Do your patients know about all of the services and healthcare solutions your practice offers? If not, do you need some easy-to-use ideas to take advantage of your captive audience (ya know, those people in your lobby)?Audience-Dr-Marketing-Tips-300x300

The answer is simple: cross-marketing. And it’s something not near enough practices do.

What we mean by cross-marketing is letting your patients know about all of the services your practice offers while they are in your office. Sounds simple, right? Believe it or not, many offices (maybe even yours) still don’t take full advantage of the captive audience that is literally knocking on the door looking for help.

Assuming a patient knows the inner workings of your office is a mistake, and it’s one that’s made far too often.

If a patient is sitting in your waiting room, odds are something is wrong. Maybe today it’s flu-like symptoms or a sprained finger; but what about a month from now? A year from now? That patient may have a daughter with a sinus infection or an uncle with a bad knee; but if they don’t know you treat those problems as well, what is to say they don’t take their illness (and their dollars) elsewhere? It may seem obvious to you that if you treat one, you treat the other… but you work there. Every day.

Assuming a patient knows the inner workings of your office is a mistake, and it’s one that’s made far too often.

So, here are a few tips to take advantage of your captive audience in the waiting room and how you can start cross-marketing today.

1. Use Your Marketing Material

Remember those boxes of pamphlets and rack cards laying around in the storage closet you had printed for that event a few months ago? Try digging them out and using them to help promote your business in your business.Rack-Cards

Just because you’re at your office doesn’t mean you can’t talk about yourself. Place a brochure with every receipt or have a stack in the waiting or exam rooms.

Don’t have any brochures laying around? No problem. Get one made, or if you’re feeling creative, make a flyer yourself that talks about the practice. No matter what, you’ll want to include a list of services available and plenty of ways to contact the office.

A word of caution if you decide to make a flyer/brochure/rack card yourself: make sure you know what you’re doing before sinking in the time to write, design and print the pieces. There are marketing specialists for a reason, just as there are doctors for a reason. If your marketing pieces are what set your office apart from others down the street, look at it from an objective point of view and ask, “If I picked this up without knowing this office, would I schedule an appointment here?”

2. Have a Meeting

See, we told you these were simple. Walk into your office tomorrow and have a quick staff meeting before you begin to see patients. Pick a service you offer and want to highlight then, tell every member of your staff to mention it to every patient they see throughout the day.

Not only will this give them something extra to speak with patients about (again, improving your brand by having friendly, talkative staff), but it will also provide a personal, one-on-one touch that may come back to pay dividends for you, either through that patient or someone they refer to your office.

This technique also works with any special promotions you may be running or as a way to promote your social media pages. Social media is a topic for another article, but if you’ve got a Facebook page up and running, having your staff talk about it to patients can put it over the top, especially if you offer free wifi in your building and patients can follow you right from their phone while they wait.

3. Redecorate

On your way to the office, buy a few 8.5×11 clear plastic stands. Have someone in your office create a one sided flyer that lists your most popular services and your website (or social media site’s) address. Place a few around the office or in each exam room and pat yourself on the back. This is one of the easiest ways to cross-market, and after a couple bucks and a few minutes on a computer… you’re done. Presto.Custom-Flyer-for-Medical-Practice-e1407157827872

In this case, it’s ok to design a flyer in your office, simply because it doesn’t take much design knowhow to create, honestly. A few bullet points, a logo, a nice border and you’re done. It’s not as personal as the other methods listed above, but that doesn’t automatically make it less effective.

4. Measure Results

What can you do to tell how your efforts are paying off? Measure, measure, measure.

If you’re having your staff reach out to patients consider creating a spreadsheet, listing the services you’re promoting and making note of how long the promotion will last. If you see an increase in that period, or even a few months out, then it’s working. If not, then something is wrong and you’ll have to adjust accordingly.

As for the other methods, it’s easy to tackle tracking the same way, you just won’t be able to be as procedure/option specific as with individual promotion. The same rules still apply: if those services see increases in use, then you’re doing something right and if not, then it’s back to the drawing board.