Ray Berardinelli: Welcome to the PT Business Builders group -- where we believe EMRs suck; that systems and software should actually improve your life and your practice, not consume it; and here, the only measure of success is systems and software that allows you the time to enjoy your life and the financial freedom to do that.
Today, Jerry and I are talking about word-of-mouth series here. This is the biggest thing in your practice. This is the biggest leverage point that there is in your practice. This is how you can add more money to your practice that you can’t do in anything else.
We will start with identifying your customer, identifying who you want in your practice, and the steps that you see to make that happen to make sure that you're identifying the right people and bringing the right people into your practice.
The reason I wanted to have you on is because honestly, I learned most of this from you. I figured, why not give it to them from the mouth of the horse?
Jerry, let’s talk about your business, how your business needs to be set up? How are you using and how do you go about creating your avatar?
You start to create these word-of-mouth referrals before you ever even invite anybody into your practice.
Jerry Durham: Let me go back and say one thing that you started with. You said it's the easiest way to grow your business. It is the easiest way to grow your business because the word-of-mouth referral makes the whole patient experience and the whole patient life cycle easier to manage.
I call it “less is more”. When you have someone calling who was told to call you and they already know your service proposition, and they already know why they should choose you, that whole life cycle, their whole experience with your company will become easier.
And that's all I want to say.
So that people get the context that it's not because, “Oh, I don't have to market.” No, it makes everybody's freaking job easier within your company. I just want to put that out there.
What's really important with identifying this person -- and by the way, you only need one happy customer to figure out who your avatar is, and I love sharing this -- and once you have that happy person, you figure out why they chose you.
Who are they? Why did they chose you? Which is simple enough to meet, right? And we've talked about this before, you know, what age group are they in? Where do they work? What do they do all day? What do they do outside of work?
And once you start to gather these information, you're going to find out that all these people coming to you were the happiest fall into these categories. And that's how you create your avatar. And I don't know if you have when you're sharing, but I mean, I have a pretty easy sheet to share with people to figure out their avatar feelings.
RB: If you would like to drop that below after we're done, Jerry, that'd be great. I'm sure it would help a lot of people.
I have mine. Well, I had mine for my practice of what I identified as my avatar. I don't have necessarily like a blank form of helping someone else identify exactly what that customer looks like but I know that there are certain things that we need to cover: the age of the person, the sex, what their occupation is, who do they hang out with, where do they hang out.
So that we're getting the message to those people in the right place.
How does that play into getting more referrals from patients? How does that play into two people talking about you?
JD: What I love is once you figure out who that person is and they're in your clinic, you know where they are, where they work, and you've identified these people, they're going to go back until the people just like them to call you. It's that simple.
They’re hanging out with the people that can benefit from what you're doing. They're hanging out with people like them. Once someone says, “Hey! Oh, you have low back pain. I have the person you need to go see. You need to go see Ray at ABC physiotherapy.”
And by the way, here's another little kicker that I look at: they will tell them the reason why they should go see you. This gets missed a lot, and we're back to the first phone call as always, because then you learn why they told them they need to come see you and you will know that earlier on in their journey. Remember, I said this is going to make the rest of the journey easier.
You're going to mark that down. You're going to get that information, and you're going to share it with the provider, and then you can't lose. You can't lose, you know what they expect, and you deliver on it.
So again, to answer the questions, they're hanging out with like people, people like your avatar, and they will share why they should come see you, which is based on their experience with you.
It's something you can deliver on. It's just like, this is what baffles me when people start their business and they say, “Who are you going to help?”
“Well, I'm going to help everybody with knee pain.”
I'm like, “No, you're not.”
First, it starts with, “I'm going to help everybody who needs physical therapy.” I'm like, “At least, give me some other stuff.” Because you're not, it's going to drive you crazy. Because you're going to have a lot of people on the phone that think they're the right fit and they're going to show up and then they're going to drop off.
RB: A quote is coming to mind. I know she's political but doesn't matter where you are, politically, this thing is so true:
“Anyone who tries to be all things to all people winds up being nothing to anyone at all.”
JD: You got it. And it is so true.
RB: That's why this is so important, because not everybody that comes is going to be the right fit for you. And you try to be what they need. But that's not what your practice set up for.
JD: And you screw it up for the people that are there for what you have to offer. It screws up the whole cycle.
RB: Exactly. Before we came on, we were talking about this.
What if you're a CrossFit gym and you have your target demographic that has to be that, what happens if you have a 55 year-old woman that's just trying to make it through her day with knee pain and she comes in and you're doing CrossFit?
