The Lowdown on Grassroots Marketing for your Practice
Practices always want to learn ways to get more leads. Marketing is essential for doing that. But there is more to marketing than just placing advertisements here and there. Marketing is also how your internal personnel interact with patients: you want to make sure you are giving every patient the best experience so they tell others about you.
Marketing also extends beyond your practice, to your community. This is what we call Elective Surgery Grassroots Marketing. It involves that ‘boots on the ground’ type of marketing, spreading the word about your practice by:
- Attending events
- Having booths at health fairs
- Setting up corporate accounts
- Talking to different industries (teachers, fire fighters, police, etc.)
- Connecting with mom & pop shops
This can be very effective with the right elements in place, just like any marketing.
4 Essential Aspects of Elective Surgery Grassroots Marketing
To succeed with Grassroots Marketing you need 4 things:
- A plan
- Collateral materials
- Follow-up plan
Put together a plan to conquer. You won’t be successful if one of your team members just goes out one day to visit companies.
Consider the big picture:
- What are they going to say when they get there?
- What are the potential objections they will have to work against?
- Will they have any type of collateral to show and leave?
Think of Grassroots Marketing as if you were building your business or putting together a marketing plan. Have everything in place:
- Calls that need to occur prior to the visits
- Collateral that you will need
- Hours/days you will be out in the field
- What you are going to say to get them to sign up or allow you to place your materials
- How you are going to capture leads
- How/when you are going to follow-up
The first thing to think about when you are considering Grassroots Marketing is staffing: who is going to call, visit, etc. Some may think that using an existing staff member is a good idea. And you would be right if they have sufficient time to do it. If they are already overloaded, or if they are going to have to work overtime to take on this role, look elsewhere. You can easily lose great personnel by overworking them or assigning them a new task they do not enjoy. It might be worthwhile to hire someone specifically for this role.
So, what do you look for when searching for this individual? You want someone who is warm, friendly and has a great personality. They must be confident and believe in what you do. They will need to know about your clinic and your procedures – enough so to have their ‘expert’ hat on and be able to answer questions.
Collateral & Targets for Elective Surgery Grassroots Marketing
There are a few different types of targets to consider when looking at Grassroots Marketing.
In most successful cases, you will pay to have a table or booth at an event. This could be triathlons, boat shows, cooking competitions, etc.: anywhere you can capture the attention of prospective clients.
Depending on the type of event, you will most likely need a table cloth and banner. The banner itself can be one that stands behind or beside your table or you can get a table top one. Both should look professional and have minimal content. The average individual has an attention span of 8 seconds so you don’t want to clutter up your space: keep it simple. You will also need some brochures or flyers that give the audience more information on who you are, what you do and why they should choose you.
Health Fairs/Corporate Accounts
We lump these together because sometimes you will be able to attend a health fair for a corporation you have an account set up with. Health fairs typically are put on by larger corporations. They bring together companies from various industries that could potentially offer services to their employees. In corporate accounts, you may work with the HR department to include your services in the employee benefits package. This is great for corporations because it is an added employee benefit for no cost. However, it can be tricky to break into some of these corporations.
When you are putting together your Corporate Account Benefits Package, you need to determine what corporate discount you would be willing to offer the employees. This might be a savings on eye exams, optical, LASIK, cosmetic surgery, non-invasive procedures, etc.: 20-30% off your original price is a good number. The corporate discount must be more than you normally would offer in an ad and a bit more than insurance discounts. You are giving these individuals a reason to choose you over another doctor.
Industry Partners/ Mom & Pop Shops
Look at your community and segment it into industries: teachers, bankers, fire fighters, EMTs, police, healthcare workers, etc. The list goes on and on and on. Every single business and industry in your community could (and should) be referral sources for your practice. When visiting them, you need to have flyers that are customized to them and the benefits you can showcase. Each one of these will change based on what they are allowing you to do.
Typically you will always have a flyer giving the briefs about your practice, procedures, benefits of why they would choose you and a way to reach out. Some will allow you to put your information in their break room or on their benefits section of their website. You may even be able to go in and do a lunch-n-learn. Every situation will be different. However, there is a constant here: you need to customize the flyer and other materials to them. For example, if you are targeting teachers you might do a flyer like the one below:
Regardless of the type of event you are going to, you need to have a way to capture lead information. We aren’t talking about pen and paper but rather inform them/convince them as to why would they openly give you their contact information. Give them a reason. Perhaps you are giving away something for free or a discount on the procedure. Whatever it is, it needs to be something worthwhile enough for them to give you their info.
You are going to generate a substantial amount of leads if you are doing grassroots consistently. Those leads deserve the same follow-up as if they came through your website or called your practice. Follow-up calls and emails are essential. Most of your calls are going to go to voicemail and that’s okay. What you are doing is creating a personal bond with that individual. This allows your practice to be continue to be at the forefront of their mind for when the time is right for them to schedule. Since most of your calls are going unanswered, it is important to incorporate emails into your plan. You should consider a drip email system for this, one that will automatically send out the emails at specific time intervals. Have something unique to say in each email and voicemail. Address a particular objection if you can. And most importantly, make it easy for them to take another step into your practice.
In this business, it all comes down to your cost-per-lead and return-on-investment. This new network you have built can dramatically widen your sales funnel. But, you have to have a diligent follow-up system in place in order to move these leads to surgery.
Elective Surgery Grassroots Marketing can be fruitful for your practice if you have the right systems in place. Remember, to be successful you need 4 things: a plan, staff, collateral materials and a follow-up plan.
Contact Fast Track Marketing if you need guidance or assistance in any way: 303-731-2634.