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The 60-25-15 Rule
| Yesterday I was looking through my library of marketing materials, and came across a marketing course by Bob Serling titled "Maximum Profit Direct Marketing."
Now, I had already reviewed this course a few years ago, but since it was raining, and I had some free time, I decided to go through the course one more time. And I am glad that I did. I had an opportunity to refresh on some basic marketing concepts, as well as less known strategies and techniques.
What I want to share with you today is one of the basic marketing concepts (of which dozens are mentioned about in the course) that I think is extremely valuable to you in growing your practice, and that is the 60-25-15 Rule.
No, this has nothing to do with a new diet. Instead, it is a foundation on how to invest your money, time, and effort in marketing and growing a business, or in this case, your practice.
Let me explain. Most doctors who come to me are usually looking for ways to get new patients. And that it what most of their resources are invested in. But according to the 60-25-15 Rule, this is counterproductive.
In essence, here is the 60-25-15 Rule: 60% of your marketing efforts should go towards retaining current patients, 25% should go towards getting new patients, and 15% should be invested in getting back "dead" patients.
Now, let's go over each portion in detail.
60% - This is the percentage of all your practice-building activities and resources that you need to devote to retaining your current patients. Think about it, it is MUCH easier to keep a current patient than it is to go out and prospect for a new one. There are several reasons for this.
1) We are creatures of habit. It is easier to do what we are doing than it is to do something different. The same is true of your patients. If they are already coming to you, then it is easier and more PREDICTABLE for them to keep on coming to you than it is for them to do something different.
2) You already have an established relationship. One of the biggest barriers in getting new patients is that prospective patients don't have a relationship with you, and don't know you from Adam. It takes a long time to build a relationship with a patient, so instead of throwing it away and trying to start all over with a new patient, you should focus on strengthening this relationship.
3) Lack of marketing costs. You've already paid the initial investment in getting the new patients. So now it costs you a lot less to keep marketing to your current patients than it is to start all over and market to new patients.
Also included in this 60% are getting referrals from and cross-selling to your current patients. You should focus a tremendous amount of your efforts on getting referrals. It isn't enough that you deliver a high quality service, and wait for your patients to refer their friends and families to you.
You have to actively solicit referrals. If you are truly providing a high level of chiropractic service to your patients, they won't have a problem with providing you with referrals when you ask them. Also, try using creative ideas for soliciting referrals. I'll talk about how to get referrals in a future article. In the meantime, keep in mind that 80% of all your referrals will come from 20% of your patients. So make sure you go out of the way to cultivate relationships with those patients who refer the most patients to you.
As for cross-selling, the basic precept is that if you provide a service that is relatively good, your patients will be happy to purchase additional products or services that your offer.
You can offer nutritional products, orthotics, cervical support pillows, etc. Two great sources are www.chirostore.com and www.scrip-inc.com Both of these companies offer a very large assortment of products you can offer your current patients.
If you are not already providing additional products to help your patients, I would highly recommend you do so. For one thing, your patients will appreciate you recommending products that will help them. Look, if you don't offer these products to your patients, they will get them elsewhere. At least this way you will know that they are getting beneficial and high quality products. As an added bonus, you might be surprised at how much these products will increase your bottom line.
25% - This is the percentage of your resources that you should invest in getting new patients. This includes advertising, screenings, giving talks, etc. The problem here is that most chiropractors do the opposite, and instead devote 60% of their resources to getting new patients.
However, if you market properly to your current patients, this 25% will be sufficient to help you offset patients that atrophy away, and to keep your practice to a level at which you are serving your ideal number of patients and making the income you desire.
15% - Lastly, this is the percentage of your resources that you should dedicate to "reviving dead patients." Why did your patients leave you? Did they feel that they no longer need your services? Or did you screw up somewhere, and they felt they weren't being treated right?
You need to find out the reason, correct the situation, if possible, and continue to market to them. Normally sending them a letter or newsletter on a monthly basis works pretty good in keeping you in front of their mind. And when the time is right, some will eventually come back to you.
If a relatively large percentage of your patients are dying off, then you might need to make more dramatic changes to your practice, and be more aggressive in your plans to get these patients back.
As a final word, the 60-25-15 Rule is normally effective for practices that have been around for at least two years. Prior to that, a much larger percentage of your marketing efforts will go towards getting new patients. And if you are a new practice, then virtually all your effort will go towards getting new patients.
Also, if you're looking for a copy of Bob Serling's course, give me a call or email me, and I'll see if he still publishes it.
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