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The Bottom Liine Ep. 15

Three shocking takeaways from our healthcare marketing benchmark report

We recently analyzed data from over 600,000 new patient inquiries and have uncovered some common performance gaps. In this episode we cover three critical takeaways relating to lead conversion rates, staff performance, and marketing channels. These may be a wake up call to many of you! You can find our full reports at 



Ken: Okay. We’ve got a special So of the bottom line today, we, we have a nice shiny new benchmark report on some patient acquisition data. How’s that sound, Charlie?

Charles: Dude, heck yeah. We do. Heck yeah, man. I’m excited about this. We yeah.

If you haven’t seen these before, Ken will tell you where to get them. But, Basically what’d you say, Ken? I think it’s 650000

Ken: Yep.

Charles: new patient interactions or something. So massive, dataset, across specialties and across the country. And, also, we have specialty specific benchmark reports.

We’re gonna talk about holistic stuff in this conversation, but it’s just good, right, to know where do you stack up against what’s average and, also, like, what are the what are the takeaways mean? So I’m pumped to talk about this.

Ken: Yes. And we’re not gonna run through the whole report today.

We’re just gonna hit on 3 big takeaways. but if you’re in dentistry, aesthetics, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthopedics, or behavioral health, we do have industry specific reports on our website, which I will, tell you how to get to in a bit.

Charles: And by the way, if you’re if you’re in another specialty and we don’t have yours, then start start working with us. We’ll do

Ken: We’ll get we’ll get you some more data. so the the overall, industry report has, some key trends, though, that kinda run through all the other reports as well.

So it’s good it’s gonna be a good, a good analysis for us. I guess, Charlie, You want to jump into takeaway number 1?

Charles: Yeah.

Yep. First 1 is lead to appointment or lead to consultation conversion rate. It’s a lot lower than I think people realize. and even if you’re in a specialty that gets a lot of referrals. Right? If it’s other practices you are sending people to you, Well, Ken’s gonna hit you with the data, and we’ll talk about that, but it’s lower than I think most people think.

What are the actual numbers, Ken?

Ken: Yep. So for every lead across the board that comes into your practice, When we say lead, we just mean a new patient interaction. So that could be a phone call, web form, online booking, whatever.

For all of those leads, Practices are only converting 54 percent of those into an actual booked appointment. So, most most practice owners and, Providers don’t realize that. For referrals, though, it gets a little better. But, again, probably not what you’d think. So it’s about 64 percent.

Ken: So, you know, imagine close to 40 percent of your referrals aren’t even becoming appointments.

Charles: Yeah. I mean, that’s the 1 that’s people are shocked by. I think if you were to ask us, practice owner, surgeon, practice admin, whatever, at a referral based practice, they’re gonna say, like some would say a hundred. Oh, they have a referral.

They’re coming in. What do you mean? Have to come in. They have referral. Right?

Or some might say, like, 95 or something. But that’s just not the case. There’s lots of reasons why People aren’t booking. We’re gonna talk about staff training here in a minute, which we have in another episode, but the data behind that. And the reason that’s happening is even though you’re getting a referred lead, you still have to think, I need to help this person schedule.

Right? And there’s stuff that comes up that gets in the way of that. So Takeaway there is if you’re a referral based practice, don’t go to bed at night and assume that you’re converting a hundred percent because that’s just that’s just not happening. Right? Then the other larger takeaway, the general, conversion rate of 54 percent, that’s actually The good or the positive side to that is the opportunity it represents.

So 46 percent. Is that the right math, Ken, the other. Okay. 46 percent of leads that are already reaching out are not booking a consultation or appointment. So If you are, trying to grow your practice, I think pretty much everybody who’s listening to this stuff is, then you are and should have a marketing strategy, you know, working with an agency or partners and investing in, channels and campaigns to drive more new people to you, That is a part of growth.

But if you know, which you now do, that on average, 46 percent of the people that are already reaching out for that investment are not booking, You should, as one practice that I was talking to a few weeks ago said, look inward. Look inward. Say to yourself, what can we do to get that 46 percent to be 40 percent so that all of a sudden we’re booking 60 percent. And without spending more incremental dollars on marketing, we are getting more bookings and growing. Right?

That’s 1 way to look at it. And then if you keep doing that, then you get to a place where as you’re spending dollars on marketing, They’re way more efficient. You’re getting way more of a return because you’re taking more advantage of that. We’re gonna talk about the staff performance spread in a second, but That’s the average. The top practices that I personally see are scheduling over 75 percent of their new patient leads for an initial consult or an appointment.

So it is absolutely possible to get that way up. and the first step in doing that is to be aware of what your conversion rate is.

Ken: Absolutely. You’ll grow faster.

You’ll make more revenue, and your marketing dollars go further.

Charles: For sure.

Ken: Alright. You want to jump to Number 2?

Charles: Number 2 is staff. So, um, there’s quite a spread in performance between top performing folks handling these new lead interactions and the lower performing.

