A few practice building ideas!
During certain times of the year, like Summer and around the Winter holiday season, a busy practice may see a slight drop-off in patient visits. When the slow seasons begin to arise this is the perfect time to reactivate patients and infuse a jolt of good Qi into your practice.
Below are three quick and easy ideas you can integrate into your practice immediately to give it a jump-start. Even if the slow seasons don’t leave you with fewer patients, these are still great ideas to use anytime.
Idea #1 - Reactivate Your Inactive List.
You are sitting on a perfect formula to fill your schedule with more patient visits. It's inevitable, patients fall out-of-care for different reason - lives become busy, they fall out-of-care because they feel better, or perhaps they are not familiar with maintenance care. In any case, many of us have more inactive patient files than we do active patient files.
But it's the perfect formula waiting to be tapped.
Because you already have a relationship established with patients, they are already familiar with you and your practice and they already know and enjoy the benefits of acupuncture.
This group of "inactive" patients are the easiest ones to bring back into your practice.
Send them a seasonal newsletter or a "We Miss You!" postcard, or even a letter letting them know you have been thinking about them and would like to bring them in for a seasonal tune-up. Send them a discounted gift certificate or health pass. This will help to motivate your inactive patients a bit more.
Idea #2 -
Host a Patient Appreciation Day.
A Patient Appreciation Day is a special event you host designed to encourage active and inactive patients to invite friends and family to come to your clinic and meet you in person. It's also a great opportunity for you to not only give back to your patients, but to also promote your practice.
Patient Appreciation Day's serve four purposes:
- Attract new patients.
- Reactivate inactive patients.
- Generate interest and excitement about acupuncture.
- Are FUN to host!
Even if you are just starting your practice, a Patient Appreciation Day generates enthusiasm, promotes generosity, encourages community and helps plant the seeds for growing a thriving practice, simply by asking your existing patients to invite friends and family to meet and greet you.
This is also a fantastic networking tool.
It's a great way to connect with other healthcare providers in your community. Scour your local bulletin boards and yellow pages, and search the Internet for practitioners who practice in and around your area. Invite doctors, massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, herbalists and yoga instructors. The list is endless.
By expanding your community with other practitioners, you can double your fun, double your exposure, cut your costs and generate various referral streams.
Idea #3 -
Ask Your Patients For Referrals.
I know many of us cringe at the thought of asking for a referral, but the truth of the matter is most patients would be more than happy to refer a friend or coworker to you. All you have to do is ask, which is fairly easy to do.
I have found one of the best times for me to ask for a referral is when a patient expresses how well they are doing by sharing their healing success story with you. Right after you acknowledge they are doing so well, ask them if they know anyone who may be able to benefit from acupuncture care, and/or ask them if they may know anyone who may be suffering from the same problem they had initially come to see you for.
I want to hear about what you may be doing to jumpstart your practice during slower times of the year?
Jeffrey Grossman, EAMP
“During slower seasons, be prepared by reactivating patients who have fallen out-of-care”