It’s great to have people engaging with your social media, reading your monthly newsletters, and picking up your branded pens at expos, but these actions alone don’t increase your income. The only way to grow your practice is by converting these leads – people who have expressed an interest in your services – into patients.
Differentiate Your Practice from the Competition
In some areas, orthodontic offices seem to be sprouting up as fast as banks or express lube places. This means you are no longer the only orthodontist in town. For a prospect to decide to come to you for treatment, you need to stand out from the rest.
Having a solid social media presence, making yourself known throughout the area by participating in community service events, having an updated, informative website, and offering products and services your competitors don’t (WildSmiles, gold braces, digital scanning technology) will help you stand out from the pack when it’s decision-making time.
Know Who Is Interested in What
Have you ever received a catalog for children’s shoes when your kids are in college, or you don’t even have kids? Annoying, right? Your leads feel the same way when they receive offers for brightly colored bands on braces that appeal to tweens and they’re only considering Invisalign for themselves.
The best way to know what leads are interested in which services or products is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) database. This type of system can track what emails your prospects open, what links they click, and when they last spoke to someone at your office. Some CRMs, like Hubspot, can also be integrated with your website and social media so you can track who is engaging with your content there too.
Focus on Your Most Qualified Leads
As much as you want to provide orthodontic treatment to everyone within a 50-mile radius of your office, that is not going to happen, and chasing after cold to barely warm leads is a waste of your time and resources. Spend your precious hours and marketing dollars on those prospects who are the most likely to become patients, and let the rest go.
How do you know which leads are the most qualified? See the previous section.
Don’t Leave Them Hanging
A very fine line exists between being obnoxious by contacting leads too often and having them move on to another practice because they haven’t heard from you. A good rule of thumb is to reach out to someone within 24 hours of them contacting you.
If you have their phone number, a personal call is the best place to start, but if they don’t answer, or you only have an email address from an online form they filled out, send them an email thanking them for starting the conversation and offer to continue it at their convenience. Encourage them to learn more by scheduling a free initial consultation at your office, where they can be further converted by your amazing staff and a grand tour.
The same goes for messages and comments on social media. Do your best to post a personal response as soon as possible so prospects know you’re listening and you care about their questions and comments. Facebook rates the length of response time to private messages for a reason, and you can bet if someone has reached out to you online, they have contacted other orthodontists as well.
Provide Sales Training to Your Staff
Unless you hire an outside company to answer your phones, make follow-up calls, and respond to online inquiries, these tasks will be handled by your staff, who probably did not receive a lot of sales training before coming to work for you. We aren’t suggesting your staff needs to become hardcore salespeople, but it will be beneficial to all of you if they are trained in how to make follow-up calls, answer incoming questions, and respond to the live chat on your website and social media messages in a personable, knowledgeable way, while always working toward the end result of earning a patient.
Offer a Discount
You’ve made your presence known, differentiated yourself, given your leads the right information, and responded to inquiries quickly and effectively. But in the end, a person’s decision often comes down to cost, and offering a discount can be the best way to convert a lead into a patient. Giving them a certain percentage off treatment or lowering the required down payment may be all that’s needed to get them through your door and into your chair.
Converting leads into buyers is never easy, but it can be done with the right approach. And once a lead becomes a patient, they may bring other patients to you through referrals, increasing your practice that much more. For more information about lead conversion and how it pertains to your practice, contact Ortho Sales Engine.