For those clients who are looking for new ways to use their patient education guides, we have created a new letter series with targeted promotional offers. The letters are sent out as cover note with the Guides, and the promotional offer cards are included. You personalize and print the letters on demand, insert the Guides with promo cards. PTRM subscribers have access to these new concepts now. For more information, send an email to info@PTreferralMachine.com.
We say all the time that good healthcare marketing requires more educational content, and less of the brag-and-boast “we have great experience, get good results, and care about you” brand-building. Our subscribers seem to understand the difference, but understanding it and executing it as a marketing strategy are two entirely different things.
The big institutions and most marketing consultants have a tough time looking past their logo and cute tag line long enough to provide consumers with anything of substance, and it is the small independent practitioner who can take full advantage of this.
Today Dr. Yoav Suprun shares another strategic marketing success story from the trenches built from good educational content. We hope you enjoy it, and for more ideas you can use immediately to market your practice, we invite you to share 60 minutes with one of our senior consultants on a webinar where you will see live concepts and the results they have produced. See the webinar schedule here.
Thanks for reading, and thank you Dr Suprun.
David C Steinberg
The PT Referral Machine
Simple Strategy Helps Change Referral Patterns
By Dr. Yoav Suprun, DPT, Dip. MDT,CSCS
Tired of chasing doctors in your area for business? Four years ago, I decided something needed to change. Doctors must learn about MDT from their patients via word of mouth. Since opening my clinic in Miami Beach (www.sobespine.com), I chose to focus on marketing to patients and teach them about MDT. Can you do this without spending money? Sure you can!
How do you get your patients to tell their doctor “ I want to see that McKenzie practitioner because I think my problem is mechanical”, well, it starts with “Educational marketing”. Teach the possibilities of where aches and pains may come from and they will often want to know more. The language of MDT makes sense to people. They can relate to it because the majority of aches and pains have a mechanical component.
Coffee shops, a local gym, church sponsored events, farmers markets, bonus affairs for company employees are a great start. In my case, I chose a coffee shop 2 blocks from my office inside “Whole foods”. I posted a sign on their free corkboard titled: “The truth about lower back pain and Sciatica”. “You are invited to join a physical therapist for a free educational breakfast lecture. Learn about common causes and a method that teaches you SELF treatment for back pain and Sciatica”.
On a Friday morning, three people came to my first talk. We each had breakfast while sitting around my laptop. We were discussing mechanical LBP and sciatica. I had with me a PowerPoint presentation, 3 different spine models, a lumbar roll, Robin McKenzie’s “Treat your own back” book and Dr. Donelson’s book “Rapidly reversible lower back pain”.
The coffee shop is located just in front of the registers so people looked at us sitting around my laptop and 4 more joined the conversation. I handed my business cards to prospects and got office bookings and one home care. The following week I had 8 people waiting including the sister of a guy that came to my first talk. She came to see me for neck pain (“I have good and bad days. I saw a chiropractor which helped but it keeps coming back..”).
After resolving her problem in a couple of visits, she was so thankful that she called her physician who is also a friend as well as connected me to a local gym where she is a member. I treated her physician and as a result, I have now 2 doctors (his partner is on board as well) who refer to me although I never marketed directly to his office. Also, I gave a talk to the trainers who started referring clients to me and see me as the “go to” person. I became the Gym’s “mechanic” as I am helping the trainers keep their clients from taking time off due to injury. Exercise program that is built on Mechanically determined directional preference (MDDP) has been proven in the literature to be appropriate (Long et al “Spine” 2004 Dec 1;29(23):2593-602.)
The breakfast talks continue to generate business. Last month I gave a talk to a forum of business women at a local bank that also wanted to know more about the true causes and self treatment options for lower back pains. Other enticing titles are “Pain in the neck?”, “Is your workout making you worse?”, and “Tips and tricks for healthy living”. When the curiosity of the listeners turns on and they start asking questions pertaining to their own problem, I always say, “I owe you a good and solid evaluation which we can’t obviously do here…”
Word of mouth works BEST. However, you must do what is right by the patient and not sell them the old and tired story of “You need to see me 3x a week for 4-6 weeks”.
Important tip – even if one person shows up, you never know how that person can boost your business. Keep pursuing education of the public and they will come. Search in your area for a good opportunity to give even once a month free talk and see what will happen to your business. I am sure you will be surprised.
Dr. Yoav Suprun is the owner of “SoBe Spine, PA” in Miami Beach (www.sobespine.com), He is the producer of Robin McKenzie’s new DVD “Treat your own back © 2012” (www.optp.com), a probationary faculty with the McKenzie Institute International (US branch), a McKenzie physical therapist at Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach (www.canyonranch.com), and an adjunct faculty in Florida International University (FIU) DPT program.
Questions or comments on the article above? Post them on our blog here: PTRMblog.com “From The Trenches”. We’d love to hear from you directly- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 774-255-1125 in the US or 403-510-7051 in Canada.
This may sound obvious, but take a minute and think about what this really means. From a physician’s standpoint, something “good” probably means how you help solve their problems. For example, if your letters talk about how much experience you have, happy patient testimonials, and your convenient location with flexible hours, do you think physicians will draw the conclusion that you solve a problem for them in a way other physical therapists do not? Do you think these letters will do the job you want to help separate you from your competition? We don’t think so, and this is what we mean when we say, first, find something good to say.
If you are watching this summer’s Olympic coverage, no doubt you have heard about the latest swimsuit controversy. Some say many swimmers wearing the new Speedo LZR Racer have an unfair advantage. Many credible experts say the LZR Racer reduces drag by 4%. This means that swimmers without the latest Speedo would be at a clear competitive disadvantage.
What a great position for Speedo to be in. Hundreds of millions of viewers all over the world will quickly learn why Speedo is “the best,” REALLY. They will hear about specific things like NASA testing, bouyancy, ultrasonic seems rather than the old stitched seems, and the records being set by those wearing the suit. The New Speedo suit technology is so important that Michael Phelps has four different designs – each one for a specific race. Viewers will also read and hear about other big names like Nike scrambling to find an answer. Can you imagine being Nike, the sponsor of the US swim team, who has to sit by and watch their marketing dollars go down the drain as their suits get pushed aside for the superior Speedo? YIKES! This is reminiscent of Tiger Woods a couple of years ago when he publicly complained that his Nike driver was holding him back. Remember?
Olympic swimmers going for Gold and physical therapists looking to win in business have the same opportunities to pick the strategic partners with the best solutions. If you swim and want to remain competitive, and you hear about an innovation that changes the game, like the Speedo, you want to be in on that. Agreed?
Well The PT Referral Machine (PTRM) is an innovation. Unlike anything you may have tried before like training programs and seminars that send you home with a 3-ring binder full of stuff you’ll never use, PTRM actually runs professionally managed marketing operations for you. We actually implement Fortune 500-style marketing operations in your business on a small business budget. It’s like a Speedo, you get it fit, and you’re ready for your race. PTRM provides websites, patient relations manager (CRM), patient guides, direct mail programs, physician letters, results tracking and ROI analysis, graphic design, copy writing, and executive-level management – all for one affordable monthly fee. PTRM is not for the average PT who just “swims” for recreation; PTRM, like a Speedo, is for the serious competitor.
If you tend to be the type who sits back and waits to see how others do in the newest Speedo before you try one on for yourself, chances are you’ll always be one of the last in the race. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand being the one always a lap behind. Finishing with the winners is a lot more fun, don’t you think?