There’s a simple four-letter word that, when applied as a strategy, can attract new patients with zero competition. The four-letter-word strategy is “GIVE.” When done well, this strategy allows practices to participate in a meaningful cause and be known for their values, even with a small marketing budget.
Read on for the details about a dentist who used the GIVE process. Although the dentist’s experience is based on a start-up practice, all practice owners can benefit from implementing the GIVE process.
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Attracting new patients
Dr. Lauren, a new practice owner in Colorado, put the GIVE process into place. By her fourth day of practice ownership she had 209 new patients. That’s a tremendous number of new patients for a start-up practice, agreed?
Here is how it worked for Dr. Lauren. During the course of the yearlong preparation for opening her start-up, she aligned all the moving parts.
One of the key moments was choosing her GIVE partner. Because she is passionate about outdoor activities like mountain biking, kayaking and hiking, it made perfect sense to partner her practice with a charity that restores local mountain bike trails.
Partnering with a charity is one of the first steps in the GIVE process.
The timing of this stage is crucial. Dr. Lauren began at least a month before her the day of construction of her new practice.
Over the course of the GIVE process, the mountain bike organization could see how passionate she was about their cause. As a result, they invited their 1,000-member community to her open house.
Imagine the impact on your open house
Dr. Lauren’s grand opening event resembled a large town-sized picnic. Hundreds of people were excited to meet a dentist who shared their values and didn’t just offer them discounts.
In her own words, it was “like a dream come true.” She said that eight of every 10 of those patients felt like her ideal patients. With a surge of these kinds of new patients in the first month, fulfillment in practice ownership reached a new level.
This is how you can attract new patients who want a personal connection with their health care providers, even before arriving for their first appointments.
The aha! moment? None of this was an accident.
She started the process well before the first four days the practice was open. She spent nearly a year on intentional planning.
Other start-ups often do “live” social media videos or use lavish marketing budgets. Yet, she was on the path of profitability in her first month without any of those things. And her practice was filling up with patients who chose her.
When you integrate the GIVE process and weave it in with all the preplanned moving parts of opening a start-up practice, the rewards are both emotional and financial.
It’s not about the money
Here’s the key. Your GIVE must be authentic.
Although the financial rewards of the GIVE process can be substantial, it is imperative that you prioritize authenticity. Without it, your GIVE will be instantly sniffed out as a gimmick, and it will hurt your reputation in irreparable ways.
Prioritizing authenticity will create a shared purpose with your community. You’ll attract patients from a shared cause, one that lines up with the fulfillment in practice ownership you desire.
The danger in “giving back”
If nothing else, you must avoid the “giving back” mindset.
The term GIVE demonstrates pure motives. Giving back is something far different.
Notice the subtle, psychological difference when we say, give back instead of give. Give back implies the thing given was never yours to begin with, subconsciously invoking obligation and requirement.
Your GIVE grants you a platform of pure generosity in your community.
The unique opportunity for start-ups
Start-ups have a unique opportunity to predetermine their reputation through the GIVE process. This is especially true as it related to new hires and your local community.
By weaving the GIVE process into strategic planning stages like hiring, marketing, your floor plan and new-patient tours, you establish your values-based practice with a defined reputation. Your town and your team will instantly know what you stand for.
If you do this right, your level of fulfillment with a start-up can be reverse-engineered, while attracting hundreds of ideal patients before your opening day. With a heart-based, intentional plan, the GIVE process allows you to build a cause into your practice and helps you avoid the typical marketing budgets and promotions. In this way, you can have an impact on more lives and have a grand opening that feels like a dream come true in practice ownership.
Mr. Amos is the CEO of Ideal Practices, a nationwide start-up practice consulting firm. He is the author of Choosing the Right Practice Location, host of the Ideal Practices Podcast, founder of HowToOpenADentalOffice.com and creator of the Startup Practice Blueprint Course. Contact him at jayme@HowToOpenADentalOffice.com.