Ronda Nelson: Well, hello and welcome back to The Clinical Entrepreneur. I’m your host, Ronda Nelson and I’m so glad you have joined me again this week. If you’re new to the podcast, be sure that you go back and check out some of the previous episodes where there is some serious gold. What we are all about here is helping you, the clinician, grow a thriving and profitable practice so that you can have a greater impact on the people that you serve. My objective every week is to bring you another topic with some strategy tips that will help you grow and reach more people. Today, what I want to talk to you about is something that I think we overlook so often in our practices, and that is how to have a reactivation strategy. How to reactivate patients that may have gone silent on you, or maybe they ghosted you.
What happens is that life happens and patients might have the best intentions. You’ve got a patient or a client that you’re working with and they’re great. They show up, they’re engaged and you say, “Hey, listen, let’s check-in in six weeks or eight weeks, make sure you’re doing all right,” and then you never hear from them again. And they just get quiet and you may have them on your follow-up list, you call, and you email. Nothing. They just went away, just gone. And you think, “Well, wonder what happened? They were doing really well.” We all have had this happen. We just had someone this last week that one of my team members was mentioning, “Have you heard from so and so?” I said, “No. I forgot about her. I wonder how she’s doing.” It happens to all of us but I think for the patients, life happens or there’s a financial situation that may prevent them from working with you or something happened and they had to have surgery. You just never, ever know. But when you’re working with someone and you’re in closer kind of contact with them, you are having regular conversations, they’re in an active protocol, you’ve got supplements and herbs, whatever it is that you’re doing with them and when they stop responding, where do you go? What happens? Where are you?
You get silent too unless you have a reactivation strategy. Unless you have something very specific that you are thinking, “Okay. How am I going to stay in front of this and stay in front of my patients so that when they’re ready, they’ll come back?” Because guess what, out of sight, out of mind. It’s just the way it is. When they go silent on you and they just stop calling or coming back for whatever the reason is, you’re not in front of them either. Without having a reactivation strategy, they’re just going to go away and forget about you. So how are you going to stay in front of your people? Now, social media is definitely a way to do that, but there’s only so much you can communicate that way. And truth be told, not everyone is on social media. A lot of people are but how else can you make a connection with them and stay in front of them? In other words, you think about Coke for instance, everywhere you go you’re going to see Coke somewhere. My point is that they just don’t let you forget about them. What we want to do as practitioners, with your CEO hat on, we want to stay in front of them all the time, meaning your name, your face, your message, your care. The value that you’re providing and the content that you’re providing should be regularly dripped right in front of them. When they’re ready, they’ll say, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got that email. I just got one last week from Dr. So-and-so and I think I need to get back in because my energy’s not what it used to be and I need to get back in there.”
But if you’re not in front of them, they’re going to forget and they’ll just look for the next sparkly, shiny practitioner that’s out there advertising, trying to get a hold of them and get their eyeballs. So how are we going to do this? If you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind. How do we bring them back and get them reactivated? My absolute favorite way, hands down of all times is an email strategy. One email a week is enough to keep you very gently in front of them. Now, don’t feel like that’s too many because here’s the deal. Sometimes people don’t check their emails unless they’re working. You know, if they don’t have a working job and they just have a Gmail account that they check it every so often, you sending an email once a week is not going to be a big deal. If you sent an email to your patients every single day, that might be a little overkill but you don’t need to. Even every 10 days is fine, but we want to stay in front of them. So, what goes in these emails? What do you put in the emails? Well, you’re going to do the same thing in these emails that you would do any other time, and that is you’re going to provide value. We have this kind of an unspoken rule that you’re going to send three or four emails with just value. You’re not asking them to do anything. You’re just providing value.
