Speaker 1: Dr Marketing Tips, paging Dr Marketing Tips, Dr Marketing Tips you are needed in the marketing department.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips podcast, your prescription to the answers you seek to grow your medical practice easier, better, and faster. This show is all about connecting practice administrators and medical marketing professionals with peers working in practices, learning from experiences, making mistakes, and sharing successes. Let’s get started.
Jennifer: Hey there. Welcome to the Dr Marketing Tips podcast. This is Jennifer and today I am joined by a very special guest, Dr. Mark Trolice, director of Fertility Care: The IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida. Now, Dr. Trolice is a past president of the Florida Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and a past division director of REI at Winnie Palmer Hospital, which is part of Orlando Health here in central Florida. Now, Dr. Trolice is double board certified in REI and OB/GYN. He is recognized by the American Medical Association annually for the Physicians Recognition Award. He is a top 5% of doctors in the US, and in 2018 he was awarded the Social Responsibility Award by the National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association.
Jennifer: This gentleman has so many awards and accolades, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Trolice now for about five years. We help him in his marketing and I will tell you, listeners of the Dr Marketing Tips podcast, that there is something to be learned by the engagement and the activity that Dr. Trolice puts into his marketing of his practice, and if you’ve ever looked for a physician that will teach you how to effectively utilize social media to engage your patients, Dr. Trolice is that physician.
Jennifer: So let’s go ahead and get started because I want Dr. Trolice to share with you some of the things that are working and are not working for his practice so that you can take them back to your practice and get started marketing and doing a better job. So we’re going to start this interview right after I have actually asked Dr. Trolice to state his name and the name of his practice and then we’ll go into it from there. So let’s go ahead and get started.
Dr. Trolice: Mark Trolice. I’m the director and owner of Fertility Care: The IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida. We have close to 15 employees. I’ve been in business in Winter Park for 16 years and in practice for 23.
Jennifer: That’s great, Dr. Trolice. So tell us a little bit… because you’re a very active physician, where not a lot of physicians are as active as you are, so tell us kind of the many hats that you wear at the practice.
Dr. Trolice: Well, when you’re in private practice, there is no bureaucracy essentially. You are the bureaucracy when you’re the owner, particularly if it’s a sole owner and a solo physician practice. You literally do everything. I equate it to being the front line soldier and the general. There’s roles and responsibilities that are above or beneath you. You do everything that you need to do to get the job done and sustain your business and hopefully with a lot of prayer and a lot of diligence in terms of vetting people, that you get staff that buy into that and feel the same way. And I’m pretty blessed.
Dr. Trolice: You know, the older I get, the more fortunate I feel because we have people with us, most of them 10 to 15 years and that’s a long time. They’re outstanding in their service to patients and they’re obviously even more outstanding to bear with me all those years. So I’m very fortunate. That’s helpful for patients too because when you go back to the practice and you see the same faces and you have that familiarity, that just is one less intimidation that they have to overcome when they reach a medical office. They’re already nervous when they go to see a physician and so smiling friendly faces that they know and they look for and start to get to know even more is a big comfort to them.
Jennifer: Absolutely, and I think that you’re right, that you are very blessed to have the level of staff that you’ve got. Because, you know, IVF especially is a very emotional… to come into a practice like yours and having the staff you’ve got with a warm smile really does help in the long run. So our audience is… They’re interested in marketing and what’s going to bring new patients in the door and what some of the latest trends from a marketing perspective are. So we’ve been doing, as I shared with you, the Dr Marketing Tips podcast for about five years. We’re into about 180, 190 episodes and we’ve been getting more and more sophisticated over the years.
Jennifer: When we were talking about who we should have on this show, we were identifying a handful of physicians that are super active in the marketing of their practice, yourself being one of them, where we feel like sometimes we’re catching up with you instead of you catching up with us from an idea standpoint. So if you can share with our listeners just a little bit about some of your experiences from a marketing perspective and what type of marketing that you currently are doing for your practice. This could be things like referral relationships, social media, you know, some of the traditional stuff that’s worked for and then maybe some things that haven’t worked.
Dr. Trolice: I’d be happy to, and I’m honored that I’ve been asked over here, so my last name, beginning with T, I’m sure you’ve gone through a lot of physicians by the time you came down to get me.