So what are what’s the data there, Ken?

Ken: Sure.

So, in my report, I actually only looked at staff that had taken 250 calls or more. So I kinda weeded out the newbies. And, the best staff member converted 91 percent of their calls and interactions. The worst was 13 percent. And the average the average was 60 percent.

And if you look at I have this in the report, but the trend line is Pretty steady. So it’s not just a couple of outliers. It’s clearly, uh, every staff member is trained differently or, You know, something is something is, causing that smooth curve. It’s not a

Charles: Right. Right. Hey.

If you’re a statistician or you’re just super sharp, what you’re thinking right now is, wait a minute. Ken just said the average was 54 percent a second ago, but he just said 60. Let me be clear. When we’re talking about staff performance, that means that the team has talked to someone. Right?

So the 54 percent total conversion is, like, includes web leads that you never got a hold of and other things like that. We’re talking about your staff is on the phone with a, a new patient lead, and what is that? And the average conversion rate of that for staff is 60. Right? So just making sure.

91 and 13 is it might as well be a hundred and 0. Right? It’s an astronomical difference. And I’ve said this many times on other podcast. This human beings doing exactly the same job.

Right? And the fact that they could have that different of a conversion rate, what is what does it tell you? It tells you that how your staff thinks about what they’re doing when they answer the phone. Like, what do they think their job is everything. Right?

That’s gonna affect what they say, to the patient and what they’re gonna do in that conversation. And the decisions they make about how they handle the conversation have an enormous, enormous influence on outcome, proof is in the pudding right there.

The next logical question is, what the hell is the difference? Right? Like, what are these 91 percent people doing that the 13 are not?

I’m I alluded to another episode, I think, earlier. We did staff training stuff. Definitely check that 1 out. but the

The biggest difference is when you ask the 91 percent person what their job is, they’re gonna say help people schedule. when you ask the 13 percent person, who knows?

Right? They’re gonna say anything but to help people schedule.

And that influences the way the conversation starts at the beginning, most of these most of these calls or these conversations your staff is having, there will be some, question or request right at the Beginning of the call, they call in, and thanks for calling blank. This is blank. How can I help you?

Hello. What do you charge for this, or can you tell me more about that? And the folks that think that their job is to help people schedule, they’re gonna start that call by letting that person know, hey. I’d be happy to help you with that. Have you been here before?

Oh, cool. How’d you hear about us? They get control of the call, and they focus it on scheduling.

The people that are not 91 percent and certainly the ones that are down to 13, they suffer from caller procrastination more than anything else. That is the top reason not booked.

Right, Ken Across everything. And so what does that mean? That means that the team is talking to someone. The call is not focused on the consultation or appointment process.

There’s no momentum towards that. Caller is fully in control. Person handling, the conversation is reactionary. Right? That’s what the 13 percent of people doing.

They’re answering the phone or making a phone call, and they’re just waiting for the patient to basically tell them what they wanna do. The 91 percent of people have a or the people that are converting 91 percent have a purpose and are consciously trying to help that person schedule. And that’s why the 91 percent Way higher because they don’t have a lot of caller procrastination.

Ken: Yep. Caller per we do so we do track like Charlie said, we do track why patients are not booking.

Caller procrastination is number 1. Number 2 is taking a message.

Charles: Procrastination. Keep going.

Ken: Caller procrastination.

Charles: Yeah.

Ken: Number 2 is staff taking a message. So, you know, instead of answering the question and booking that Patient There saying, oh, I don’t know.

Let me get back to you

Charles: Yep. Hey. 1 more thing.

I just I get fired up about this stuff. I’m not talking about, like, advanced sales training. Right? A lot of people don’t like using the word sales in this. You don’t The difference between the 91 and 13 is simple.

I mean, it’s easy. It’s simple stuff, and it’s not getting them familiar with every in and out of all the procedures that you offer. Should they know that? Yeah. That’s great.

Right? They should know what you do. But them thinking that their job is to help people schedule, you’re halfway there if they actually think that. So keep it simple with staff to get them out of that 13 and closer to 91.

Ken: Awesome. Alright. Well, let’s move on to the marketing channels. So real quick, I’ll give you the top 3 marketing channels.

Charlie will hit you with some takeaway here. so organic search is number 1. That’s the top marketing source. Facebook’s number 2. Paid search is number 3.

And after that, it drops like a rock. So those are really the main 3 ways. Now we did notice 1 standout, statistic. Charlie, you wanna hit him with that?

Charles: I don’t have the actual stat, but I know the takeaway.

Ken: The takeaway.


Charles: Facebook converts, half of the other ones, right,

Ken: Less than half. Less than

Charles: Okay. So let me think about that again. So organic search, duh.

Right? If you’re not messing around with SEO and you don’t have a qualified partner, what are you doing? Right? You gotta have an online presence be findable, um, and I’m not an expert in that. But, like, if you didn’t already know that, you do now.

