Published - October 2012
FROM THE ROAD
By Dave Jakielo
How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 2
Last month, I shared 15 sales and marketing strategies that will help you grow your company. Here are 15 more proven ideas. Why is marketing necessary? Because today's 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. Plus, if you lose a client because they become employees of a hospital it's likely that the hospital will have their own internal billing operation.
SALES AND MARKETING IDEAS FOR MEDICAL BILLING COMPANIES
1. Attend trade shows as an attendee and consider being a vendor if the venue is appropriate. Target the meeting of the specialist you'd like to attract.
2. When you are a vendor at a trade show, have giveaways with your company name and all the pertinent contact information. Plus, raffle off an item as a way to collect names and contact information of prospects.
3. Map your competition. Who in your immediate area could attract the clients you are hoping to land?
4. Check your references by conducting a survey of your current clients. Keep it brief and ask pertinent questions. A few examples:
- Who is your current billing vendor?
- On a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, how happy are you with your current vendor?
- What do you like best about your current vendor?
- What do you like least about your current vendor?
- What other services do you wish your current vendor would provide?
- What would it take for you to switch from your current vendor?
NOTE: These questions could also be used for potential clients. Make sure you document whom you spoke with and his/her title. Then, add this information to your CRM software.
5. Let your current vendors know that you are interested in growing your client base. They may be aware of practices that are having problems.
6. Attend meetings of the local medical societies. Find out what meeting your current clients attend and then offer your speaking services or just show up. This way, your clients can also do some word of mouth marketing for you.
7. Publish a newsletter or an e-zine. Your newsletter should be sent to your clients, ex-clients, prospects and other professionals. Check out www.constantcontact.com as an inexpensive and user-friendly way to produce an online newsletter.
8. Send alerts relating to breaking developments e.g. SGR status, et cetera.
9. At association trade shows allow attendees to sign up for your newsletter. This is another good way to obtain potential leads.
10. Keep in touch with prospects, suspects and past clients. Track what they respond to best. E-mail? Snail mail? Telephone? Remember, even an occasional brief glimpse of your name or company's logo can have a powerful effect. On average it takes 7 to 10 touches before a prospect will buy. However, most people quit if they are unsuccessful after 3 or 4 attempts.
11. Don't forget to ask your current clients after every meeting or phone conversation for references, introductions and prospects.
12. Obtain client testimonials to include on all marketing material, including your letterhead, website, et cetera.
13. Make sure you always include contact information on everything you send, such as cards, envelopes and newsletters.
14. Become better known as a “Guru” in a certain specialty area.
15. Track in your CRM software where new prospects are coming from, such as trade shows, speaking engagements and/or articles. This will help you to adjust your marketing plan for maximum efficiency.
Remember, if you don't learn to sell now to keep your business vibrant, you'll learn to sell later when you need to sell your house, your car, your furniture...
Selling is a skill that anyone can acquire; sure it takes effort and practice but what doesn't?
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.