Moderator: Welcome to today’s episode of True to Form with your host, President and Co-Founder of Crystal Clear. Highly regarded speaker and two time Inc. 500 entrepreneur, Tim Sawyer. True to Form is a monthly podcast that highlights leaders making headway in the aesthetic, anti-aging and elective medical industries. Learn from the experts to discover the secrets to success and the pitfalls to avoid when it comes to growing your aesthetic revenue in 2019 and beyond with the authentic, the genuine, the transparent, Tim Sawyer.
Tim: Hello and welcome to True to Form podcast that connects you with the people and technology. And hot topics that shaped the elective medical community brought to you by Crystal Clear Digital Marketing. I’m your host, Tim Sawyer, to our returning guests. Welcome back. And for first time listeners, we appreciate you joining us and we encourage you to become a subscriber. Last week we spoke with world renowned cosmetic dentist the forever students Dr. Laurence Rifkin from Beverly Hills. A really cool guy, he talked in-depth about the infinite value of learning and his unique method of blending science and art to create natural looking beauty. If you missed it, we encourage you to check it out.
And so today, we have a special guest, literally my best friend, my business partner, our CEO of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing. And the reason that we brought him on today is he’s going to talk about a serious crisis. Guys, this is a serious issue. So what’s happened recently, Google has come out and said, they’ve made an alarming announcement saying they will officially be putting a ban. You heard what I said, a ban on all speculative and experimental medical treatments beginning in October of 2019. And so with that said, Adam, what does that mean, for folks who fall into that category?
Adam: It’s actually pretty scary, Tim. You know, when you think about businesses that we run, whether it’s a medical practice or our own business. It is critical to be able to advertise and get the word out. So Google literally posted it just said, “Today we are announcing the new healthcare in medicines policy to prohibit advertising for unproven or experimental medical techniques, such as most stem cell therapy, cellular non stem cell therapy, gene therapy. The new policy will prohibit ads selling treatments that have no established biomedical or scientific basis. The new policy also includes treatments that are rooted in basic scientific findings in preliminary clinical experience, but currently have insufficient formal clinical testing to justify widespread clinical use. We know that important medical discoveries often start as unproven ideas. And we believe that monitored regular – regulated clinical trials are the most reliable way to test improve important medical advances.”
They then go on to say, Tim, “At the same time, we’ve seen a rise in bad actors attempting to take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments, oftentimes, these treatments can lead to dangerous health outcomes. And we feel that they have no place in our platforms.” And in this article actually talks about how it’s not just stem cell therapy, cellular non stem cell therapy, gene therapy and similar forms of regenerative medicine, platelet-rich plasma, also known as PRP. And do it yourself genetic engineering products, in gene therapy kits. And so this is really important, that means there any [Crosstalk] [00:03:42]
Tim: They are very popular treatments, by the way, guys, you know?
Adam: Very, very popular treatments. And I’m sure many of our doctors that we work with, we work with hundreds of these folks. And many doctors that are listening to this podcast right now are saying to themselves, “What the hell are they talking about these things have been proven, these things are absolutely of medical, scientific backing.” However guys, we don’t own Google, you don’t own Google. And this is the problem. If we put all of our eggs as business owners, whether it’s a medical practice or any business in one basket, and that basket goes away, there’s no more eggs. And Tim, this is I think, you know, what has been a passion of mine, as you know, since I started helping small businesses many, many years ago.
Is, they really have to have a balance of people process and tools. And Google AdWords, in advertising, Google is, is only one form of that. And the problem you have is that there are still mediums that you can advertise these things. So Facebook has not yet banned it, Yahoo has not yet banned it, Bing has not yet banned it, but officially Google has. And all of a sudden, you’re going to have hundreds, maybe thousands of people, patients who have been benefiting from these procedures and practices who have been benefiting from those patients no longer being able to get the message out with a paid search. However, they haven’t necessarily done anything with the organic searches yet. So people that are still looking for these types of treatments are looking to have relief of certain symptoms.
