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Marketing Your Peacemaking Practice: Do you know about the funnel?

October 30, 2016

In this excerpt from my interview with Rackham Karlsson, I discuss the marketing funnel:

I swung into private practice the late part of 1989, beginning of 1990. I was a social worker in a medical setting. I was unsatisfied with the quality of service in that setting, as a result swung into private practice.

I did so with great naiveté.

I thought that by letting maybe 20, 30, 40 physicians know that I’m here and available for service, the referrals would come in and I would do well. Like I say, that was full on naiveté.

The result of that – my first year of private practice I think I earned about $6,000, my second year about $12,000. It didn’t take too long after that to realize that if I’m going to be successful, apart from being a good clinician, I need to become a good marketer. A lot of my attention was refocused on learning how to market. With that, somebody had said, “People aren’t going to refer to you if they haven’t met you. They don’t know if you’ve got two heads, four eyes, etc.” With that, my first strategy was to go out and meet my potential referral sources, which at the time was primarily family doctors. So I’d call up their receptionists and ask for five minutes of the physician’s time.

You start to see these things in a funnel, and by that I mean if you phone 100 physicians’ offices to ask to see the physician, maybe you get a 20% uptick. Maybe 20% out of that 100 will set a five-minute appointment for you. And of that 20 folks you’ve met with, maybe three or four will start referring clients to you. I had to learn that funnel.

Then the issue becomes, how do you leverage those referrals; how do you leverage those physicians who start to refer to you? Of course you do that by asking their permission, “Can I use you as a reference?” One thing leads to another to another to another. Before you know it, you’re getting the referrals that you need to keep your practice alive. That was the beginning.

That was all before the days of the Internet. Since then I have learned a great deal more about all kinds of funnels and I share what I have learned with others. I also learned that no matter how good your professional skills may be, without getting yourself out there, no one will notice and your practice will not thrive. So while investing in your practice skills is important, it is also wise to develop your marketing skills.

I have a workshop coming up on Friday. I will share more of what I learned with those in attendance and I remain available to individuals and groups to help them develop and build their successful peacemaking practice.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out my services and then call me if you need help with a child behavior or relationship issue or even help building a successful practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

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