Jennifer: Oh no.
Dr. Trolice: But I was a little bit late bloomer in the social media marketing. When I graduated school and graduated fellowship training to enter practice, I thought that physicians referred based on success rates, reputation, and patient satisfaction. And while all those of vital, they are necessary but not complete. So it’s building relationships and it’s not establishing the relationship that’s probably… A foot in the door, it gets you there, but it’s maintaining relationships because I have experienced it to be tenuous unless it is cultivated. You have to nurture those relationships. You have to continue to toil the soil and ensure that everything is going well between the two offices and how’s the feedback and what do you need and, and what else can I do for you, and networking.
Dr. Trolice: You know, physicians, we have it I think the worst of all businesses because we were brought up in caves. In other words, we were meant to study. We deferred gratification, we went through college and medical school and locked ourselves in labs late at night till 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning. We were loners, we studied by ourselves. We went through everything by ourselves essentially. I mean there was some socializing of course in schools, but you had to pass these exams and own your material and then all of a sudden, you’re alone for all those years and when you graduate, patients want you to have an unbelievable bedside manner, you have to ingratiate yourself with your patients, ingratiate yourself with physicians, and this is a 180 from what got you to that point. You now have to become that.
Dr. Trolice: So that I think the first step in marketing and networking is reestablishing and reengaging yourself socially with others. Physicians are typically objective. You know, this is the problem. What do we need to do to take care of it? Bedside manner, you know, old school bedside manner was a bonus. I remember my mom going to doctors because they took care of you and they had to listen to their doctor. You know, it’s a whole new world today. You’re engaging your patients, you’re interactive, you’re one-on-one with your patients. It’s a partnership. But it’s also like that with your… if you are in a position of needing referring physicians, that’s the kind of relationship that you [inaudible 00:09:13].
Dr. Trolice: It’s not enough… It’s necessary, but it’s not enough to have success rates, good reputation, and patient satisfaction. So accept the fact that you’ve got to get out there and overcome shyness, reticence to open yourself up and you just have to meet with people and get to know them and once that initial intimidation is accomplished, then it gets easier. And I think that there’s some that you’re just not going to be able to have that relationship with and there’s others that it’s an absolutely wonderful relationship with.
Jennifer: If you like what you’re hearing and need some help marketing your medical practice this year, be sure and check us out at insightmg.com that’s insight, M as in marketing, G as in group dot com. Don’t think you’ve got a budget for this kind of stuff? Think again, we’ve got you covered. Make sure you schedule a free consult today.
Dr. Trolice: One thing that I do with physicians, in addition to doing lots of dinners and events to bring them together socially is texting. I have all my referring physicians’ cell phone numbers. Every patient that sees me, when I write the note, I take a picture of the note with the patient and text them that to say thank you, and then I send them a letter to follow up right after that. They’re busy, you’re busy. Texting has saved everybody time so they get that or they’ll look at it later on and I get tremendous feedback from that.
Dr. Trolice: Events too. If ever there was a hospital meeting, nobody wants a meeting after work. Nobody wants to go to something like that, but you need to be seen because if you’re not seen, people may not even know if you’re still in practice. So engaging in all activities medical is vital, okay. As I said, I sponsor a lot of events socially.
Dr. Trolice: I don’t have a great rule of how to engage others. It’s just continuous. It’s being tenacious, to let them know that you are there for them and their patient 24/7, and that’s really what it comes down to be, your style. It’s not accepted that they’re going to refer you to because you’re a specialist and you hang a shingle on the door and there you go.
Dr. Trolice: You have to establish yourself and then also brand. What do you really want to be known for? I don’t think you can be everything to everyone. Okay. Even when you specialize, there’s lots of areas in your specialty and I don’t think you can do that. That’s why we’re the IVF Center. I think we do that better than anyone and we want to be known for that. It’s not to say that we don’t do everything else, but I want to… When they think about IVF, I want them to think of us. We pride ourselves on the what I call mind-blowing customer service. I don’t think you can do anything less. Anything less than mind-blowing customer service is probably same old, same old.
