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    How to use price transparency to attract patients

    Editor's Note: Welcome to Medical Economics' blog section which features contributions from members of the medical community. These blogs are an opportunity for bloggers to engage with readers about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Jonathan Kaplan, MD, MPH, a board-certified plasic surgeon based in San Francisco, California. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Medical Economics or UBM Medica.


    Price transparency and sales funnels—what do these have in common? Keep reading and it'll all make sense. I've repeatedly mentioned the importance of price transparency on this blog. And not just price transparency but using price transparency as a lead-generation tool for your medical practice. In other words, how to attract patients so you can capture their contact info (a lead). Now, let me explain how your medical practice fits the sales funnel paradigm just like any business-to-consumer business out there.


    Sales funnels: an overview

    As any business that works directly with consumers knows, much of your time is spent online, generating patient leads. When a consumer arrives to your website, we rely on a call to action to galvanize the consumer to give us their contact info (a lead) in exchange for more information.


    RELATED READING: 5 ways to increase the value of a medical practice


    If you imagine a sales funnel like the one above, your business can potentially gather many patient leads and nurture their passage from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel. They may enter your sales funnel at any point. However, initially, everyone starts at the top of the sales funnel. But maybe they started in someone else’s sales funnel before finding your site? Let me explain.

    Every consumer initially recognizes a problem they have and then starts looking for an answer to that problem. In a very general sense, they're already progressing through a sales funnel without even knowing it. A commercial or ad makes them realize there's a solution to their problem. This is when they start their research phase (at the top of the funnel). As they do more research, hopefully, they find your website. By then, they may be ready to commit to a medical or cosmetic treatment.

    So, while they initially entered the funnel at the top, they could be entering your funnel toward the bottom, ready to "request a specialist" or "book online" as in the funnel diagram below. In other words, by the time they "meet" you or your facility online, they could be ready to make a decision.

    Next: Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint


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