If you’re after more new patients for your sports or neuro practice then here’s a simple strategy for you to implement. It leverages the power of interprofessional relationships to build your practice.
At this time of year in Australia we’re at the start of the season for many contact sports. Research suggests that pre-season screenings are a good for concussion as you can use them to monitor recovery and judge whether a player is fit to return to play. As such all players engaging in contact sports should be having one done.
As well, the start of contact sports means lots of people are visiting the dentist to get custom mouth guards made. People get the idea of a custom mouthguard and protecting their teeth. Not many of them get the idea of a pre-season screening and may be unwilling to go to the effort and cost of obtaining one.
If however a trusted professional (their dentist) recommended to them that they should consider your screening as well as a mouthguard, they’d be more likely to take action.
With that knowledge, spending some time educating your local dentists about what pre-screenings are and the benefit of them could result in lots of referrals.
How To Do It
- Go to Google and type in “dentist [your suburb]”. You could also try “custom mouthguard near me” or other similar phrases. Make a list of the practices and their contact details.
- Call these practices one by one. Speak to the practice manager or the lead dentist. Ask if you could come in and speak to each of the dentists for 5 minutes about pre-season concussion screenings. Explain they’re in an important position as they can educate their patients about the need for and benefits of these screenings.
- Go to the practice and speak to the dentists, re-iterating that message. Be sure to take a flyer about the screenings they can just hand to their patients to make things easier for them.
- When referrals start coming in, be sure to acknowledge them with some type of contact, preferably a letter. If they refer a lot of patients consider sending them a gift to say thank you. Don’t overdo it as they have to be careful of not accepting kickbacks for referrals.
How To Do A Screening
Whether you charge for these screenings is up to you. You may decide giving your practice exposure to as many people as possible is worth doing them for free.
As a practitioner you need to decide what you want to include in the screening. In the past I’ve used stabilometry/balance plate testing. If you don’t have a balance plate already, Balance Concepts has their Pondera2 system for under $1,500, as opposed to $15,000+ for many systems. Some practices incorporate cognitive testing as well.
Regardless you need some sort of documented baseline that can be used for future reference. Be sure to give a copy to the patient so they have something tangible to take away.
Upselling Your Care
Obviously if you discover deficits in your testing you should let your patient know about these and offer to help them resolve them. Warn them of the increased risk of injury of playing with these unresolved problems.
Also be sure to ask the patient about any pre-existing injuries. When they’re in your office is a great time to ask them if they’d like to get those fixed. Encourage them to book a consultation while they are there.
This is where most practices fall down. It typically takes between 5-12 touch points for someone to make a purchase with you. As such follow up with the people who have the screenings.
Give them a call every few months during the season to check that they’re okay and haven’t suffered any injuries. At the end of the season contact them again and get them booked in for their screening for next season. These calls need not be “salesy”, just taking the time to call will make an impression and keep you front of mind when something goes wrong. Be sure to schedule these into your team’s diary or they will be forgotten.
We help practices scale marketing ideas like these. Possibilities include promoting these screenings through Facebook ads or running workshops on concussion which you can fill using advertising. If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level click here to book a Strategy Session now.