As a fractional CMO, I get to help independent doctors grow their businesses while serving patients in better ways.
Every practice is unique but they all face similar –if not the same– challenges. As such, there are a few things I always look at when working with a new client. In this essay, I'll share the 3 strategies every independent practice can benefit from implementing.
Raise your prices
Almost every functional medicine or DPC practice offering packages or memberships price them way below their value.
If you're thinking an inexpensive price tag is a great way to get new patients, you'd be as wrong as he was. You see, pricing is part of your marketing. And when you market a top of the line service with a bottom of the barrel price, patients automatically assume –even if unconsciously– it's not good.
It's like being offered a new iPhone for $15 dollars. Would you think it's a bargain or a scam?
So the first thing I do is adjust prices above local competitors'.
Pricing services higher than other practices in the area communicates you are not the cheapest, while de-selecting everyone looking for the lowest price.
Add more offerings
Raising prices is frowned upon by many doctors for two reasons:
- They fear their patients will go elsewhere.
- They feel bad not helping patients who can't afford their service.
The first one is simply not true. Sure, some patients will go elsewhere but most will remain if the value is there.
However, the second one remains true. Some patients will not be able to afford the new price. *Although if they are not able to afford the higher price, they likely were not able to afford it at the original price either…
In any case, the solution for these patients is to create other offerings that have the potential of getting them closer to their health goals at a lower investment.
Some examples of this are:
- Health coaching
- Group visits
- Pre recorded courses
- Online memberships / communities
All of these allow you to serve patients who can't afford your core services, while getting them closer to their health goals at the same time you're increasing their trust and confidence in you and your practice.
Build an ascension funnel
Now the challenge is ensuring a healthy flow of leads who can potentially become patients.
Most clients I worked with have run ads on Google and Facebook with the goal of getting traffic to their website hoping enough of them would book a consultation. This strategy worked a few years ago but in recent years it became more expensive to reach the same number of people while the conversion rates from visitor to patient have been steadily declining. The result is a negative ROI forcing most doctors to stop advertising.
But now you have other offers to make before asking a visitor to become a patient.
What you need is a funnel that "escalates" each new prospect through the different offers increasing their trust and willingness to invest (time and money) at their own pace.
Here is what the funnel can look like:
- Run ads for a free quiz.
- Based on quiz results, offer visitors one of three "mini courses" that is pre-recorded on video.
- Then offer them to join one of your other offers like a paid community or group coaching.
- Then have different different email nurture sequences educating those who joined the community and those who didn't. The goal of these nurture sequences is to bring awareness to the value of your practice getting those interested to raise their hand and apply.
There are obviously some nuances here and a few other steps like retargeting ads and upsells but this is the big picture of what your new funnel can look like.
If you have an independent medical practice and have questions about implementing any (or all!) of these steps, leave me a comment below and I'll address it in future post.