STOP Gambling with your Marketing Dollars

by | Expansion, Front Desk Training, New Patients

Are you trying to expand? But not getting the return on your investment when it comes to marketing your services?

In this article, I’ll talk about why you need to do more than market your services.

Have you ever spent a ton of money marketing your services to get new patient leads but didn’t feel like you got the return you desired or expected?

Or maybe you receive countless emails from marketing companies selling you the newest and best way to market your services.

They might even sell you a new product, that you must work harder to find MORE new patients or that you’re not spending enough marketing dollars to get the desired results.

We’ve been told that you need to spend at least 10-14% per month on marketing for new patients and if you’re brand new to the world of private practice, it can be as high as 18-20%!

Here’s something I want you to consider when it comes to marketing dollars:

If you’re spending 10%, what’s the rate of return you should expect? In fact, what’s the expected return on 14%, 18% or even 20%? 

Should you expect 5, 30, or 100 new patients if you spend those marketing dollars? Do you have a realistic expectation of how many conversions you have each month and are you achieving this number? 

In short, are you getting a high rate of return on your investment schedule and arriving new patients? If not, read on.

I’m not slamming marketing companies here. In fact, I’m doing just the opposite.

If you’ve ever felt that you weren’t getting a return on your investment, your marketing actions might not be the problem. There might be a much larger issue that’s holding you back. 

Mike and I got into ownership to help more people get the care they need…our way. We wanted a practice that was patient-focused and gave great results.

I consider the true product of any practice as “PEOPLE HELPED.”

The first measurement learned by the front office of practices is ‘‘Percentage of Calls Converted to Scheduled New Patients’.

To me, any lost potential new patient means 2 things:

  • a lost chance to help someone;
  • and lost revenue.

When you lose potential new patients, your rate of return on your marketing dollars goes down. In fact, it could be very low for this reason alone. You spent all this money to market your services, and the potential new patient didn’t convert to a scheduled evaluation. This doesn’t even take into account the potential revenue the practice loses from the lost plan of care.

I don’t know about you, but I hate losing money. When you aren’t getting the return on your marketing dollars, you’re losing money.

If you’re only putting your time, attention, and money on marketing your practice, I can guarantee that you’re losing money through lost conversions.

Here’s something Mike and I learned a LONG time ago. You can spend tens of thousands of marketing dollars per month and not expand. At times it could feel like you’re stagnant or even retracting in size.

This can cause a great deal of stress since you’re spending a lot of money to generate more new patients. Money spent should be exceeded by the return. Meaning I got the maximal return on investment from my marketing dollars. Often, that’s not the case.

And that’s because people are calling, and they’re NOT being converted to scheduled and arriving new patients at a high enough rate. In fact, you’re losing more potential new patients than you think due to front office staff not converting them.

No matter how busy your practice is, you could be converting more patients than you are right now, AND getting a better return on your marketing dollars.

Often as practice owners, we can get so focused on patient arrivals that we don’t put enough attention on conversions.

Here’s some math:

Let’s say you have an average reimbursement of $100. (I like even numbers.)

But, if you only focus on patient arrivals, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity to help more people and you’re losing a lot of money from marketing your services.

If you have 10 cancellations / no-shows this week, you’ve lost $1000. Let’s even say that you suffered with 20 this week at $2000. So, you’re losing $1000-2000 per week on same-day cancellations and no-shows. Yikes!

But, and here’s the REALLY big but…in all likelihood your team is also failing to convert at least five potential patient calls each week.

When I did a survey, the owners guessed it was probably more than 10 per week – but we’ll stick with five for now. At an average plan of care of 10 visits, the total value of each plan of care would be $1000. So, you would be losing $5000 for those five lost potential new patients! Just in one week.

Now, I’m not discrediting same-day cancellations and no-shows; it’s crucial your team ensures that current patients show up for the care they need to recover. But if you’re going to spend marketing dollars to gain new patients, you must ensure that your team can convert more new patients, so you get a return on the money you spent.

Honestly, the way I look at it is this: if I’m going to tell people how I can help them, and they’re going to reach out to us, I should ensure my staff can get them signed up for and show up for their evaluation. This gives my highly-trained clinicians the opportunity to ‘do their thing’.

