If you’re NEW to Marketing your Physical Therapy Clinic, you might NOT be familiar with the term “Lead Generation”…
…but it’s an important one for you to know more about if you want to BOOST New Patients if doctor referrals are drying up… so please let me help you out with an explanation of what it is and why using it in your marketing could be a game changer for your clinic new patient numbers:
“Lead Generation” is simply running adverts with the sole goal of beginning a relationship with some one you can help.
In the beginning, you’re NOT asking for any money or an appointment in your ads.
No… You’re just going run adverts (in newspapers or magazines etc) with the sole intention of getting *contact details* so that you can have MULTIPLE attempts at following up on that initial enquiry – because not enough people know enough about pt and are ready to say “yes” straight away.
Why does this method work so well for pt’s in particular?
Well, it’s because in society there’s just too much confusion over what a pt actually does.
Some people think we only help sports people, others think it’s all about exercises or machines and most people with back pain think of a chiropractor before a pt – yet we’re just as able to help (if not more, given we get to the root cause of the problem!)
And because Direct Access is just as confusing for pt’s as it is patients, the smartest thing to is just forget about both completely in your ads.
Don’t try to explain who you are or what you do…
And most definitely do NOT try to explain the laws of direct access in ANY adverts or on your website.
Well, people are not really interested in it – and if you do highlight how easy it is for people to go and see a pt, you also run the risk of advertising on behalf of your competitors across the street who might see a bump in their referrals as result of your “it’s easy to self-refer to see a pt” style adverts (!!).
So, Lead Generation means you’re NOT asking for the person reading your adverts to call and book an appointment – you’re only asking for people to call your clinic and request something of perceived value to them (that you’re happy to give in exchange for contact details).
Now, that something of perceived value could be a “How To” style pdf or report that you’ve wrote containing your best advice to help some one recover from, say, “back pain” (or knee pain, etc).
Something that might look like this:
(This report ^ is the EXACT one I use for my own clinics marketing when I want to get the attention and contact details of people with back pain).
Now, you might be thinking that if people call to request FREE advice, they won’t go on to become a patient?
Well, there’s no need to worry about that, and here’s why:
No body really wants to do this on their own… they initially just think they do but are just too confused, unsure and even frightened of getting the decision wrong to actually pick up the phone and call a pt to book a pt appointment.
The fear of the unknown stalls most people from doing just about everything!
Advertising free appointments works for Chiropractors because 9 out of 10 people on the street would know that those guys specialise in back or neck pain.
So they almost automatically go and see one if they have either – simply because they know everyone else does – and all chiropractors have to do to help the referral process along is provide their phone number in the local newspapers.
But, unfortunately it’s not like that with physical therapy.
And when people are unsure, confused, skeptical, or even nervous about a decision that could result in both time and money wasted – not mention embarrassment about calling the wrong place – then they will do NOTHING!
It’s just too big of a step for most people to “cold call” a pt clinic and book an appointment right off the back of seeing an advert in a newspaper or google.
You’ve got to first earn their trust…
Give them a little hope and a reason to respond to your advert that isn’t going to cost them in either time or money – and give people a “lower barrier to entry”.
Give them what I call a “little win” (by following the tips in the report so they can see for themselves your advice works) and make it super easy for them to reach out to you with their resistance levels lowered.
And a free tips report which offers some expert advice on how to ease their pain WITHOUT any commitment needed (financially or in time) does both.
And of course, one of your tips is to visit your clinic 😉
So here’s how to make this Lead Generation strategy work for boosting self referrals even in a small town crowded by chiropractors:
If you run an advert in the local newspaper and promise a free tips report on ways to end back pain – the only people who call are people with what?…
That’s right, “BACK PAIN”.
(Or whatever pocket of people you want to target).
And so when they’re on the phone telling you all about their back pain troubles, why don’t you simply drop into the conversation that “you help people like them every day at your pt clinic?”
Explain how easy it is to “self refer”.
Maybe offer a free first visit.
And make it almost impossible for them to say no by offering to diagnose their problem (everyone wants to know what’s wrong!) and promise to provide much more specialist advice and hope for the future, if they come for a free visit to your clinic?
Explain that no referral from a doctor is needed.
Thats there’s no insurance or payment forms to sign and they’d be under no obligation to book any appointments after that first session?
Do you think that one or two might say “yes”?
Of course they would!
Having a conversation on the phone with someone is way cheaper than trying to explain all of this in an advert, or even on a website, as it can often and so very easily be mis-interpreted.
So know you know that the goal of your advert was simply to get the phone ringing off the hook with people wanting information about a problem that you know how to solve.
An example of how the dollars might stack up:
If a quarter page advert costs $300-400 to run, and your initial upfront patient value is “$1000”, then even just 2 people who “YES” is a very healthy immediate NET profit return of $1600 on your advertising.
But it gets better.
Because you’ll also get people who call and say “not right now thanks”, to your offer of pt.
But they are still somewhat interested and have a need for your skills.
So, what do you do with those people?
Well most clinic owners do nothing.
But those people are where the REAL gold is.
And all you have to do is put them put them into a follow up system… and continue to keep in touch with them using things like email, telephone calls and direct mail – providing the prospective patient with more information so that they can make a better, more educated decision about pt – as most times all that is holding them back is they just want to know a bit more first i.e. you need to earn their trust!
Some of the people who originally said no will “yes” within a week, others, maybe 30 days or so!
And as a general rule of thumb, the longer you stay in touch, by sending emails or direct mail, the more likely they will say “yes”.
WE know that chronic lower back pain isn’t going to go away unless it gets looked at properly — just stay in touch until they’ve realised it too and the patient decides for them self that pt IS the right choice to make 😉
So there you go – a proven strategy to boost self referrals at your pt clinic.
Founder at the PT Profit Academy.
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P.S I say it’s PROVEN, because it is…
And just incase you think “this strategy won’t work for me in my state”… Talk to my client “Oliver Patalinghug” over at Restore PT LLC in Michigan – a state which has THE strictest Direct Access Laws in the whole of the United States…
…we made this precise lead generation strategy for him work to deliver a continuous stream of hot new patients that come to him first – and then HE decides which doctor to send them to for the necessary referral.
If it can work EVEN IN Michigan, it will work for you, too.
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