• What’s YOUR Marketing Budget for 2014?



    Welcome everybody to this episode of the Private Practice Business Academy. This is your host, Dr. Joe Simon. On the phone with me today is Neil Trickket. I hope I didn’t butcher your name, Neil. Neil is a practice marketing expert for physical therapy and chiropractic, and Neil is going to share some golden nuggets with us today. Neil, I just gave a quick introduction. Share what you do with the audience and introduce yourself.

    Neil: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me on the show here, Dr. Joe Simon. I appreciate you taking the time. Just a little bit about myself, I’m actually a physical therapist, and was a private practice owner for eight years. I had a clinic down in West Palm Beach, Florida area. Filled that up with some successful marketing actions and then decided to play a bigger game helping other practices nationwide. So actually sold my practice in 2010 and founded Practice Promotions, which is a marketing company for physical therapy and chiropractic offices. And now, in just three years, have been able to grow to a point where we’re sending out 1.5 million promotional pieces for practices nationwide and also in Canada. So we’re having a lot of fun helping a lot of people get to the right kind of care.

    Dr. Simon: Awesome stuff, Neil. So you touched base on a couple of things that I want to cover. So you are a physical therapist, I apologize, a doctor of physical therapy, I apologize I did not get on that, but real quick, you said you sold your practice in 2010. How long did you have the practice?

    Neil: Eight years.

    Dr. Simon: Eight years. Okay. What made you decide to sell?

    Neil: Well, one of the things that we used to do in our practice was we did all kinds of different marketing activities. Newsletters, we were trying to get referrals from doctors, trying to make sure that we had great word of mouth. So we developed a lot of good tools that we would use for marketing. We did direct mail. We did websites and e-mail and all kinds of different things there. And when I would go to conferences, people were really interested in what we were doing. And it really just put that thought in my head that there’s not a lot out there for physical therapy and chiropractic in terms of help for marketing a practice and doing it the right way. So I said, hey there’s a lot of opportunity here where I can help a lot more people. So that’s why I decided to expand and play that bigger game.

    Dr. Simon: And Neil, we’re basically in the same boat ourselves. I still own the practices and I partner up with a bunch of practices, but I still have my foot in the door kind of. But obviously, I have a passion for marketing and sales, so that was my reason why I jumped into this arena, and I’ve done it for many experts from dental to chiropractic and acupuncturists. But the physical therapists as well, and it’s true, when you go to a, you know it could be a APA sponsored event, it could be just a workshop, and it’s amazing how and this is not just physical therapists, this is physicians and doctors across the board, the business strategies and the marketing strategies, all that you listed from the newsletters to the direct mail pieces.
    And we’re going to touch base on that so the listeners, just in case if they don’t know what that is, we’ll go over that as well. But they’re lost with it, you know. They’re lost or they didn’t know. And most to this day still are hoping that if they hang their sign up that someone will just find them, or if they’re in- network with an insurance company, people will find them that way and they’ll just take whatever the contracted rate.
    So, I mean, it’s become obviously I see a calling for you for the last couple of years, as well as myself. That’s why I wanted to get you on the show, because I figured you’ve done something that a lot of practices are doing right now. And I want to, we’ll go over this first before we get into the marketing strategies, but you sold your practice. And what was that process like? Because we’re getting a lot of, a lot of people are approaching myself and a couple of different advisors that I’ve interviewed and they’re basically asking about selling their practice. And I understand there’s a fear involved at this point in time. But what was the process like for selling your practice?

    Neil: Yeah, it’s one of those things that unless you’ve actually done it, it is a bit of an eye opener. It, you have to go into it with the expectation that it’s going to take some time. It’s not one of those things that just happen overnight. And one of the big things is really looking at your practice from an outside point of view from a buyer. And what is the value of your practice? So that’s one of the key things to really look at when selling your practice is, how am I going to make this the best value for someone?
    And of course, at the end of the day that means a greater sale price. So from that point of view it’s like, how stable is your referral base? Do you have a good base of past patients that are consistently coming back for care? Not just the overall numbers, but like insurance contracts are very important too and organization having it so that the practice can run without you, ideally. So those are a lot of things that buyers look for, so just going into that process with that mindset really helps you stay in control of the sale process.
    And at the end of the day, it’s really an agreement between you and the buyer. So, there are a lot of other parties involved, such as accountants and attorneys, but it’s very important not to let those guys take control, and for you to stay in control the whole time and use those as advisors to your agreement between that other person, other party.

