Wondering How to Handle Cancellations Due to “Social Distancing”? 😕

Dear Practice Owner,

Sarah here, from Silkin Management Group. I know a lot of people are frightened right now, and reluctant to leave their homes to come to your practice. Already, I have doctors reaching out to me for answers – “Sarah, how do I handle all these cancellations?!” 

Well, in times like these, it’s very important to get quite strategic about your marketing plans.

Marketing Specialist Sarah Nadler Shares Her Best Tips to Survive COVID-19 As A Practice Owner

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. 

But I do know how to push through the ‘noise’ to actually REACH clients and patients. It’s what I do every day, both as the owner of my own business, and as a Marketing Consultant right here at Silkin Management Group.

The first thing to recognize, is the prevailing emotional state. People are in FEAR. As a practice owner, whether you are an expert/author/speaker (or doctor!) people will look to you for direction. It might be an employee who has heard all the news and doesn’t know fact from opinion…

…or it could be a client or patient reaching out to you for answers.

Your top marketing priority must be to take a stand.

What do you believe in? 

Do you have a service, product or offer that could actually HELP people in the current economic and social climate?

If so, then you have an obligation to deliver it to them, and make it well-known enough, and well-thought of so people reach for your help! That is what marketing is all about.

Understanding The Path of Pain Your Patient/Client Is Experiencing

The biggest barrier to buying anything is lack of trust.  

In a world of telephone scams, government graft and empty promises, the general public have become ever more jaded with each passing year. To overcome that, you need to understand two things:  

  • People ONLY spend their hard-earned cash when you can solve a problem that is real to them.
  • Your first (and most important) goal in sending out promotion to the frighened world today must be to demonstrate that you are worthy of trust.  

How do you prove that you are worthy of trust, and therefore convince them to choose YOU as their dentist, veterinarian, optometrist, etc., or go ahead with an appointment?  

Your marketing system’s job is to get a client or patient in front of you, because they have a problem you can solve! Understanding what that problem is, in their own words not yours, is the first step toward demonstrating that you are the right person to help them solve it.  

You have to speak their language, not yours.  

This is the biggest mistake most practice owners make. You are trying to talk about YOU – your service, your product, your practice. You need to figure out where their attention is, and start talking about THEM.  

Ask yourself this question:  

“What do I have to do to earn the trust/confidence of my patients/ clients?”  

The answer is: you have to LISTEN.  

Put your attention on the people around you, not yourself, your business problems or even the service you want to sell. You do NOT jump into promotion or marketing before you have accumulated good information.  

That is the first step to building trust.

Get trained as a practice owner or manager so you can weather the storm!

My Top Tips for Keeping Your Practice Profitable Despite ‘Social Distancing’

Here is a great list of ideas that I put together! I challenge you to figure out how many of these you can implement in YOUR practice:

  1. Create paid classes online to ensure your patients/ clients can stick to their healthcare routines and benefit from your expertise. Use software that offers two-way broadcasting (Zoom, WebinarJam) to help you assist students.
  2. Send an email to your current clients/patients letting them know what measures YOU are taking to ensure they are safe when they come in for an appointment. (ask me for my template if you don’t know what to say)
  3. Hold a virtual open house! From live educational seminars to open mic Q&As on popular topics. At the end of each seminar or virtual event, offer your services and schedule anyone asking for more information.
  4. If you’re a Optometrist or Stylist who usually relies on frame sales for income, try promoting and scheduling paid online styling lessons. Start by contacting your past clientele and inviting them to join you in a Skype call, then expand the net.
  5. Food- and fitness-based healthcare practices can shift their focus to promoting at-home exercise routines and immunity-boosting recipes and supplements.
  6. If you’re being mandated, or feel it is necessary, to close your practice – now is the perfect time to write a book. Create buzz for your soon-to-be publication on social media and local news channels, to drive people in the doors once you reopen.

No matter what happens, do NOT go silent.

As a licensed healthcare professional, your patients and clients will look to YOU. They are expecting you to know what they should do and not do…so educate yourself, and educate them! If you need my help – you can always find me here: www.silkinmanagementgroup.com

Sarah Nadler
Marketing Consultant
Silkin Management Group

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