Dec 09 2013
“Huh? Now? But it’s the holidays!”
“Well, Merry Christmas to you! But
after quality family time, remember
1st quarter 2014 is just hours away.”
Why “NOW!”? Just click here: take a quick look at this to see what’s happening this very split second –as you read this– and you’ll realize that delaying this task is simply not in your best interest.
Getting others to refer you/your business is more than a survival tactic, it’s the key to 2014 success. No sales are more important right now than those to the friends, families, associates and online connections of your existing customers, clients, and patients. Because 2014 is bringing increased competitive activity to the surface. And it cannot be sidestepped.
The harder the times, the fiercer the battle! And the easiest, most economical path to increased sales and customer/ client/ patient repeat-sales-and-visits loyalty is a strengthened referral base. Economical? You decide. It costs nothing to delight those who purchase from you.
Cease and desist all marketing? No. But don’t expand it. Instead, consider shifting gears from reliance on expensive media, to fine-tuning attitudes and cultivating a much more pronounced reputation for integrity than you probably imagined being necessary.
THIS post will get you started with
a business or practice volume boost
agenda that you will never get from
a business or medicine world insider
“Referral Marketing” is NOT (Note: car dealerships!) flooding rented mailing lists with dumb direct mail solicitations (like “Bring this key to our car store to see if you win” while our salespeople swarm all over you . . .). Oh, and DOCTORS: Bringing popcorn, candy and subs to referring physician offices is equally dumb. It may get some Ooohs and Ahhhs from other doctors’ staffs, but effective FREE marketing, done professionally, is what will bring increased patient referrals to your door!
Here’s what it’s really all about: marketing is both external (websites, signage, traditional and social media, direct mail and email, promotions, advertising, merchandising items, PR events and news releases), and internal.
Internal (which is free) combined with news releases and most PR events (which are free) is the most effective marketing. I refer to it as “Quiet” marketing. It includes such things as the appearance of your and your staff’s personal selves –neat, clean clothes, scrubbed look– as well as your office, vehicles, and waiting areas . . . plus the manner in which communications are conducted . . . on paper, online, in person, and on the phone.
This means active listening 80% of the time – backed by clear simple speech, using examples and diagrams, soliciting questions and feedback, and applying this attentiveness to not just patients and customers, patient and customer families, your own staff, and associates — but to others as well.
Internal Marketing includes your entire inner ring of contacts. For doctors, it includes other doctors, nurses, your professional advisors (lawyers, accountants, consultants), as well as pharmacists, insurance providers, suppliers, detail reps, and –guess what?– your office cleaning and delivery people too!
BUSINESS OWNERS need to apply this thinking to every person and organization your business does business with, from paper and cleaning supply providers to snowplow and landscaping services, and every single delivery person!
WHY? Because they are ALL prospective customers and referrers
Quiet marketing also includes paying careful attention to the frequency and quality of communications with those in your networking resource and referral systems, and to your SELF. Why? Because Quiet marketing success at any level has most of all to do with how you conduct and represent yourself to others!
This translates to how you walk, talk, sit, stand, listen, touch, gesture, and treat everyone around you every day. These actions add up to the statement you make about who you really are, and why you are trustworthy of the confidences and care of others.
Remember: It’s all about every blink you blink!
Someone is watching your every move and noting
your every word, and . . . Perceptions are facts!
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