Figure out what they need from you. Convenience, competitive pricing, ease for patients, closer oversight of the process, better quality, less risk? Then, tailor your pitch to meeting those needs. You’ll need to be able to tell the story of your center and what makes you better than the competition.
Additionally, your website, social, and any other marketing materials should back your story up. When they search your organization, they should find a solid and consistent digital footprint that matches your sales pitch. This includes LinkedIn, Google My Business, and even Yelp.
Physicians should “hear” from you in multiple different ways. This includes mail, fax, email, and visits to their office virtually or in person. And, don’t worry if it doesn’t make it to the physician. The office staff is key to reach as well. You want them to know who you are and what you can do so that they will think of you when a patient needs an infusion.
Mail isn’t super effective, but it is inexpensive. It’s a good way to put your name in front of them. Write an attention-catching letter, design a cool marketing piece, or send a postcard with educational information, a new study, or something about how you can help their practice. Select a unique paper or envelope so it gets noticed. Or, send them something useful and timely like a mask or hand sanitizer with your logo on it.
Faxing is still relatively effective with physician offices and is nearly free. Keep your faxes short and to the point. Use an eye-grabbing layout so it doesn’t go straight to the trash. Share facts or tips. Or, layout a scenario in which you can help them. For example, “Have a patient not tolerating X well orally? We can help.” Then, explain how.
Email is great because you can get your message in front of the intended recipient. But, we all get more email than we want and most don’t enjoy being solicited via email (or at all for that matter). So, use email sparingly and make it count. Keep your emails concise and choose your subject wisely. We often use email as a way to schedule a meeting, which of course is our ultimate goal, to get in front of the providers.
Personally visiting the offices is the best way to fully learn about their needs and how your infusion center can help. Normally, we recommend attempting to schedule a meeting twice, then doing a drop-in if you can’t get something scheduled. It’s really not preferred to visit offices during a pandemic, so here are some tips for that when it becomes acceptable again. In the meantime, get creative. Schedule video conferences with their provider. Offer to order in lunch for the office and do a virtual outreach visit. Offer to virtually educate their team on a topic where you are an expert. Build and nurture that relationship now. When the time is right, you’ll get the invite for an in-person visit and hopefully it’s to train their team on the services you offer.
Building Organic Relationships
Building organic relationships is a long-term strategy that we strongly recommend. Essentially, be involved in professional organizations and your professional community. People will learn what you do. Be nice to them. Then, when they need your service, they’ll reach out. It is a sales pipeline that will pay off if you approach it right and leave a good impression. The best part about it is not having to sell anything. People will come to you rather than you soliciting them.
To reach practice administrators, try Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), and specialty-specific professional associations. Most of these organizations have national, state, and local level meetings. Again, it is a little more challenge to network through a pandemic, but it’s possible. While many of these organizations aren’t meeting in person, they are hosting virtual events, have online communities for networking, and have volunteer opportunities. Volunteer? Yes, it’s a great way to get to know other people while doing good for the community. MGMA has one of the better online communities where you can be a resource to others and really get to know people. LinkedIn groups can be good for this as well. And, some communities still have Office Manager Associations. Try it out if yours does. One caution: Give to the community before you try to sell to the community. Get involved, offer advice, participate in the forums. Then, when someone asks about infusions, that’s your time to sell.
Reaching physicians this way is more challenging, but still possible. It’s very market-specific, but here are some organizations to try: local medical societies, specialty-specific medical societies, practice management conferences, ACOs, and IPAs.
Targeted and strategic digital marketing can be a great way to reach your targets any time, but is particularly useful right now when a traditional in-person sales call isn’t as feasible. Start with optimizing your website (SEO) for search engines to ensure that people are finding you rather than you having to find them. Think in terms of what they are searching for rather than just what you are offering. Pay per click (PPC) ads can be very targeted on LinkedIn using specific as job titles. And, retargeting ads on social media can be a great way to keep your company top of mind. SEO and PPC can be costly, but when done right, are worth every penny. And, there is the flexibility to turn them on and off as needed.
Where to Start
Start with your story and getting your digital footprint where it needs to be. In tandem, develop a target list of people and organizations. Create a plan and dive in. Track your referrals meticulously so you will know which strategies to keep and which to let go. And, we are here to help you brainstorm, research, and even carry out the strategies.