By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, VP of Private Practice for Net Health
In this special blog series titled “5 Steps to Attract & Retain PT Champions,” we will look at the five steps that can allow you to build physical therapy champions right in your area. Yesterday we talked about Step 1 – Cultivate Awareness of PT in Your Community, and today we’re going to dive in to Step 2 – Build Personal Connections with Potential PT Customers. Come back every day to learn more about these steps.
My friend Jerry Durham, PT (@JerryDurham_PT) tends to say that “it’s all about the conversation.” And if you think about it, he’s right.
While conversations are the gateways to relationships, it’s building these personal connections that can solidify sales. This is what I like to call step two of the process.
In yesterday’s blog, you’ll recall that we discussed the importance of cultivating awareness of PT in your community. We build PT champions by leveraging our natural strengths into a slightly organized and highly effective five-step process.
As a refresher, the five steps in the process include:
- Step 1 – Cultivate Awareness of PT in Your Community
- Step 2 – Build Personal Connections with Potential PT Customers
- Step 3 – Educate & Promote the Value Of PT
- Step 4 – How to Convert Customers
- Step 5 – 5 Ways to Convert Customers to PT Champions
The first step focuses on letting those around us know that we exist – and we want to help. Simply bringing to light who we are and what we stand for. The second step is where we engage with others and build a relationship strong enough to drive PT champions in our communities.
Building these personal connections involve three key factors:
- Use your potential customer’s channels
- Let the conversation be about your customers
- Be responsive
Use Your Potential Customer’s Channels
If you’re trying to sell to me, you need to come and find me and work around my clock. The same can be said for your potential clients. It’s important to recognize that our clients have lives beyond us, so we have to be willing to meet them where they are. Part of this includes engaging with your clients in the manner that best speaks to them. Does your target audience read the newspaper? Grab yourself a copy from the local stand. Do your clients actively check their email? Send a note to their Inbox. When you don’t use their channels, you’ll quickly fall to deaf ears, and unfortunately, that won’t get you closer to the sale.
Let the Conversation Be About Your Customers
If I’m honest, I like to talk about myself. There are many things I’m interested in and have a passion for. I could talk to you all day long about it. But I also know that if I’m trying to sell to you, talking about me isn’t going to work. I need to turn the conversation to you and see what your interests are.
Say you’re at a doctor’s office, and the physician states every reason under the sun as to why their practice is the best practice. You’re going to become disengaged rather quickly. If we can’t direct the personal connection towards topics which interest our audience, we will again fall on deaf ears. This isn’t good for relationships – and relationships are good for sales.
Are you a dog lover? What breed? Enjoy sailing? Tell me more! Starting a conversation means allowing it to flow in a natural direction, but remember, the conversation has to be about your audience.
You’ve booked and tweeted and snapped your way into your audience’s direction. You’ve answered some great questions along the way as well. Moving on to step three, right? Not quite.
The most challenging yet powerful part of establishing personal connections happens here. Your potential client sort-of-kind-of has an interest in your services. They’ve made this clear by following up with questions of their own or commenting on what you have to say.
Voila! Here’s your chance! Give your audience what they came for – a response!
Don’t flatline your social media page, though, or your email or voicemail for that matter. This will only kill the engagement and connection before it starts. And we don’t want all that great work to go to waste.
If you realize that you can’t be available when a potential client needs you, take a moment and reset the five-step process for when you do have time to respond.
In step three of this special series, we’ll get into the topic of educating and promoting the value of PT. As you’ll come to see for yourself, this is a critical part of building PT champions.
About Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA
Tannus is a marketing expert in outpatient PT practice and speaks nationally on the topics of entrepreneurship, marketing, and finance, and has written articles for numerous publications, including PT in Motion, Impact Magazine, and Advance for Directors in Rehabilitation. In addition, Tannus attended physical therapy school at UCSF and practiced as a physical therapist in outpatient, inpatient, and home health settings.