Let’s discuss patient flow and automation. I believe it’s critical that you have a firm grasp on why automation is important, and how it can lead to improved patient flow by using a customer relationship management system (CRM).
All marketing comes down to one concept – creating a present bank and a future bank. To clarify, your present bank is nothing more than the immediate flow of patients into your practice. Let’s say you send out a postcard. Your recipient sees it, reads the information, and calls to make an appointment. You get immediate ROI that feeds you today.
Future bank is different. In this scenario, maybe your recipient received the postcard and was interested, but wasn’t quite ready to take action. What are they going to do with the postcard? It’s going to go into the trash. However, with a CRM and the use of the right measurement tools, you can record the information of interested potential patients who haven’t yet taken action, and then do what needs to be done so that when they are ready, you’re the practice they call.
Future bank is really nothing more than being able to stay in contact with those potential patients who are interested, but not yet ready to commit. You can supply them with a steady stream if important, accurate information, and build a relationship with them. Over time, that relationship strengthens, and then when they’re ready, they call to make an appointment. That’s not possible without automation through a CRM.
Think of it like this. You have a regular patient who’s seen you for years. You’ve been encouraging them to get a particular treatment, but they haven’t been ready. Patients need time to mull things over, to think about their options, and to get comfortable with the idea of treatments and procedures. Eventually, they’ll come to you and say, “You know that procedure you keep recommending? Let’s do it. I’m ready.” That’s precisely the point of using a CRM to foster growth in your future bank.
Future bank eventually starts to feed your present bank. Those potential patients eventually become today’s patients. This cycle allows you to maintain during the lean times of year. Every practice has slow periods. It might be during the summer. It could be during Christmas. Whatever the case, having a constant stream of future bank prospects feeding your present bank patient pool ensures that you’re able to weather the storm and enjoy greater success as a practice owner.
This is how we’ve been able to achieve sustained growth no matter what the market does. It’s how we’ve grown to have 150 new patients per month consistently. Without the use of automation and the right CRM, that would not have been possible. It’s not about sending out larger and larger volumes of marketing material. It’s about nurturing relationships and encouraging potential patients to eventually come in and make an appointment. It all works in tandem, with one feeding the other.
I want to talk for a moment about tracking your marketing. Simply put, if you’re not tracking the results that you get, you’re guessing about your success. That can lead to all sorts of bad things, like throwing money away, or ignoring bad processes that cause conversion to fail.
How do you track your marketing efforts, though? There’s no magic involved. It’s all about having the right tools. Every marketing piece you send out needs to have a unique phone number or a unique website URL – something tied specifically to that campaign and to nothing else. If you’ve never used it, I highly recommend CallTrackingMetrics.com.
Using this service, you can create unique phone numbers. Now, they’re not additional physical lines at your office. They’re faux numbers. If you were to call the number before having it all set up, nothing would happen. The point is that you need to forward those numbers to your office lines so that your staff can answer the phone, answer questions, and convert a could-be into an actual patient.
Let’s assume you’re doing a postcard campaign. You create your faux phone numbers, come up with your offer, get them printed, and then mailed out. Then, you wait for the phones to start ringing. Once they do, you need to start digging into things. By logging into your account at CallTrackingMetrics.com, you can find some pretty important information.
One of the most important things you’ll find is the total number of calls stemming from your campaign. You can then bump those numbers against the total number of new patients you received during the same period and get a good estimate of the campaign’s effectiveness. You can also do something else – you can listen to every single call that came through the system. The service records and stores them for you. By listening to those calls, you can drill down into the what, why and how of things. You can find out if your office staff are dropping the ball, if your processes suck, and if you’re sabotaging your own success.
Figuring out the return on your marketing campaign isn’t all that difficult. What you really need to do is divide the amount you spend on the ad campaign by the number of calls you received. That tells you exactly how much you paid for each call. Based on that information, you can then determine whether or not you’re seeing a good ROI or not, and then start digging into why your conversion might not be what it could be. I’d also recommend going through our Phone Mastery program. We developed it for our own in-house use, but demand was so high for the training that we decided to start offering it as a service to others.
By tracking your marketing results and performance, you can take the guesswork out of the process. You can make smarter decisions, eliminate problems, and ensure that you’re spending your money wisely and getting the conversion rate that you should be.
I’d like to speak about motivation. It’s what drives us to excel, to seek out growth opportunities, and to find success. However, when it’s lacking, you might find that you’re moving very slowly toward your goals, or perhaps not making any progress at all. I’ve personally been there before and I understand how difficult this can be.
I want you to think about your motivation level. We’ll use the example of pursuing business growth. On a scale of one to 10, where would you place your motivation level? If you’re like a lot of people, particularly those seeing no or slow progress toward your goals, you’ll probably say you fall around a five or six on the scale. You do that for a couple of reasons. Anything less than a five is obviously approaching failure, and you don’t want to be counted a failure. However, you’re definitely not motivated enough to be at the upper end of the scale.
Here’s the thing – the scale isn’t split into two. Tony Robbins actually splits it into three separate parts. We break these down as one to three, three to seven, and seven to 10. The folks at the bottom, with the least motivation, they’re the ones who are frustrated, stymied, and struggling. They’re stuck, and not sure of where they want to go, or how to get there. The folks at the top, they’re the ones with the most motivation. They’re out there going and doing constantly, and making huge strides all the time.
