I’ve spent the last 3 months building out our own, specialized, lead-follow up team, that are on call 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.
For those of you who don’t know, I used to own 8 practices, which required me to somewhat build this out for my own practices, together with our own marketing department, screening team and corporate booking team. The experience gained from building those departments perfectly prepared me, to build out our agency, and now telephone-follow service, for other chiropractors that we do marketing for.
BUY WHY …
Being in our position, and generating so many leads for chiropractors across the world just highlighted a well documented fact that 48% of businesses never follow up with a lead AT ALL and less than 10% attempt to follow up more than 3 times. Compound this with the fact that statistically over 80% of all sales happen after 5 to 12 “contacts” . So it goes without saying, either you gotta get that “department” sorted or find a way to get it sorted. Hence we just built it out for our clients.
It’s been the most epic journey of incredible lessons …. Tech build outs, recruiting, training, scripting and testing the best sequences, call cadences and copy to get the best results.
AND BOY … IS IT NOW PAYING OFF!!
Fortune truly is in the follow up…..and I am so chuffed with the progress and incredible results we are getting!
SEE BELOW …
At the time of writing this, we had 43 leads come in the previous day across the 10 practices we initially onboarded and we booked 39 new patients- JUST THAT DAY!
So it’s working and working damn well, and I thought I would summarize my biggest lessons learnt over the past 3 months so you can use them to upskill your own follow up…
10 Lessons Learnt
- It’s Damn Hard : Even though I had previously built out this service for my own practices, providing this as a paid service at scale without the slop that is often afforded as “acceptable” when we do something for ourselves was damn hard. The sheer task achievement of building out the tech, sequences, copy and cadences and delivering high quality sales calls AT SCALE was epic.
- Booking rates can vary drastically : “What’s a good booking percentage?”, is a question we get asked alot and our lessons have been that it varies a ton based on things like, type of campaign, lead source, area, and more all dramatically affect it. For example, one practice we work with has nearly a 90% booking rate for event type campaigns like internal screenings and talks but a 30% booking rate for initial consultation offers. “Seasonal” factors also seem to be a factor. An example of this was the dramatic drop in booking rates we noticed across the board, over late December. Another determining factor is location. For example bigger or “capital” type cities tend to be a little harder to achieve a consistently good booking rate than say more rural areas or less established cities.
- What about quality of leads: Well we continue to learn that, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t have a ton of leads at tiny cost per leads (anything under $100) and have what many perceive as “high quality”. Or in the same vein expect most leads to be of high quality after engagement with any offer or piece of content you put out the first time. The longer a prospect takes to eventually come in, often the higher the quality, but that is directly at odds with what most practices want. They want new patients leads fast and at as cheap a rate as possible . That’s just not how it works. Yup, a ton of new bookings is amazing… but don’t expect “THE WORLD” for “not all that much spend per lead or time invested in nurturing the lead with valuable content first”. High quality comes from LOTS of slow “dating” AND investment with an understanding that there cant always be an immediate return. So the lesson is … invest in filing the pipeline with leads you’re prepared to nurture over time by giving helpful info first and “touching base” calls, NOT always just offering an appointment. Slow and rhythmic production of high quality new patients is actually the goal. The best sentence you can hear is “I’ve been receiving /following your stuff for ages”.
- Frequency matters and multimedia matters – Statistics show that the chances of eventually speaking to a lead increase 100X if the initial phone call occurs within 30 min. Here is what we found, the cadence that gives us the best results over a 14 day period starts with 4 calls in the first hour. Yes you read that correctly. I feel like I’m revealing Colonel Sanders secret recipe right now but here you go! The secret sauce seems to be a total of 20 calls, 12 emails and 8 texts over 14 days. Text marketing and booking links are also showing to be an important part of our success. It’s incredible how many patients reply to the texts and we end up booking that way. The lesson is … you need to be hitting them on all fronts .
- An Experienced Team Matters. To pull this off I had to pull together an incredible array of experienced team members across multiple areas. I had 2 previous staff members who were both at different times head of marketing across my 8 offices. I recruited a head of telemarketing who has over 20 years experience in that field. I also recruited an ex Chiropractic Assistant that had not only worked at the front desk for 8 years but also worked for a further 2 years in telemarketing. In total the team had a combined experience in telemarketing of over 30 years and additionally over 15 years experience in various roles running chiropractic practices. It was a game changer.
- Coverage is Key. From previous experience building our own telemarketing and lead follow up departments for my own practices we knew that sin number one in this game is not calling the lead within the first hour. My previous experience also showed that calling the lead “the next day” basically rendered the lead “dead”. But then what about leads coming in on a saturday afternoons or sundays or shifts that you are not working. It just wasn’t an option to do what most practices do and “wait till the next day/monday”. There was only one option. We needed to follow up with leads 8am till 8pm 7 days a week. There would simply be too much “wastage” if we neglected off shifts or Saturdays and Sundays.
- Pearson’s Law Works: Pearson’s law states that, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” To get real traction in this business I needed to see stats … and A LOT of them. For context, not only did I need to see DAILY stats … but I needed to see stats TWICE DAILY. It’s incredible what that type of monitoring and measuring and reporting does to improve the results.
- It’s almost impossible to pull this off by yourself: I include myself in this statement btw. If i didn’t have such an incredible team around me… NO WAY.. I could pull this off if I was practicing full time. Just think of the resource we have had to pull together to pull this off…CRM experts, telemarketing software experts, full time telemarketing manager with over 20 years experience, CA’s with over 8 years chiro experience, nevermind the invaluable experience I have personally had doing this for my own businesses. I’m not saying you have to buy in the service to make it work at a somewhat effective rate, but trust me, do not attempt to do this without at least buying in some experience or know-how or additional staffing etc.
- Tech matters: the tech has been both an incredibly exciting journey and at times damn frustrating, especially when it lets you down as all tech does at times. It allows us to do some incredible things like automation, automatic text and email sending after a contact doesn’t pick up the call, allowing calls to pop into our “hot lead” dialer when we have them scheduled, for example we don’t have to remember to call at 1 min, 5 min and 15 min and then again at preset times each day… the lead automatically identifies itself as needing a call at those preset times and identifies the source the lead came from i.e. 50% off offer etc. BUT… but it was also a steep learning curve that can also be incredibly frustrating at times if it lets you down.
- The Best Statistic is: the “No leads today and 3 bookings today stat”. It’s a statistic that ive become incredibly proud of. Some practices are now getting new patients booked even when they don’t actually get a lead that day, that’s the power of follow up. Because of this we also started offering “long term nurture” such as continuing to follow up with un-booked leads monthly for over 6 months, recalls and even reactivation calls. Remember that less than 10% of businesses ever attempt to follow up with a lead more than 3 times. Just including long term nurture in any business consistently over time is a game changer.
LASTLY … I’ve enjoyed every second of it. If you fall in love with the “journey” this whole “business thing” is incredible. Not easy, but incredible. I’ve recently heard a psychologist, Dr Phil Stutz, define “reality” as the following. The 3 aspects of reality are 1) Pain, 2) Uncertainty and 3) Constant Work. NOBODY… escapes those FACTS of reality and furthermore he describes “Happiness” as the degree to which one can accept that “reality”.
So when tackling a big task like this, don’t work for it to be easy, nothing truly special is. Just enjoy the journey and growth. Easier said than done I know 🙂
With love and light