Advanced Medical Practice Business and Marketing Ezine - Apr. 2015

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And Marketing Profitability Strategies"


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fast and efficiently using the right revenue tools!

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Are you losing your private medical practice because you can’t earn enough to keep it open? If so, it’s because you have never had a formal business education!  “They” taught you how to practice medicine, but not how to run a business let alone a profitable one.

We are talking about OFFENSIVE actions,
not Defensive actions.

 You learn these simple business lessons and
 advice on this site!

Article #64 - Apr. 2015


“Direct Mail (
Response) Marketing”

This marketing method has proven to be the
easiest and most productive method for
recruitment of new patients second only to the effectiveness of having an elite physician
referral system in place.

     No one should have to tell you that the flow of new patients joining your medical practice is the life-blood of your medical practice. New patients are the perpetual and only money source you have in private medical practice.

     Your focus on attracting new patients and maintaining the loyalty of your present patients are the only means
for you to afford to keep your practice afloat, let alone to enable you to afford to meet all your career objectives.
 
     Regardless of your personal view about the
assimilation of money as a primary goal and necessity of your medical practice, you really don’t have another alternative if you intend to remain in private practice. So fix that income factor in your mind right from the
start, today.

     Doing that is no more difficult than to try to explain to your spouse that you are not making enough income from your practice to keep your medical office open. Believe
me, I’ve been there and done that.

     The key is to learn to work “on” your practice, not “in” your practice. Whatever happens to your practice and income depends on how well you can work “on” your practice while practicing “in” your practice. The idea being that you should spend enough time working on your practice to ensure that it is managed in a profitable
manner and your decisions about what you do in your practice are seasoned with diligence and
monetary knowledge.

     Stupidity is eliminated with knowledge. If you are caught in a snare of regretful decision-making, you must always remember that more of the right knowledge is required to escape… you already know that… but you
often think that you can handle it yourself anyway… and
continue to lose.
 

Problems associated with marketing failure

    
 The notion that marketing is just a matter of putting
a proposition or offer in the face of enough people,
enough times, that the payoff will be what you want to occur. This myth is perpetuated by those who fail.
 
     Marketing to be effective regardless of the method
used requires the following maneuvers…
 

·        You must have a product or service that is highly desirable, easily obtained, and affordable to most people. Physicians sell their services. They better be good or no one will pay for them.
 

·        You must find, create, influence, and attract the kind of customers who have the highest potential to be interested in what you are selling and most likely to buy from you.

     Finding a targeted patient for your practice should be more than a scattered research
process. Almost all medical patients already have
a doctor, so it means that you either need to get
to those who don’t have a doctor of your
category (people moving into town) or patients who are ready to change to a different doctor for some reason.
    
     You can go to a
“list broker” in town that can define the exact patient you are looking for,
such as…


---earn over $60K per year
---own a boat or plane

---are male or female
---subscribe to certain magazines
---buy products like yours

---
drive race cars or are new in town

    … and will furnish you a list of those people
       along with their office or home address, phone
       numbers, zip code, email address and more.
       Cost varies from broker to broker but often will
       cost you about $500 per 5,000 names you can
       use only once.

·        No matter what method you use to reach
potential patients, it’s necessary to communicate with them in a special way to let them know you are available to provide them healthcare.

     Patients may already be receiving such
letters, emails, etc. Whatever you use to communicate, they must be persuaded to take some action. To persuade patients, verbally or vocally, you must know how to do it. That issue
is normally managed by copywriters who know what to say and how to say it to persuade a patient to take action on your offer.

·         You communicate with them because you want something from them. That is your “offer”.

     The offer you propose to a patient can be by phone, written letter, online, newsletters, etc. Most patients hate a “cold call” to them that requires a response at that moment. Most people prefer to receive a letter describing the benefits and advantages of your offer… then make a decision to take action you have suggested.

