1) Strive for 200! Set a goal for yourself of handing out 50 or more business cards per week. During an average week you come across many people, in line at the grocery store, the video store, gas station, on the street, or at the bank. Just ask people if you can give them a card, and ask them to share it with someone they know who may be able to benefit from acupuncture. Also, place a business card in every bill and piece of mail that you send out. You never know. With 200 business cards a month it’s a great way to have your practice soar!
2) Send a letter of introduction. Send a letter of introduction to local chiropractors, personal injury lawyers, acupuncture practitioners, physical therapists and any other type of therapist you can think of. Include a short bio of yourself, the type of care you provide and the fact that you want to network with them. Let them know that you are interested in what they do and you would love to send some people their way. Ask them out to lunch or tea. Attempt to mail out at least 50 introduction letters a month and don’t forget to include a follow up date when you will call them to make sure they received your letter and to see if they have any questions. Remember to place business cards inside!
3) Get active! Become known in your community as a wonderful volunteer. Help out your local food bank, nonprofit organization, homeless shelter, senior center, etc. Let your community know that you have a willing and caring heart and want to give back to them! You can even use this in a press release.
4) Talk it up! Conduct a monthly or bimonthly health talk. This is a great way to get people in and really interact with them. Advertise this to your existing and inactive clients. Tell them to bring a friend, and let them know that if they bring 3 people, you will give them a surprise, or maybe even a free treatment! If you can’t do this at your treatment space, try the public library, a yoga studio, or dance studio. Make the talks free.
5) Don’t like to talk? Join Toastmasters International. This is the best tool any person can use, especially if they are in private practice. It will provide you with the confidence, experience and organization needed in order to give an effective and possibly powerful talk! You may even get a few clients out of it.
6) Join your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary club. These are local people who are all working and living in your community and their purpose is to support and help people in the community. If you practice there, they may help to grow your practice with referrals.
7) Send a letter to your “good” active clients. In it tell them that you value their presence in your clinic and would love to fill your schedule with people just like them! They probably have friends like them, so include 3 certificates that will entitle the bearer to a free consultation and possibly a treatment. (If that’s what you want to offer) Suggest to this client that if they hand out ALL 3 certificates, they will receive a free treatment.
8) Keep in touch. Send out monthly birthday postcards to your active AND inactive patients. It feels good when someone remembers your birthday. They will be surprised and happy to receive a birthday blessing from you.
9) Attend local street fairs. You can rent a booth and display information and perform services, or you can stand on the corner and hand out flyers and business cards. Better yet, hire a student to hand them out for you.
10) Keep in touch through snail mail. Send monthly newsletters, “time for a tune-up” postcard, letter of introduction, or an article you just published in your local paper, online blog or other publication.
11) Send them email. If you collect email addresses on your intake form, send them a weekly or monthly “hello.” This can consist of what is happening at your clinic and what you have been doing in practice, i.e. What classes you are taking to improve your skills, or what events you may be sponsoring or speaking at. This is also a great way to send “tune-up” reminders. If you have your own web page, don’t forget to include your web address in your email.
12) Community service through reduced fees. Offer a discount or your services free-of-charge once a month to seniors, students or people with a low income. Don’t forget to send a press release to your local paper when you do so. It’s free publicity AND you will get more people coming in.
13) Personally call each new client after the initial visit. It will let them know that you truly care for them and it will give you the opportunity to answer any questions or concerns that have come up for them. Not too many other healthcare practitioners do this, you will surely stand out in their eyes and hearts.
14) Gift them! Send your clients an inexpensive gift a magazine subscription (to a health oriented magazine) mug, gift cards, magnet or something that lets them know that you are thankful for them referring new patients to you. You don’t have to do it with EVERY referral, but maybe after they send in two or three new patients.
15) Get pads. Print up inexpensive scratch pads with your name, address and phone number on it. You can even include inspiring quotes. Everyone needs a scrap piece of paper sooner or later.
16) Survey Says. If you are about to open up a new clinic, prior to doing so, conduct a “medical” survey at the nearest supermarket, jumbo store, co-op, etc. In your survey ask the participants to fill out five simple questions: Do you have any medical problems? Have you ever had a professional massage? What kind of healthcare have you received in the past year? Would you go to massage therapist to receive care if you knew it would help? Don’t forget to have a place for their name, address, phone number and email address. Just before you open your doors, invite them to your “Open House” debut party! You’ll be able to open your doors with people just waiting to come in.
Well, that does it!
A few simple tips that you can employ in your practice ASAP! Anyone of them can generate a new patient and/or activate old patients.