Dr. Trolice: You have to go that extra yard and you have to also brand yourself to be that customer service in a particular field. I’m not a fan of physicians that speak on every topic in their general field or their specialty. I don’t think you’re… You’re branding yourself as a physician, but I don’t think you’re branding yourself as a specialist in an area, and if you want to be known as doctor X, whatever that is, I’m a fertility doctor, I only will engage in interviews on TV or radio that are my field. I don’t think it’s good branding to do everything that you could talk about, like what to bring on a travel to a another country. Do you have vaccines? That’s not my area. I don’t know. Can I look it up? Sure. But that’s not really something I want to be known for. I don’t want to be that Dr. Oz if you will. I want to be the fertility doctor. That’s what my thing is and that’s what our podcast is called. The Fertility Health podcast. I’m sorry for the plug Jennifer, but that’s what I do.
Dr. Trolice: Now, if we segue over to social media, that is another language to physicians. Maybe not so much to millennials, but physicians of my generation and maybe a little bit younger I think it’s stage fright. I think it’s a question of feeling vulnerable to put yourself out there. But patients cry for that. They want to know their physician is real. They want to know their physician laughs. They want to know the staff are happy, they want to know they joke around.
Dr. Trolice: Is this medicine? No. Is this something that is here to stay? Absolutely and there’s only going to be more and more social media channels that you’re going to have to conquer. Instagram I think has matched if not exceeded Facebook, okay. You’ve got to get on these sites, not necessarily every single one of them, but you have to stay current and know that your availability to patients is not just their phoning your office. They can message you through these social media sites. I answer messages all day and all night. They can give reviews through these social media sites in addition to the other sites.
Dr. Trolice: Responding to reviews is a whole other area that you need to be all over and I think Jennifer and Corey with Insight are fabulous in helping you be responsive to that because patients want to be heard. They are leaving feedback because they want to vocalize their disappointment if that’s the case, but they’re also looking for you to respond, and how you respond is really going to determine where this goes and making lemons to lemonade, okay. I think that feedback is important to give to the staff.
Dr. Trolice: But getting back to social media, I think there’s decorum that you have to maintain because you’re still a physician and a medical practice, but I think the social media is a great tool to be an educator to your audience, to give them credible information about your specialty so that they don’t go to Dr. Google and get misinformed. It’s a great way for them to learn about you and your practice. It’s a great way for them to be in touch with you.
Dr. Trolice: Yesterday, I’ll give you an example, lightning struck, our phones were down. I went on Facebook and we have almost 10,000 followers on Facebook. I put an icon of a phone, we’re busy, we’re offline. We got a lot of likes about that. When are you going to be back? What could we do? How can we message you? It’s just letting people know you have their back. It’s not out of sight, out of mind that you’re involved with them. Then I told them when we were back online and they liked that too.
Dr. Trolice: You know, I don’t profess in any way to be a guru of social media, although people have been kind enough to say boy, you’re all over this. I’m nowhere near all over this, but I’m learning. I’m learning what my audience needs. They need to know you’re compassionate and you’re empathic and that you are reaching out to them as the source for the problem that they have so they don’t have to go somewhere else. Because your competitor is a click away, literally a click away. They’re not a car drive away from years ago, they are a mouse click away, and the attention span of the millennials today are shorter and shorter and shorter and you’ve got to grab them and capture them.
Dr. Trolice: So we take a lot of pictures with patients who come back that are satisfied with our service show their babies, but we also do video and video is king. People love video. I do videos privately one-on-one, but I also do videos with patients and you can’t be afraid to ask, and if you are, get somebody in your office to do that. We have an amazing patient concierge and front office assistants that are just so warm and so engaging with the patients and the patients say, “Sure, let’s do it.”
Dr. Trolice: So those are the kinds of things that… I think if you get over the intimidation factor and accept that this is the new normal, that patients want to see you. So I put some things about me doing my marathon or half marathons or races or other events that we have to show that we’re donating to nonprofits or just staff gathering. I mean they just want to be connected. Patients want to feel like family and the way they feel like family is when they’re connected online. I think that’s the new normal. Wouldn’t you think, Jennifer?