     The offer you make to a potential patient
must be worth their time to even consider. It means that not only does your offer have to
stand out from the rest, but also must have a value that the patient wants or needs or in the near future.

     Any offer being made must provide as many means as possible for the potential patient to reach your office… phone #, email address,
fax #, or return post card. The fewer ways for them to use, the lower the response rate is.

     You should specify the one you prefer, but a phone call to your office is the best because they can be given the info they need to decide about joining your practice and at the same time make the appointment. A phone call to your office indicates a couple of important things…

1. The potential patient has already decided what they want to do, usually that is to join your practice. The only reason they might not is how well the office staffer handles the call… provided positive info, doesn’t rush the call, is very friendly and helpful no matter how chaotic it
is that day.
 
     The opposite response to the caller is immediate loss of a new patient. If the story spreads, maybe a loss of even more.

2. Most potential patients prior to calling you have already sought advice from family, friends, and neighbors about what kind person you are with your patients. It’s rarely about your medical skills or knowledge, but usually about how you treat patients and whether you can be trusted... a marker of your reputation.

·        For physicians the usual and most effective method for contacting a potential new patient is either email or postal mail piece. Of the two
email is the least effective because patients are less likely to open and read the message even though emails are a free means of
communicating with prospects.
 
     Direct mail is more expensive, but much
more effective for drawing in new patients. As a reminder, direct mail is anything you send to someone that is carried through the U.S. Postal Service and lands in their mailbox.

·        It’s one thing to send out a message but a whole different issue getting the addressee to open the mail and read it.
 
     Most email is never opened or read because
the subject line they see on the screen does not contain the elements that persuades them that
it might be something important, usable, or of value to them in some way.
 
     Unless you create a subject line that draws curiosity, potential for benefits, or is interpreted
to be important to the recipient, it won’t be opened. People rarely go back to read an email they saved to read later.

     Direct mail has similar characteristics. When you pull a pile of mail out of your mailbox, you know that you will sort through it over the wastebasket and select the mail piece you are interested in opening. So what makes it
interesting or you curious about each of those. Over 50 percent of mail is neither opened
nor read.
 
     About 5 to 15% open rate is reasonable and expected. But you want everyone who gets your offer to open and read your offer.

     The more you do to make the envelope exciting, different from all the rest, or somehow enticing the more chance you have to gain a new patient. When you get around a 50% open rate
for your mail, you celebrate. Then you continue
to re-use a copy of that in all of your mail sent
out after that.

     Just think about the mail and envelopes you select out of your pile to open and read and why you choose certain ones and not others. There
are many tricks to the trade that induce
recipients to open mail that are well known
among marketers. You have to discover them by reading information about that.
 

Advantages that direct mail has over email

     Direct mail offers many more customizable options for the sender than email offers. These options include
nearly all of the necessary things that cause recipients to open the mail. Some common examples are…

1.   Lumpy mail … almost everyone will open a piece of mail that has a lump of something inside, even if
the rest of the information on the envelope is something that would have led you to throw it away  immediately otherwise. Curiosity may have killed
the cat, but for  people it overcomes any desire not
to open the mail.

2.   Cockeyed stamp… a real stamp placed on the corner of the envelope at a crooked angle means
that a person took the time to do it, therefore it become a personal message, not a commercial one. When you perceive it as personal you are more
likely to open it.

3.   Handwritten name and address… it makes it
more personal than a typed or stamped address and creates the feeling that it is a personal message,
not commercial.

4.   Envelopes include designs, logos, or colors… makes one think of a holiday, birthday, or anniversary, all good emotions, therefore, the mail should be opened. It differentiates the mail from others that are plain white envelopes. Most people open these first.

5.   Doodles… hand-drawn messages, arrows, and
words that create urgency and increase value, “only this once”, “price going up”, “only 4 left”, “lifetime value”, “usable forever”, etc. Photos on envelopes
are not recommended. They use up space and don’t help sell anything. The decoration or images on the stamps don’t help.

