Last week WebPT descended upon Las Vegas for PPS 2012, ready to talk EMR, technology, cloud computing, marketing, social media, and all things PT. In addition to rocking one of the coolest booths on the tradeshow floor, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces and befriending new folks, too. Our After Party was a huge hit, and Brad and Heidi got a lot of great questions at their “Taking Your Practice Into the Cloud” presentation. Visit our Facebook page to view photos from PPS 2012.
Today’s blog post comes from WebPT copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen.
Referrals = new business. And who doesn’t want a little more of that? But the key to boosting referrals isn’t throwing advertising dollars around. It’s about building lasting relationships, both with your patients and community physicians. And how do you do that? Position yourself as an expert, an educator, and most importantly, a person. In short, demonstrate your (and your profession’s) worth.
Think about the great chefs on television: Emeril, Julia Child, and Mario Batali. They all do more than just cook. They have drive. They have stories to share. They have purpose. The same applies to you. As a physical therapist, you’re more than what is on your resume. Prove it.
Talk about what you do; show your passion; educate and inspire through your experiences, and you’ll prove to your patients, referring physicians, and community that you’re more than an expert; you’re a pillar—the true value. Embrace this, and you’ll employ the most engaging, intimate, and effective form of marketing available.
PEOPLE DO BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE THEY KNOW! This is universally accepted as one of the golden rules of marketing. If you want your clinic and/or company to grow, you need to develop relationships with people (especially physicians). So, the million dollar question is…how do you achieve this? Do you need to be a salesman/saleswoman?
Let’s talk about your business. If you’re a private practice owner, you know how important is to get paid by the insurance companies in order to keep the lights on. You didn’t start this practice just to make money, though. If you’re like most private practice owners, you started your clinic to treat patients and control your own destiny.
One of our New Years Resolutions this year is to tap into the brilliant minds that are a part of the WebPT member base. We have over 8,000 members, many of them in private practice, and I think we could all benefit from tapping their collective knowledge. Between guest blogs and interviews, you will be seeing a lot more WebPT customers around here ready and willing to share their wisdom.
I recently had the opportunity to pick the brain of Adam Banks, CEO of NY SportsMed in Manhattan. This month we are talking all things marketing, so I wanted to see what a business minded clinic owner had to say about nurturing and growing a sustainable referral base.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your practice, # of clinics, staff, location, years in business.
I run NY SportsMed in Manhattan. We opened our doors 5 years ago and each year we have made major investments back into the business. We opened 3 locations in the first 4 years. Our total staff consists of about 55 employees, inclusive of 14 physical therapists and a host of support staff. Each of our 3 locations located in very high-density areas of NYC and are very close to major transportation hubs. New Yorkers tend to be very neighborhood- centric. It was important for us to have multiple locations so patients don’t have to travel too far out of their normal commute to see a physical therapist.
I am not a PT. This has given me a unique perspective on the practice and has actually been a big help in building our business. I don’t look at the business the same way practitioners do. I am currently pursuing an MBA so that I am better able to manage a large and rapidly growing company.
Tell us something we wouldn’t know about NY SportsMed.
NY SportsMed has had the opportunity to work with some pretty famous clients. One of our PTs traveled with Bruce Springsteen’s band. Krista Simon was Clarence Clemmon’s personal PT. Krista actually went on tour with them, traveling the globe. She developed quite a bond with Clarence, so much so that he even mentioned her in his book. We were very saddened by his passing last summer.
What is one thing you think PT’s need to know when marketing to physicians?
Maybe its cliché, but I would challenge PTs to think outside the box and make it memorable. This past Christmas we must have gotten 14 baskets of candy in the week before Christmas. We received so many that we couldn’t keep track of who sent them. We decided to send Apple Nano’s as a “thank you” to our best referral sources last year. They are $50, about the same cost as a decent basket, and I know that we will be remembered for them. If you’re going to send a basket, be the first one to send it or send a Thanksgiving basket instead.
This year has been a busy one at WebPT and as we near the end of 2011, we’re thankful to our members for helping us improve our system. The WebPT elves were hard at work late Friday night implementing new features and enhancements provided to us with the help of over 25 members.
The social revolution We are currently decompressing from our last month Social Media crash course. If you missed any of the content, including our Webinar, you can view it here and here.
Therapists are in a unique position. Physician referrals are key to a successful practice. Many PTs did not enter into their careers thinking about the different marketing aspects needed to have a flourishing practice. WebPT has designed referral reports that make it easy to track your top referral sources. Electronic documentation gives referring physicians the professional information they need to feel confident in your care of their patients.