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Jennifer: I think it is and I think you said that you’ve got to have a real focus on customer service. I happen to do the last about a year and a half, I’ve been all over the country doing talks on this concept of social media customer service, and I think that there’s a big difference between being on social media versus being in social media and when I say on, I mean that’s the stuff that you’re paying us to do to make sure you have evergreen content, you have a regular presence, but being in is the stuff that you’re doing, the live videos, the making sure that you’re putting pictures of your marathon or remembering to send them to us so we’re creating those relationship building opportunities.
Jennifer: You mentioned something about video, and I think that sometimes physicians or practice managers get hung up on this idea that we have to do professional quality video or they have to spend a lot of money. Can you explain for our listeners just a bit about what your process is for doing video, because you do a lot of video and you’re not spending extra money to do it.
Dr. Trolice: Yeah. The video. My staff just have gotten so used to me, I said I’ll do a selfie video or have them walk me around and say, come on, let’s just go down the hall over here, or we’ll set it up with a tripod in the office. If you spend money with a videographer, you’re not only wasting your money, but you’re also depersonalizing the video.
Dr. Trolice: Patients want to be connected with you in a real way, and if you’re doing makeup and lighting and all that kind of stuff, it’s fake. It’s just too prepared. I would do it spontaneous. I am famous for one take, get it over with, if it’s flubs it’s flubs, you correct yourself, but you’re real. You’re a real person. They want to know about that, but you also have profound knowledge that we take for granted that patients don’t have. We take for granted what we know. We only focus as physicians on things we don’t know, and we get overwhelmed by that. We don’t realize how much we know and how much patients don’t know how much do we know, and that is easily transmitted to them.
Dr. Trolice: So video, I wouldn’t hesitate. I would… Years ago, when I first started posting, I was posting articles, news articles, and then I would start commenting on the news articles. But then I started saying, “I feel like I’m a reporter, like what do they call it, talking head.” You know, you get these anchors on the news and all they’re doing is reading copy on the news. Well I’m not making that news, I’m just sharing that news and that didn’t make me feel like I was doing anything. So I started becoming the news. I started saying, what can I do to disrupt patients newsfeed? Here’s another study, here’s another study, here’s another study, here’s another report, here’s so on and so forth. I mean if it’s a funny or really, really outstanding bit of information, I think you want to share that, or if it’s controversial, I think they want your slant on that. But I think you have to be the news for them. Make the news.
Dr. Trolice: We’re doing right now, Corey and I are doing FAQs, video FAQs, not written FAQs. People don’t want to read anymore. People don’t want to read anymore. I mean that’s the reality, right? Who has time to read? They want somebody to read to them through a video. So FAQs, we do a one minute FAQ about a topic and what you’re doing is engaging them. FAQs are helping you reduce unnecessary phone calls potentially, but you’re also engaging the patient with another video, and the more videos that you put out there, Jennifer I’m sure shared with you the SEO benefits from that, how you can be found, and then other people pick it up and then share and then you’re off to the races.
Jennifer: No, that’s a very good point and you’re absolutely correct and those FAQs are going to do really well from an SEO standpoint. Let me ask you one more thing. Can you share with our listeners a little bit about your success with going back to kind of a traditional marketing in the patient receptions that you have been hosting recently and how you’re engaging your employees to help engage your patients for those patient receptions?
Dr. Trolice: Well because there’s wine there, the employees are always there so that makes it easy. So yeah, I… When I was a boy, my mom would take me to her doctor’s appointments and we would be sitting there for an hour or two hours and there was no online reviews about how long you waited for a doctor. Nobody complained. And I asked my mom, I said, “Why isn’t anybody saying anything? We’re sitting here doing nothing,” no TV, maybe a magazine that was just wrinkled to death because there was only one magazine. Nobody said anything. And my mom said, “Nobody says anything because they know when they get in there, they’re treated like gold. He answers all their questions and doesn’t leave before you’re done.”
Dr. Trolice: So I always wanted, no matter how advanced, I mean I do in vitro fertilization and very advanced reproductive technology. Very, very high tech. But I wanted my office to always be like a family waiting room. Our couches are very plush. When we see the women, we go outside to try to get the husband, he’s sleeping because it’s such a comfortable waiting area, and the welcome receptions is an extension of welcoming them to our family, welcoming them into our home.