You fall in the three to seven level if you pegged yourself originally at five or six. That’s the most dangerous place to be on the spectrum. Why? Well, it all comes down to motivation. The people at the top have plenty of it. The people at the bottom are at least motivated to find a way around their blockage. It’s the ones in the middle who don’t really have the motivation to make big changes and to see big gains. You feel like you’re doing well enough. There’s progress enough toward your goals to derive some satisfaction, and you can console yourself that you’re at least growing a little bit. It’s sort of the doldrums of mediocrity.
What happens when you’re stuck in the middle area here is this – you don’t work to change your situation. It’s good enough, and that’s all that matters in your mind. If you really want to grow your practice, you need to be honest with yourself and realize that you’re in the middle of the road where motivation is concerned. If you’re not willing to pursue success, you’re not going to achieve it. It’s really as simple as that.
So, what do you do? Know that you’ve plateaued, and find a way to get out of your rut. Rate your motivation, and then have the confidence, courage and conviction to make changes. Do what needs to be done to go from a three to seven to a seven to a 10.
Let’s talk for a moment about programming your brain for success. It’s possible, and it all starts in the area of the brain called the reticular activating center. You’ve experienced the way this area of the brain works before, even if you didn’t realize what was happening. Suppose you’re walking through a busy airport terminal, surrounded by the noise of conversation, announcements and general hubbub. You pay no attention to any of that as you study your plane ticket, but as soon as a PA announcement with information about your flight comes on, you notice it. That’s your reticular activating center informing your conscious brain about what your subconscious mind has noticed.
There has been some interesting research into the reticular activing center, and the way it works. One of the most unique things about this is that this area of the brain can pick up on things that are real, or those that aren’t. For instance, in a study of children who failed in their early school years, Dr. Maxwell Maltz found that not only were those children not slow, but they were actually highly intelligent.
He discovered that something negative had happened in the child’s life, and their subconscious held onto it. Their reticular activating center kept bringing that up in their daily lives, reinforcing what would eventually become a behavior, and they failed in school. When they were helped to realize that information was false, and un-train their brains, those same children excelled. Many actually went to the head of the class.
In the end, it all boils down to the self-concept we all carry inside us – it informs us of who we believe we are, and that feeds into not just our beliefs, but the results that we’re able to obtain. Remember Henry Ford’s words – “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t; you’re right.”
As you can imagine, what you’re feeding your brain, and allowing to come out of your mouth is incredibly important. It shapes who you are, what you’re capable of achieving, and even how you feel about yourself and your success. Negative talk, self-doubt and an inaccurate self-image are all ultimately destructive forces.
What does this do for you? Actually, you can use the same principle to program your brain for success. Set goals and reach for them. Your subconscious will pull from everything around you to help you get to those goals. The ideas, feelings and emotions you experience will be consistent with those goals. Ultimately, what we believe shapes our behaviors and our behaviors create our results. Programming your brain to believe that you will reach the goals you set creates a positive paradigm that encourages you to push forward and actually reach your potential.
This is perhaps one of the most important things I have discovered in my life and my career. If you can start to program your mind, I know that it will have a hugely positive impact for you.
Today, I want to talk about three dumb things we tell ourselves that actually limit our growth. Ever found yourself struggling to get out of a rut? Most of us do. It might be trying to grow your practice, or it could be something as simple as trying to lose weight. You run up against a lack of results, and throw in the towel. You might even say something like, “I’ve tried everything”. That’s one of my favorite examples of the dumb things we say that limit our growth.
I’ve been where you are. When I was trying to grow my practice, I found myself saying that more than once. However, when I really looked at the situation, I realized that I hadn’t tried everything – not even close. If you think you really have tried everything, show me the list. I’m willing to bet that you can’t.
Another thing that we’re all guilty of saying is that “That won’t work for me.” Here’s the thing – chances are good that it’s you and your methods that aren’t achieving the results, not what you’re trying. Using flawed methods will always result in failure. In order to really determine what you need to do, it’s crucial that you study successful businesses (and that those you study are in the customer service business). If it’s working for someone else, you can make it work for you. Understand that I managed to achieve my goals in a town with a population of 75,000 that hadn’t grown in probably 20 years, with 40 other dentists within a seven-mile drive of my office. If I can do that, you can do it as well.
Finally, chances are good that you’ve said to yourself once or twice, “I’m not you.” No, you’re not me, but I’m not anyone else, either. Maybe you’re nothing like me at all. That doesn’t mean that what I’ve tried won’t work for you, though. Before I filled in the gap within my knowledge, I struggled with this way of thinking, too. Once I filled the gap and gained the knowledge I was missing, things cohered in a brand new way.
Ultimately, these three things limit you. They reduce your success. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they actually poison your mind against achieving your goals. They limit you and what you can accomplish. In order to see the growth that you want, you need to change your mindset. To do that, you need to change your internal conversation – stop saying dumb things and focus on what you can do. You can go from frustration to fulfillment if you’re able to do that.
Think about what it would be like to actually achieve your goals. What impact would that have on your personal and professional life? Pay attention to limiting self-talk in your head and what you say aloud. This is one of the most important keys to success. Without it, you’ll continue to struggle and see results.