A common issue we see with new clients is their follow up process. In not wanting to appear ‘salesy’ often a practitioner or clinic will not follow up a consultation to see if the client wants to proceed.
In non healthcare businesses a key element of the commercial process is to ask for the business. So you have a meeting (a consultation), you discuss the service (the treatment) and if you as a provider can provide that service at an agreed price and standard you then ask them if they would like to go ahead. You close the deal.
We already know that healthcare is different to buying a car or a new computer, but in a competitive market we do need to be aware that your competitors are going to be very motivated in following up consultations.
STRUCTURE YOUR FOLLOW UP
Your sales process is a vital component in running your clinic and we recommend establishing ground rules for your team to follow up.
We recommend that the confirmation of the details of the proposed treatment is confirmed the same day in writing by email. Confirm what was discussed, the price, when you can perform the treatment and the likely recovery time. Provide details of how they can pay including payment plans.
ii) PHONE CALL
The next working day follow up with a phone call. This can be lighthearted, phrased in a way to ask how they found the consultation and did they need any further information. At this point they may want to go ahead. If they don’t then agree a time to call them back to follow up. This means that your conversation concludes on a mutually positive point – something you both agree on.
iii) FOLLOW UP
Follow up again in the next 7 days or at the agreed time. Don’t hound the client and do try to establish if they don’t want to go ahead. Some people don’t like to say no and they may have either gone somewhere else or decided not to proceed – better to save everyones time by establishing if they are not going ahead. The important point here is to establish what they want to do. If there is still interest then put them in a section of your database that reminds you to continue to stay in touch.
MAKE THE CLIENT FEEL SPECIAL
Many practitioners think that repeated follow up of clients is in some way desperate but in actual fact it’s the exact opposite. Talking to clients and making it clear that you are keen to treat them and look after them is the opposite of desperation.
Finally a follow up gives you an hugely valuable opportunity to get feedback. Is your price right? Is there anything else you should be doing better? Your conversation rate from consultation to treatment is one of the most important metrics in your marketing strategy. Use your follow up to improve it.