Let’s real talk for a second: clients have a lot of options when it comes to finding the right physical therapy clinic.
Physical therapy is a high-growth, high-demand profession with new clinics opening on a constant basis. (The physical therapy industry is expected to grow 21% between 2020 and 2030!)
With more clients looking to PTs to solve their aches and pains — along with seeking out PT specialists for sports performance — the competition in the marketplace will be fierce.
How are you going to stand out from the other clinics in your area? What makes your clinic, and the service you provide, special and unique? Why should clients choose your clinic instead of the clinic down the street?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, being the “go-to” physical therapy clinic in your area will be a challenge.
One way to “win” in the competitive PT marketplace is through hyperspecialization. Choosing a definitive niche where YOU are the specialist and expert will make you distinct, and it will create a concrete reason for clients to choose you over a generalist.
However: even when you are able to stand out and provide specialized treatment for a specific client population, you still need to KEEP that client on schedule!
Getting a client to the first evaluation is just step one. The real value is helping them solve the CAUSE of their problem, which requires a full plan of care.
So the question(s) then become: How do you keep them on schedule for their full plan of care? How do you increase “buy in” with your brand and your service so your clients don’t jump ship and try another provider? How can you not only out-market but also out-deliver your competition to create a band of raving fans that come back again and again while also referring their family and friends to work with you, too?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, buckle up! Here are 5 proven methods to increase “buy-in” from your clients.
#1. Education-Focused Marketing
The client journey starts well before they call your office.
Most clients will Google “back pain” or “how to run without plantar fasciitis” in an effort to solve the issue themselves. And, before calling ANY medical office, most clients want to understand their problem, that way they know what questions to ask and will feel in control of the rehab process.
It’s important to start your client journey here — with high quality blogs, educational videos, and informative social media posts, your clinic can be viewed as the “authority” on the topics you write about.
And more importantly, the topics they’re searching for.
That authority will carry over to the initial conversation you have with clients. They will already be feeling that your clinic is “the place” to go. When you invest the time in writing high quality content — especially content that aim to educate your target client on issues they can relate to — you’re significantly increasing their buy-in before they even contact you.
#2. Offer a FREE Initial “Discovery” Session
Most prospective clients have never been to physical therapy and don’t understand what it is or how it can help them… All they’ve heard is that they’ll be electrocuted and that it will be painful.
Not the best first impression, if you ask me.
Even though you know that physical therapy is the best choice for your clients, you need to meet them where they’re at. Before prospective clients come into your office, they are going to have many questions and will be fearful of the experience.
“Does physical therapy hurt?”
“Do they crack my back like the chiropractor?”
“Are they going to tell me I’m out of shape and need to lose weight?”
My team and I have been asked these questions loads of times. It really goes to show that you don’t know what fears and worries your clients might have until you give them a safe space to ask questions!
This is where the free first session can be a real game-changer.
When you have a client that isn’t quite ready to start physical therapy but is interested, offering a free first session breaks down the fear and worry. Attending physical therapy is a whole new environment for them with lots of unknowns, and it’s understandable that they have some uncertainties about it all.
So, that first free session can help break that uncertainty! Not only does it reassure them that your clinic is a safe space, but it also boosts their confidence that “This is the right place for me.”
Plus, you’ll increase the feeling of reciprocity in the client where they will want to work with you! The authority, assurance, and confidence that you provide in that initial free session will dramatically increase client buy-in.
#3. Testimonials and Social Proof
Here’s the third and final technique: stories sell.
Word-of-mouth referrals are so strong because they’re real-life stories from clients who have no financial interest in your business, but refer to you anyway because of how amazing the experience was.
Prospective clients will trust the stories and experiences of former clients more than they’ll trust your marketing or what you say on the phone.
Are you capturing testimonials from past clients? Are you sharing stories of past successes in your email marketing or during sales calls? Are you asking clients to write reviews that tell stories to increase their impact?
By having a few testimonial videos on your website or in your email “welcome funnel,” you’ll sow the seeds of trust, connection, and belief in your client’s minds that they can get the same outcomes of your previous clients.
Highlighting clients’ success stories and reviews in your social media or creating a “success stories flyer” will significantly increase the positive emotions prospective clients have about you and your business — and that increases the likelihood that they will schedule their full plan of care.
Now, keep in mind: this is far from an exhaustive list of ways to increase client buy-in! There are countless ways that you can develop authority and trust for prospective clients. These are just the top 3 methods that my team and I have seen the most success with, and hopefully they’ll provide just the right kickstart you need to envision the full client journey and how you can stand out from every other practice in your area.