The statistics prove it. The best businesses invest in it. The most successful business owners understand why it brings them such a huge return. The question is why it is the least invested in and understood form of marketing? It is also the single hardest thing to convince business owners (Doctors and Commercial) they need. It is also a form of marketing that I like to call "recession proof."
When you think of marketing, what comes to mind? For most business owners it is postcards, radio, television, billboards, brochures, search engine marketing, etc. For the most successful business owners something else comes to mind. There are two phases to this type of marketing and they must be done in order to maximize your return on investment. Many business owners that invest in this marketing perform phase two without any attention to phase one.
What type of marketing is it?
Internal marketing is the answer. However, it might not be what you are thinking. There are two forms of internal marketing and in order to receive the biggest return it needs to be done in a specific order. Many times when business owners invest in internal marketing the first step is left out, which has a negative impact on their business.
Ok, let's dive in. The two forms of internal marketing are (1) Internal Marketing to your employees and (2) Internal Marketing to your clients, customers, patients, etc. Without accomplishing phase one first it is literally impossible to maximize your return on phase two. Phase one is the least invested in form of marketing, while also providing the largest return by far. Let's discuss each phase of internal marketing.
Internal Marketing - Phase One
I am going to use a sports analogy to begin as I have found it helps when speaking at events, writing articles, etc. In sports, internal marketing phase one equates to practice, the locker room and the overall culture of the organization. It is the coaches job to get the players on board with the philosophy, the playbook, each other and much more. It is also the coaches job to ensure the players are trained to understand those things and perform them at the highest of levels. It is also the coaches (and upper level management/owner/gm) job to create a winning culture, to motivate, to lead and to handle each individual personality on the team. The best organizations have all the above functioning at the highest levels year in and year out as they are always finding ways to improve on each of the above listed items.
The best business owners understand the above applies to their business, regardless of its size, industry and/or profession. Your employees must be highly-trained to follow all protocols, processes, procedures and systems. They must be highly-trained and role played with how to answer the phones, present money, overcome objections, provide exceptional service to your clientele and hundreds of other examples. Everything ... I mean everything inside your doors equates to internal marketing. I cannot express the importance of that enough.
Internal Marketing - Phase Two
Now, back to the sports analogy. Once the game begins, that is the equivalent of phase two of internal marketing. You are taking everything above and putting it to action. Phase two for a dental practice might be following up with a patient that didn't buy the first time in order to get them back through your doors. Phase one was the telephone training, defining who was in charge, defining the times on the schedule the calls would be made and role playing to ensure those outbound calls are performed exactly how the business owners wants. Phase two is your employee calling the patient and putting that training into action. If you are are a restaurant an example might be your waiter educating their table about your wine menu in order to get them to purchase a more expensive bottle of wine. Phase one was training your waiter on the wine menu and role playing with them how better educate your clientele. Phase two was the waiter to putting that knowledge and training into action.
Action: Implement both phases of internal marketing in their proper order to maximize the success of your healthcare practice or commercial organization.
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