    Dr. Simon: Great advice, Neil. That is absolutely great advice. I’ve sold practices in the past and you’re absolutely right. The first one I did actually, I don’t want to call it a mistake, but I just went with too much of what the attorney was saying and not with my gut feeling. And I try to advise people at this point in time that it’s between yourself and the buyer.
    And you brought up some great points. You said, the value of your practice, you have to look at it from the outside in. And obviously, a lot of people, including yourself and including myself, we look at our practice as our baby. And we want to, we overvalue it at times. We say this practice is worth so much more, but when you look at the books we’re like, wow it’s only worth so much.
    There have been some rumors that have been going around, and I’m going to call them rumors because I have not seen actual numbers, that folks are getting four to five times worth their practice. I don’t know if that’s true. The actual number I’ve seen is one and a half times. Do you want to comment on that?

    Neil: Yeah. I think that’s valid. Again, there’s varying factors to that. There are things that are called intangibles, right? So it’s not just what is in the tax return. It’s the insurance contracts or certain network things that have been developed relationship-wise over years that add value to it. Typically I think that a good rule of thumb is going to be one and a half to two times net.

    Dr. Simon: Great advice. Great advice, Neil. So that’s what we’re dealing with right now. A lot of practices, they think it’s, they’re having a tough time right now with everything that’s changing with the Obamacare and everything that’s happening. A lot of practices, especially the in-network providers and, I wouldn’t say too many out of network providers, but a lot of the in-network providers are a little bit, a little more frightened. And in general the bigger practices that have been functioning for so long with a huge staff and a huge overhead are getting a little bit worried at this point and time, so they’re looking for solutions.

    Neil: Yeah. Well one of the things that I definitely want to convey to your listeners that I see is that there is a lot of change going. And you have to adapt to change. And one of the important things to really look at is not to be the effect of all that’s going on, because in most states, patients can still come to you and pay cash. So if you have the knowledge of good marketing and creating such a value in your services, and servicing and getting incredible results with people, I’ve definitely known many practices that are cash only, and are doing great. So the insurance-based [cash], but you can be in more control and not be so fearful of all the changes that are happening, and, like I said ultimately just be in control of them.

    Dr. Simon: Okay. So I’m going to give you a real life thing, because it’s easy for yourself and I to say this because we’ve obviously studied marketing. We’ve studied sales and we enjoy this. Now your average practice owner and the average person that’s listening to this, may they be a dentist, a physical therapist, or a chiropractor, they haven’t studied sales and marketing. They’ve studies their craft. They’ve studied clinical skills and gotten better at their clinical skills, right? So they’re a better clinician or diagnostician. They’re better at that, but you know what, they can’t close a sale. They can’t figure out a way to tell that patient, okay I need you to pay cash for these services. And sometimes they undervalue their services.
    So like I said, it’s easy for us to say, but how can we express this to our listeners? So let’s touch base on a few things that we started off with? And we’re going to go through each of the things where time permits. And your time is valuable, so we’re going to try to hit every piece that we can for marketing strategies. Let’s start with direct mail. Actually you know what, before we start with direct mail, what do you think is the best method or best platform right now for marketing a practice today?

    Neil: Absolutely. Just one quick thing before we touch on that, and that is I was horrible at marketing and I was horrible at running a business when I first started my practice. And, as many practice owners to, we go through the school of hard- knocks. But one of the key investments is really in yourself, in your own training. And I did a lot of training over the years in business, because I had that realization and a good friend told me too that we don’t get any business training in school. We’re medically trained. You’re not a medical practitioner when you start to open your own practice. You’re an entrepreneur. So you have to learn, just as you would when you’re first treating a patient, all the skills that go behind running a business. So that’s why it’s very important to invest in yourself and get yourself trained on business knowledge, so that you can be in better control of your practice.

    Dr. Simon: Which we will, we will throw those resources out throughout the show and I will make sure we have those links to all those resources. And we’re going to make sure that some of the books that you’ve read and you’ve studied, we’re going to make sure we link those referral sources so people could . . . And you’re absolutely right it’s always a good idea that you do your own work. You have to do your own homework, you know. Obviously if you hire somebody to do it, that’s great. But I always said, the more you know, the better relationship you would have from the person you hired. So, back to the initial question, which method right now is working for the practices that you work with or in general? What do you think?

