Basic Promotional Actions (Part 2)
When you think of a goldmine, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Some visualize a gold lined cave with pieces of gold in mine carts and dollar signs, while others get a different image. Regardless of the picture that is invoked, most business owners are unaware of having their own untapped goldmine sitting right there within the walls of their establishment.
In this second of a four part series on ‘Basic Promotional Actions’ we will cover what this goldmine is and how you can tap into it. But before I go into this I want to share some numbers with you.
I once had a client in Wisconsin who was a dentist and dairy farmer. In fact he once had a contract with Land O’ Lakes which was responsible for over half of his total income. His situation was very unique in that he wasn’t totally dependent upon the revenue brought in by his dental practice. In fact his dairy was the only thing keeping him ‘in the black’ prior to my arrival.
Having been in business for over 15 years, the doctor had accumulated approximately 20,000 patient charts. If you’re not familiar with what a chart is, it is essentially a file created for every new patient that walks through the door for an exam. These files contain information such as e-mail addresses, home address, phone number, service received, etc.
Upon close review by his manager it was discovered that over 50% of the patients in his charts had come in only for exams and minor procedures such as a prophylaxis, extraction or tooth pain. The problem with this was that less than 1% of the 50% had ever returned for further treatment.
Now I’d wager that a very small percentage had no need to return, but I am hoping that you see where I’m going with this.
Why had the patients not returned? Had anyone called them to do any type of follow up, or attempt to get them back in for a six month exam? No! So that was ‘HIS’ goldmine. His charts were overflowing with potential income. Once we developed a script designed for his office manager, we had her sit down and call every single patient in those charts. His office manager was an above average communicator with great control. And after a five month stretch of ‘beating the bushes’ she succeeded in bringing in over 700 patients who would likely not be heard from again had it not been for this action.
By offering a free exam and x-rays she was able to get the patient back in and in front of her for presentation of their treatment plan. Since I had extensively covered HOW to effectively sell treatment , the office manager and doctor began tapping into their own goldmine. In fact after the 700 patients returned, over 40% returned again to begin treatment. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but they were somewhere around the 20k mark in terms of actual revenue.
That is one reason I used to joke around with doctors and say: “What if I told you that every chart you have contained a dollar? What would you do?” One for one they’d say: “Start collecting the dollars!” Where not every chart had contained a dollar, the average seems to be around a dollar a chart when everything washes out.
So what does this mean to you as a business owner? Just in case your mind isn’t already off and running I’ll break it down for you. If you had an e-mail address from every single person that walked through your door since the day you opened your business, how many addresses would you have? How much intel would you have on your customers if once they purchased an item or service, you asked them specific questions on how to market to them?
Looking back, I’ll bet that most of you are now saying something like: “Oh Jeez…”, or “Wow…I had no idea”. But don’t worry! The good news is that from this point forward YOU are now much more in control of your future. You have another bullet for your gun and a basic promotional action you can get started on TODAY. It really isn’t something you can afford to ignore.
Be sure to (At the very least) gather e-mails from every customer/client/patient who walks through your door.
Here is a great way to ask: “Mrs. Smith….hey there. I need to get your e-mail so that I can let you know about specials and coupons we’ll be sending out in the future.”
Any variance of this; one that covers the basic model will likely be effective. Start gathering identities! Start gathering information about your clients/customers/patients. This is information you may use to market to them down the road, so choose your questions wisely.
For those of whom you already have an e-mail address and phone number for, simply delegate the responsibility of reaching out to them to an employee with good communication skills. Ask the employee to reach out to them for a ‘quality assurance’. The employee can ask about performance or quality of service and also gather more valuable information in the process. This could also create an opportunity to invite the client/customer/patient back in for something new, an exciting special, or something enticing.
The point is that NOW you have put in more control on your income lines. The more you increase control, the more you will be depositing in your bank account. That’s a fact.
Implement this basic promotional action and watch the money start to pop out of the most unexpected places.
Follow us next week when we cover Part 3 in this series on Basic Promotional Actions. Until then we at Aeon hope that you flourish and prosper beyond your dreams.
Have a great weekend!