Deadlines are a powerful motivator.
The deadline of Christmas Day is looming and the shops are full of people (like me) making purchases at the last minute.
If we could have Christmas on any day in the next week – I wouldn’t be going out late night shopping tonight to make those purchases, I would put it off.
When you don’t have a deadline there is a tendency to do what is easiest, ie. nothing!
I have always found it a lot easier to prepare to give a presentation rather than writing a paper because you know you had to give the presentation on a certain day, so it would be done by then come what may.
You can see it in other areas too.
The Great British Bake Off is a great example. If there was no time pressure, it would take them all day (or all week) to create the dishes that they make.
…but when they have ‘15 minutes remaining’, they get it done!
When I go to marketing meetings, they talk a lot about deadlines and they tell you that they are essential to make sure that your prospects take action.
…but in medicine, we can’t really use deadlines for our patients
…it wouldn’t be ethical.
However, I have experienced a situation where the concept can be used effectively and ethically.
I used to offer free 15 minute consultations in my clinic for patients who wanted a chat before committing to a paid for consultation.
One day, the hospital set up ‘mini consultation evenings’ where I would see patients back to back on a Thursday once a month.
These mini consultation events were always fully booked.
I didn’t understand why they were so popular when I would have been happy to have seen the patient in my normal clinic at any time.
It is because they introduced the dimension of scarcity.
If the patient was told that there was a free consultation evening once a month, they are likely to value that appointment more than if they were told they could come at any time.
Furthermore, if they were serious about wanting surgery and didn’t want to wait, they could always book in to a normal clinic for a full paid for consultation.
Marketing is not about misleading people or spreading false truths
…but it is about projecting yourself in the best light and helping patients to make a decision.
We all need to have a reason to do things and the element of scarcity can help people to take action.
One of my Mastermind members offers a free Skype consultation to potential patients.
…but instead of just fitting it in around his schedule, he has now set up a ‘Skype clinic’ every Thursday 8-9pm which potential patients can book in to.
It sounds more professional and helps him manage his time.
It may not be for everyone, but is something you can think about and you may be able to incorporate in to your practice.
I wish you a lovely Christmas and a very successful New Year.
Look out for my ‘Mind You Own Business’ membership site that I will be launching in January 2020 for doctors who want to ethically grow their Private Practice.