If the practices do a good enough job at organic search, they can still be showing up in those and then hopefully drive traffic to the practice and convert to opportunities. However, if you’ve been as a practice putting most of your faith and hope in Google AdWords, the ball has just dropped. And the bigger thing for me, Tim, and we’re going to talk about how people can solve these problems and little bit too. The biggest concern is, for practices that aren’t offering these treatments, who’s to say that your treatment is not next, who’s to say that Congress doesn’t decide that body shaming or running ads about liposuction or weight loss, or breast augmentation is no longer something that we want to allow. And the next thing, you know, Google bans, those AdWords, and this really is what’s so important.
A practice owner has to take control of their business. And understand that there’s three main focuses and I’m going to kick this back to you, Tim in a second. With people process and tools, you have to have a blended strategy, it can never be about one thing. And Tim, you know, you and I’ve been consulting and working with small businesses now for gosh well over 20 years, what have you seen that the most successful things that people can do to build that fortress, and that hedge of protection around their business, when they’re trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding because they’ve had their eggs in one basket, so to speak.
Tim: Right. And so you’ve mentioned this a couple times and philosophically, you and I agree on this, that it’s a blended strategy. So to get back to your – all your eggs in one basket scenario. There are, there is an ecosystem in place, and we talk about it all the time. Part of which is the construction of your website, in accordance with SEO best practices, right? That’s fairly simple, you need to do that. Part of it, a huge part of it is content, curation and content generation, across multiple mediums. One of which is Google, right? So organic content on the internet, one of which is social media. One of which is through email marketing, a big part of which is through blogging. And so and then you’ve got the other pieces like YouTube, and you can’t do just one, and a 100% reliant on that, because what could happen is what just happened.
And I want to make sure that, the – our listeners understand this, this is very similar. So my wife’s passion is she works in the addiction community. She works for a nonprofit that provides addiction counseling, primarily for heroin addicts, people with alcohol problems, that type of thing. And a long time ago, Google took the stance on this, that if you don’t have certain certifications, as a provider, meaning you’ve got a, you know, you’re providing addiction counseling, or you’re providing addiction therapy, if you don’t have certain certificates, you literally can’t run AdWords, on Google, for people with alcohol problems, people with heroin problems.
And so it, they make it extremely difficult for you to rank organically, if you’re not doing the right things. So if someone’s trying to run a treatment facility, and they haven’t deployed a blended strategy, they’re in big trouble. Because where do people going to start their search for whether it’s addiction therapy, whether it’s, and I’m not relating the two, don’t get me wrong. But when Google identifies a particular area, and usually it’s a function of there was some lawsuits filed. And Adam, I want to – you made an interesting point. And before we started talking about the origin of this, and for the first time, holding, marketing mediums accountable, but the point is, on multiple mediums at any time, get in trouble, right? And the other way that I would equate that to is, look at someone who doesn’t have a cash pay portion of their business.
And now, you’re kind of self-employed, but really, you’re at the behest of the insurance companies, because that’s who you work for. And they’re the ones dictating to you, this is how much you’re going to get paid for this treatment or procedure. And as you know, those – the cost of the treatment keeps going up. But what our doctor friends are getting for doing those treatments, never goes up. So we need to have, we really have to blend the strategy with that as well. So yeah, and what do you think was driving Google’s thinking behind this, Adam? Did they get GMO [Phonetic] [00:09:34]?
Adam: You know, it’s a bunch of lawsuits and so what ends up happening is, you know, the whole concept was, is that, you know, they were allowing these advertisements, therefore, they’re kind of endorsing them. So therefore, Google’s coming down to the side of being ultra conservative, saying, if it’s not, you know, part of the FDA or the center for, you know, the CDC, you know, we’re just not going to allow the advertising for things. And in many respects, it’s kind of sad, Tim, because I think, I think it hurts free speech in a lot of ways. But this is the sad reality, in which we’re living in. And so when I think about my friends that are going to be able to, on October no longer promote their services, that means that the leads are going to go away.
And so then what becomes even more important, Tim, and most businesses don’t look at this or think about this is, we have to now do a better job of converting the leads, we do have. And that probably comes with software, it comes with the training of our people. And see these are elements of business that most businesses don’t look at, they don’t think about because they’re like, if they have a good lead source, they can afford to make some mistakes. But now you’re going to have hundreds, if thousands of practices. All of a sudden now with 10 leads a month versus a 150. Now what, Tim?
