This may either be a long term practice that has declined, or a brand new practice that fails to really take off.
To a doctor who’s spent years in training and thousands of dollars to obtain a degree, this can be very depressing.
And to top it off, the doctor who ends up struggling is in the worst spot for making good marketing decisions.
There are 4 areas in marketing that a struggling practice must learn to overcome if they are going to outgrow this slump.
1. Because of mistakes in the past, he’s hesitant to even use advertising. Past failures are not necessarily an indication of future failures.
The point of making mistakes is to learn from them. If you eat bad food that makes you sick, you don’t stop eating food. If you’ve used bad advertising in the past, you shouldn’t stop all future advertising either.Marketing your struggling practice is not an option, but a necessity! The key is using effective marketing.
2. He’s so desperate for a solution that he’ll risk large amounts of money to save himself from going out of business.
This means spending money with any ad rep that comes by the office. Don’t loose our good judgment when you’re face-to-face with an ad rep. Get all the information you need. Ask for a good deal. And don’t make quick decisions.
3. Thinking that advertising costs too much, so he’ll just save his money and focus on “internal marketing” and referrals.
Unfortunately, this is a downward spiral, as a struggling practice is struggling because of the lack of NEW patients.Regardless of what some consultants teach, not every patient in your office is going to refer.
That’s just being realistic. So ONLY relying on referrals from a dwindling patient base is just going to frustrate you. Get referrals plus do outside marketing.
4. Not measuring his return on investment and continuing to make stupid marketing decisions based on feelings (or bad coaching advice) instead of looking at the numbers.
This one is not just a trait of the struggling practice. Many well-off practices still make this mistake, preventing even further success.
A good marketing strategy isn’t “successful” because of how it looks, how it makes your wife fee or even how many new patients it brings in. It’s successful when it brings in a good return on investment (ROI). An ad that “just brings in 5 new patients” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you only paid $500 for the ad and each patients ends up paying you $1500 each!
If you’re in this situation, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I was even there at one point in my practice.
But you have to get over these mistakes and advertise your services in an effective way. You should pay special attention to #2 and #3 above. These are deadly.
You can’t afford to waste money on bad advertising. So if you’re currently doing any marketing that’s not been producing in the last 3 months, then stop.
Put your money where it counts, like with running chiropractic ads in the newspaper.
If I had only $500 to spend each month on marketing, and had to pick just one form of advertising…I would pick newspapers…and work the newspaper rep until I got a good ad
placement for one of these ads!
This was one of the big strategies that saved my practice from bankruptcy!