In my last post, I covered the reasons why dentists need to focus their marketing efforts online, and the first two Pillars of the patient attraction system: attraction and conversion. Let’s continue.
Follow-Up: Stay in front of prospects
If you’re a GP and you deal with volume, follow-up is less important than giving prospective patients your hours, location and price. Follow-up really matters when you look at large-case, elective dentistry.
As transaction size increases, so does the amount of required trust to make that sale. Before someone spends $10,000-$20,000 in their mouth, they are going to do a lot of research. Research shows us this can be up to a 24-month buying cycle.
So you have to keep your name in front of your prospects.
The National Sales Executive Association says that 90 percent of all sales close on the 7th-12th touch with that prospect. That means most people are not going to call for an appointment the first time they visit your website.
But let’s say one person per day visits your website and wants more information. If you send each of those people two emails per month, which amounts to you sending out two emails a day, every day, over the span of a year that is 730 emails.
Do you want to MANUALLY send out two emails a day, every day? Of course not. And that may explain why most doctors say they are doing NO FOLLOW-UP.
Follow-up is critical and that is why we are a certified InfusionSoft partner. Even though automated email marketing is just part of what they do, they are the best at it.
Tracking: Don’t trust your patients
Many dentists think they are tracking where their new patients come from. Inevitably those same dentists have this or a similar story to tell, “And we get patients who say they saw our billboard. But we don’t HAVE a billboard!”
Here’s why: You can’t trust your patients’ memories.
Forensic psychologists have known for more than a century that eyewitness details are often wrong. Even eyewitness testimony in court cases is NOTORIOUSLY inaccurate. In fact, the Innocence Project regularly looks at eyewitness accounts as an area of suspicion when reviewing a case.
First, let’s establish this:
You MUST, MUST, MUST have a reliable way to track where new patients are coming from. For our clients, we use recorded telephone tracking.
Here are the top two reasons:
You must be able to hold your staff accountable for what happens when someone calls. It’s much like the saying, “There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.”
So just because your web marketing does its job and gets someone to call doesn’t mean that prospect ends up in your chair.
If your staff is not using good technique on the phone, they could be wasting your entire marketing budget. You don’t need to listen to every call that comes in, but you should be listening to a couple a week.
Second, you must track where every call comes from so that you know which of your marketing pieces are performing and which are wasting your money.
That means you may need multiple numbers for your website and print platforms.
But if you suddenly see a rush of new customers, how will you know whether it is because of your ongoing web marketing efforts, today’s new newspaper ad, that billboard by the intersection that went up two weeks ago, or that mailer with the expiring offer that went out a month ago?
You wouldn’t, and you wouldn’t know what to spend money on next time.
Watch your ROI, and you can further improve your web marketing efforts.