Adam: Now you’ve got a major problem. And then the question is, is where do you find the new leads? It’s going to take some time, and more but there’s the one thing that they can do today. And I would highly encourage people to reach out to us too, because we want to help them. We can even provide you guys with some ideas from phone scripts, some things to help your conversions. We’d love to share with you on how we help practices do that. Because you’re going to have to become more effective and efficient at dealing with what you can do. You know, and I think the most important thing to realize, guys, you think about even the algorithms that Google’s has changed from an SEO perspective back in April and May. There was just one that just recently happened on September 4th, just a few days ago, we actually don’t even know what kind of impact that’s going to have.
There was definitely a medical element to it. Google’s very, very secretive on how they do these things, and what the changes are. So it takes us months, in some cases, to figure out what actually happened. You cannot rely and put your business in somebody else’s hands, you have to care about it yourself. And that’s why, you know, we’ve been preaching for years in these businesses that I’ve run, is that you have to have a blended strategy. You have to care about your marketing, you have to care about the software that you’re using in your business to monitor track, your lead volume, your conversions, but also your people and your process. You have to train your people, you have to be willing to work on processes better. And Tim, the scariest thing for me is when you think about how much power they have to literally come out and say you’ve got two more weeks of leads, and then the leads are over.
Adam: That’s a scary, scary place to be. And we want you guys to know that we love you guys, and we care for you. And the bigger problem, Tim, is that you and I run into it all the time. The vast majority of elective medical practices have ignored organic SEO strategies for years. And they’ve gotten easier [Crosstalk] [00:12:42].
Tim: They just throw money at the problem, right?
Adam: That’s right, because they’ve been able to throw money at buying leads, they’ve always been able to buy more leads. Well guess what? That gravy train can end tomorrow. And so yes, is this guy falling? 100%. Is there something you can do about it? Yup, 100%. But it takes a really organized process in system to make sure that your people are running at the highest efficiency, the software is running at the highest efficiency. And then the training of the people is running with the highest efficiency. And Tim, you’ve done a lot of training with a lot of sales people and a lot of medical practices over the years. You’re credited in over 26 associations in the medical space. What’s the most difficult thing you, you know, you’ve run into when you’re talking to the doctor or the practice manager that really hasn’t had a culture of training? What do you recommend to them to do first steps to get them going in the right direction, so they can become more effective and efficient, with less volume?
Tim: So I think one of the areas that’s largely ignored is, and quite frankly, I’m learning about this in my own business all the time is, how much value you have in your existing patient base? So if you think about – over the years, you’ve been built up a patient base, you have their name, you’ve got their phone number, in many cases, their mobile number, you’ve got their email address. And they’re only, they’re coming to you for one particular treatment or procedure. But you have a ton of things that are – ton of treatments and procedures that can be complimentary and beneficial to that patient. But it’s got to start culturally so when you talk about creating a world class patient experience, and literally owning the patient, right? It’s all about owning the patient.
And so once you have that patient in your database, you’ve got to take a systematic approach to exposing them to all the relevant treatments or procedures that you offer, inside the practice. And the – there’s so many tools available to you. The, you know, the new category, you know, the one of course Adam and I talked about all the time is true CRM, right? In that not all patients are treated the same and not all patients should be getting the same messages all the time. And so – but you have to have a way to categorize those patients, to put them into groups or to different buckets. And then you need to be consistent and frequent in the messaging that you send to them. Because if – in a typical med spa, and we do a lot, we listened to a lot of research about this. You know, med spas, they have high churn and as most aesthetic practices do, right?
People become jaded, you got a bad experience, or they move or whatever, you’ve got high churn rate. So you have to do everything you possibly can, which includes loyalty programs, a culture of loving and serving your patients, and then automate everything that you can, so that when that person thinks to themselves, you know, what I’ve always wanted to get rid of this little scar right here. And you don’t want them to go on the internet and start typing in scar treatments, Oklahoma, right? You want them to call you, and the only way that, that’s going to happen is you’ve – if you’re staying in front of them consistently with the right messaging. And then of course, the final piece of that would be that you can’t get enough education in your people. So when someone calls the practice, and says, do you do XYZ treatment and procedure? Does – how much does it cost and does the doctor do it?
