George Hess - Breakthrough Case Study
The worst year in 2014 to my best year in 2015 - without visiting a single doctor!
DPT & Owner Saved His PT Practice
After three straight years in a decline George was able to turn his Physical Therapy practice around in just 1 year!
By implementing a Breakthrough's Physical Therapy direct access marketing strategy and using new business systems in his practice, he was able to step back from his practice to spend more time with his family.
Watch the video below to see how he did it!
Read George Hess' Breakthrough Case Study Transcript
It can take months or years to build a successful private practice from scratch—but losing all that hard work can happen much faster. Hess Physical Therapy owner George Hess knows both sides of this coin well, having enjoyed his best year to date in 2012, and then his worst one just two years later.
But instead of accepting his numbers being cut in half as the new norm, George put direct access marketing to work to turn his two Pittsburgh-based practices around and get back to business.
“Things Were Spiraling Down.”
Things weren’t looking promising in George’s practice before he embraced direct access marketing. In addition to watching his numbers sink to all-time lows, he was also investing a big part of himself in the day-to-day tasks of running his practice. George was hands-on with most of the administrative side, along with all the marketing. He knew this wasn’t the way he wanted to work, but when he tried stepping back, the numbers would crash.
“I was so insecure there for a little while,” recalls George. “Things were spiraling down. It wasn't good.”
And while George was busy treating patients, his kids were busy growing up. “I was working so many hours, taking work home, and not being available in the evenings. The kids are involved in things, and I wanted to be there with them.”
To get back to the patient volume and profitability he knew he was capable of, George decided to take a different approach to marketing and start going direct to the consumer instead of relying on physician referrals.
Investing in a New Level of Success with Direct Access Marketing
George started Breakthrough’s Killer Marketing course in 2015 with two goals: To fix his practice and to eventually assume a role as an overseer rather than being involved in the daily tasks. He quickly found it was the answer he had been looking for.
“One of the first things we implemented was the Green Ink Letter,” notes George. “We were doing something similar but not at all personalized. We’ve changed it quite a bit through what we’ve learned with Breakthrough, and it’s making a big difference.”
Aside from making tweaks to the way he was already marketing his practice, George discovered new valuable tools and ideas that helped to bring his practice back up to health.
“One thing that I had not done was the newsletters. On our first campaign, we had a free promotional day. I had 30-something people scheduled for that day, and 20 of them became patients. I have never had anything that gave us that much of a dramatic increase from just doing one thing.” George was a bit hesitant to try it, but spending a couple of thousand of dollars on a campaign and getting $20K-$30K in return was worth it.
Having learned with Breakthrough, George and his team are better positioned to personalize the patient experience, right down to the Thank You notes after the patient’s first visit. “They’re thrilled to death when they get a card in the mail and it's personalized to them. They know it's directly to them because it's about what they told you during their evaluation.”
The team is also proud to share their successes via the Killer Testimonial program, which has become a powerful tool for patients and PTs alike. “Every time a patient completes their program, we have them write their personal story, and we take a photograph with them, frame it, and put it on the wall. And it’s given the PTs incentive because they want to have lots of them on the wall.”
After Breakthrough: Favorable Outcomes for Patients and the Practice Alike
George notes that the marketing itself has been game-changing, but his success has also come from the systems he’s built along the way. “It’s something I lacked at one time, but if you don't have the proper systems in place, you're never going to get to where you want to get to.”
With systems and marketing in place, George and his team are delivering a more personalized patient experience—one that his patients are eager to share with others. “The patients that came in start to refer other people, too. So it's just a continuation of growth.”
George has noted that his expenses have increased, but they don’t compare to the profitability they’ve delivered. The newsletters brought in past patients whom he hadn’t seen in a while and gave him a chance to reconnect with them. The workshops and promotional days are bringing in 20-25 patients every time. And the personalization aspect encourages patients to complete their program and plays a major role in their success.
According to George, his numbers were up to where they were in 2012 within just one year with Breakthrough’s methods for direct access marketing. “You feel a sense of accomplishment that you're back where you want to be. And now I think we're going to take it to another level.”
Now that George is back on track, he plans to hire an additional staff member to grow his practice to the largest it’s ever been. Because of the systems he now has in place, George feels confident in hiring without having to be hands-on in every area of his practice like he was before.
“If you go through this program and do exactly what they're doing, you'll have successful outcomes.”
Final Thoughts: “It’s Such Peace of Mind.”
George acknowledges that physician referrals can be valuable, but is grateful that he doesn’t need to rely on them anymore. He hasn’t stepped foot inside a doctor’s office since starting Breakthrough’s direct response marketing course, and he enjoys being able to control his patient volume using direct access marketing.
With the increase in patient volume, hiring more staff, and having greater control over his practice’s success, George is grateful for the ability to come and go as he wants, along with being there for his kids.
“For me, it’s not just the revenue increases but also the time freedom it’s provided me. And you can’t put a price tag on that.”
Implemented Free Promotional Workshop Days which helped schedule 30 people on the 1st campaign and 20 became converted over to be patients!
Using personalized Green Ink Letters we were able to retain and keep patients coming back.
Better yet, they're in the process of building their dream vacation home.
The proper PT marketing and business systems helped us move from being so hands on to a position where I can run my business and be whit my family.
I was able to save time, increase our profits and grow our practice with more employees.
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