Yes, Doctor, Even You Need To Sell Yourself
As medical practice consultants we work with all different types of medical specialties across the country. From Plastic Surgery to Orthodontics and ENT to Ophthalmology, we work with offices to maximize their revenue and go from good to outstanding. Most of our proprietary selling and training techniques have been developed in one of the world’s leading Plastic Surgery offices. We know what we do works because we have tested it time and again. Undoubtedly, at each conference we attend we have a Cardiologist or some other Physician in an insurance based specialty ask if our techniques for selling a cash based medical service – like facelifts, braces, lasik or other out of pocket procedures – will translate to the insurance provider world. Physicians tell us all the time that our services are great but they don’t need to sell anything because they deal with insurance and therefore the patients don’t really have a choice.
All Patients Have a Choice Whether To See You Or The Doctor Next Door
Most of your patients wound up in your office one of two ways; they either received a referral from someone or they found your practice online. Either way you can be pretty sure they have a second opinion appointment scheduled or at the very least are considering it. A patient will most likely make an appointment with a doctor who was referred by a trusted source, either a friend or another provider. But that referral is not enough to convert the patient from a potential customer to a loyal customer. This is where you and your staff must differentiate your skills and abilities as a physician.
Practice Management is the difference between practicing medicine and running a successful medical practice. You practice medicine but you are also selling your services. Sales is not evil. Selling your skills and experience is not a bad thing. You are in truth providing your patients with a service by telling them why they should select your practice and expertise. You cannot expect a patient to have looked through your CV and know your training. If a patient leaves not hearing any reason why they should choose you, they will likely choose somebody else. We are not suggesting a large billboard of your face in your lobby. Simply informing your patients what sets your practice apart. Have you performed over 5000 Lasik Procedures? How is your patient going to know that if you or your staff doesn’t inform them? If you have a double board certification, let your patients know. If you attended a prestigious school, you earned the right to drop the name. If you feel strange talking yourself up, let your staff do it. Your staff should be able to rattle off a short elevator speech about you and your background as a physician. A 30 second stump speech could be the difference between a patient booking surgery that day, or thinking about it and seeing another physician.
My Patient’s Insurance Pays For Their Procedures, So Why Do I Need to Sell Myself.
The reality of managed care in this ObamaCare world is that most patients will be forced to pay something out of pocket. Whether that be a deductible, co-pay, or co-percentage. On an expensive surgery or hospital stay these costs can sky rocket. Patients are skipping doses of their medication just to avoid an extra co-pay. What you may feel is medically necessary for your patient, may not be affordable for them, even with insurance covering part of the cost. It is important to build value. Just as with selling yourself and your accomplishments, it is crucial for your patients to understand what they will get from the procedure. How will it improve quality of life? What is their return on investment going to be? Instead of dropping a number in the patients lap and walking out the door, let them know why that number is worth it.
It is also crucial to understand your patient’s financial situation. And the true cost of your services to them. It is embarrassing for a patient to tell their ENT that they cannot afford the Balloon Sinuplasty that they do need. So the patient listens to your recommendation while mentally already moving on to the next option. While you as the physician think the benefits of the procedure will out way the cost, unless you discuss the financial side with your patients, in depth, they may just leave disappointed that they can’t afford what you are recommending. You may be able to offer financing or a discount to help the patient. Or if you can find a cheaper medical option that may not be the best medically but it is the best financially. Unless you ask the questions about finances, as uncomfortable as they may be, you will never know if you can find a happy medium with the patient.
How Do I Convert My Patients After The Initial Visit and Consultation?
If you have sold yourself and the services you are offering to your patient as well as discussed the financial aspect, you have every right to ask for their business. Which may sound strange as a medical provider to consider a procedure as a business transaction, but that is exactly what it is. Ask them to book another appointment on the spot. Whether it be for a procedure or for a follow-up. If they are on the books and have something scheduled they are much more likely to return to your practice. You will have eliminated the need for them to seek out other opinions because they know you are incredibly qualified and understand their financial situation. If they feel that you are their doctor and you are the best one around, they will not only return to your practice, they will refer people to you. And since the majority of people book an initial appointment through referrals, you can start the cycle all over again. These are some basic concepts regarding practice management. To find out more about how Yellow Telescope can help take your practice to it’s maximum potential give us a call at (305)455-0720. For the past 7 years each practice we have worked with has grown, nearly every one by $100,000 to over $1,250,000 in the very first year.