Well, there’s a million ways to answer that question. But there’s only one right way to answer that question. And the only way that’s going to happen is if you think through, what am I going to say? So we need to have a list. What are the top questions, we need to be realistic that people are going to ask price questions. We need to be realistic, that people going are going to say that seems too high. And that they need more education around why they should schedule the consultation. So to me, it starts with; first of all, what are the top five things that we do that we’re really great at that provide, you know, high return on revenue? And then start marketing all those things to the multiple mediums we’ve discussed. Then, part two is making sure that everyone in the office is trained so that they can have intelligent discussions with anybody who they bump into at a restaurant, about those treatments and procedures.
And three, the right software, so that we’re category – we’re capturing all that information, categorizing those patients into the right groups, creating loyalty rewards, programs. And then the last piece, Adam is accountability to your people. Now, so once a patient comes into that ecosystem, we know they came to us from Facebook, or Instagram or some other medium. It was assigned to Susan, Susan got a hundred of those this month. She scheduled 50 into consultations, five showed up for treatments, this is how much we made. And then we can have an intelligent conversation with Susan about her productivity. And the way that, the way that you do that, is you need and it’s self-serving to say this, but a fully integrated solution that can take the patient from Facebook, to the checkout, you actually collect the payment, and then track it back and say, okay, we did this 600 times this month, and this is how much money we made. And it can’t be tied to one source. And so that’s how I and I know that’s been your vision for a long time and [Crosstalk] [00:18:10]
Adam: You articulated that incredibly well. And I think, you know, and for the listeners who are listening right now, the reason why Tim and I are so passionate about this is because it’s how we run our business too. And you have to care about it, right? We always talk about that, Tim. You have to actually care about the numbers and the metrics. And I think with what Google has done, and what Facebook could do tomorrow, and what Google will do in the future, even though we need them in our business, it cannot be the very thing that’s running the heart of our business. And so my advice to doctors, practice managers who are listening, you have to get serious about a blended strategy. You have to have an organized action plan. And you have to execute on that plan. You have to know how to find these numbers that Tim just referenced.
You have to have reports that you actually like look at that you actually care about. And you have to listen to your people on the phone with your patients, listen to your patients very, very carefully. And make sure that you are providing a world class, five star experience for them everywhere from your digital presence all the way down to when they call you, to when they walk into your practice. Until they come and sit in the consultation room, to their on the treatment table. You have to care about them, you have to love them. And you have to run your practice like a business. And you know, Tim, I’ll let you wrap it up right now, because, I know people have got a lot of things to do. I just want to make sure everyone understands. Google is banning a ton of the ability for us to advertise treatments and procedures that many of our integrated wellness practices are doing right now. My fear is that it could be any one of us at any time, because we don’t control this. And none of us control Congress. None of us control the laws of the land.
But what we do have the ability to do today, Tim as business owners, is to be better at making sure we have the right people, the right process, and the right tools to help us absolutely grow and succeed and thrive, not just survive. And that’s it, I wanted to make sure that I had a chance to come on. Thank you, Tim for letting me be a part of the True to Form podcast, I enjoy it. And it’s such a great service to this industry. We love you guys, we care about you guys. And anybody who is not a client of Crystal Clear, this will be a little self-serving, we would love to help you as you look at your strategy. But there are many great companies out there. Many great pieces of software, many great vendors, and we’re more than happy to point you in those directions too if you don’t feel like we’re a great fit. But either way, Tim, thanks so much for your time, and I’ll let you close up the podcast here.
Tim: I appreciate it, Adam. And of course, for those of you who don’t know, Adam DeGraide guys, this is his third successful venture. He’s one of the original pioneers in the concept of digital marketing, not just the execution of it. And through three different iterations in the Inc. 500, three times. He’s an incredible entrepreneur, and he has a heart to serve, right. And I think his philosophy rings true. And so we’re here to help guys, if anyone’s interested in learning more about what we discussed today. Pop on the website, crystalcleardm.com. That’s crystalcleardm.com. Fill out a form, there’s an 800 number on the website. Give us a call. One of the guys would be happy to help you out in any way we possibly can. We wish you the best of luck, particularly try integrated medicine. Friends and family who this will have a little bit of an impact. But we hope that we can work together and sort it all out. We appreciate you joining us today and we look forward to you joining us on our next podcast soon. Thank you.
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