You’ve learned that a competitor is retiring? How do you position your practice so that you are an attractive option for those patients that are now looking for a physician? Get your practice in front of the patients in the spirt of “What can our practice do for you and your community?” Then, you don’t have to sell yourself!
Social and Website
Consider both paid and organic social campaigns using words that those patients would search. For instance, your specialty and all the variations, the city or neighborhood of the retiring physician, new appointment, new patient, retire, and the physician’s name. It’s a great time for some Meet Dr. Smith posts and talk about what to expect at a first visit with them.
Evaluate the search engine optimization (SEO) on your website specific to this as well. It’s a great time to do some blog posts about Finding a New Physician, Questions to Ask a Potential Physician, Why You Should Interview a Physician Before Choosing, etc. It will be good content to have, plus it will drive patients to your site. You may even want to work into the posts the proximity to certain communities including the one the retiring physician is in, but keep the language natural. More is better. And, remember, really good content is always better than search-term heavy articles written just for search purposes.
There is also a way to geofence an area where you could get super targeted within say 1 mile of the office building that the retiring physician is in…or even in the office building they are in.
If you can source a strong email list, targeted email marketing works well with both website and social campaigns.
And, be sure that all of your online profiles are up to date so that prospective patients find you easily.
Physician Finder Services
Check out online scheduling platforms like ZocDoc and VivoDoc to capture the patients that go there searching for a new physician. They work better for some specialties than others. For instance, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, ObGyn, and even Orthopedics are some great ones. The more self-referrable and shoppable a specialty, the better for these platforms. And, it’s a great spot to pick up second opinions. It’s probably not where people are searching for a Pediatric Transplant Surgeon.
Visit all the physicians in the area that potentially refer to that doctor. Let them know that you are accepting new patients and will make it easy for their patients. Don’t mention the retiring physician. Give them your personal cell phone and tell them they can call you with anything.
Reach out to the retiring physician to see if he or she would consider sharing your practice with patients. Sometimes, retiring docs will give out a list to patients. If you feel really comfortable with the doctor, you could even ask where they are placing the ad notifying patients of retirement (Texas Medical Board requirement if not posting to website) and you can advertise your practice in the same spot.
Speaking of advertising, put ads in newspapers and magazines that target consumers near the retiring physician’s office or demographics. For instance, for Pediatrics, try publications like DFW Child and Suburban Parent. For Orthopedics, try magazines like Southlake Style and Living Magazine.
Direct mail may be a consideration too. Keep it very close to the retiring physician’s address and target your consumers carefully. The return is usually only about 1%, but the cost is low, so it’s worth considering.
Depending on the specialty, community outreach may be a good option. Reach out to the schools closest to the retiring physician’s office to see if your doctor can do a talk for the PTO or something like that. Reach out to any moms groups in the area (lots live online and within churches) to introduce the practice for specialties like Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and ObGyn.