This weekend, we have just had our first ‘How To Grow Your Private Practice’ Meeting here in my clinic in Birmingham.
It was certainly a long day and I knew it was always going to be difficult deciding on what to focus on and what areas we could realistically cover in a day.
In the end, it was actually quite easy to decide on where everyone would get the most benefit.
I’ve been doing some mystery shopping (I encourage you to mystery shop yourself and others, you learn a lot) and it is very clear that most people do not have robust systems in place to deal with an initial enquiry, and perhaps more importantly, to follow up on that enquiry.
Not only is that letting business (and ultimately money) slip through your fingers, but it is also not a very good way to treat people.
Even though we are in the private sector, we are still doctors and at the end of the day, an enquiry is a patient who is contacting us for help.
If we do not respond to that enquiry promptly and efficiently with relevant information, then we are not giving our patients a very good service.
Forget about advertising or PR or doing a lunch meeting for the local GPs.
If you are not able to deal with an enquiry effectively when it comes through, don’t waste your time trying to get more enquiries!
You should focus on looking at how best to service an initial enquiry, whether it comes through by phone or email, and put in place a system so that every enquiry is dealt with in the same way.
This is basic stuff, but it is absolutely vital.
Not only that, it is relatively simple thing to implement.
And that is the next thing – implementation.
It is all very well spending money going to a meeting to learn about how to make your practice better, but the only point in doing this is if you are actually going to make a change to what you do.
To be honest, this is the hard part.
My wife was actually a bit worried about me hosting this meeting because she knows that I have spent the last 3 years attending business conferences, at mastermind meetings and in marketing seminars learning how to build a solid business.
She thought that I was crazy to tell everyone all of the secrets and tips that I had learnt about and honed in my own practice, but I actually wasn’t too worried.
For two reasons:
1)First of all, one of the things that I talk about is having goals and one of my goals is to do more of what I enjoy. I actually really enjoy the process of building a sustainable business. If I can spend part of my working day helping others to build their businesses, then that will be enjoyable to me, that is why I set up the Private Consulting Class.
2) Secondly, it is a sad truth that most people will not implement half of what I talked about. We all get so busy doing our jobs, that it is hard to find the time to spend on the things that will make our practice run so much better, but that aren’t actually essential.
Everyone who came to the meeting already had a good private practice. They were busy and making money from it. They could easily go back to work on Monday morning and not change anything and it would all still work fine. They are not accountable to anyone.
And this is one of the problems. You haven’t got anyone to tell you off if you don’t implement things or to praise you when you do. So it is really hard to actually motivate yourself to do these things.
Trust me, I know!
That is why I am very keen for everyone who attended to feel that they got value from the meeting. Not just because it cost several hundred pounds, but because they gave up a precious Saturday away from their families to come to attend.
I know that each person could achieve a significant return on their investment if they just implemented a couple of small changes to their practice.
So we all agreed on some achievable goals for the next two weeks and I am going to call everyone up to see if they have achieved what they said they would.
You know what, I bet they will have. Because I am holding them accountable.
The fact is, that it makes no difference to me whether they achieve their goals or not, but the mere fact that I have said that I will call them and check up on them puts a significant extra level of pressure on them.
This is how this stuff works.
When I was in my mastermind groups for business growth, we had regular coaching calls and would talk about what I had achieved since the last call and what I was going to achieve by the next call.
It is amazing how powerful that is.
The day before the call, I would force myself to do the blog post, or write the email sequence because I knew my coach was going to be asking.
Of course I could lie about it, or I could just say I hadn’t done it, it didn’t matter to my coach, but the psychology of being held accountable to someone is really strong.
Knowing what to focus on
That is what the Private Consulting Class is all about.
If you couldn’t make it to the last meeting but are interested in attending the next one, then you can register to be put on the Priority List here.
I hold the meetings at my clinic in Birmingham and the numbers I can accommodate are small. If you want to be the first to know about the next meeting, register your interest here to get Priority Access to a place at the next meeting.