JD: You're going to say, “Oh, I can help her. She has knee pain.”
But you're not and she's going to drop off the schedule. And by the way, I cannot stress enough how much time, money, and energy is lost by putting on the schedule someone you think you can help, who ends up dropping off.
You spent all that time, money, and energy to get them on. And not only did you lose the time, money, and energy, but you lost someone who's going to say, “Well, right.” They're going to be talking to their friends.
“I have this knee pain, where should I go?”
“Well, you know, I went to this other place. But you know, I wouldn't go back there.”
And that's all that person needs to hear. So actually cost yourself more down the road by believing you could help.
RB: I'm going to get off-topic for one second here: what happens when you market to that person that wasn't happy?
You just remind them how unhappy they were. Perfect example and happened with us the other day here.
I had tried to call my insurance company to cancel my service. When I sold my business, I didn't need liability and insurance on my building because I'm not there anymore. I called them to cancel, and they're supposed to send me this thing in the mail.
They don't send it to me. I call back. So now they're sending me advertisements in the mail and new ads for your business.
And I'm sitting here literally, with friends at my house. And like, “If you ever see this company, never ever, ever use them.”
So the biggest thing you need for somebody who doesn't like your business is to forget you. The best thing they can do is forget you exist.
And if you advertise to these people, you're going to remind them that they were the wrong fit. So they go out and tell everybody that they were the wrong fit, and that they weren't happy with you.
You can get ahead of this problem just by what you're saying. The right people, bringing the right people in your practice, the people that are going to be happy when they arrive.
If you have CrossFit, the crossfitter that's going to come in is going to be a good fit.
JD: Back to where we started, word-of-mouth referrals, not just a marketing thing. It is an ease of business, it is a “less is more” approach. And again, it will save you marketing expenses, it will save you energy, it will save you time, and it will generate more money.
This whole identifying this target market so that you can have your own people, right your own happy paying clients and customers, telling other people is a far greater return than you have ever imagined. And you will stop putting people who aren't the right fit on the schedule.
RB: That's right. Exactly.
JD: I want to say something else that I shared with you earlier. The first step in creating a successful business, not a physical therapy practice, is identifying who you can serve best.
This is that avatar. This is that person that will show up in your clinic because I'm going to tell you something here and it may offend you a little bit but it only sting for a while: anybody can deliver the care you're delivering.
So why will this person choose you? Why will they stay? Why will they pay you? And why will they be happy with you?
That's who you have to identify. Is that person who will choose you, who will pay, who will stay, and then will tell other people about you?
That is the first step in creating your physical therapy business.RB: What if somebody is having problems, like they're trying to figure out who this person is to them? Do you have any tips or strategies that you can share with people about how they can figure out exactly what this person is within their practice?
JD: Yeah. I started out this Facebook Live by stating this: if you have an existing business, you need to go back through your list from the last month or three months and look up all the people who completed a plan of care.
Who were the people who arrived? Who are the people who paid on time? Who were the people who may be canceled once or twice during their planning care?
And you need to write all their names down. I would then dig a little deeper.
Where did they all come from? What is the age? What is the gender?
And then I would start to look at that list, then I would do this: I would email them and I would personally call. I would do both. I would ask them three questions.
And this to me is so valuable. I would ask them these three questions.
First, the number one question I would ask them is, “How did you find me?” Because that'll give you a tip.
The second question I would ask and this is the gold mine, mind you, if you don't know where the gold mine is, it doesn't work. So the first one's a gold mine. The last one is the mountain moment.
The second question is, “Why did you choose me?”
And then the third one is, “When you refer a friend or family member to me, what will you tell them?”
That right there to me, that work right there will identify your avatar.
RB: And you could use a Net Promoter. The last one is basically to take off on Net Promoter. You can use that Net Promoter also.
JD: If you're using the Net Promoter, then go pull up all your 9s and 10s, and break them down the same way. I said look at age, look at gender, look at where they came from.
And then I would send them because that's what I was always looking for from the Net Promoter. I was always looking for (a) first of the answer, and then (b) how can I get some information out of them after that 9 or 10?
And by the way, I used to follow up a lot my 9s and 10s. At first, send them a handwritten “thank you” note.
And then I would end up calling them and asking them if they mind (I already knew where they came from, so the questions I had to ask them were pretty simple), it just said, “Look, I need a minute of your time.”
And I would ask them questions to dig deeper, and really try to get drilled down who is this target customer? Who are these people?
RB: And you know how I worked out with Aetas, with my app? I did face-to-face after they gave me a 9 or 10. I walked into the room and would ask them specifically those questions.
