By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, VP of Private Practice for Net Health
Every day this week, we’ve shared with you a number of blogs in our special series titled “5 Steps to Attract and Retain PT Champions.” We’ve taken a good look at the five steps that can allow you to add physical therapy value in the community. And now we’ve made it to the final step of the process. Before we get in to this last step, make sure to catch up with Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and Step 4.
Today we’re diving in to the last step of a five-step process, one that will help convert customers to PT champions in your community. The sale has been made and you’re ready to make sure your client is in good hands. That’s a job well done, right? Not exactly. There’s still a bit more to do.
Converting customers to PT champions is what takes the business to the next level. The goal is to work upstream toward more efficient sales using new resources that are now available to you post-conversion. Your smile, your personality, and your email campaign are now in your arsenal. Additionally, the two objectives in this process are repeat business and upstream business.
Repeat business is how you become your client’s PT for however long is necessary. A long time ago, I heard the following phrase: The recurring value of a single customer is important to both you and them. For the customer, a relationship of trust and continuity of care. For you, a recurring revenue stream upon which the best businesses are built. Upstream business is equally as important because it’s what leads to growth, and upstream opportunities are those that come by leveraging the networks of those you serve, never stopping at a fork in the road.
This final step in the process is one that deserves your attention. Follow a few, simple recommendations and you’ll be ready to go.
1) Connect With Your Customer
I have a favorite physical therapy practice in Bend, Oregon that’s called Alpine Physical Therapy. According to their owner, Scott Weber, PT, they operate their business by the following motto: “When I have a client in front of me, I make sure they know that they are the only person in this world who exists at that moment.” That’s how you connect at a level where your competitors may overlook.
By placing your best food forward in a way that your competition can’t emulate, the foundation is formed for not only the best care, but for the conversion of your client to repeat and upstream business.
2) Parlay Your Goodwill
When it comes to betting, a parlay is taking winnings from one bet, and rolling – or parlaying – it into other bets. But we’re talking PT, so let’s talk about how this applies to everyone.
Goodwill is any relationship that can be “cashed in” for another benefit. For example, if I make sure you’re in good hands, then I’ve created goodwill. Perhaps you’ll leave positive feedback about me and help spread the word of my business.
Goodwill is created every day in PT, but parlaying your goodwill is what puts it to work. Goodwill can help promote future business, which then allows you to generate repeat and upstream business. Repeat business is created by using goodwill as an excuse to call a client you haven’t seen in a while, just to check in on them. Upstream business is created by using a client testimonial within new networks to draw new clientele to your door.
3) Connect the Dots
Sometimes our clients don’t understand the value of what we’ve provided them. When this happens, an opportunity is missed to convert your customers to PT champions.
Here’s an example of how we can change that:
“Ben, when we first met, you weren’t able to stand for more than 30 seconds without pain in your low back. We’ve worked together for four sessions now, and the combination of manual therapy and your exercise program is now allowing you to stand for 15 minutes without pain. You’re also sleeping through the night, which was a problem for you before we started. I’d say that’s great progress, would you agree?”
By having this type of conversation with your client, he will attribute his physical improvement to me. Making sure the dots are connected for all your clients is what ensures their progress and success is linked to you. Sure this may sound self-serving, but if you’re worth your weight, you have to serve yourself in order to serve others.
4) Ask To Meet the Parents
You’ve established a healthy relationship with your client. Now it’s time to meet the parents – literally and figuratively-speaking. Remember, this final step is about converting customers to PT champions and there’s no better upstream market than parents. But it’s not just the parents. Since we are working upstream, this is an opportunity to meet anyone you can help become a potential client.
To get there you have to ask first. Asking is how you amplify. Asking is how you convert your customer to a PT champion in your community.
5) Be Sticky
You may or may not have heard of this marketing term before. Basically, what it means is, you make it hard for customers to get away from you. You have many touchpoints and they follow your clients around without bother.
Being “sticky” is sending your client an email at least once a month. It’s sending them a happy birthday card every year. It’s getting on the phone and checking it with them every three months or so. There are dozens more ways you can be “sticky” and it all comes down to the creativity, personality, and enthusiasm that you put forth. Just keep in mind that diligence and dedication are also key factors to this last step.
That’s a Wrap!
You made it! Though this special blog series, I’ve tried to share five, simple steps you can use to build PT champions in your market and neighborhood. I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about these steps. A bit of strategy, focus on relationships, and the belief that you’re important enough to sell is all that you need.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about this blog series, including if you have any suggestions for future content that will help establish PT champions throughout the U.S.
Until next time!
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.