a previous conversation. Tracking your visits gives you control of the information and dialogue.
TIP #5 – Get Creative
There are only so many hand surgeons, and every other hand therapist is marketing to them also. We have found success marketing to a variety of other sources. Urgent care centers, arthritis doctors, neurologists, primary care doctors, and retirement communities are all areas we target and receive referrals. Find non-traditional sources for referrals. You can sell them on the value of your service and they will love having a reliable place to send their patients to get better.
You have a service they need, and you can provide it in a way no one else can.
Mostly, you need to sell yourself – It isn’t comfortable or easy to get denied by the front desk person over and over. And you will never know, walking out, if the interaction will lead to referrals or not. But, the doctor or referral coordinator needs to know you are a confident and competent therapist. Go into every effort with a good attitude and a desire to convince them of your value above other hand therapists and other non-hand therapists. You have a service they need, and you can provide it in a way no one else can. You just need to convince the provider.
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