Published - September 2012
FROM THE ROAD
By Dave Jakielo
How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 1
Today, the medical billing marketplace is more competitive than ever, and if you are not proactively marketing your services, you may find your clients slowly slipping away. For the first time in the billing industry, companies are losing clients even when they are doing a stellar job.
These days, losses are mainly due to mergers and acquisitions. Yes, some companies will end up winning when a practice merges, but there is always a loser, too. So, the next few articles I write for billing will include strategies that, if implemented, have been proven to help billing companies grow.
SALES AND MARKETING IDEAS FOR MEDICAL BILLING COMPANIES
1. Before developing a sales plan you’ll need to answer the following questions:
- My current annual revenue is __________________________
- I would like my total annual revenue to be ________________
- I would like to hit this revenue goal by ___________________
2. Develop a written marketing plan that includes your goals:
- How much can you grow/absorb, given that you are striving to deliver quality service?
- What is your growth/absorption timetable?
- What specialties do you want to service?
- What geographical areas are you going to target?
- Define the minimum client size based on revenue?
- What dollar amount are you willing to spend on marketing?
- NOTE: This should be a working document that will need adjusted on a regular basis.
3. Make a list of the top ten prospects you would like to turn into clients and develop a strategy to accomplish that goal. Having this list will help you determine how to best invest your marketing resources. Also run the top ten prospects names by your current clients to see if they know them and can assist with an introduction.
4. Make a list of your top competitors and prepare a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on each.
5. Take advantage of social media and establish a Facebook business page and participate with LinkedIn groups.
6. In your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, make sure you are listing where your current clients and prospects went to medical school, where they completed their internships, residency and fellowship. This is valuable information that will be helpful when trying to land a prospect. Doctors who have attended the same schools or worked at the same hospitals have an unspoken bond that can be helpful in the reference process.
7. Try to attend one event per week that is designed for networking.
8. Develop a good working relationship with your key client's staff. Sometimes they may know associates in other practice that could utilize your services.
9. Write articles for medical publications to get publicity. This can be accomplished by gathering copies of the medical journals your clients read and find out the editors requirements for article submission.
10. Give a speech at meeting that is attended by potential clients or their staffs. Many hospitals conduct monthly meetings where they invite their medical staff to a presentation on a current Hot Topic, such as the upcoming ICD-10, coding changes, etc.
11. Let the local healthcare editor of your newspaper know that you are an expert in the healthcare field and can be a resource for them if they need questions answered or you may be able to point them in the right direction to obtain information.
12. The above premise applies to other news media such as the talk show host of medical radio and TV shows.
13. Update your website minimally every 30 days.
14. Collect brochures of your competition and review their web sites to see what products and services they are offering.
15. Have one networking lunch per week with a prospect or a professional that can lead you to a prospect such as accountants, lawyers, hospital personnel, and consultants.
The choice is yours. You may say, "I don't have time to market," but guess what? If you don't make time to market you'll eventually have plenty of time on your hands. If you wait to market until you need to market, it's probably too late.
Dave Jakielo, CHBME, is an International Speaker, Consultant, Executive Coach, and Author, and is President of Seminars & Consulting. Dave has been helping Companies grow and improve their profitability for over four decades. Sign up for his FREE weekly Success Tips at www.Davespeaks.com. Dave can be reached via email Dave@Davespeaks.com; phone 412-921-0976.