Dr. Trolice: So we do this about every six weeks and it’s hit or miss. Sometimes we get 10, 15 patients or couples come to see us, sometimes we get four, but we have to go back now to social media. We post that and they also can share their experience with us, so that little bit of effort can go a long way even though we don’t see it. It goes up there in the cloud and goes out to a lot of people and you’re just getting your name out there more and more and more.
Dr. Trolice: But what I love is that people have come to expect to get to know us, and if you read reviews about us, and everybody has some poor reviews, but a lot of the reviews are about feeling like family, and I guess it’s helped me… I haven’t thought about this yet, Jennifer, but I guess I’ll say it now. I was a patient in my own field for 10 years, so I have a very unique perspective. I have never forgotten that perspective, and I think if I could close with to help a physician, you might want to reach into any experience that you had in medicine and if you have been fortunate or unfortunate enough to experience something in your own field, use that, exploit that to reach your inner moment of how to relate to somebody else. How did I feel in that position? How vulnerable, exposed, disconnected, or engaged was I as a patient? If you can capitalize on that experience good and bad, that can speak volume and help you market yourself.
Dr. Trolice: I have never forgotten what it was to be a patient in a field that was so profoundly important to my wife and I, and we’re blessed to have children now, but I have not forgotten what that was, and I dig down every day and remember that and my patients, without knowing, sometimes they’ll say to me, how do you know all this? How do you know how I feel? You know exactly how I feel, and that connection will be long lasting. So I think if there’s a way that we can relate to our patients, first of all, nothing’s going to be better than one-on-one, right? But social media helps you reach a lot to bring them to you to be one-on-one and the networking of physicians is something that is going to be ultimately one-on-one.
Dr. Trolice: But if you assume your position of a referral source without cultivating and nurturing and lasting those relationship, it’s not going to continue. And if you assume that you’re… what’s the expression? As an entertainer, he got full of his own reviews. If you do that, that’s also the kiss of death. You’re only… As an entertainer, you’re only as good as your last audience and your last performance. Every encounter is another performance. And that may sound to cheapen medicine. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you are in many ways presenting yourself to your patient because they’re interviewing you like you’re interviewing them if you’re that kind of a practice where you don’t have a lot of patients through different insurances, or even if you did, I mean patients interview you so you’re presenting yourself and in some way as a performance in a way, but in a medical profession. You’re putting yourself out there and you have to be prepared for every single patient. And if you’re indifferent to your patients, they’re going to be indifferent towards you.
Jennifer: This is all great points, Dr Trolice, and I think that’s a great place to end. But before I say goodbye, don’t you have a book that’s coming out right around the corner and would you mind telling our audience a little bit about your book and where they can find information on it?
Dr. Trolice: Oh my goodness. Thank you so much. I was hoping that you would ask and I thank you for doing that. For several years… this is a long venture and not for the faint of heart to put together something like this was a labor of love and the book is The Fertility Doctor’s Guide to Infertility. It’s by Harvard Common Press and it will be out in October of 2019, this year. You can start getting preorders on Amazon. It’s up there. And Jennifer’s helped, Jennifer and Corey and the wonderful people at Insight are helping me promote that.
Dr. Trolice: So I’m thrilled beyond words, but Jennifer knows me and knows that I don’t rest on anything and we are into our second book now. It’s called The Last Embryo. It’s a fiction. A reproductive sci-fi thriller, if you will, so stay tuned for something like that too and Fertility Health Podcast as well. But it truly was a complete pleasure and I’m very, very proud to have thought that you would reach out to me because I have a lot to learn from all of you and some other physicians who are much more experienced in social media and networking.
Jennifer: Thanks a bunch, Dr. Trolice. I’ll make sure to put a link to the book and to the podcast in the show notes and I just want to say thank you and we’ll see you soon.
Dr. Trolice: Thanks, Jennifer. Take care.
Jennifer: Have a good one.
Jennifer: That was a great episode. I hope everybody learned a lot and that you’ve got some ideas that you can implement back in your practice. So thanks a bunch to Dr. Trolice for all of your fantastic insight and I will see you next time on the Dr Marketing Tips podcast. Thank you.
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