Just in case you really like math, like I do:

Money lost per year at 20 same-day cancellations and no-shows per week: an average of $104,000.

Money lost per year at 5 lost new patients per week: $260,000

And remember, when I surveyed a large group of owners, they estimated that the average practice loses about 10 potential new patients per week which comes closer to $520,000 PER YEAR in lost revenue!

Here’s a little piece of our story and how it all got started. 

In 2012, we doubled the size of our practice and thought we were unstoppable. Well, weren’t we surprised! All of a sudden there were less MD referrals, the ‘affordable’ care act went into effect, and new patients just stagnated. 

We were trying to jump to 350 visits per week, and it seemed so hard; in fact, it felt nearly impossible. We tried everything but we struggled to increase patient visits. We were spending more and more, but weren’t getting the desired return on our marketing efforts.

When we took a good look at things, we realized that our front office team wasn’t effectively converting calls to new patients. In fact, as we began tracking the calls to actual conversions, they were only converting about 65% of the calls.

And there it was! The real reason we weren’t getting an acceptable return on our marketing efforts and our marketing dollars.

We didn’t begin to see a substantial return on our investment until we trained our front office team. This included:

  • How to identify and handle all potential new patients.
  • How to convert calls to scheduled and arriving new patients.
  • How to handle common objections.
  • How to speak to people to maintain control of the intake process;
  • and finally, we put in improved patient management systems.

You see, without training, front office staff will struggle to properly manage patients and handle their objections. And it’s these objections that prevent  patients from getting the care they need. The key is ensuring that your front office team has all the tools they need to handle potential patients.

If you want to expand, don’t just put more money into marketing your services. Train your front office team. They’re the first point of contact for EVERY returning patient and potential new patient. When you train them, you improve their ability to handle common objections, and you’ll increase your rate of return on marketing dollars spent

In 2016, I rolled out my Basic Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) Program and it’s getting amazing results with the practices that have implemented it.

With my one-on-one training and coaching, your team will learn how to:

  • Effectively manage both potential and current patients to get and they’ll get excellent results.
  • Handle that initial call and schedule more new patients with ease.
  • Get potential patients arriving for the evaluation so your clinicians can do their thing.
  • To handle any objections to getting scheduled so they can get more patients scheduled out for their full plan of care right away.
  • Ensure that patients arrive as scheduled in order to reach a fully recovered state – your team will learn and implement my proven Cancellation Prevention Program.

This program ensures more patients show up for care or provide enough notice. This is ideal so your team has enough time to help someone else get the care they need when there is a cancellation.

As we progress, your front office staff will understand their role in patient management and have what it takes to ensure that:

  • Patients are scheduled for their prescribed weekly visits.
  • The schedule is utilized properly and effectively.
  • How to prevent drop offs;
  • Finally, how to collect what’s due at the time of visit.
  • By the time they’re done, they will have what it takes to be a Patient Care Coordinator in your area.

But here’s the best part. This program comes with:

  • A complete course pack that will become your training manual for future hires.
  • All the digital files necessary to implement quickly and easily.
  • The necessary scripts, drills, and practicals to ensure they fully understand how to implement their training.
  • One-on-One video coaching calls so your team can work at mastering skills before implementing them;
  • and most importantly, they’ll fully understand how their actions affect patient care.

Why leave marketing dollars on the table?

Don’t wait! Click here to schedule a FREE Discovery Call today and find out how you can help your front office staff convert more new patients without having to spend more marketing dollars!

Wishing you the best, today and always!



I’m Dee

As a practice owner, former manager, and the Front Office GURU, I understand the difficulties you face because I’ve been there. And my programs provide the solution.

Are you struggling to train your front office team? Unsure how to go about establishing a proven training program for your front desk? Not sure where to start or what your options are?

Then schedule a FREE Discovery Call to learn more about my programs.

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At Front Office GURU, we offer two main training options for you and your Patient Care Coordinators.

Your first option is my virtual academy where you and your team will work through video-based lessons and apply the implementation provided in your lesson workbooks. Your other option is my flagship program where you work one-on-one with me as I guide you through my Basic Patient Care Coordinator Program.

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