    Neil: Yeah, absolutely. When it comes to marketing and running the practice, there’s three things that a practice center really has to focus on. And that’s one, getting new patients in the door. Organizing and delivering exceptional results and then getting paid for the services at a good rate. And most practice owners do fail on getting new patients. They want new patients, but they just don’t know how to get it. The first step is really getting to survey your current patients and doctors, so that you truly understand what they want.
    And from that, what most practice owners have a good understanding of is the biggest barrier to marketing is that their profession is known, but not well understood. For example, with physical therapy, if you ask someone on the street, “what is physical therapy or have you heard of it?” They would say, “Yes, I’ve heard of physical therapy.” But if you asked them to explain it, physical therapy or chiropractic, they would say “well, I don’t really know what they do.”
    So that’s one of the key things going into marketing that will really change the results. Going from hey I’m better than the practice down the street to this is how I can solve your problem. So that’s a fundamental thing, no matter what you’re going to use, e-mail, direct mail, website. Just going from that frame of mind is going to make a big difference in your results.
    And one of the key things that I’ve definitely looked at from my experience is planning and setting goals. So you have to ask yourself, how many hours a week am I planning my marketing? How much a month am I planning my marketing? And again, if you ask the average practice owner, this is very, very limited amount. It’s something that they’re not confronting, or afraid to confront, or just don’t know how. And so they’re not putting down on paper how am I going to reach this goal with my marketing activities.
    And so, with the planning of your marketing activities, whether it’s going to be online, offline, all of those kinds of things, is going to be the right estimation of what it’s going to take to hit that goal. So I want my practice to grow from 100 patient visits a week to 200 patient visits a week this year. Well, how am I going to do that and what’s it going to take to get there? So, do I have the right budget? Do I have the right amount of personnel? Who am I going to use to help me hit those targets?

    And one thing that I’ve come across over the years is that many practice owners want the new patients, but they really don’t budget very well to achieve that. Ideally, a practice should be investing about eight to ten percent of their gross income towards marketing activities. Yet we tend to find that most practice owners are actually spending two and half percent. And maybe they’re growing a little bit. Or they’re kind of rollercoastering with a good month, a bad month. But they don’t really have the amount of investment towards their marketing where they’re actually going to get a good, sustained growth and have a good flow of patients coming in from that.

    Dr. Simon: Absolutely.

    Neil: I don’t know if that’s something that you’ve come across too.

    Dr. Simon: Absolutely. You made a great point there. Most practice owners that I’ve come across, obviously there are good months and bad months, depending, depending on where they are, where they’re located. Sometimes, and I’ve seen changes throughout the country and in Canada as well where sometimes a practice would follow the school year. Where they’re super busy during the fall and spring, and then in the summer and basically the holiday season, they are dead. And at that point, that’s when they start thinking about what do I do now? What do I do now? And then obviously stress levels increase, and they start looking for solutions at that point.
    And sometimes we build through that. And I’ve done this in practices that I’ve partnered with, and said okay, let’s prepare for the slow season and start building our marketing now, which is a great solution, so you kind of flat line it. You don’t go for that giant dip in your budget during the slow months. So that’s one angle to go with.
    Eight to ten percent in gross income. Good number. I like it. Some, it’s hard for a business owner to fathom that at this point, because if a business is generating, let’s throw a round number out there, 500,000 gross revenue for the year, for them to spend that kind of money right off the bat, they’re like, you know what that might be too much. Or they don’t see it.
    And you said having goals is great. I would also like to add in, know your numbers. Know your stats of your business, you know. That’s so important as well. Let’s get back to marketing strategies as well, which I think goals are super important and budgeting out the personnel. So do you find that personnel make a huge factor in a marketing campaign when the business owner is running the marketing campaign?

