On my short list of major pitfalls to avoid in business, leaking profits is pretty close to the top.
But I see it so often with practices, and the type of major profit leaks I’m talking about are so under-the-radar that most doctors don’t even realize it’s happening.
That’s why in the next 7 minutes, I’ll show you why and how you most likely experienced a 7-figure loss in new patient revenues last year AND the steps you can take to make sure it never happens again.
Sound good? Keep reading.
It all starts with a process called your Sales Funnel.
This is the pathway in which John Q. Public transforms from average guy on the street to happy patient who loves you to pieces.
Think of it like an actual funnel – you put people in the top, and a certain number of those people (and their dollars) come out as patients at the bottom.
A funnel that goes right into your bank account.
Even if you’ve never sat down and consciously put together a sales funnel, you still have one.
Your sales funnel is made up of 3 parts:
So many people over-complicate this and try to convince you there’s some lengthy, advanced methodology behind it. That’s a bunch of garbage. Tell those people to take a hike.
Optimizing this simple, 3-step funnel is the key to untold riches for you and your practice. To do that, you need to make sure it’s not leaking profits. Which it is. (But not for long.)
Remember, this funnel is going straight into your bank account.
For every $2 that goes into your coffers, another $1 leaks out. You’ve got a problem.
But don’t worry, we’re going to plug those leaks.
Download a blueprint you can use to find and plug the leaks in your sales funnel.
Let’s start at the top.
Marketing is the big, sexy category right at the top of your funnel.
Marketing includes anything you do to promote your practice – newspaper/TV/radio advertising, social media promotion, digital marketing (SEO/PPC), even health fairs and community events fall into this category.
Anything you do to promote your practice is marketing.
You probably either have staff devoted to your marketing, or you work with an agency on it. Maybe both.
Most practices do a decent job of marketing, good enough to get folks interested and turn a profit with new patients.
As long as you have your bases covered, adequate budget to get your name out there, you can profitably market your practice.
For the sake of this example, let’s say your marketing is working decently well for you.
Now look at the bottom of your funnel – Fulfillment.
This just means giving great results.
If the treatment you offer can fulfill the promise you make to patients in your marketing, that’s all the patient wants.
You tell patients you’ll help them achieve awesome outcomes, reach their goals, love their lives more.
As long as you can deliver on those big promises (and if you can’t, you really shouldn’t be making them), then you’re good on the fulfillment side.
I’m going to guess you have great outcomes, otherwise let’s face it, you wouldn’t be in practice.
Alright, so you have solid marketing and strong fulfillment.
Now it’s time to look at the backburner category, the neglected middle child of your sales funnel, the oft overlooked yet absolutely critical reason for your profit leak:
The mid-funnel category – Conversions – is where you lost 7 figures last year.
Here’s the deal – you may have the best marketing campaigns out there, and the best doctors giving awesome results…
but if you don’t have a tried-and-true system for connecting the top of your funnel – the marketing – to the bottom of your funnel – the fulfillment – I guarantee you have profit leaks. Big ones.
In fact, there are at least 6 ways you’re losing new patients – and by proxy, their money – during the conversion process. Right now. Today. Let’s look at each of these leaky areas.
Leak 1. Your Website.
A young lady, Rhonda Research, hears your marketing message, and she visits your website. Great!
This is the first “hump” to get over with your marketing. Getting folks to engage on some level. And I’m talking about websites because everyone goes online to “vet” you before they ever engage with your practice.
The thing is, once Rhonda gets to your site, what happens?
Does she schedule? Does she contact you? Or does she get sucked back into pseudo-political articles on Facebook?
98% of the time, Rhonda leaves your website and doesn’t return, without so much as completing a contact form.
And when you lose her, guess what? You also lose her $5k or $10k or whatever amount she would have paid for you to solve her problem.
Leak 2. Lead Connection.
Rhonda completes a form. Hooray! You have her contact info, and she is officially a lead.
Now you have to connect with her to schedule an appointment.
Oh wait, can’t get her on the phone? Darn it. There she goes, leaking right out of your funnel.
Leak 3. No-Show Appointments.
Alright, Rhonda contacted you, AND you were able to connect with her and get her to book.
….But her appointment was an hour ago. And she no-showed.
Leak 4. People who have consults but don’t book a procedure.
Let’s say Rhonda showed up for her consult. She is IN the door, meeting with your best counselor, and having a great time. She’s a shoo-in… right?
Not so fast. Rhonda came in alone, and now she wants to go home and talk it over with her husband before making a decision.
Extra sales training would come in handy at this point, but too little, too late for that. You know that if Rhonda leaves, her likelihood of turning into a patient drops drastically.
Leak 5. Procedure/Treatment No-Shows
Alright, Rhonda booked her surgery, gave you the deposit, all is well. Except….
She no-shows her surgery. NO! Why would she do this?
You can’t understand it, but it happened. The surgeon isn’t happy. The practice admin isn’t happy. No one is happy.
Leak 6. Turning Happy Patients into Referral Machines.
Procedure day! Success! Another happy patient to go out into the world and tell everyone about you, right?
Yeah… if she remembers to do it. Problem is, most folks get right back to life and completely forget that YOU are the one who changed life for the better.
Personal referrals are the most powerful referrals. And 4 out of 5 folks trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
If you don’t empower Rhonda to leave reviews and make referrals, that’s another leak.
So what’s your solution?
You need a system.
“Losers have goals. Winners have Systems.” – Scott Adams, the dude who writes Dilbert
If you’re like most practices, you take a reactive approach to these types of leaks.
“Call that person and try to get them back on the books!” <<< this isn’t an actual plan. It’s a reaction.
A system would help you not only recapture people who leaked, but set you up for success so that fewer leak in the first place.
So if you could take your Swiss Cheese sales funnel, add some pipes, chutes, engines and nets to make sure your leaks are plugged and that people keep moving down the path to treatment…
What would that be worth to you?
Let’s do the math on a $5,000 treatment or procedure. Even though I don’t know your practice volume or the number of leads coming in, this will be a useful illustration to give you an idea of the positive impact that comes with improving your funnel.
If you ‘rescue’ a modest number of patients at each of the leak points, check out what happens to your bank account:
Plug Leak 1 = 2 more patients/week from your website.
Plug Leak 2 = 2 more patients/week who contact you and you can get to book.
Plug Leak 3 = 1 more patient/week who doesn’t no-show the consult.
Plug Leak 4 = 2 more patients/month who book at consult.
Plug Leak 5 = 1 more patient/month who doesn’t no-show treatment/surgery.
Plug Leak 6 = Multiple new patients from a happy patient who is empowered and reminded to refer friends and family.
OK, so if you add all these up, you end up with a minimum of 23 patients a month x $5,000 per patient = $115,000
Extrapolate that out to 12 months, and that’s $1.38 million over the course of the year.
And that’s why the second phase of practice marketing – the Conversion phase – holds the biggest opportunity for your practice growth.
If you’re tired of spending valuable time and money to market your practice, only to lose millions in potential revenue, the solution is simple:
Analyze your sales funnel, find the leaks, and fix them.
I’ve got a special gift for you that can help:
I’d like to give you a copy of my Perpetual Patients Funnel Blueprint that I use to uncover hidden and lost revenue for my clients, repair the holes in their sales funnels, and put more patients in the chair and more money in their bank accounts.