Start counting leads in your healthcare practice
When people call you for the first time at your clinic or hospital, do you take down their information every time (even if they don’t book an appointment?) If not, you are missing a big opportunity that comes from simply counting leads.
What is a lead? According to our sales training glossary,
A lead is a person that engages with the organisation’s call handling team for the purpose of having a sales conversation. They have typically responded to some kind of advertising (lead generation tool) and made their enquiry known to the organisation. Some organisations further define leads as someone who has provided a minimum data set (e.g. name, contact number and email) or anyone that has engaged with a call handler for a minimum time (e.g. 4 minutes).
Why is counting leads important?
Counting your leads (some people call them enquiries) is vital if you want to assess your healthcare marketing. Unfortunately, most clinics and practices we’ve encountered don’t count their leads. Perhaps it’s because of the lack of marketing tradition in healthcare. Maybe it’s because many clinics and practices don’t consider someone a potential customer until they schedule an appointment with that person.
Whatever the reason for not counting your leads, it doesn’t matter. Spending money on marketing without counting leads is like prescribing treatment without examining the effects of that treatment. How will you know if the treatment is working or not? You won’t.
Counting leads doesn’t just help you evaluate whether your marketing is working or not. Keeping leads in a database will gallow you to follow up with leads after the first contact.
How can you start counting leads?
Many clinics and practices have a database that they can add entries to whenever someone books an appointment. You can use that same database to add entries whenever someone provides you with the minimum data set (see above) by phone or email. Include people who book an appointment and people who don’t book an appointment. All you have to do is categorise (or tag) leads who don’t book appointments differently from leads who do book appointments.
We track and count leads on behalf of many of our clients. Sometimes we create email databases (e.g. MailChimp or InfusionSoft). Sometimes we send the leads directly to our client’s email addresses when someone completes a form on our client’s website. In more involved cases, we’ve helped clients install and configure simple Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems like vCita, or other more complex systems to manage their marketing and sales.
Choosing a CRM can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Whatever you do, don’t let that decision-making process delay you from adding leads to a list and counting them as soon as you can. To help those just starting out, we’ve designed a Google spreadsheet that you can use for this purpose. All you have to do is request the sheet below. Then, you can copy and use this sheet for your practice while you consider a more complex solution.