    Neil: They do. And it’s important to realize that if you have personnel going around, for example a big thing is, in the physical therapy industry, is having a marketing person go around to doctors’ offices because you’re trying to drum up those referrals. It’s important to realize that is actually a sales action. It’s not a marketing action. Marketing is to create want for your services, and sales is actually getting someone closed up and using your services. So when that person is going around, they’re actually a salesperson.
    So what you’re doing marketing wise helps support that salesperson. That salesperson has the right promotion materials to leave behind with them about leaving a good impression about your practice. Or there’s a direct mail happening, so that when the salesperson goes into the doctor’s office, the doctors or the nurse or the front desk has heard about that practice, and so it makes it very easy for that marketing or salesperson to have a good relationship.
    So ultimately when you’re looking for professional referrals from other professionals, physicians, things like that, it’s really a people relationship. And it’s a trust relationship. And so marketing helps facilitate that, but ultimately it’s really important to have someone. Obviously if you’re a small practice, it’s yourself when you can get out there. But ultimately when you get a little bit bigger, to have someone who is maintaining those personal relationships with all those offices. And then you just keep building on that. And that’s the way you can grow the new patients coming into your practice.

    Dr. Simon: I mean, Neil, that was a great, a golden nugget I would like to say. Our audience, I want to make sure they understand that. That there is an actual difference between marketing and sales. The average practice owner, when they are trying to find a “marketing person” to go to the doctor’s office, it’s not basically trying to find somebody that has a marketing degree, it’s basically someone that understands sales.
    And that’s a great piece of information you put out there, because the average person that you have, which could be, if it’s a small practice, it’s usually the practice owner. And if it’s a medium sized practice, they probably have a front desk associate going out as well. And obviously, bigger practices could afford to hire someone to do it, but we get this question all the time. Should I hire a marketing person? And the biggest problem that’s a catch-22. You could hire a marketing person, but does that marketing person understand sales? Because if they can’t close the doctor once they get to speak to the doctor, then going to the office, or buying lunch for that practice, and trust me I’m against buying lunch for practices and stuff, but you lose that whole opportunity.
    And the other thing I wanted to bring up, and this is what I was kind of touching on was the fact that even if you put a marketing piece together. It could be a direct mail piece or an Internet campaign, whatever it may be, if the phone calls come in, if the staff is not able to handle the phone calls to get them to sign up for whatever cash based program is running at that point, we’re going to lose a lot at that point. So what do you think is a great way to train staff on handling that? For us, we use scripts. What would you advise?

    Neil: Yeah, absolutely, using scripts and then drilling. Get two staff together and have one pretend to be the patient calling in, and how the other person would handle it. It seems a little silly at first, but it’s actually one of the best ways to actually get your front desk staff comfortable handling an actual sales call. Someone’s calling in, hey do you guys help this and can you tell me a little more about what you do. It’s actually a sales action. And again, that front desk person needs some of that sales training, some practice, on handling that so they get properly routed into your practice.

    Dr. Simon: So let’s throw some resources out there for the audience. What’s a resource that you’ve used yourself or you’ve coached some clients on and said, hey I think you should read this book? What’s a great sales book or a book right now, not just sales in general, but what do you think a great resource is that a practice owner could hand to his staff and say, hey read this over or check this out?

    Neil: Yeah, that’s a good one there. There’s definitely a lot of different sales books out there. I think that from a marketing standpoint, if someone looked at some of the books by [Ann Kennedy] and those people like her who are good writers. So on the marketing end they can get some good writing in there, because at the end of the day, that’s an important thing. And from a sales point of view, I think that . . .

    Dr. Simon: I don’t mean to put you on the spot. I know, there is a ton of stuff that is out there. I mean, there’s so much. Obviously someone could just Google it and there will be a bunch of stuff that just pops up. But I was just wondering if there was something that you liked the best, that’s all. And during the conversation if it comes back to you, please just blurt it out. Say hey, I was thinking about this one.

    Neil: Absolutely.

    Dr. Simon: You’re right. There are a lot of marketing guides out there as well. Gurus, as well, that teach a lot of stuff. Some stuff might be over their head, in general. But you have to start somewhere. And even having your staff start with something, some of the basic stuff in sales or sales 101 kind of books would really help, obviously. But let’s get back to . . .