You might say, “Did you know that nonstick cookware has been associated with brain disorders and increased toxicity? And the chemicals in the nonstick cookware have actually been found in umbilical cord blood so we know it gets through the placenta. Instead, we recommend stainless steel. And here’s a link for some pans or a website or an article that we found that was interesting about that.” See, I’m just providing some value. That’s it. Just about a subject. You could write down probably 100 things that you could think of to talk about with your patients. You get that quickly in an email that may not be more than a couple of paragraphs. It doesn’t have to be very long but just enough that you’re giving them something of value. You’re not asking for anything in return. You’re not saying, “Hey, listen, call our office and we’ll give you a free discount code on stainless steel.” You’re not doing that. All you’re doing is communicating and providing value. That’s it. It just keeps you top of mind. That’s what we call it, top of mind. It keeps you in the top of their inbox once a week. The other thing is that you’re not being pushy. You’re just saying, “Hey, did you know that enzymes can be helpful for digestive issues? But another trick that you can use is by including digestive bitters when you eat a heavier meal. It can really improve your digestion. So, find some digestive bitters that you love, dilute them to taste, and enjoy your meal, and know that your digestive system is going to be super thankful that you did that.”
See how easy that is? Very simple. Obviously, that copy needs a little tweaking but that was just off the top of my head. Do you see how I’m just providing a little bit of value? Just a little bit of something, that’s all. I love sending out an email once a week. One of the things that we do in Clinical Catalyst is provide these emails so you don’t have to write them. We see that there’s a 40% to 60% reactivation of previous patients. 40% to 60%, the phone starts ringing and we see it over and over again consistently. These regular emails that start showing up in their inbox, all of a sudden, patients that you may not have seen for a long time will call and go, “Oh, hey, doc, I need some more of those supplements. I’d love to come in and get a tune-up,” or, “It’s time for me to get blood work,” or, “I’m ready to come in and have you check my thyroid.”
But with that reactivation, 50% of the patients will call. If you need patients, you better start emailing them and they’ll start coming back in because you’re staying top of mind. You’re gently showing up in their inbox with some value-added material. Every third or fourth email I like to put in some kind of an ask. The ask could be that you want them to call you, you want them to schedule a massage, or you want to talk about a supplement that you may have that can deal with sugar cravings. Maybe it’s Gymnema or it’s National Heart Month and you want to talk about heart or cardiovascular stuff or you want to talk about coming in and having a heart sound recorder test done. So, include a call to action that asks them to do something for you because you’ve been giving them so much value. Now it’s time for you to say, “Hey, I’ve got something that might be of interest to you. Call me and let me know. I’d love to help you.” That’s such a soft value and a soft ask that nobody gets offended. It definitely would not be considered pushy. This is why one of my all-time favorite reactivation strategies is email.
Another one is a gentle phone call. You could just pick up the phone and say, “Hey, Mary, I was thinking about you the other day and I haven’t heard from you in a while. I just wanted to let you know that I just was thinking about you and I hope everything’s going well. I hope that you and your husband have been able to travel,” try to include some kind of a personal thoughtful thing that you remember about this patient. That’s it. You’re not asking them to call. You’re not asking for anything. You’re just calling to say, “Hey, I was just thinking about you the other day and wanted to make sure you guys were doing okay.” Especially now, at least at the time of this recording where we’ve got so many patients that have been affected by COVID to some degree or another and you’re just calling just to say hi. You’re not offering anything, you’re not trying to sell anything, and you don’t ask them to come in. You’re just providing value. You’re just saying, “I care about you and I’m thinking about you.”
Another idea is to just send a handwritten note. Nobody sends handwritten notes anymore and that’s what makes them so powerful. Just go pick up a really nice note card that says, “I was thinking about you,” and handwrite something inside that’s meaningful. We’ll just let them know that you, again, were thinking about them. You can use the same sort of message that you would use if you were going to call them in this handwritten card.
