Stuck In The Dog Days Of Summer? 7 Revenue Boosters You Need to Consider For Your Practice
As with other industries, elective medicine is subject to the seasons. Regardless of the surgeon, the discipline, or the procedure, every practice experiences predictable high and low volume fluctuations throughout the year.
Flourishing month to month can be a difficult challenge, and for most practices, we\’re approaching traditional downtime. Long days of summer, school around the corner, there\’s simply too much distraction. So how do you combat these trends? Traditional thinking is to batten down the hatches, but this is wrong. If you want your practice to reach the next level of growth, you need to focus on raising your revenue floor… and the easiest way to do this is by boosting the revenue during your slower months.
Here are 7 ways to accomplish just that:
  1. Pull out all the stops. Have a great promotion or incentive you\’ve been sitting on, or a great idea you\’ve wanted to test? These are the times to make miracles happen. Slower seasons are the easiest times to take a gamble on testing a new media strategy, marketing tactic or incentive, because you\’re not sacrificing the revenue of the busier months. Who knows, you might just find the silver bullet all us marketers are looking for!
  2. Leverage leads. Every business should be practicing solid follow-up efforts to all inquiries, but you would be surprised how many practices simply ignore people who don\’t schedule consultations. If you\’re not actively promoting to your lead database, you\’re sitting on a gold mine of opportunity. The most successful practices understand that identifying interested prospects is the hardest step in the marketing game. So what do you do with these leads? You contact them! If you have phone numbers, call them nd let them know about a unique event or promotion you\’re having. Send them a personalized email with an invitation to learn about your newest offering. Yes, even sending out old snail mail letters inviting people to an event or seminar for the procedure they inquired about still works in this modern day and age. Bottom line, elective procedures are considered purchases. People take months, sometimes years, to finally pull the trigger. But these people contacted you because they were interested in your services, and there\’s no better time to try and reengage this audience then during your slower months.
  3. Reactivate existing patients. A database of patients who have already trusted your services is the best marketing resource you have. Hopefully you are already providing incentives and opportunities to keep these loyal customers continually purchasing and referring. If not, there\’s no better time than now to make a conscious effort to reengage your happy patient population. Implement a new referral inventive system. Create patient specific promotions, and reached out with personalized contact, making them aware that the specific offer/promotion is a one-time only opportunity for existing patients. OptiCall\’s Boomerang program is a great toll to bring back patients that are over-due for care.
  4. Events, seminars, lunch and learns, webinars, cocktail hours, giveaway events and other types of customer appreciation. They\’re time-tested and proven to drive traffic. However putting together a well-organized and well thought out event takes time, energy and preparation – which is why most practices don\’t do them. But what better time to focus on executing an event than during the slower months when there\’s more downtime to plan for both doctors and staff?
  5. Cross promote/up-sell. Focus on providing enhancements and added incentives or upgrades to traditional services that your clients have purchased. Incentivize staff members to push additional products and up-sells during these months. Try to cross-promote all areas of the practice and leverage all opportunities to increase your average purchase price.
  6. Incentivize your staff. You\’d be amazed at the power of persuasion. If you\’re thinking about rewarding your staff for hitting a goal, now is the time to do it. A great example of how effective this can be is through a group reward program. Recently, a plastic surgery practice put a plan in place for their employees for hitting a benchmark during the slow season that had never been seen in the practice before. The incentive was a paid vacation if they hit the target benchmark. It was an amazing reward for the staff, and guess what? They exceeded it by 10%!!
  7. Plan ahead. Identify your slower times, and plan your annual marketing strategy to have promotions and events during those targeted time periods. Your slower months are not the time to hibernate. They are the opportunities to get creative, become motivated and think outside of the box to discover your practice\’s revenue opportunities. Your bank account will thank you.