Although yours is a respected profession, you are not free from competition. There are other providers in your patient’s insurance network. Excellence in care and bedside manner are central to your reputation, but to be competitive you also need to be as efficient with your time as possible.
You don’t have time to sit down with each patient and make a sales pitch about your character, experience and services. On the other hand, being too brief with a patient could make them wonder if they might be better cared for elsewhere.
You need to take advantage of every opportunity to reinforce in each patient’s mind that you run a professional practice and that you care about the people you serve. Here’s a road map for how to do it.
Place business cards at the front desk and encourage patients to take them. This implies you are glad they are here and would welcome referrals. (If you want to deter pharmaceutical reps from abusing cards, just include your address and website.)
Don’t leave it to the patient to guess what services you offer. Make sure you have plenty of branded pamphlets available to inform them about what can be done in this office and what you can give them a referral for.
There is a wide range of branded items you can give to your patients. A stress ball might be appropriate. For a pediatric practice you might give the child a toy. Place any medicine samples in a bag with your brand (not the pharmaceutical company’s).
If your patient needs to sign anything, give them a branded pen and tell them they can keep it. If they are taking a letter home, make sure this useful information is branded, too.
It’s never pleasant to receive a medical bill, but it helps if it is attractive. If the branding on the invoice is consistent with the branding on everything else, it’s a subtle reminder that this part of the process is normal and there is nothing to fear.
The best way to remain efficient with your time is to consistently deliver the message that your practice is caring and professional even when you’re not saying a word. Make sure everything helpful, useful and informative has your brand on it and watch your practice grow!