    Neil: Yeah, I think the key is to just keep it simple. Keep it simple. And how would you handle someone, and usually this is where the practice owner has a lot of clinical experience, so they’re used to talking with a patient, and when they come in for an evaluation there’s actually a sales process going on there too because the person hasn’t really bought into the whole treatment plan yet.
    So part of what you do, you can easily write down, well this is what I’d say to a patient for convincing them to come in. And drill on that a little bit with the front desk. The main thing is asking them a lot of questions. Tell me a little bit about your back pain. Tell me a little bit about the difficulties that you’re having. Yeah, I totally understand what you’re going through there. We had a similar patient come in yesterday. Blah, blah, blah. Sometimes it’s just asking questions and the person gets to vent and then they see that they can talk to you easily and you’re a nice, personable person, and that usually gets people coming on it.

    Dr. Simon: Great point, Neil. That’s absolutely true. And most physical therapists, they shy away from the word sales. Or most physicians say, we’re not salesman, we’re clinicians. And it true, but when the patient does come in to you for the first time and it’s their initial evaluation, you basically are selling them on your service. Or if it’s a new program that you’re doing, you’re basically selling them on how you can get them better and what the time frame is on that, so absolutely correct.
    Let’s give out some information for the audience right now. What do you think the top three means of marketing? Let’s talk about the top three strategies right now if we were a client and we were coming to your business, and we said, hey Neil, we’re going to make up a scenario right now. We’re a mid-sized practice. We generate probably 500K a year in gross revenue. We have about four clinicians on staff. My number might be wrong on that. And we do a little in and out of network, and we are looking to supplement in network with a cash based program because we are obviously scared of what’s happening with in network right now. So we want to expand our out of network and cash based programs.
    Let’s talk about three strategies right now that someone could take away today and implement, and say, hey look, this sounds good. Let’s do it.

    Neil: Absolutely. Yeah. And this is something that I always say to any kind of practice owner, especially ones that are, if you’ve been in business over a year. The three key publics that you really need to go after is first and foremost, always your past patients and your current patients. Any good business is founded on a loyal customer base. So most practices actually do not communicate well with past patients, yet they have thousands of patients that they’ve serviced over the years that 50 percent or more should be coming back for care or referring someone else to their practice. So that’s a really easy market to tap into, is your past patients and getting them to come back in for care. Then of course with current patients, it’s who do they know that you can help, and getting them to refer others to your practice. Or even go back to their doctor and thank them for referring them to you. So that’s first and foremost, always your past and current patients.
    And then the second strategy is developing the professional referrals around you. So for a lot of practices that’s physician referrals, but that could also be attorneys, healthcare adjusters, worker’s comp adjusters, all kinds of different professional referrals that are available to them.
    And then finally, community marketing. And I always say it in that order, because a lot of practices do flip flop. They try so hard to get people from the community that have never heard of them before, are looking for different solutions for their back problem, but those people actually take the most amount of marketing. They’re going to take seven or eight times of actually seeing your name before doing something about it, whereas your past patients have had good experience with you before, and you’re just reminding them, hey if your back starts flaring up again, come on back in. So there’s a really easy way to turn up the notch on getting new patients in the door, just by doing that simple 1-2-3 strategy there.

    Dr. Simon: Great advice on that. Past patients is a great way to generate some quick revenue and get them in to a program, because they already know, like, and trust you. As I always say, it’s something that’s easy to do to generate some cash immediately. I agree with you on your physician referrals, attorney referrals, always work, especially the ones that know of you. If you’re a mid-sized practice, obviously you would have a few of those already, so that’s great. Community marketing does take some extra effort.
    Let’s go back to that community marketing. Let’s talk about three strategies that you have used for community marketing. What platforms have you used to generate a response? And look, I have a line that I tell a lot of my clients. I said, I can’t give you one way to generate 30 patients, but I can give you 30 ways to generate one patient. Let them understand that. There’s no magic blue pill that you can take, like the matrix blue pill and all of a sudden you generate all these patients. I just want to make sure that’s insanely clear and those that say that there is one way to do all that are lying, obviously.
    Obviously Neil and I both know that it takes a lot of work, and it takes a lot of work to reach out to the community. And it takes a few times for them to see your name before they actually even pick up the phone or even come in for that appointment. So, I’m just naming three, obviously, like I said, there’s probably 30 ways to do it, but let’s talk about three ways that you would think right now that are the best strategies out there?