“Hey, I saw you gave us a 9 or a 10.” And then I would talk to them about it, and I would ask them for the Google review at that point.
Also, it allows you to dial in on who you're looking for, on exactly who you're looking for. All of your happy people are who you want, you want more people just like them.
JD: There's similarities. You're going to have to do some work. They’re all your happiest people, all your 9s and 10s.
All your people that have completed a plan of care, who arrived, paid, stayed and probably sent you someone, word-of-mouth already, there's similarities. And you got to drill down, you got to find out where they are. Because that is where you spend your marketing money.
RB: Right. Exactly. So you’re targeting.
So if you're 45 to 60 year-old people that are on their feet all day, you're going to be advertising to the nurses. You're going to target places that they're going to be, things that they're going to do, things that they like.
How do you suggest you get that across in your marketing?
Anything you can think of that people should do in their marketing to let that ideal customer know that this is the right place for them.
JD: There's more than one right answer to this. I'm not saying there's only one right answer.
But I'm going to say this because I believe this is the greatest value. So you have your 9s or 10s on the NPS, or you have your happy customers.
That last question I told you to ask, number three, that is what I turned in my business into my marketing. What will you tell because this is the goal, because you can go to bed every night believing that people are choosing you because of A, B and C.
And when you start asking people what will you tell your friends or family when you refer them to me? I don't care what your A,B,C and D is. Whatever the trend is, again, in those answers is why people are choosing you.
I turn that into my marketing.
If I know that 45 to 60 year old women who are on their feet all day, I'm still going to target them wherever they are. But I'm going to use the terminology that the people told me in the answer to number three.
And that's what I used to try to get out. I used to try to get out of my NPS question, follow up questions. What will you tell people? That's all I care about.
I mean, let's face it, my favorite analogy, the breakfast cereal aisle, there's nobody making a logical choice in the breakfast cereal. And it's all because of the emotions and what they've heard and what they've seen on TV and what their friends have told them.
RB: Within that, Jerry, like you said that about they're going to tell you exactly what they use in your marketing. The wording that you want to use, the things you want to say to them.
How do you make that carry over to in your practice? To make sure that the message upfront on your advertising carries through that first phone call?
JD: I would say, Okay, yeah. Okay, good. Now, how much more time do we have?
Ray made a great point as my mind went like this -- how are we going to make sure it continues throughout their experience and life cycle, but just go back to the first phone call?
You must ask them. I am coaching people currently. And this is repeated so often on my training because people miss this.
Everybody out there asks, “How'd you hear about us?”
What nobody's doing?
Let me give you an example, I'm on the phone with Bill Smith and he says, “Well, Ray, your past patient told me to come see you.”
Everybody says that's great. And they go on and I'm like, you just missed it.
A past patient of yours Ray told me to call you.
“Oh, if you don't mind, Bill, would you share with me?”
Here it is. This is the big less is more. One more question.
Get rid of five other questions you're asking and just ask this.
“What is it that Ray told you that led to you calling us bill?”
Whatever comes out of their mouth next is their expectation.
If they state their expectations and you meet their expectation, the research states you will have a solid positive outcome. It's that simple. So you must ask them.
I just put all this into the advertising and We don't ask them what they saw or what they heard. You're flipping a coin again, no believe nothing to risk.
We're asking are, are happy paying nines and tens. What they're going to tell people, we use it in the advertising.
Remember, I told you less is more. Now let's make sure the experience and the lifecycle incorporates this on the first phone call, so you can't fail.
And then by the way, everybody who calls is then the right fit. That's the goal, the 80-20 rule. Let's make it the 90-10 rule. Let's make it 95-5.
RB: So, In related news, that needs to be added as a field for the latest customers. We asked them how they found out about us.
But if it's a referral from another patient, we need to ask them -- what did they tell you? What did they say to you?
And then you need to gather that information.
JD: This has been interesting about training with recording calls. We all have that.
I have the checklist. “Oh, how'd you hear about us?”
When Ray saying, “I have on the checklist -- how you heard about us?” He has this idea of what he wants from it.
When I tell people to ask, how did you hear about us? I had this idea. And then you go through and you listen to 5,10, 100 calls recorded, and you go, that's just a real question.
There is no there there. They're asking it because it's on the list.
There's so much value in a follow up question, or on asking it just a little different. And this is the big part of the training that I'm doing is there are no scripts.
Aetas, self talk, everything has a checklist. That's all it is.
You are free to have the conversation. You must have Get this information. So when someone says, “Oh, my doctor told me, told me about you.”
