Published - November 2012
FROM THE ROAD
By Dave Jakielo
How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 3
In the last issue of Billing, I shared with you 15 more sales and marketing strategies that will help grow your company. Here are the last of the 45 proven ideas. If you missed the first 30 ideas simply click here and here.
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 providing excellent service.
Client attrition is occurring due to mergers, acquisitions and a reduction in management fees. Yes, some companies will end up winning when a practice merges but there is always a loser, too. 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. Additionally, management fees are in decline because some companies have figured out how to offer their services at a lower cost.
SALES AND MARKETING IDEAS FOR MEDICAL BILLING COMPANIES
1. Send articles that are of interest to others. For example, if one of your contacts is an avid golfer, send them an article from GOLF magazine with a handwritten note to let them know you were thinking of them.
2. Prepare a sales budget for new prospects, capturing the projected revenue and expenses per visit to ensure proper pricing.
3. Make sure you send thank you cards or personal notes and not e-mails or texts as a follow-up to any activity.
4. Everyone in your company who comes in contact with your clients should realize that they are in a sales position.
5. Cross-selling should occur in facilities where you currently have clients. If you have a pathology client in one hospital, make sure you are also in contact with the radiologists, anesthesiologists and vice versa. If you have a client in a medical office building, stop by every office and inform them about your services.
6. Determine what specialties you want to service (four of less) and a minimum annual revenue requirement before targeting prospects.
7. Telemarketing can be utilized for “data mining” to find out how prospects are currently handling their billing.
8. Place a map on your conference room wall and plot out current clients and potential prospects in the facilities/markets you currently service.
9. Utilize Google Alerts to track prospects, clients, competitors, et cetera.
10. Always ask for their business card so you can add their information to your CRM software.
11. Consider charging for coding audits. When a prospect is willing to pay for an audit they value the results and it is an indicator that they are serious about switching vendors or outsourcing their internal operation.
12. Network and align with other HBMA member companies and develop an informal cross referral program. Any leads you receive relating to clients outside the specialty or geographic area you want to service could be referred to another company, and that company's prospects that they are not interested in could be referred to you.
13. Hold information seminars for your clients and prospects.
14. Make sure you emphasize your uniqueness in all marketing materials, such as certified coders, compliance plan, business intelligence reporting software, et cetera.
15. Call clients at the end of the year to tell them thank you for their business this past year.
Today, providing excellent practice management and billing services are not enough to ensure that you'll continue to have a healthy company. The days of sitting around waiting for referrals have passed. You now must spend a majority of your time networking, marketing and selling. Selling is a skill that anyone can acquire; sure it takes effort and practice, but what doesn't?
And if you are adverse to spending time selling and marketing, then you better spend time developing your industry exit strategy.
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.