6.   Envelope size… tends to make one believe that it contains more value, more information, and more benefits. Often used to send certificates for
something simple with your name on it.

7.   Return addresses… Some leave it off, or put it on the back of the envelope because on the front of
the envelope it instantly tells the recipient who
sent it and you quickly dump it. Without a return address you may go ahead and open the envelope just to find out who it’s from knowing you may read
it while you have it open.

     Occasionally only the street, city, zips are on
the front of the envelope and no name mentioned. Most people don’t remember who is at what
address and end up opening the envelope to see
who sent it.
 

     Although one can track both email and direct mail and use the statistics reported to judge the effectiveness of
your mail campaign and make it even more effective,
direct mail has the advantage.

     Email is usually read and deleted or saved somewhere and never read later. Direct mail is a piece of information you hold, feel, and touch and it connects with the mind of the recipient better and continues in the conscious mind much longer.

     Direct mail is apt to be saved in an easily visible place and may be left laying around in plain sight for days, all
the while catching the person’s attention repeatedly.
   
    
Direct Mail marketing for Physicians

     Most physicians in private medical practice today are well aware that they are practicing medicine in an environment where they either must learn to market
their practice to remain solvent in their business or be forced into an environment of employee-ship.
 
     Physicians all tend to be independent thinkers; independent decision-makers, independent medical care providers, and sure as hell don’t want to give that up.
 
     Medical patients are beginning to recognize the consequences of what government control of healthcare
is causing in healthcare. Patients see the dire effects that result from restricted fees, increased frustration, and
lack of availability of healthcare when physicians are
being forced into methods of medical practice that complicate their own medical care.

     These circumstances create even more serious effects on medical doctors personally than the media cares to explore. It’s like a large group of people standing breathlessly quiet while watching an out-of-control
house fire burn it to the ground and no one can do
anything about it.
 
     That image remains in my mind because I watched
and felt that happen to the home of a classmate of mine
in grade school when I was about 9 years old.

     Our very small town in western Pennsylvania of about 300 people living in relative poverty under the WWII defensive efforts, no fire department within 30 miles, volunteer firemen had to be called in from home or work 
in the middle of the night, often too late to do anything about the fire, was how we lived then. Thankfully, that night no one was injured.

     Personal effects suffered by medical doctors that
result from a constant and increasing demand on doctors
to comply are rarely discussed outside of medical circles.
 
     Their true disgust, disappointment, and inability to
find a way to protect themselves and their practice from
the political decisions being made today concerning healthcare is repressed mentally. No one wants to give
up the ship that took so much to build.
 

So what can physicians do under these increasing demands?

    
The one thing that you can do for your own medical practice is learn how to market it. By simply reading a
book or two on “direct marketing” that I recommend on
my website and you will pick up enough knowledge to do direct marketing yourself. It would be far better to
delegate your most intelligent and inspired employee to
do it all for you if you have one of that caliber.

     You will have to the same knowledge about direct marketing because it is the only way for you to be sure it
is being done properly, efficiently, and profitably while
you oversee the employees assigned to do the
marketing work.

     If you are not of the temperament to do it all yourself and have no employee that qualifies, then hire a person who is already knowledgeable about marketing… pay
them well because it will be worth it. You will recognize
that by creating a method to measure the success or
failure of the campaign.
 
    
This is the best thing you can do today to at least get started in a marketing effort. Your income depends on
more new patients, so any effort for getting more of them
is smart. Your mental barrier to suddenly learn about and do marketing will quickly be removed once you are in the groove of learning and doing it. 
             
    
Remember, your best resource for new patients are other doctors who refer them to you. So having a robust system for obtaining more referred patients from other doctors is critical to do. (See my article on my site about how to set up an elite doctor referral system.)
 
     In marketing the hardest thing to do is to be patient about seeing big marketing responses. It may take 3 to 6 months to see the good results from you marketing
efforts. You will need a setup to record the data.
 