“Oh, what is it your doctor said”
“Oh, I saw you on the Google.”
“Oh, what did you see”, “Oh, I can't remember.”
“Oh, did you come to our website?”, “Nope. But I don't remember exactly.”
Okay, that's cool. I'm not going to beat that dead horse.You're free to have the conversation.
If you ask that every time you are going to again, I cannot stress enough, your marketing spend won't necessarily go down. The ROI on your marketing spend will go through the roof.
So if you want to spend $1,000, you'll get right a 10 time return. If you spend $10,000, you still get 10 times a return. So it's about an ROI on your marketing.
I'm going through this with other people. They can't measure the ROI in their marketing because they're not attracting the right people. They're not having the right phone call.
Technology that supports it so we can measure it all without a piece of paper.
But that's where technology fits.
You don't get technology and go sweet, we're going to build a system around it. No, we built the technology to support the systems to do exactly what we're seeing.
RB: Stephen just said, “Ask them what the referral source said.”
JD: Yeah, which is exactly right.
So it doesn't matter where or how,even if someone says I went to your website “Oh, oh, great. That's awesome. I'm so glad you saw our website.”
“What was it you saw on the website that got you to call us?”
“Oh, your doctor sent you. What was it that Dr. Smith said that got you to call us?”
And by the way, be prepared for the answers you don't want to hear.
Well, you told me you guys have free parking. I literally had a referral source, literally had a referral source in San Francisco that would send people because remember, this is the interesting thing about people coming through providers, the provider, the MD, the Cairo the whoever sending you that patient wants the path of least resistance.
When everybody is coming back complaining that there's no parking. Whenever you send me to PT, he's going to find the place or she with the easiest parking situation.
I had a provider like that. When I knew they came from this doctor, and it was because we had free parking, don't get me wrong, I didn't just put them on the schedule.
We work to build that value proposition. They were coming because of the parking. Well, so why should they choose me? The parking.
I don't want people choosing me for that. I want them calling me for that. But I want them arriving pain insane and do my marketing for me.
RB: We both know they're not really coming for the parking if they were if they wanted the best parking, they just stay at home.
JD: So that way I do that sell and I build the value on the first phone call. That's why there's no script. That's why it's cheap.
RB: Basically, what you're saying is the checklist like a loose format, so the conversation can go wherever you want.
JD: And at the end of the phone call, just as long as you check those 10 boxes, we're good to go. I don't care how you got there. As long as you check the 10 boxes on the checklist.
RB: Anything else you'd like to share. I’m trying to wrap this up, I want to keep these two a half an hour, because I know what happens, they get too long.
I know what I do. And I start dropping off. And I don't ever finish it.
I'm trying to keep these relatively short.
Anything else you'd like to share in closing up about making sure that you're getting the right people into your practice?
JD: Let's just wrap it up and go back to the beginning.
Step one of building your business. And by the way, you can have a current business and you're going to tell me you need more new patients.
I'm going to go “No, you don't need more new patients. You need more people who are the right fit for your practice.”
So if you do the work to identify it, and we gave you at least two if not three strategies to identify your ideal customer, your ideal client and your current market.
If you do that, it isn't just about getting more people in the door. It's about making the whole process easier.
And I promise you, again, less is more. The more work you do on the front end to get the right person to call, the less work you must do to make more money to make sure the right people are on the schedule to grow your business.
Identifying this person and then finding out where they are and then making sure you're using their words will pay off greater than anything else you do in your business.
If you skip this step, and you start adding services and doing all this other stuff, no, it's got to start here.
RB: I think that pretty much covers everything Jerry. Thank you so much, man.
From the bottom of my heart, man, I appreciate you coming on here. And sharing the wealth of the wealth of information.
Thanks so much, brother for coming onm sharing as always. Each time we talk, I take something additional way.
Thank you for that also because that allows me to tweak things a little bit.
We're going to add underneath the referral source, some information and then I'm gonna start looking at keyword grouping on that.
JD: That is beautiful and that's a huge take on.
RB: Then we can see what the keywords that are in there are, the frequency of the words the most frequently used words and those will be able to dig that out.
That'll be a couple month project, but it'll be fun.
Thank you so much Jerry for coming on and sharing here brother.
And in closing thank you for watching the PT Business Builders show where we believe EMRS suck, that systems and software should actually grow your business and improve your life and not consume it.
And here our only measure of success is systems and software that give you the time to enjoy your life and the financial freedom to do that.
Thank you everyone for watching. Thank you again, Jerry. Appreciate it, brother.
Have a good one.