Are you wasting your time (and money) trying to figure out the advertising game on Facebook? For 99% of PT owners, Facebook is an expensive and time intensive dead-end that leaves you frustrated and out many thousands of dollars. There’s an easier way to generate referrals (and it doesn’t rely on you hiring a techinal expert to help you). Oh and this strategy has been around for centuries AND has been proven by every successful in PT today! What is it? Join me as I share with Practice Freedom U students how to generate endless referrals the easy way.
PT owners go in circles trying to attract new patients, keep them engaged and coming back. I remember how the constant search for referral sources feels like a running on a hamster wheel, never getting ahead. Every practice owner I know wants to develop a long-range plan that includes a profitable sale down the road. But for a lot of overwhelmed, overworked PT owners who struggle to get patients through their doors, that feels totally out of reach. My favorite marketing tool helps to solve both the short and the long-term problems. It gets more patients through your doors now AND boosts the value of your practice for an eventual sale. Relationship-based marketing isn’t the typical, labor-intensive hunt for referral sources. Instead, it focuses on development of genuine, long-term relationships with people in your community who help the people who you want to help. (I wrote last spring for Impact magazine about what relationship marketing means, and why it works so well.) Relationship-based marketing works because it’s a two-way street. You’re not seeking out sources (people who might help you if you’re lucky). You’re establishing real relationships with partners (people who you can support and who will support you back). Investing time and effort in relationship marketing creates a foundation for constant stream of referrals and sustainable growth, year after year. That means you can start to plan: to make yourself operationally irrelevant, and eventually to sell your practice for maximum profit. Relationships are like muscle tissue. The more they’re engaged, the stronger they become. –Ted Rubin, social media and relationship marketing pioneer 3 ways relationship marketing boosts PT practice value: Creates a bigger place for you in your community Investing in relationships, you build deeper, more lasting ties in your local network of helpers. Your practice becomes part of a community of people who help other people. When it comes time for potential buyers assess value of your practice, they’ll want to see how established practice is in the community it serves. A well-known, well-regarded practice has much higher value. Diversifies your referral sources Buyers get nervous when they see a practice relies on just a handful of referral sources. By investing in a range of relationships with other service providers in your community, you create the diversification that buyers will want to see. That ratchets up the value of your practice. Goes beyond YOU The best relationship marketing strategy isn’t only about you. It involves your entire team. It’s part of the culture you create in your practice. Teach your team to invest in relationships that benefit your practice. That’s how you make yourself operationally irrelevant. And a practice that doesn’t depend on YOU to run well is exponentially more valuable. Interested in the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a full patient schedule, week after week? Get a FREE copy of my guide, the Patient Visit Multiplier, packed with the fastest, easiest, most effective ways to increase referrals and reduce cancellations and drop outs.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You dive into a new marketing initiative for your PT practice, hoping it’s the solution to your patient-attracting problems. It might be online ads, or a new social media campaign. It might be a new strategy for physician referrals, or a series of live events to build community awareness about your services. What happens next? After a lot of time, effort, and money, you get disappointing results. You might see a short-term spike in patients, but it doesn’t last. Before you know it, you’re back where you started—struggling to get enough patients through your doors, and wondering what marketing strategy to try next. What’s missing? Your ideal patient. Developing your patient avatar—the detailed picture of your ideal patient—gives you the direction you need to pursue a successful, growth-building marketing plan. The more you know about the patient who is a right-fit for your practice, the better you’re able to target them and get them to you your clinic. Once you know who they are, you can start to reach them where they are. Investing time up front in developing a picture of your ideal patient delivers a whole lot of benefits to your practice:
For the first time, your marketing is truly targeted. Every marketing technique works better when you know exactly who you’re trying to reach.
You’re not wasting time and money attracting patients that aren’t a good fit for your practice. You’re building a rock-solid patient base in the market of your choice.
You get to work with people who inspire, motivate and energize you to do your best work.
You’re differentiating your practice from everyone else’s. That helps even more right-fit patients find YOU. It also adds dollar value to your practice—and makes it more attractive to potential buyers down the line.
