Part 2 - Is Your Practice Ready for Summer?
(Continued from Part I)
What are your plans for the summer?
That’s the question your client is pondering, too, now that Memorial Day has passed. With most people looking forward to more relaxation, time for outdoor activities, and a get-away or two, it’s not hard to image that your client’s attention may move away from working with you and more towards getting in as much summer fun as possible.
Yet continuing your work together during the summer months is important to their progress. And, let’s face it. An appointment calendar filled with missed or cancelled appointments is not good for the on-going health of your practice.
This week I’m sharing tips for keeping your clients engaged and committed to the work they are doing with you. Yesterday we talked about the value of staying in communication with clients between visits.
Today’s tip is:
Set an expectation for continuing your work together during the summer by talking about summer plans.
- Be direct. Talk about the tendency to lose focus during summer. Work together to strategize ways to keep this from happening. Where appropriate, create an action plan that helps them avoid getting sidetracked.
- Ask about vacation plans so that your client knows that you expect them to continue your work together even though there may be changes in the usual appointment time while they are away.
- Be flexible with your scheduling so you can accommodate their vacation plans or changes in their routine. If kids are home from school, that may present new issues for them in keeping appointments.
- If it seems appropriate, use reminder phone calls or reminder emails sent 24-48 hours ahead of the scheduled appointment time.
Addressing your expectations in a direct fashion has more advantages than simply hoping clients will keep their appointments. You’ll find out upfront where potential problems exist, giving you an opportunity to work together to create solutions that work for you both.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about making the most of your marketing during the summer.
Dianne Dawson is a Practice Development Strategist working with self-employed professionals who believe their practice has reached a plateau - it's stuck! She works with them to create fresh ideas and savvy strategies to bring in new clients, dramatically increase profits, and create more time to enjoy life.
You can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ppmr_marketing