“I think we have enough quality leads”
– Said No Medical Practice Ever
Every practice wants to drive quality leads and grow the number of those leads over time. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in the business for a long time, there’s an art and a science to attracting and converting prospects into patients. After years of managing and collecting data on millions of inbound prospects, we share 3 pieces of advice that are tried and true:
1. Give It Time
Medical procedures aren’t t-shirts. That’s an odd statement…What do we mean by that?
Well, it’s easy to sell a t-shirt – it’s usually similar to any other t-shirt and it’s pretty inexpensive. One might wonder how soft it is, if it will fit, or whether they will like it, but it takes just a few seconds to make those decisions. It’s no wonder people see an ad once and make a purchase.
As we all know, the patient journey and thought process around a medical procedure are much, much different. In fact, about 95% of your prospects aren’t ready to buy. Most prospects have to overcome two significant barriers when deciding to move forward with a medical procedure:
- Fear: some may worry they will be in pain, something will go wrong, or they won’t get the results they expected
- High Cost: medical procedures are expensive. Patients may not be able to comfortably afford a procedure and may be weighing whether they should spend the money elsewhere.
So given the amount of thought and emotion involved, medical practices have to understand their business requires a longer selling cycle. Prospects need time to research and they need positive peer reviews to feel like your practice is credible.
2. Multiple Channels Play a Role
As our 2022 Medical Marketing Outlook pointed out, there are clear marketing channels that are known for converting more prospects to patients. If you haven’t had a chance to read through it, here’s a spoiler alert: the top two channels that drive the most booked appointments are Internet and Referrals. All other channels including social media, radio, TV, print, and direct mail pale in comparison. But does that mean you should stop promoting your practice on those channels? Absolutely not! Those are necessary initiatives to drive awareness and demand for medical procedures.
Think of a volleyball game. Once the ball is served, it takes multiple hits before a spike. All hits are important to get the ball over the net. The analogy can be applied to marketing, where channels very rarely convert on their own. Several touchpoints may be needed to convert and it may be difficult to truly understand the impact of every channel if you are just looking at how it results in a lead.
3. Volume Doesn’t Indicate Readiness
Not all inbound leads are the same, nor should they be treated as such. Most prospects will submit a contact form on your website. It’s quick and easy, and they can do it at any time, whether your office is open or not. But just because more prospects may contact you online than by phone, doesn’t mean those prospects are ready to move forward.
The 2022 Medical Marketing Outlook highlights that while web leads are the #1 lead source, they tend to have a lower conversion rate than phone calls because most are still not ready to actually book. That’s why it’s important your practice has an efficient inbound lead management system that follows up with prospects in a timely manner, makes multiple attempts, and uses several forms of communication to try to reach them. OptiCall’s Capture web response program incorporates all of these tactics and has shown to actually double average lead conversions.
Inbound phone calls on the other hand, tend to have lower volume, but convert at a significantly higher rate. Our data from our clients who use our First Contact Phone Handling Program see about a 75% conversion to booked consultations. With such a high opportunity for converting, you certainly don’t want to miss a phone call or put these patients on hold. You want to ensure trained experts are handling calls from new prospects, so they can answer tough questions, dispel myths, and ease the prospect into feeling more comfortable in taking the next step.
All to say, having the right expectation on inbound leads and the right tools and staff to follow-up is critical.
Still Stuck? Request a Practice Assessment
If you’re still wondering what’s preventing you from converting more inbound leads to patients, we invite you to get a Practice Assessment. It’s completely free and we don’t like to brag, but we’ve never had a practice say they didn’t learn something practical they can start applying to improve performance. Complete the form below to get started.