5 Simple proactive marketing initiatives to generate new patient enquiries

Following on from our September 14 post “Proactive v Reactive approach to getting new patients”  here is a practical article providing you with a five simple, proactive marketing initiatives that can be implemented straight away. These are all aimed to be easy to action at reasonably low cost and with proven success to generate new patients.

1) Create a referral culture in your practice

There is nothing better than endorsements from your existing patients. Typically like-minded people attract like-minded people so, assuming your private patients are of a good quality, then a personal recommendation to one of their friends or family should also result in a high quality new patient for you. Many doctors and dentists find it difficult at first to actually ask the question so why not try offering entry into a prize draw with a healthcare related prize each month. This can be presented on a postcard, leaflet or business card, for example, so you can let that do the talking. Your front desk team can even make this part of the process as the patient is checking in or signing out. Make sure you put any offers on your website too!

2) Entice patients for a free talk with networking

People generally like to feel like they have been invited to an event with them in mind. Send personal invites to patients asking them to bring a friend along for a free evening talk about something topical enticing them with free drinks and snacks. • Don’t make the talk too long – but ensure the topic will encourage discussion and, have a Q&A session at the end • Arrange it for just after work (6-8pm, say) – so it doesn’t take up anyone’s whole evening • Request an RSVP so you can gauge numbers • Plan to network with your non-patients after the talk • Get your whole team involved so you can all network

3) Speak to people on the streets

Sounds simple but why not try heading out to the street in your area with some practice information leaflets and any “freebies” you can get your hands on. • Hand them out, chat to anyone who has time, in a non-confrontational way, asking simple, open questions like “are you happy with your current state of health?” • Note their contact details and promise them you will get in touch in a few days to discuss their situation in more detail. Make sure you get in contact within the set timeframe – Do not put it off or let other tasks get in the way! • Repeat the follow up process (within reason) until you are confident you have done the best you can in trying to secure that potential new customer. This is an effective method because people actually see you face to face so you can make an instantly great impression and it’s your chance to build trust and reassurance by language you use.

4) Send a newsletter

Develop a mailing list of both existing patients and potential patients. Write and send a newsletter once a month or even once a quarter to start with. Encourage your subscribers to share the articles you provide so your knowledge is spread further afield. • Make it regular – once a quarter is better than once a month for 3 months and then never again. People like consistency. • Track results and tweak your ideas accordingly. • Make the content of the newsletter informative, so it has a purpose to serve, but also include clear “calls to action” – the things that make people want to pick up the phone. This could be a special offer, a testimonial from an existing patient or simply your contact details in a prominent place.

5) Niche marketing

Target a specific niche of customers, for example, over 60’s. Make a special offer available to them and visit places you may find them to hand out leaflets or do a short presentation. Whichever niche market you decide, ask one of your patients who fits the category to write a testimonial or a short case study demonstrating how you helped them. Use this in your marketing material – testimonials, case studies and reviews are the best way of building credibility. Or choose a day of the week or a time of the day where you can offer a discount to encourage appointments. Make sure it is your quietest day or time of day to improve your workflow. Obtaining new patients, whilst it is often referred to as “marketing” or “sales”, is really all just about communication. If you have a good product or service to offer then tell people about it and ask others to do the same. Good luck! If you found this article useful please share it amongst your dental and medical friends and colleagues, as we also want to communicate information about the services we offer at Figurit. We will also provide more marketing ideas on our blog in future months so you can continue to consider fresh initiatives for generating new patients.

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