The purpose of this article is to explain to acupuncturist in plain English what a lead generation system is. So I think the best way to start off the explanation is by defining what a lead is in sales and marketing terms.
When you place an ad in your local newspaper, put up fliers at Whole Foods, or run a Google Adwords campaign, what you are doing is called advertising. Yes, I know you know that, but stick with me here for a minute.
When someone sees your ad in one of these mediums and picks up the phone and contacts you, that is called a lead. If you got 10 calls that week, you got 10 leads. A lead is someone who – through some form of advertising – contacts you to learn more about you or your practice.
Now lets say that of the 10 leads who called you, 5 of them decided to book an appointment. At that moment, those leads who booked an appointment “converted” from a lead to a prospect. I normally use the term “prospective patient” when I’m talking to acupuncturists, but for now lets call it what it really is in sales and marketing terms.
So you got 10 leads that called, but only 5 converted to prospects (booked appointments.) The 5 prospects that came in, all but 1 stayed for their first treatment. We can then say that the 4 prospects who stayed for treatment, converted from prospects to clients (new patients.) If you did your job right, those 4 new patients (clients) are not going anywhere else. And you can put a dollar amount on each new patient to determine their life time value.
Lead generation is a marketing function that works via advertising to get people who are interested in your product or service – in your case acupuncture – to pick up the phone and call you. In other words, to take action. That is why it’s important your ads have a clear call to action. Once you develop a strategy to generate leads cost effectively, you just rinse and repeat. Most practitioners don’t understand that all you have to do to get your practice humming is have a steady flow of leads. Not patients… LEADS!
You cannot acquire new patients until you generate a steady flow of leads on an ongoing basis. Get the leads flowing and the new patients will follow… Guaranteed!
Once you develop a lead generation strategy that works for you, you have in fact created a lead generation system. The problem with most acupuncturists is they hate sales and marketing to begin with, so all this marketing lingo is a big turn-off for most. I wrote this article to help practitioners understand why lead generation is so important.
Frank Prieto is a marketing strategist helping acupuncturists generate highly qualified leads from the internet and converting more of them into new patients.
William Goit says
Hello Frank, I hope you were not refering to me about asking what is a lead. I asked what do you consider a lead when it is time to pay for the lead. -William
Frank Prieto says
That’s a very good question. I’ll refer to the example I used in my article above.
If my referral service provides you with 10 leads, you would pay for those 10 leads. Now, we all know that all 10 leads are not going to book an appointment (convert.) However, they are more likely to do so than with any other lead generation system out there because I will be qualifying them.
Your next question might be; “How do you qualify them?”
Without revealing too much about my strategies, there’s two things I can tell you. First, these people are actively seeking an acupuncturist in your area. And secondly, they have to provide me with enough information that lets me know they are serious. This information is then passed on to you so you can call them. They will know ahead of time that a licensed acupuncturist which has been screened by me will be contacting them. From that point on, it is up to you to “convert” them.
Just as I qualify the leads, I also have to qualify the acupuncturist in the area beforehand and make sure they meet certain criteria. For example, if you don’t offer a free consultation you don’t qualify for my referral service. I hope that answers some of your questions.
By the way, I haven’t determined the final price of the leads just yet. But lets say that hypothetically I provide the leads at $15 each. That month you bought 10 leads at $15 a piece and paid $150. But we know that not every lead is going to convert. So lets say – and I’m being conservative- that only half of them convert. My educated guess is that 7 or 8 out of ten will convert because they are highly qualified but let’s be conservative and say just half (5.)
Now, lets assume you charge $80 per treatment. And for the most part you will recommend on average a minimum of 4 treatments. That means that each patient is worth to you $320. And since 5 leads converted, this represents a revenue of $1,600. Your cost (investment) was $150 to generate a profit of $1,450. Is that a good deal? I’ll let you answer that.
Oh… there’s one more thing. I didn’t calculate the Lifetime Value of a Patient. Let’s do that real quick since we have most of the numbers already figured out. Again, I’ll be conservative and say that of the 5 new patients, 3 of them… no wait… let’s say just 2 of them come back later in the year. And each come for another 4 more treatments at $320 each, that’s a total of $640.
$640 (2 repeats) + $1,450 (original 5) = $2,090 profit.
You invested $150 to make $2,090.
That’s a 1,393% ROI (return on investment.)
I hope this gives you a better idea of my lead generation system… Oops, I meant Acupuncture Referral Service 🙂
What do you do to acquire the leads?
Frank Prieto says
I acquire the leads on the internet by attracting people to a website (not my acupuncture marketing website) who are looking for an acupuncturist in the area. It’s a risk-free patient referral service because the acupuncturist doesn’t pay for advertising. I do the advertising and deliver the qualified leads to the practitioner.
Jayna Serpas says
Thanks for the post. A much needed information.