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If offering “free consultations” is your primary mode of marketing your practice to bring in new patients, you may want to rethink your strategy.
If offering âfree consultationsâ is your primary mode of marketing your practice to bring in new patients, you may want to rethink your strategy. Fernando Lamounier, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.S., is the founder of SproutPoint, a consulting firm to help guide healthcare professionals and companies in marketing, job hunting and negotiations. Dr. Lamounier will be presenting "A science-based approach to medical marketing: Why a 'free consultation' is not the answer,â at the 2014 Vegas Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology Meeting in June.
Dr. Fernando Lamounier
Free consultations donât do anything to differentiate your practice from the competition, Dr. Lamounier says.
âIt makes every practice look alike under the eyes of a patient,â he says. âConsequently, not only you will be attracting the wrong type of patient, but that patient will look at your services as a commodity, where price becomes the only decision making point. Before long you will be competing on price only.â
Patient testimonials offer a better alternative to free consultations, according to Dr. Lamounier.
âIn the era of social media frenzy, social proof is more valuable than a free consulation,â he says. âBut you need to know how to get good testimonials and use them effectively.â
But focusing too much on social media can be detrimental, he warns. The following are three marketing mistakes practices make:
âMost people mistakenly focus primarily on where they should advertise â Facebook? Google? A magazine?â he says. âAn effective marketing system must deliver the right message to the right market using the right medium so you can facilitate the decision making process of your customer. These three elements need to be fully integrated for any marketing to work.â
For more tips to market your practice, make sure to attend Dr. Lamounierâs presentation this year at VCS. He will also be presenting âThe five deadly marketing mistakes that are holding you practice back and preventing you from becoming the leader in your market.â
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