Here are 4 questions to help you start to identify your ideal patient and reach them where they are: What are the qualities, values, characteristics you want in your patients? Think about who they are, and what’s important to them. Include everything that you want to see in a patient, from their age and fitness level to their commitment to health and wellness, and their ability to be on time. What are their most significant challenges? There are no shortage of pain points out there to address. What are the PT problems you’re most interested in solving? Your ideal client has a set of goals, and obstacles in the way of achieving those goals. What do those obstacles—and goals—look like? Who else provides services to your ideal clients? The other organizations serving your ideal client become your natural network for relationship-building and referrals. Do I have relationships with any of these people or groups? Relationship-based marketing is the most effective, durable marketing strategy for practice owners. Once you have a picture of your ideal client, and a sense of where they go, you can start building relationships with the people who are helping the people you most want to help. Are you tired of experimenting with practice growth strategies that don’t deliver? FREE for a limited time, get my Patient Visit Multiplier, your guide to the most effective, proven strategies for growing your patient base and increasing referrals.
To grow your practice, become more profitable, and expand your impact in your community, you need a consistent stream of referrals. This week, I talked about how to boost physical therapy practice owners’ most potent source of referrals: your current patients. (Missed that video? Check it out here.) The trickiest part of generating internal referrals? Getting past the discomfort in asking our patients for them. Physical therapy practice owners are often nervous and reluctant to talk with patients about referrals. It feels like a cheesy thing to do!I hate making a sales pitch! At Practice Freedom U, we have developed a system for generating referrals that eliminates the sales-pitch problem, and replaces it with a positive,caring, patient-focused communication strategy that boosts existing patient engagement AND dramatically increases internal referrals. I first developed this Quality Assurance Strategy when I was a physical therapy practice owner. Back then, it enabled me to generate referrals from 1 out of every 4 of my current patients. In the decade I’ve spent working with other practice owners, I’ve seen this simple, no-cost strategy do the same thing for hundreds of other physical therapy practices. It’s a proven process that reduces cancellations and no-shows and increases referrals from an existing patient base by 25 percent. Here’s why it works so well:
It focuses on your patients’ own progress
Our Quality Assurance Strategy centers around a patient check-in. This simple, highly-focused communication allows you to gauge how your patients are feeling about their treatment and whether they’re getting the results they’re looking for. It’s a critical step that allows you to make sure your patients are making progress–and gives both therapist and patient the opportunity to acknowledge that progress. For patients having a good experience, this Quality Assurance Check gives them a specific opportunity to pay their own success forward, by referring you to people they know who need your help. Patients get to acknowledge their own win and share that win with others.
It keeps communication personal
Our Quality Assurance Strategy is built on authentic, caring, in-person communication between your team and your patients. It’s not automated, or de-personalized online. This all-important check-in is a chance to connect with patients, celebrate their progress, and look ahead to more gains, both for themselves and for other people they know who need your help.
It taps into patients’ natural desire to help others
Our patients are no different than we are. They want to help people, especially people they know and care about. When you help to relieve their pain, they’re grateful. And gratitude is a powerful motivator. Our patients want to do something with their gratitude. With the Quality Assurance check in, you empower them to put their gratitude to its best use: to help you help another person. You create a partnership between yourself and your patient, when together you ask and answer the question: Who can we help?
It’s a flexible, personalized strategy
We typically recommend using the Quality Assurance check-in around the fourth or fifth visit. By that point, patients are usually making meaningful progress toward their ultimate goal. But depending on the individual, this check-in can be used effectively at any time during a patient’s care, earlier or later, at discharge or in re-evaluation.
It helps you reduce cancellations and no-shows
If a patient isn’t making progress, the Quality Assurance Check will let you know. We all know the signs of a frustrated, slow-progressing patient, the ones who are about a minute away from dropping out or cancelling their next appointment. Patients who showing signs of struggle or dissatisfaction need this check in earlier in their treatment. It’s an invaluable tool to catch problems in real time, before losing a patient from your schedule. Ready to increase internal referrals by 25 percent? MyUltimate Guide to Increasing Patient Visits shares a strategy to boost internal referrals, at no cost to you. Get it FREE for a limited time.
Do you struggle to get people in the door AND keep them coming back? Many owners are looking for a steady stream of new patients. The problem is that most of them don’t have a simple way to do it. In today’s video, I’ll show you two easy ways to generate referrals:
Do you often struggle to find the right words to promote your practice? Many physical therapy owners I talk to tell me it’s an agonizing process to come up with the copy for their marketing materials (including their website). Here’s the thing, most of them are missing the most powerful words they can use in all of their promotional materials. In today’s video, I will show you a quick and easy way to find the perfect words to use.
Getting new patients is easy - KEEPING them is the hard part. Use these 5 simple tactics to increase visits, retain more patients, and maximize profits!
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