Define some terms, Set some context

In order to truly have a two way conversation, there has to be a mutual understanding of words and phrases.  This post will focus on defining words and setting context for our Conversion conversations.

Lead Generation = the process of creating sales leads which might convert into a sale for the company.

In the context of your physical therapy practice,  your Marketing Plan plays the role of making people (sales  leads) aware of you and what you offer.  These leads may come from various sources or activities.  For example, these may be via the Internet, through calls, through advertisement, list purchase, direct marketing, through networking, direct mail, community involvement, word of mouth discussions, etc.  (We will delve into the Mindset of the Marketing Plan in the future.)

So with that said, a sales lead is a person that has the interest and authority to purchase your service (Physical Therapy).  A sales lead is the person calling your office with questions who has the ultimate goal of “Scheduling a Physical Therapy appointment”.

Now what happens at the time of the phone call, does this person schedule and show for their evaluation?  What happens or doesn’t happen on the phone call is now measured as Lead Conversion.

Lead Conversion = Person who made phone call to your office is scheduled and seen for a PT evaluation.

Lead Conversion is calculated as the number of new patients scheduled AND seen divided by total inquiry calls to your office.  For example, 100 phone calls come in to your office and 80 of the calls were scheduled and seen = 80% Conversion rate.

The last phrase we need to define for our discussion on Conversion is Schedule Ready Referral.  This phrase was first used by Jim Plymale, CEO of Clinicient.  We have had many conversations on the value of measuring Lead Conversion.

A Schedule Ready Referral is a sales lead who calls your office having already been sold on your Value.  This person will schedule with little to no discussion.  The number of calls who are a schedule ready referrals will be directly proportional to the work you do both with your internal and external marketing.

Now that we have defined Lead Generation, Lead Conversion and Schedule Ready Referral, we can begin to discuss ways to turn potential patients into scheduled patients.  We can then take it one step further and discuss how to make sure the scheduled patients consistently attend their appointments.


We all clear now?   EXCELLENT…… Feel free to post a question in the comment section, I will respond.


3 thoughts on “Define some terms, Set some context

  1. Zack Duhamel

    Love the distinction between lead conversion and schedule ready referral. Huge difference between stopping at lead conversations and stopping at schedule ready referred. Still have to sell value to your people even if they are in your doors. As always, this is great stuff. Thanks Jerry.

    1. Jerry Durham Post author

      Thanks Zack….. you have so nicely introduced the next post.
      We will be discussing have Conversion is a 2 Step process. When they call, then when they are in the eval room with a PT.

  2. Jim Plymale

    HI Jerry –

    Never saw this post! My bad. Great post. I love the schedule ready referral concept. The whole idea here is not just that they are interested in therapy, but that they’ve been sold on the value of therapy (your job) and will turn into someone who will come not just for the evaluation, but continue to a successful discharge. We talk about mortality rate which are referrals that drop out before 3 visits without achieving the goal. That’s like leaving $700 on the table and not having someone to provide positive word of mouth for your therapy business. We also talk about conversion, which you have beautifully defined here. It’s taking a potential patient and converting them into a schedule ready referral. This happens starting with your physician partners, your patients, your staff and things as small as how easy is it to find parking to get treatment at your clinic. We are always selling and it’s a good thing! You get this stuff!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *