Attracting new patients who are willing to pay cash for services is the future of private practice. Here’s what you need to know about how to get and keep private pay customers.
Here is the hard reality of running a cash-based private practice. Patients who pay up front for services, almost without exception, expect you to be an expert. Not just an expert in your field, but an expert who focuses on the precise problem they are experiencing.
In other words, if you want to attract cash-paying patients to your private practice, your advertising needs to target patients with specific conditions. The fact is that if you don’t highly focus your marketing to attract specific types of cash patients, you’ll be competing with all of the other generalists out there—and you are unlikely to succeed over time.
To bring in more cash-based patients to your private practice, you need to do four things:
1. Identify a profitable niche that is in demand in your area. It is critical to distinguish yourself from all other specialists in your area, and make sure that you’re not just offering the same broad menu of potential services as every other private practice out there. But it has to be something that people want and will pay out of pocket to receive.
2. Know the demographics and psychographics of the patients you want to attract within that niche. It does no good to pick a marketing niche if you haven’t paid attention to the available data about exactly WHO is reading and responding. Psychology is everything in marketing a private practice.
3. Effectively use the appropriate marketing channels, including social media and articles on your own private practice website, to get noticed by these patients. Too many private practice owners are frightened of social media, blogging, and other current-day means of advertising. The fact is, things like postcard mailings and phone book listings just don’t have the same impact and may even be a waste of your advertising dollars—especially if that’s all you’re doing.
4. Provide such top-rate service to new clients, including both clinical interactions and customer service, that they will speak positively of you to others and actively refer friends and family. This is the bottom line. It’s not enough to get new patients in the door. They have to have such a great experience that they can’t wait to come back. There is nothing more powerful than social proof, so focus on getting the patients you want and making them want to share what they know about your services.
If all of this seems overwhelming, that’s because effective marketing is a huge job for private practice owners. But we can help! For support and training around marketing and other private practice concerns, read about our Mentoring and Coaching programs.
I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!
I wish you the best along your journeys!
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Have a great day!
The PPW team