Where Do I Put My Marketing Energy?”
Let’s talk about some of the more common areas that doctors usually get involved in regarding networking and their practice.
The whole purpose of networking is to build a community of people that share interests and similar activities. You can also explore the activities, business fields, and areas of expertise of those who are involved in almost any group. This has tremendous benefits to establishing yourself in the community.
The downside certainly can be the time factor. Early on in practice, you may have a lot of time to devote to this. Realistically, as time goes on, you’ll have to make some careful decisions as to how involved you want to be.
Let’s begin with the chamber of commerce. Initially, these groups are a very good move. It gives you the opportunity to meet and greet people in your community and have some professional presence at meetings. It allows you to help them with certain posts at chamber events, which can help you get noticed. You can also participate in their live community sponsored events.
All of these things are particularly beneficial as long as you remember the three basics of networking:
1.Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion.
2.Make sure you have plenty of business cards.
3.Have some professionally done brochures or newsletters handy as something you can distribute, exchange and follow up with.
The downfall of all these activities is the time trap. In private practice, it may be something that’s extraordinarily beneficial. As time goes on, you really need to, in most cases, limit yourself to attending the regular meetings.
The other thing about getting involved with chambers of commerce is to be very careful about taking officer positions because they do consume a tremendous amount of time. You’ll find yourself reaching diminishing returns quickly with your time.
Conversely, the best results from this type of professional interaction come from building alliances.
Of all the types of networking behaviors we can engage in as professionals, this should be number one on your list. This is an area that can be very fruitful for just about everybody who participates in it.
Another essential area of networking we have the opportunity to be involved in is membership in professional societies.
You can say what you want about professional societies, no matter where you practice, but generally we’re better off to belong, and participate in our professional societies than to not.
Especially in these times we live in today our future, as politicians will really put healthcare professionals on the line.
You think insurance companies screwed with your practice? Just wait to you see what’s next.
Generally those who participate in professional societies seem to be much more on top of what’s happening legally and legislatively, and events that are happening in the federal and state governments plus the industry in general.
All this can have a major impact on your practice. It’s up to you, but it is something we recommend.
Perhaps the best thing about professional societies is the group access they allow you to obtain. For example, you can access their group leverage for member benefits and services, whether it’s to buy products or information services. You often have access to some type of discounted buying options or programs for office supplies, travel, etc.
Another enormous advantage of belonging to a professional society is you have excellent continuing education access. You have access to insurance programs, especially for disability insurance. This is one area you certainly want to look at.
In most parts of the country, professional societies have a regulatory interface. They may very well come to your rescue at a time of need. This has been my experience in the past, and it’s something you should be very cognizant of.
But most importantly, our societies can serve as an organized voice. Sure we have disagreements. But coming together on common ground will unite us as best we can. Never in the history of our world has the need for this been greater.
Lastly, really bring something to the table, no matter where you are.
More often than not its encouragement and ideas, with the monetary concerns a tertiary issue.
Interface through common connections and at community events. Be ready to help when they need it.
You never know in this world when you’ll need their assistance. In my experience, it will be sooner rather than later.