The other thing you can do is see if you can find them on social media and just friend them. Then send them a personal message and say, “Hey, I saw you on here. I thought I would just say hi.” That’s it. Don’t have to say follow my page, go like me, give me a heart, watch my IGTV, none of that. Just go connect with them. Find them, friend them, reach out, tag them, say hello. That’s it. The other thing you can do is you can go be a little bit of a sleuth and find out where they hang out. Now, this is a little bit of an advanced marketing strategy, but it kind of falls into the same thing. What if you went and you found the places where they hang out, i.e., who do they follow? What kind of businesses do they follow? Do they like a certain kind of music? Is there a community organization or event that they’re involved with or they follow a gym, a local gym, or something like that? Make some notes about the things that they’re interested in, or you can have one of your staff members do it. That works too, but make some notes about the things that they may be interested in and you can use that as marketing intel for yourself. You can also inject yourself into those organizations or businesses and be a part of the community or whatever it is that they’re following or involved with.
It’s a little bit of a side door to get in with them but it shows that you’re there and you’re active. This can also often increase engagement on your social media as they’ll come find you, like your page, and watch your videos. So what you’re sort of dealing with is that everything went dark, right? They quit calling, you weren’t sending any emails, and everything just went dark. Then all of a sudden you just very gently reappear in their lives. You reappear as an email. You reappear on social media. You write a handwritten note. Maybe they’re getting weekly emails from you and then three or four weeks later you send a handwritten note or you call. It’s not pushy though, it’s just so authentic. It has a lot of integrity and you don’t need to offer them a discount or beg them to come in. The goal here is to just nurture a relationship and however that feels best to you to nurture them, that’s great. One of the things that we do on Clinical Catalyst is we provide these weekly emails. They’re all written out and they’re from this same kind of concept where we’re writing an email but we’re not doing a big ask all the time.
It’s just very gentle like, “It’s Heart Month or it’s Nutrition Month or did you know the adaptogens can really help you manage stress? Call us if you need help. We are more than happy to hook you up.” And that might be our ask post. That’s very gentle, very sincere, very authentic. That allows you or our Clinical Catalyst clients to be able to connect in an authentic way without being pushy or overbearing. So if you want to learn more about Clinical Catalysts, go check it out, ClinicalCatalyst.com. You will see my face on that website but my passion in starting Clinical Catalyst was to provide a way for practitioners to be able to get their marketing content done like social media posts, blog articles, recipes that are going to promote a healthy lifestyle, emails, and all the things that as a business owner you don’t have time to do. You may not be a content writer and you don’t want to go curate recipes or write blog posts. Clinical Catalyst does all of that for you: creating a beautiful website, making it SEO-optimized for your local organic traffic, helping you with your GMB, your Google My Business reviews, all that sort of stuff. I knew that for myself as a clinician and as a business owner, I didn’t have time to do all of that even though I needed to make time for all of it.
So that’s why I started Clinical Catalyst. I knew that it was a need that I could create, a resource that would fill that gap, take that off of your plate as a clinician, and allow you to serve people all at the same time that you got some of that marketing stuff off your plate and you’ve just delegated it out. And that’s the job of a CEO, right? We do the things that we’re good at and the things that we love to do and the stuff that you don’t love to do or you’re not naturally skilled at, you hire out. Which is exactly what Clinical Catalyst is, that partner for you on the marketing side to be able to hire out all of that marketing content so you don’t have to think about it. It’s all done for you. So, ClinicalCatalyst.com, just fill out the form on that website and we’ll contact you and we’ll go over your website and talk about your marketing and see if there’s something we can do that will help you. In the meantime, if you need some reactivation activity happening, my very favorite way to do this is with an email series. Just a weekly email value that allows your patients to know that you’re still out there even if they’ve lost touch with you and they went quiet and you went quiet. You’re still there. You’re still hanging out. You just weren’t in direct contact with them. But now you are. So, you send those weekly emails. It’s my absolute favorite way to do it.
So, that’s it for this week, my friend. Make it an awesome week and be sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, where I am doing my best to keep it real and be consistent and practice what I preach. Anyway, take care and have a great week. I’ll see you next week on The Clinical Entrepreneur.
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