Required steps…

1.   /SPAN> Find aList” broker for direct mail---
"
Google" keyword “list brokers”,
using parentheses.

2.   Decide how much money you have that you
are willing to use in marketing your practice
monthly. Stick to your budget that you
decide on.

3.   Pick, choose, and buy the list-- choose
requirements to focus on who you want for
patients. Then buy a list of 10,000 to use.
Expect to get 3 to 5 new patients
from that list.

4.   Record details of every response in a journal…
either on your PC or on paper. Many call for information only but often call back for an appointment. By a potential patient responding means you legally can communicate with them
using the info they gave you personally. It
means you can send them emails if you have
that address.

5.   Send out another 10,000 direct mail packets
to a new and different List of potential patients,
ever 2 to 4 weeks for the next year… put an
inexpensive gift into each letter, like letter
openers, book marks, key chains, etc.

6.   Use the USPS bulk mailing discounts.

7.   Using postcards with your design and message
on them is another approach to your list. Don’t
send these out if you are going to use real
letters. If you are short of money, use postcards instead of letters.

8.   If you have questions or need more help then
call me at... 702-236-6337  --no charge for
the first call.

     These are practical things to do that help you for sure. Like everything, it requires both money and your time to
do it properly.

handwritten signature Dr. Graham

 

"Professional Probing"

person at desk, beside and behind is a truck load of direct mail 
							pieces 8 feet high


      Every medical professional can relate to this scene whether in private practice or an employee. The overwhelming aspect of postal or direct mail arriving in your mailbox or your prospective patient's mailbox creates the same emotions you
feel about it.
      Your job is to do what you need to do to entice a prospective patient to pick out your mail piece first and to open and read it. There are many ways to draw potential patients to your letter or postcard, some of which are mentioned above. There are ways to track the mail you send and measure the rate of response
to your offer.
     The greatest problem for most physicians is to be patient during the process as the results unfold. Some people hold on to your message and use it to contact you in a month
or so.
     Many become more unhappy with their own doctor before they finally respond to your offer and intend to change doctors. Repeated mailings to a group of patients may not be opened until they receive the third or fourth mailing.
     People procrastinate often on responding unless you present them with good reasons to contact you.

 Article #64-A

Photo of Dan S. Kennedy, marketing expert

"How and why you should create a information newsletter for your medical practice"
 

By:  jpalmer on: March 2nd, 2010--- GKIC Group
 

When I speak live I often refer the “magic of a
customer newsletter” because a properly written newsletter can truly do magical things for a business. One of the big reasons is that newsletters are not perceived in the same manner as a postcard, a flyer
or other forms of direct mail marketing.

When people receive these or anything else that has
a sales and marketing feel to it, their guard goes up
and they think, “Uh-oh. What are they trying to
sell me?”

Newsletters tend to be informational, making them more welcomed when they are received. As such they have higher readership than other forms of
advertising. People also tend to be more receptive to what you have to say in your newsletter because newsletters aren’t meant to be sales tools. Rather,
they are designed to be a resource.

In one of his No B.S. Marketing Letters, Dan Kennedy put it this way, “People are conditioned to be less resistant to reading information, such as articles, than they are advertising.”

Since people are conditioned to be less resistant to reading information, which is exactly what a
newsletter should be, most people read a newsletter with their guards down.

A customer newsletter is the strongest marketing
 and business building tool available — bar none.

Newsletters open doors. I now want to share with
you five secrets of a great customer newsletter.

Secret # 1 – Tell them what else you do. Many customers initially engage with a business by purchasing a single product or service. Over time
they may do repeat business, usually reordering the same product or service, unaware of the other
products or services that the company has to offer.
 
How many times have you heard a client I didn’t
know you did that,” or, “I didn’t know you also sold that”? Or, “I didn’t know you also sold that!” These
are all missed opportunities to increase your revenue and profits. So, every month, tell your customers
what else you do!

