Open house events, online advertising campaigns and social media marketing are all popular ways to attract new patients. But there’s another, less obvious (but equally effective) way to promote your business every day — at no extra cost to you: via your employees.
Whether through networking events, social media posts or chance encounters, your employees may be your practice’s first point of contact with members of your community. Therefore, they are an extension of your publicity efforts and can contribute to your practice growth even when they are away from the office. This is why, when hiring, you should consider not only the candidates’ tangible skills, but also their talent for recruiting and driving business. This also highlights the importance of staff orientation and training.
Following are strategies that can be utilized by practice managers to help staff members understand their role in bolstering the practice's image and encourage employees to drive new business to your front door, even when they’re off the clock.
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The Social Ovation
Many relationships—both personal and professional—are created and nurtured through social media. No doubt, your practice has an online presence. But your employees can further boost your business by broadcasting companywide or individual accomplishments from their own personal profiles. This can be as simple as sharing a blog post that you or another employee wrote, or letting their circle of friends and associates know about your practice’s services, events, and awards.
Employees who are pleased with their on-the-job roles and proud of their contributions are most likely to show off the practice’s accomplishments through their social media pages. Encourage social media bragging by regularly recognizing and applauding the performance of all staff members. A fulfilled employee is an employee who wants to share your achievements.
The Business Card is Timeless
Technology may have taken over many aspects of your practice, but one time-honored tradition remains: exchanging business cards. Encourage your staff to always keep a few cards handy. Any chance interaction outside of the workplace can quickly shift into a professional conversation, and a casual swap of business cards on Saturday night may result in a new patient Monday morning.
Working the Crowd
Medical aesthetic practices often send staff members to medical conferences, local trade shows or training events. Whether your employee is working a booth on behalf of your practice or attending a course to improve her skills, she should understand the value of simple, conversational engagement. A ready smile and a friendly greeting can bring visitors to your booth and create a positive feeling among passers-by. You can help your shy employees by encouraging them to make eye contact with passers-by and introduce themselves to those seated nearby at educational events.
If an employee is representing your practice, it is also helpful to have a brief mission statement or “elevator pitch” to share with the employee, so she can succinctly introduce your practice and its unique offerings.
Email Etiquette Has No Day Off
With the culture of connectedness that was ushered in by the widespread adoption of laptops, tablets and smartphones, your employees are now within reach 24/7.
When sending work-related emails or text correspondence while away from the office, your staff should be aware that in-house etiquette still applies. Improper email decorum—including casual text-speak—is an immediate strike against your credibility, so instill in your workforce the importance of proper electronic communication.
This may include using professional salutations at the beginning of all correspondence, such as “Dear Mr./Ms.” or “Hello Mr./Ms.,” keeping an eye on spelling and grammar, and including a signature with your full name and contact information.
Your products and services are only as good as the people you have onboard to deliver and promote them. When employees realize their value in your operation’s success and the role they play in actively promoting your practice, they become more cognizant of their actions when they leave the workplace. In this way, they become an extension of your publicity efforts and contribute to your practice growth even when they are away from the office.
Russell Trahan is the president of PR/PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in positioning clients in front of their target audience in print and online. Contact Russell at www.prpr.net or firstname.lastname@example.org.