The primary focus of many of the practice management companies is bringing in flocks of new patients. Of course new patients are our life blood and we could not continue without them. I believe it is critical we first plug the holes in our bucket before bringing in dozens of new patients from a big outside event or external marketing. We need to clean up our procedures and our communication so we keep the patients we have along with the new ones that come in. Most of us have had the experience of doing a big event and bringing in lots of new people; we spend a tremendous amount of time and energy yet keep very few new patients out of the deal.
It is a bummer, it is no fun and it sucks the life out of us for weeks. I am a big believer in getting things working right first, and then bring in lots of new patients.
Think about the difference between a new person who is referred in from a happy patient vs. one from an outside event. Consider how much more energy you have to put into these outside event patients and how much selling and convincing you have to do. Compare that to someone who comes in saying, "my uncle Joe says you are the best."
In my 14 years of practice I only did a few "outside" events. Yes, they were successful, but as we clean up the procedures and communications, patients will want to refer their family and friends. Most of us don’t have to go outside of our practice for new patients as much as we might think. Consider plugging the holes in your bucket before pouring more water in.