Secret #2 – Tell them what’s new. As business
owners, we are always coming up with new products and services. A newsletter is a great way to get the word out to people who already trust you and find
value in what you sell. This can often be done quite effectively by way of customer success stories and testimonials.

Secret #3 – It’s not about you. This is very
important. Your newsletter is not about you or how many industry awards you have won. Your newsletter should be about what’s important, interesting, and entertaining to your customers and clients.

Every month, if you inform, educate, and entertain them, with a big emphasis on entertaining them,
they will look forward to your newsletter.

Secret #4 – Recognize the expensive real estate!
The back page of your newsletter is not simply the mailing panel; it is the first thing your readers will
see when the newsletter comes out of the mailbox.

This is a great place to put important items that you want readers to see. Also, never have a back page article with the headline, “continued from …” as this
is boring and not very appealing.

Secret #5 – Frequency trumps everything.
Frequency is more important than the size of a newsletter, whether it’s color or black and white, or even the quality of the content! Yes, you heard
me right. 

I would actually prefer a homemade cheesy looking black/white newsletter published monthly to a professionally designed newsletter done twice a year. You simply must have frequency to build trust and strong relationships with your customers
and prospects.

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In Every Issue:

My desire is to always offer you the business and marketing strategies that you will need if you ever wish to reach your maximum potential in the practice of medicine whether you are employed or in private practice.
 

My New  Book


"The Wounded Physician Project"
 

photo of the graphic book cover to The Wounded Physician Project

The average medical doctor in the US practices medicine for 12,617 days and leaves a million dollars on the table during
that time.

They never are able recognize that it was available to them during all those years because they lack a business education.

This book is unique because no other author has ever written about the primary cause and solution to today's increasing attrition of physicians and the demise of private
medical practice.

Once the reader becomes exposed to the extreme and relentless series of strategic moves organized and implemented by our government to control healthcare, the reader will understand why all physicians must be provided with an academic business education.

Secondly, the reader will discover the critical importance and practical value of a business education for practicing physicians. Today, most physicians struggle financially while running their medical practice business because of their reliability on their own business ignorance.

The contents discuss all the benefits and advantages of business knowledge, how to get  it and use it, and quickly reverse the money crunch you are experiencing today.

You probably won't get much benefit from an MBA degree because it's not oriented to medical practice business that demands special knowledge, implementation, and decisions.

     The success principles of all businesses are the same, but the management of those business strategies have to match the passions, objectives, and diligence capabilities of
each physician.

The content is meant not only to inspire physicians to gain business knowledge, but also to get a very clear understanding about how fragile their medical career is to present day economic, political, and
social threats.

The ultimate goal of all medical doctors should be to use their business knowledge as a offensive weapon against predators, both economic and governmental, to survive and grow using the business tools I continue to throw at you. It's the only offensive force that physicians have to use to remain in private practice.

I truly believe this is the one and only solution for maintaining solo medical practice. This is especially critical to the most popular option... cash only practice... for practicing medicine outside the government
healthcare system.

Order the book today --

Available through your local bookstore's order desk or
at these online bookstores
 
Amazon .com
 
        Barnesandnoble.com

  Xlibris.com
 or by phone 1-888-795-4274 x 7879


I guarantee that it will stick to your hands and mind until you've read it all the way through.
 

Thank you

 

Profitable Practice Tips


1. Create you first physician referral program by following my articles-- #13-32-33

2. "Doc Fix"-- pending bill in congress to ensure that physicians and HC providers have a more fixed remuneration of Medicare fees... the bill considers it's fair to offer doc's a 0.5% increase annually through 2019.

I don't think that it will convince any physician in private practice that they should go back to treating Medical patients again.

 

Borderless Humor


"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

---paraprosdokian thoughts
                

 

 

Inspiration Time


"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your
good ones."

 
   ---Ben Franklin     

 

Views I Only Share With My Friends--


What my medical career taught me...

