As I talk to more and more people, one of the best things that can happen to build a Clinic/Gym Hybrid is to get more new patients.
New patients almost always become gym members in some form or another, whether it's just doing a little bit of rehab, signing up for some one-on-ones or joining classes.
My best clients get over 25% of their clinic patients to sign up as members in their process.
Some people get less than 10% and some people get close to 40.
Either way, it's an impressive feat and getting new patients fills up your clinic and fills up your gym. What a perfect combo.
Anyways, to get that, I think it's important to step back and consider where there's friction in your new patient visit.
I recently went to a landscape supply company to get something for a garden that my wife and I are putting together.
The landscape supply company has this weird long driveway along one side of a building that's not theirs, and so you can't even see their building from the street.
I mean, if you know what you're looking for, you can see it after you've been there, but the first time you're driving up, there's no way.
I drove by their driveway three different times and finally called them.
When I called, the lady on the other end was pretty exasperated with the fact that I needed extra directions. I finally said,
“Hey, look, I want to buy from you guys. All I need to do is find you.”
I think a lot of new patients actually have this experience with some providers.
Especially if you're the third building in a row of four or you're on the second floor, your building doesn't allow signage.
We had this with our very first office. We were on the second floor, but other than the little monument sign up by the curb, there was no marking of where our office was or what it did.
We wanted to include some more signage to get people there.
Unfortunately, the landlord wouldn't budge.
Looking back, I think I would solve this two ways.
First thing I'd do is:
Once a new patient is scheduled, I would not email – I would text them a link to Google Maps or Apple Maps or whatever the method that they use to pull up directions when they're driving.
Sometimes, as it happened to me in my last practice, for some reason, Google Maps directs people across the street.
We had about a third of patients showing up to an address across the street, which was nowhere near our office.
If I knew where the location was, I could pin it and then I could give directions based on that.
Second thing I'd do is:
Probably on the day of the first new patient exam, I'd take a picture of our office and I'd send it to everybody coming in.
I would maybe draw on it or do a screenshot and say,
“Hey, here's the entrance. You want to park along this wall if you can and walk up this walkway.”
Just little things like that make it so much easier.
When I was talking to Ryan Chapman recently about marketing and we published this episode on my podcast, he was saying to approach marketing like you're talking to your grandmother.
If you're trying to get your grandmother to show up to a house or a business she's never been at, make it as easy as possible.
- Send her a picture of the place and a picture of the sign or the bush or the building out front.
- Give her directions that she can easily follow.
Yeah, your grandma's probably going to get lost with Siri giving her directions anyways, but hey, it's better than nothing.
You probably wouldn't put that in an email because then it would go to your grandmother's inbox, which may as well be a top secret file organization because nothing ever leaves there.
(BTW, Clinic Gym Connect has campaigns that will do this for you.)
What are the other ways you can reduce friction on that new patient exam?
I know that Paul Goff, who's a big time consultant for physical therapists, tells his clients to offer water, coffee or tea the first time they come in.
You want to welcome that person with a small gift, just a drink.
He says that the reason for that is if somebody enters your office physically, they're going to become your patient, way more often than not.
So why not invest a lot of time and effort into that very first meeting?
Make them feel comfortable and give them more reasons to fall in love with your place. Then they end up having a bunch of visits!
I think it's definitely worth looking at reducing that friction in your new patient exam or your new patient visit.