If your clinic does not have a clearly defined sales process you’re not alone. Sales or new patient acquisition is an important part of a Practice Managers role but one that often slips down the to-do-list with the large workload and constant fire fighting needed.
For your clinic blog to be operating as a sales tool, you need to be attracting visitors to your blog, converting them into leads and then closing them into patients. The good news for you as a busy Practice Manager is that this whole process can be automated and once set up will operate by itself, attracting new visitors, converting them into leads and closing them into new paying patients for your clinic.
Depending on your clinic and the service or product you are selling, your clinic should at the minimum be completing two thirds or 66% of the sales process on your website.
While your blog or website can do this whole process, we often find clinics have the most “sales processes” in place once a lead has been identified. That is, they are used to answering a phone enquiry or greeting a walk in and moving that person through to a consultation using the clinic sales tools (brochure, FAQ sheet etc). This is great, but if you want to be more than reactive in your sales efforts, we will tell you the theory behind a great sales process in this article.
A sales process is a clearly defined approach to selling a service or product.
Why does our clinic need a sales process?
The reason every business needs clearly defined sales processes is to make your clinic better at selling. When we talk about selling, we are talking about converting more potential customers into leads and those leads into paying customers.
The majority of clinics do not know how they convert the majority of patients, it just happens. If your current sales process requires potential patients to discover you and then relies on them calling your clinic for more information, then defining your sales process is a must for 2015.
The benefits of clearly defining your sales process
If you can write down every step of your sales process for each marketing channel, there are multiple benefits of doing this. Like everything, once a process is down on paper you can review, improve and set goals and measure success from this information. The ultimate goal is to have your sales process written down, refined and so accurate that you can forecast your next quarter’s sales figures from this process or model.
A major benefit of having a process so well defined like this is you can easily work out your return on investment in a certain marketing channel. Now we are starting to look at your clinic’s medical marketing activities like an investment rather than a cost. If I invest $10,000 in a marketing activity and I know the return on investment (ROI) for this channel is 6 times, then you should expect $60,000 in sales from this investment.
Where your clinic blog fits in your sales process
A clinic blog has the potential to do 66%+ of your sales process. But this is just the start; it actually has the potential of automating 66%+ of your sales process. Let’s look at how.
Creating a high performing clinic blog is the first step and we show you how to do this in the free eBook you can download – Operating on your clinic blog. If your clinic does not currently have a blog then this is the first step is creating a source of traffic to your website or blog.
Once this source of traffic is created, you can then provide offers and pieces of educational content that are valuable enough for a visitor to give you their contact details and permission for you to market to them. You now have a lead and we speak about this part of the sales process in an article Clinic blog rule 3 – turn your visitor into a lead.
The next step in this sales process is to close a lead into a paying patient for your clinic. While this step is not technically on your clinic blog, it can be completed very effectively through your website, or you might choose that you want to get some human interaction into the process.
In this case, we suggest including what we call a ‘middle of the (sales) funnel’ offer. This could be an offer of a free phone consultation with a clinician or surgeon that would qualify the lead into a sales qualified lead. Once qualified, you can then book a face-to-face consultation to maximise the time of your surgeon or doctor.
So that completes this informative article on where your clinic blog fits into your sales process. One question we always get asked when we are talking to or presenting to clinics is; ‘Where do referrals fit into this sales process?’ Patient referrals can fit in at multiple levels depending on the level of referral.
If your clinic provides information to current patients to share with friends and family this could be educational blog articles for example, then this referral could enter the sales process as a visitor to your blog.
If your clinic provides specific content offers or information to your customers then this referral could enter your sales process as a lead. If it is a referral that is further down to funnel you could enter a referral into the process at a phone consultation or face-to-face (referral entering as a sales qualified lead).