THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Snow Patrol – what to do about this weather

This post isn’t about:

  1. healthcare

  2. concierge class customer service

  3. social media marketing

It’s unashamedly commercial. This post is about: cash flow And the fact that December may well be turning into a disaster for you. As an aside – make a note to yourself: “the next time this happens I’m going to make sure that the majority of my patients are in a membership scheme, so that my cash flow doesn’t “go Siberian” every time there is an act of God, natural disaster, snow, drought, election or what the hell else causes people to change their plans”For now – let’s do some disaster planning – and I’m going to be very blunt and brutal: Step 1 – Re-organising the appointment book

  1. call your whole team together for an emergency planning meeting

  2. go right through the appointment book for all dental surgeries between now and 31st January 2011

  3. identify the CASH FLOW VALUE of every appointment

  4. re-arrange the appointments in order of CASH FLOW VALUE with the highest first, all the way down to the lowest

  5. start calling the patients as soon as the weather improves

  6. ask the highest cash flow value patients to bring their appointments forward – the good news is that you will be able to deliver their outcomes sooner than they had hoped

  7. ask the lowest cash flow value patients to defer their appointments – the good news is that there is no rush for them to come in

  8. work night and day on the appointment book to accelerate your biggest cash flow cases

Step 2 – Re-think your sales strategy

  1. throw a pre-Christmas offer out there on Tooth Whitening – “would you like a whiter Christmas?”

  2. also offer a pre-Christmas visit with your hygienist/therapist to polish teeth before Christmas – take a look at Smilepod and copy them

  3. if you offer facial aesthetics, get a special pre-Christmas offer out there NOW – “would you like a smoother Christmas?”

  4. make sure every existing patient gets the offer AND a chance to invite their family, friends and colleagues

  5. whitening and polishing might just save your cash flow life in the next three weeks

  6. get ready to launch a Spring offensive, straight after 1st January – an irresistible offer for the first four months of the year on a range of cosmetic services

Step 3 – Re-work your sales conversation

  1. patients have very little disposable income right now

  2. some patients have plenty of capital, locked up in low-interest investments and flat-lined property values

  3. give them the option of investing capital in their confidence and appearance (my clients who are in to big value treatment plans tell me that sales are no problem)

  4. “Will you be investing in this treatment from capital or income Mr Barrow? The reason we ask is that we offer an “early payment option” that reduces the overall cost by 5% for payment in full, in advance of the treatment. Many of our patients take this option as the early payment terms are often better that their rate of return on investments.”

do NOT spend the next few days in denial

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