Physician marketing is essential in today’s increasingly competitive landscape. There are many ways to bring new patients through your door, but when they come from a physician referral, they are that much more ready and willing to take the critical next step in their hearing healthcare journey. That’s because their provider—the person they trust with their health—has recommended that they go to you for treatment.
So, it makes sense why the goal becomes to not only attract more patients but also build and maintain lasting relationships with physicians. How do you get that relationship off the ground? The answer is actually quite simple—it’s all about messaging, visibility, and consistency.
Becoming a trusted resource to your local physicians is the first step in establishing a mutually beneficial relationship. Of course, finding the right message can be overwhelming because there’s a lot to say. New studies are being released all the time linking untreated hearing loss to copious other social, psychological, cognitive, and physical health issues. Fortunately, you can find a variety of physician marketing collateral on Consult MarketSource, all of which can be customized with your practice logo and information.
So how do you know exactly what information and data will be most helpful? You have to ask questions! Dig deep. Find out what resonates most with each physician, then bring resources to them for that particular area of interest. Share insights every time you visit the practice and make it a golden rule that whenever you give information, you always try to get information in return. This is how you continue to build a rapport, show value, and become a hearing health expert in their eyes.
Local physicians need to see you out there serving the community and completing the circle of care for their patients. They don’t know what they don’t know—you must get in front of them so that they know you exist, and you can share your knowledge! Yes, this can be challenging. Doctors certainly don’t have a lot of spare time to dedicate to you—and that’s even if you’re able to visit their office right now with COVID-19-related safety protocols in effect. The physician marketing landscape has changed a lot since the spring of 2020—but not necessarily for the worst.
While there are areas of the country where community events are still being held and physician offices will allow visitors without appointments, the rise of virtual meetings and community events has actually increased your chances of getting face-time with decision-makers. Physicians who used to say they didn’t have time to meet with you may now be willing to book a ten-minute virtual meeting because of the convenience. Through our exclusive partnership with Vidscrip, Consult is also working on creating a video solution for physician marketing. The future feature would allow doctors to text you when they have a free minute then allow you to reply with a short video explaining how you can work with them to improve their patients’ overall wellness.
Finally, consistency is key. The most common mistake to avoid is visiting every single doctor in your area once. Sure, you’ll see everyone, but no one will remember you. Be strategic, especially since your time in the field/office is limited. Find the top practices you want to capture referrals from and visit/call on them weekly. Develop a secondary list of practices and see/call on them twice a month. If you have remaining time, develop a third list of practices you’d like to visit and learn more about them. The best-case scenario is you run into a gold mine and need to shift priorities! Whatever you do, just make sure not to overextend yourself—have a feasible target list, and prioritize your visits accordingly.
Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet for physician marketing. Achieving your desired type of referral flow requires a combination of different approaches and tactics. Ask any practice that does this type of marketing successfully and they’ll tell you there is a myriad of strategies they execute to receive the high volume of referrals that they do. And, they would agree that messaging, visibility, and consistency are necessary to this success.
So, make sure you have a strong, compelling elevator pitch, present useful information, offer insights and ask questions, create a physician list that you can realistically work through, and visit/call on those offices regularly. If you do this, you’ll be well on your way to becoming THE local expert on hearing health.
If you need help launching, expanding, or adjusting your physician marketing program, Consult is here to help. Talk to your Account Manager or contact us today!
About the Author
Kate Thomas is an Assistant Account Manager and has been with Consult YHN since 2009. Before moving into her current role in 2016, she worked in the company’s Recruiting Department. Kate supports the East division and their accounts through front office and physician marketing trainings, community outreach support, and anything else needed to help practice owners achieve their professional goals. When not working, Kate enjoys gardening, yoga, meditation, running, hiking, cooking, and anything else that allows her to use her creative mind. Whatever she’s doing, it almost always involves her husband and three beautiful children.