    Neil: Yeah, I’ll absolutely share one of the best ways that I developed in my practice that worked so well. And again, one thing that you reiterated there is that there’s no one magic way. And it’s very, very important to have a trail for someone to come into your practice. And the wider you have a net that you can pull people into that trail, they’ll go through a sequence of steps to actually then become a patient.
    So ideally, you need to have a very good website. Everybody today, when you’re going to look up a product or service, the first thing you do it Google it. So you got to have a really good web presence there. It’s very important to have that. Then you need to capture their name and identity from that. So some kind of sign up form or things that you would have on your website.
    And then you got to get people to your website, so of course there’s all the online strategies with that. So you may be doing e- mail, social media, all those kind of things to get people to your website. Also, you should be doing direct mail to a qualified list of people so that they will funnel to your website. And again, capture them and then bring them into your different campaigns there, so . . .

    Dr. Simon: Hang on one second, Neil. I just want to make sure, sometimes we throw out terminology that the audience might not understand. Let’s clarify what direct mail is.

    Neil: Yeah. So direct mail is sending a postcard or some kind of brochure, something that actually goes through the physical post to someone’s mailbox into their hands. So it’s an actual physical piece versus like you have an e-mail newsletter which goes electronically through your e-mail, then you have a print newsletter which gets through the post and actually gets in someone’s mailbox.

    Dr. Simon: And you mentioned a targeted list. I just want to make sure the audience understands what that was as well. A targeted list basically knowing your exact demographics for your practice, or the demographics that you want to target. That may be women from 35 to 54, affluent in a certain neighborhood. That’s what Neil is kid of mentioning here. Make sure you’re targeting, because if we just do a postcard campaign and we throw it from a plane, which I’ve heard people in the past say before, it will not work. It’s not a good idea. It really works when you really have an exact person in mind that you are talking to. It really does.

    Neil: Yeah. So what we did in my practice that was hugely successful was, you need to get people to an event where you can actually talk to them and showcase that you are the expert they should choose to solve their problem. So what we would do is we would have a seminar. And what we did was, we surveyed our patients, what would be the one thing that they would want to know the most about? And you know, I thought in my head, hey it’s going to be back pain. But actually, for our area in West Palm, it’s a lot of seniors, so the biggest response was arthritis. So that was interesting.
    So I actually put 5000 postcards out to certain people over 40-70, again with a certain range that I wanted to go for income-wise, and then had them come in for a seminar I delivered on how to effectively treat arthritis pain naturally. And boy, we had about 100 people come to that. So it was an amazing turnout, and a great way to then showcase my expertise. We had existing patients come to that too. And doing those kinds of events really starts to showcase that you are the expert for people to turn to.

    Dr. Simon: Absolutely, Neil. I love the fact that A), the average person has to know, that is a huge turnout. That does not work out all the time. 100 people at a seminar is amazing. That’s really good. It could have been the audience that Neil targeted exactly, the seniors. And he already knew what they wanted to talk about, so I think that really, really helped Neil crush it with 100 people at a seminar.
    So don’t be dissuaded or don’t be disgruntled when only two people show up to a seminar, because I’ve done seminars in the past and only two have shown up. So I don’t want the average person listening to this thinking, hey I have to hit that magic number of 100. Two, it’s worth it. Because if you can get one person to come to your clinic, guess what, you’ve made a great, it’s a success, right? You had a 50 percent margin right there, so don’t feel bad if it’s only two people. So, just to throw that out there as well.
    That’s one way, Neil, what’s something else that we can use?

    Neil: Yeah. Absolutely. There’s many ways to lose your money in doing different marketing out there. And it’s important to look at your audience, who they’re going to be. For some people, they’re practice may be very sports-oriented, so they have a very youthful crowd, and so for them you would want to heavily leverage social media. And you can actually, things like Google actually has what’s called AdWords, where you can pay to get yourself on the very top of Google. People that click through. Facebook has advertising too, so you can put your advertising in there. So for a practice that services athletes and young people, that would be talking to their particular medium.
    Now a lot of practices, their main age range is kind of middle-aged people to a little bit older, so like from 30s to 60s or 70s, so those people are pretty much used to getting things in the mail. They also do a lot of e-mail and are getting more into social media and things like that. So direct mail, postcards would be very good, but then have them directed to your website always for more information, so on your website there should be a lot of useful information for people to gather. Again convincing them the whole time that you’re the expert to turn to, so those are very good strategies to do, depending on what market you really service.