Click Here... and how it can help you manage your medical practice business at the highest level of expertise.
 

 Facts And Stats
You Should Know


1. The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot
heal itself.

2. Only 1% of people know this:

     All money transactions in the USA by 2017 will be digital in origin. The mandate has been signed by president Obama and signed into already by most of the major banks, large retail stores, and many others.

     Wallets and purses will become extinct. NFC is a digital chip already in the iPhone 6 and has been in use for many years that we didn't know about in many other ways.

     Wave the iPhone over the "reader" and the transaction is complete--Starbucks has it already, you may have already paid already using it.   

     Paper money and coins will be eliminated by 2020.
(David Eifrig, MD, MBA, Stansberry Research--
1-800-974-6837)
 

What Your Kids
Are Capable Of...


Insist on and help your kids to become assets...
small boy at desk studying
When you want to understand
what your modern day kids are capable of and have the ability to do, regarding starting a business of their own, then hit the link below and give yourself a dose
of inspirational enlightenment...

( CLICK HERE)

Teach your kids these things……

--
business principles,
--
money-management,
--creative thinking,
--entrepreneurship,
--self-discipline,
--integrity,
--decision making,
--independence,
--kindness,
--respect,
--truthfulness,
--humility,
--goal setting,
--faith in God,
        and
the power of money

 

New Important
Notices


Protect your practice using the strategies in this
 eBook,
which  contains the keys to your medical practice survival.
eBook cover graphic

"How To Rapidly Propel Your Medical Practice Income To Unlimited Levels In 6 Months"
 
Click Here When you need expert help and advice, and when...

red arrow pointing to 
						right you just don't know where to turn to get honest and reliable help with your battle to fight the external forces that compromise your practice revenue
and growth.

red arrow pointing to 
						right you want to improve your medical practice income dramatically in a short period of time.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you prefer to find the means to reach your highest level of practice income
and productivity.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you demand effective and reliable means for preventing the financial collapse of your medical practice.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you are determined to find ways to combat govt. fee restrictions that continue to increase.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you recognize that what you are missing in your medical business are implementation of business principles and
marketing strategies.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you want to do it yourself and save a bunch of money.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you are sick and tired of putting up with what you are being forced into doing with your practice to stay afloat.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you are aware that no other physician author is making any effort to tell you what to do and how to do it effectively to reach your expectations you had for your medical career when you started.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you understand the severity of being in a business without ever being taught the business knowledge to
run it profitably.

red arrow pointing 
						to right you insist on having a blueprint for your medical practice business that provides every key to your practice success at the highest level. 
 

References For Maximizing Your Practice Income

Books I recommend for doctors to get smart in the business of medical practice...

"No B.S. Direct Marketing" (second edition) by Dan S. Kennedy  

My Other Medical Websites

www.healthcare
secretsrevealed-finally.com 

www.hushed-upweightloss
secrets.com

www.howtopropel
yourmedicalpracticeincome.com  

www.medicalstudenttips.com  

www.healthcare-toolbox.com

www.medicalpracticecoaching.com
(pending)

Paraprosdokian Ideas


"War does not determine who is right, only who is left."
 

 

image large bird, lying on back with feet up in the air

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  and reading.

 

 

 

 

  photo-Vietnam me with two corpsmen    photo Dr. Graham early in practice    photo Dr. Graham and wife Linda    photo Dr. Graham late in practice    photo of my medical practice associates group

Marine Flight Surgeon Vietnam
1964-65    

1973 Private Practice

 Wife Linda 1985

1994 My office

My prior Medical Practice Group...
Graham, Mayo, Kaplan, Seibert,
DelValle, Chuba

Masonic symbol American flag Curt Graham, M.D.
2404 Mason Ave.  Las Vegas, NV 89102
E-mail = cgmdrx(at)gmail.com
  © 2004-2015  Curtis Graham, M.D.,  All Rights Reserved.