Increasing your client base
My practice has a steady client base, but we'd like to increase our new clients. What's the most effective way to grow?
Q My practice has a steady client base, but we'd like to increase our new clients. What's the most effective way to grow?
"There are three sure-fire approaches to grow your client base and attract the types of clients you want," says Veterinary Economics Financial Editor Cynthia Wutchiett, CPA, president of Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates in Columbus, Ohio.
1. Convert callers into new clients. "The first contact any caller has with your practice is with your front-desk team, so before you spend one more dollar on external marketing efforts, invest money and effort in your front-office staff," Wutchiett says. Hire the most qualified, mature, educated, compelling, and friendly people, and then develop a training program so they are very knowledgeable.
2. Ask to schedule an appointment. "Our research shows that while many receptionists get good marks on friendliness, helpfulness, and knowledge, less than 10 percent pursue the appointment," says Wutchiett. "Even if the caller is just asking about prices, the chances of turning that caller into an active client are much greater if you just ask."
3. Ask current clients to refer friends and family members to your practice. "Word-of-mouth promotion is a very persuasive form of advertising," says Wutchiett. "So develop programs that encourage clients to refer new clients to your practice. A simple thank-you card is also a great way to reinforce your appreciation."