    Dr. Simon: Absolutely. So it’s, again we are basically touching base on the fact that once a practice or practice owner knows his exact market that he services, and sometimes you might be able to pull that out of your EMR software very easily, sometimes you might have to go through your notes in the first place and find out what the numbers are. Like who do you see? Who pays the best? Who you enjoy working with. That is a huge thing that I consulted with someone yesterday. I’m like, who do you really enjoy working with? It might not be seniors. It might be that you like working with the athletes or the runners or whoever it may be.
    And that’s who you might want to target more of, so you can create a culture and create a company that you enjoy going to every day. You don’t want to create a job, which I make sure I tell everyone that. You don’t want a job.
    Neil, this has been some great information. I think the listeners can implement this right away, which is, checking out their past and current patients, knowing what their demographics are exactly, and then creating a seminar for them to go to. But the first thing to do is ask them what kind of information they would like.
    I love that idea because the average person thinks, just like you said, that back pain would have been the answer, but you just asked them and they said it was arthritis. And that’s true in, most of the time we, as practice owners, or even marketers coming in, when you look at it from the outside coming in, it’s easy to say, hey what do they want to talk about? And you might be saying I treat a lot of back patients. But sometimes that crowd might want to just talk about something different. So once you find that out, I hope everyone out there can crush it like Neil did with the hundred people at the seminar because that’s amazing.
    What was that conversion rate, Neil? I want to know, of that hundred people that showed up to the seminar, how many did you convert to a client or a patient?

    Neil: Yeah. Actually about 15. We had about 15 evals out of that.

    Dr. Simon: That is awesome.

    Neil: Yeah. It was definitely a good return on investment.

    Dr. Simon: Absolutely.

    Neil: So one last thing before we depart here that I just want to make sure that people were aware of, because this is a problem that I come across very frequently. And that is, don’t just choose one way of marketing. A lot of people fall into the trap of, I’m just going to do e-mail newsletters because it’s the cheapest thing to do. E-mail is very important. Your website is very important. Social media is very important. And then you have all your print stuff that you need in house, and then you need to do direct mail, and all kinds of different ways. The more ways that someone sees your message, the greater chance that they are going to act on it and reach out towards you.

    Dr. Simon: Great. Great information, Neil. I mean, that is so important. As basically a coach and consultant myself, and the same thing that you do, you might be great at doing something where I would come along and say you know what, I can only do this much. And Neil and I both came to and understanding that if I can’t do something, I would pass it off to Neil. So I want the average audience to understand that. Just like you are a clinician and someone comes in, and it’s a diagnosis that you cannot really help, those are the type of people you want to look for help.
    You want to look for those practitioners or those coaches or consultants that aren’t afraid to pass your name off to somebody else that could really help you. I realize that Neil has a lot of strengths that I may not have or that I don’t have the resources for. Or Neil vice versa. So it is something that, if someone approaches Neil or approaches myself, we want to let you know that we’re here to help, and that’s why we really love it.

    When you get that result from somebody when they grow their practice, or they come back to you after a month and say, look what we’ve done with this or a promotion that we’ve put together. It’s created great results. It’s because, like I said, my passion is marketing and sales, and I know that I can generate so much. And obviously Neil has sold a practice as well and sees what he could do with his ability as well, and it brings us joy. We’re happy to share that with the world unselfishly. And that’s the goal right now.
    Neil, real quick, let’s get that information out to the audience so they can contact you for further information.

    Neil: Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. You can reach me or our great staff any time at practicepromotions.com. We have lots of great marketing tips and things on there for people. And you can reach us at 800-594-7656.

    Dr. Simon: Awesome stuff, Neil. Neil, again, it was a pleasure having you on the show. A lot of amazing information that I want the audience to take away immediately. I stress implementation. It’s one thing to teach and learn, but the next step is implementation. So again, if this is something that’s out of your scope, please contact Neil. This man has a lot of knowledge. He’s been doing this. If you’re looking for how to get your practice to be sold at one point in time, you have to build it up. You need those systems in place. Again, contact Neil. This man knows what he’s talking about. Yeah, Neil, pleasure speaking with you today.

    Neil: You too.

    Dr. Simon: Again, I thank everyone for joining us today on this episode of the Private Practice Business Academy. Take care.

    Neil: Thank you