By now, your patients have known for a while that they need help and your great marketing got them to pay attention to you. Your great offer got them to identify themselves to you when they requested your information, but THEY DECIDED TO CALL YOU AFTER YOU KEPT COMMUNICATING WITH THEM OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. This is the key to excellent marketing; this is where the rubber meets the road - the conversion from prospect to client/patient/customer.

Most of the professionals I know miss this point and I don't blame them. We can easily relate to the message that we need to change our advertising to focus on our market and not ourselves. We know what a website is and what books are (many of us have actually read a couple). But when we add the vital next step of having those leads automatically entered into a marketing database - Not the client or patient record keeping software professionals use that don't have any real marketing capability (they weren't designed for it -it's not their fault) - and we have a process by which we regularly communicate with this new prospect and offer them help, evidence, and education over an extended period of time, that is where the very real and very serious returns for our marketing dollars begin to add up.

I think most professionals don’t take this last step and follow through for several reasons:

1.    It's complicated. It is. To do this well, many (I recommend at least 18) steps must be loaded into the marketing database and delivered twice a month to the prospect. They must be a combination of offline (letters, postcards, Recorded CD's, newletters etc) and online (emails, newsletters, etc). Most professionals look at this project and realize that it's a lot of copy writing and the copy has to be very very good in order to work.

2.    Lack of Patience. Great marketing takes the long view -it takes time and effort to build a significant pipeline of potential patients.  People procrastinate before coming in to see you. Make sure you are the last person they've "spoken" to before they make the appointment.

How Many Patients are You Leaving Behind simply because you didn't follow up?

The cost to your practice can be enormous.

Continuing to spend time and money to develop new leads, to send them your book, or your shock and awe package and to then abandon them before they convert is a critical mistake and can cost you thousands (hundreds of thousands) of dollars over time.

As your conversion rates climb your Return on Your Investment (ROI) begins to climb higher and higher. The results we've seen show that those firms that don't follow up convert at one fourth the percentage that firms that do. That is serious money and no matter how complicated a process is to implement it is VITAL that it is in place.

Rem Jackson
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Founder and CEO of Top Practices, LLC
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