Recently I met the wife of a doctor whose husband, last year, made a life-changing move. It was life changing for several reasons. First for him, he gave up being part of a highly successful partnership with lavish offices, nurses; PA’s and staff support, to open up his own practice. The second major change was the placing of his cell number on his business card and encouraging his patients to call him.
He truly has become an old-fashioned doctor, practicing up-to-date medical care and at the same time demonstrating his desire to show his patience that they are more than just a number.
This got me thinking about my own practice, how I communicate and relate to my clients. The life-line for all businesses is the people who buy the services/products offered. Do I really show my clients and prospects that I care and that I am providing a much needed service?
Let me share a true story. Many years ago I started my practice like most new businesses, without any clients but a willingness to provide the best service I possibly could. I defined a target market and wrote a monthly newsletter that I mailed first class to a 500-person mailing list. The internet was not a factor and direct mail was the only communications other than media advertising which I could not afford. Within the first three months I got my first newsletter client; after that I averaged two new clients a month. I expanded by mailing list and eventually reached a total of 1600 monthly newsletters.
Over the years a lot of things happened. One was a change in our economy, another was the growth of the internet and third, my practice was still growing. My monthly newsletters became quarterly and eventually my direct mailing stopped. I took my client list and occasionally sent an e-newsletter. Months after I stopped my direct mail newsletter I was still receiving calls from prospects who had saved my newsletter and now were now ready for my services.
I have just completed my own personal research on the power of a direct mail newsletter. In my opinion, it is at least 30 times more effective than an e-newsletter. Yes content is critical; but if the right content is provided and it is a value based newsletter, it will have a long shelf life and will produce results.
No, I am not going to quit my e-newsletters, blogs, social media postings, etc. but I am going to start a direct mail newsletter to small business owners. I plan to start with 100 businesses that I don’t know and add 50 more every month. I am also extending an invitation to my business owner readers to send me their addresses and I will add them to my list.
Just like the doctor, stepping back to the past may be the thing to do in the future.
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Accordingly, a “genius” is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework. Thomas Edison