Right? Organic search is king, and you’ve gotta, have your stuff together. With paid, Then you’ve got Facebook that’s how much more, common is Facebook in terms of lead count than, paid search?

Ken: Uh, it’s just over twice as common, so of


Charles: let’s think about what’s happening there.

Now I don’t know exactly what the investment is. So if you’re listening to this, which you are because you’re hearing me. you need to think about what the cost is of your Facebook ads versus paid search. But think about that. Two times as many Facebook, leads and half of the conversion rate of paid search.

Like, that just seems way out of whack. So Facebook would have to be, like, a fourth of the cost, right, for that to, like, hunt at all. Is that correct?

Ken: if if it’s the cost per lead is really what matters. So if they’re half the cost,

Charles: I think it’d have to be a fourth because, like, the math is going multiple ways there.

Right. I went to a liberal arts school, Carolina.

Ken: yeah. I don’t think the volume so is a factor in whether you, ROI basically would be, the fact that they convert

Charles: I know. I know what I’m saying is right, but don’t worry about it. We don’t have to dwell on it

Ken: No. know I’m right

Charles: We’ll do that. Okay. Hey. Listen, everybody. You should

Ken: But

Charles: Let’s get let’s get back to something that’s gonna be useful. We did you wanna say something?

Ken: I was just gonna say the actual number.

So Facebook converts 19 percent. So think of all the numbers we’ve already talked about. Right? That’s hitting close to that worst staff member. Right?

Charles: Yes. You’re right.

So why the hell is that happening? Right? Well, what I’ve learned. Right? Because we have a lot of practices that It it it seems to be like Facebook has had a wave of popularity because you can get a ton of lead count pretty quickly and, I guess, cheaply.

I’m not again, I don’t know exactly what the investment is compared to Google Ads or whatever. but you can get an influx of leads And especially if you’re just kind of trying to ramp up a marketing strategy, know, getting leads is important. But Here’s one of the biggest issues is instant Facebook forms. Instant forms where essentially, like, on the ad inside of Meta, Facebook, a, like, a form sort of auto populates. And then, essentially, what ends up happening is a lot of people are submitting a form, and they don’t even realize what they’re doing.

So then your team is getting an inbound lead and following up with those folks. The chances that they answer are a lot lower. And then the feedback, this is feedback we get and what we actually hear in real conversations is a lot of people have no idea what the hell, you know, is going on. And so it’s a waste of when I say it’s a waste of just in that example, sure some people have figured out other ways to deal with this. But, you know, you don’t wanna be calling people that actually haven’t consciously said, please call me.

I mean, that sounds pretty obvious, but that is what it sounds like it’s happening with a lot of the instant forms. so it doesn’t mean you should totally abandon the strategy, But just understand that that’s a dynamic that you need, you know, to deal with. What we’ve seen be way more effective is Facebook ads that are pointing people to a landing page or something like that where it’s definitely clear that if they call, of course, or fill out a form, that they are reaching out to you. And that’s what you want. You don’t wanna you don’t wanna have your team spending time and energy following up with people who, like, didn’t even know that they had, you know, reached out to So, again, feedback we’ve gotten from practices, what we’ve actually heard in conversations, that is why Facebook is converting at half the rate of paid search.

So keep that in mind when, you know, when you are thinking about your strategy.

Ken: Yes. And you really need to measure this stuff for yourself because we can talk about what we Seen, but maybe for new it works. but the other danger here is, I’m gonna get some hate mail from marketing agencies probably, but Make sure your marketing agency isn’t just saying, look how many leads we got you. Right?

Because that’s where instant forums is real easy to just rack up some lead count. Right? You really need to know How many bookings are coming from those channels. Right?

Charles: Yeah. Bonus thing, it just popped in my head because, again, like, there’s a lot of ways to do this. I mean, if you were gonna do something like instant forms, I’m just thinking creatively, you would really probably wanna have more of a fully automated follow-up deal with texting and email. I I’m not sure and not human, effort.

your conversion rate’s gonna be way lower, But it’ll cost you less with your team. And then your team can spend time following up with non instant form leads in this example, which is a much better use of their time. So, again, there are strategies that can make that work, but the reality is out of all that data that we have gone through, those Facebook leads are converting at a much lower rate. So definitely consider that as you build your, your strategy and think about what your follow-up protocols are.

Ken: Right on. Cool. Alright. Well, that was all 3 data points. I guess we’ll mention real quick.

I’m gonna drop a link, anywhere I can where this is posted to the data. But, for anyone just listening, you can always go to line dot com. That’s with 2 i’s, L i i n e dot com, and there’s a link right in the footer for our benchmark reports. And, all the data is freely available right there. You don’t have to put in a credit card or an email or anything.

Charles: Thank you, Ken.

Thank you.

Ken: You’re very welcome.

Charles: Had a blast. Benchmarking. Woo.

Ken: We’ll see you guys on the next one. Bye.

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