Every practitioner wants to grow their practice, whether growing refers to the number of patients or to their total revenue. One way to accomplish the latter is to find ways to attract high value patients to your practice. That might seem like a tricky proposition, but it doesn’t have to be.
The benefit of attracting high value patients goes back to a marketing theory known as the Pareto Principle. What it says is that, in any endeavor, 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort you make. In terms of a medical practice, that means that approximately 80% of your revenue comes from only 20% of your patients. The key, then, is to attract more patients who resemble the 20%. There are some simple things you can do to accomplish that goal.
- Identify and profile the 20%
The first step is to review your patients and do some analysis to identify the patients who earn you the most profit. What do they have in common? Some of the things to look for include:
- Marital status
- Family size
- Income level
- Geographical area
- Services purchased
When you have a clear idea of what the commonalities of your high value patients are, you can figure out ways to target them with your marketing.
- Think about your branding
If you want to attract more high value patients, you need to think about what brand messages those patients want to hear. For some practitioners, that might mean using words such as “concierge medical treatment” or “high-end equipment.” Certain patients are going to want to see terminology in your marketing that reflects exclusivity. One way to accomplish that might be to tier the pricing of your services. A gold-level of service, or a concierge level, could go a long way toward attracting the high value patients you want to have.
Whatever words or tactics you decide to use, they should be reflected in all of your marketing, including printed materials, social media posts, and even the way you talk about your services with patients when they’re in your office.
- Get your website in line with your message
The next step is to make sure that your online presence is integrated with your new message, especially your website. A slap-dash website that you threw together in an afternoon isn’t going to be enough to attract the patients you want to have. The language that you use in your marketing materials must also be on your website. Also, your website needs to be mobile adaptive and very easy to use. Customers who are looking for a high-end experience won’t be very patient if your site is slow to load or has any technical issues. Make sure that you iron out any wrinkles in the technology so that new patients can have a smooth experience when they visit your site for the first time.
You will want to make sure that your website is optimized for the best keywords for the patients you are trying to attract. Patients who want a sense of exclusivity will include the words and phrases that indicate it when they search. Doing some keyword research is a good idea. Google AdWords has a free Keyword Planner available to anybody who has a Gmail account, and it’s a good place to get started.
- Review your services
What services do you offer that are likely to appeal to high value patients? Is there a way you can package and promote them that will make it easy for people to choose your practice over others in the area? One of the keys to attracting profitable patients is to offer them the things they desire. One option is called concierge medical service. Instead of having patients pay you by the service, concierge practitioners put patients on a retainer. In return for paying an annual (or monthly) fee, they get certain amenities, such as same-day appointments and 24-hour access to you if they need you.
Offering such services comes at a price to you, because you will have to provide a very high level of service and availability in return. However, the chances are good that few patients will avail themselves of the opportunity to call you in the middle of the night. Like everything else, it’s a trade-off. If you want those high value patients, you have to offer them something that they will value.
- Come up with a smart marketing strategy
After you have figured out which patients you want to attract and what you want to offer them, the final step is to come up with a marketing strategy that will allow you to reach those patients easily. Here are some of the things to consider:
- Identify the best social media sites to use to reach those patients, and come up with a content creation plan that will speak to their needs and wants. For example, Pinterest users tend to be women, and they also tend to be fairly affluent. If you want to target patients there, you will have to come up with compelling images to use.
- Target your advertising to those patients. If you’ve been running ads on Facebook, you may need to set up a new campaign to reach those high value patients. You can use the demographic information you discovered when you evaluated your patients as a starting place.
- Segment your mailing list. If you have an email list with whom you communicate regularly, separate your high value patients from the rest and come up with a new series of emails that will sell them on your high-dollar services.
- Encourage patient referrals. If you start by offering high-dollar services to a select group of patients and let them know that you will accept new patients via referral, it’s a good way to emphasize the exclusivity of what you are offering – and a cost-free way to get new patients in the door.
The key to attracting high value patients is to come up with the value first, and then go after the patients. The value of what you are offering must be solid and undeniable, and that means that every aspect of your practice has to reflect it, including outsourced services such as collections and answering services. If you have those things in place, attracting high value patients will be easy.