My Secrets to Marketing to Doctors – Part II
by Patrick Phillips
In Part I, I shared some of my secrets to marketing to doctors, including getting past (or working with) the “gatekeeper”, presenting yourself and your company as professional, including the way you dress, your marketing materials, business cards, etc., overcoming the “fear factor” involved with change, keeping your name “top of mind” and so forth.
Now let’s focus on specific ways to approach a doctor. One of the things that will appeal to a doctor is the fact that you are an “expert” in your field. One way to do that is to build credibility by association; find a doctor who believes in you and will co-author a book with you. Or at least allow you to write a foreword to their book and, thus, having your name associated with a doctor on the cover of the book.
It might be easier for you to write some articles for various medical publications and establish your “expertise” by educating the doctor on topics with which he or she may not be familiar. In any case, there is something very special about being an “author” and this adds huge trust between you and your prospective clients to be associated with a doctor.
To help with this, I have partnered with a retired general surgeon who has co-authored a book with me that is aimed at physicians: “The New Thriving Medical Practice – How to Get Off the Hamster Wheel, Work Smarter (Not Harder), Generate More Revenue and Enjoy Greater Career Satisfaction in the Post-Obamacare Era.”
Although this book is specifically for those who complete our 5-day workshop in Dallas, graduate and are certified as a CMRM (Certified Medical Revenue Manager) you can get a feel for how this book can help position you as “The Expert” in your marketing efforts by ordering a copy of it from: info@ABSystems.com. Just ask for the “Thriving ebook”.
One of the ways you can make sure your book or handout gets to the doctor’s desk is to seal it in a Priority Mail envelope (you can get these free from usps.com). Put a handwritten note inside to the doctor introducing you and your company. Hand-write the doctor’s name on the front of the envelope and just ask anyone at the front desk to put it on the doctor’s desk. Tell them it is a small gift for the doctor and they won’t think of opening it. With consistent, automated follow-up you can keep your name at “top of mind” so that if something changes in the office and they start thinking about outsourcing their billing – you want them to think of you. Repetition and exposure to what you can do for them will lead to clients if you nurture them.
Think of it as if you were raising tomatoes; with consistent exposure to the sun, proper nutrients and lots of water, you can be sure when you plant a tomato seed that, in time, you will get tomatoes. The same is true of your marketing efforts. Nurture your prospective clients properly and it is just a matter of time and you will reap rewards.
You do that with what is called “drip marketing”. Just “touch” your prospects with a call or a card or some educational handout, and you will find that some of them will respond, in time. It’s the competition in your area that will reach those same prospects just one time and then move on to other “low-hanging fruit”. You, on the other hand, remind your prospects that you are always there wanting to serve them and waiting for them to reach out.
We’ve trained hundreds of people over the years and that includes many who have been in sales or consulting for years who say that seeing doctors and their office managers is tough. Yes, it is if you don’t know the secrets we have learned from over 25 years in training and supporting people who want to start their own medical revenue management companies.
So what would it be worth to you to learn from someone who has been teaching and writing on this industry for over 25 years who claims he has a guaranteed way to get an appointment to speak to the office manager and/or the doctor in any practice? If you are in a business that seeks to do business with doctors, you should have just answered “priceless”.
Well, here’s one way that works: just walk in an introduce yourself and ask if they have a “lunch n learn” calendar (sometimes referred to as the “vendor calendar”). Most medical offices have a calendar of vendors wishing to bring in lunch and share their products and services with the office. It will cost you $75-$100 to bring in sandwiches or some other food, depending on how many are in the office. Just prepare a Powerpoint or some handout about you and your company to show and discuss while they are having lunch.
You can ask the staff questions about their practice to find out if they have any needs for your services as part of a “practice analysis”. Things like “what software are you currently using to do your billing?” (they will tell you if they outsource their billing already). “What percentage of claims are rejected upon first submission?” … and other questions that will help you determine if they need help with their revenue management. Here are some more ideas and questions to get you started:
Number of full-time and part-time physicians on staff?
Anticipate growth of providers or locations within the next year?
What practice management / scheduling software does your office use?
Do you have a patient portal? Is it integrated with your scheduling system?
Do your patients have the ability to obtain their medical records online?
How often do you have patients NO SHOW?
Do you have an automated way of verifying insurance eligibility prior to a patient showing up?
How many staff hours are spent daily on verifying eligibility?
Does your practice currently use an EHR? What do you not like about it?
Do your patients have the ability to check lab reports online?
Do you currently send prescriptions electronically?
Take some time and give some thought to these questions, as they can give you a great insight into the practice, and the staff/doctor will sometimes give you huge clues that they are not happy with their revenue management and payments from patients and insurance companies. This “free” practice analysis can open their eyes to a lot of leaks in their cash flow.
Next, join a medical society in your area. You can find any in your area by just searching for “medical society YOUR COUNTY”. Most of them have “supporter” membership levels, which means if you support the society and its members (by paying an annual membership fee), you are in.
Get to know those who run the society. They are always looking for ways to connect their vendor supports with members and they are always looking for speakers to share information with their members. You can also have a booth at most of their meetings, where your prospects will come to you and you can meet and discuss what you can do for them and their practices on a one-on-one basis.
What better way to connect with doctors than by just jumping right in amongst them. You will be invited to all of their golfing functions, awards banquets, conferences, trade shows, etc. where you will be right smack dab in the middle of a bunch of physicians.
One way to keep your name in front of your prospects is to create and send out a monthly (quarterly?) newsletter. Yes, a physical, printed newsletter that shares some good information and subtly reminds them of what you can do for them. This creation process is daunting for some people, but it is worth the time and effort put into it because your competition won’t do it! For online newsletter creation, editing and publishing, go to www.lucidpress.com and click on Tours>Templates>Newsletters.
As for content, here are some online resources that will provide you with up-to-date content that you can share with your readers / prospects.
Just be sure to include a link to any article you copy and paste into your newsletter. This is how information is shared in today’s digital world. The content creators want traffic to their website and linking to them in the article is all it takes to make them happy. Some sites may have a specific notification about sharing the content, so look for it.
Don’t try to place “ads” for your services in the newsletter. Just tie in and mention some of the things you can do for your readers in your articles. Keeping your name / logo and contact info in front of your readers is what will lead to business somewhere down the line. You just want them to think of YOU when they do start looking for help with their cash flow.
These are just a handful of the successful marketing methods taught in our live 5-day workshop held in Dallas every so often. Check out the curriculum at www.absystems.com .