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Great Medicine is not


always Great Healthcare!


[Credibility reference for visiting professionals: Hal is the author of DOCTOR BUSINESS for physicians and DOCTOR SHOPPING for consumers. As a 30-year advocate for both, overlapping his business consulting career, Hal served on national healthcare committees, won national awards and worked with over 1,000 physicians.] 



We in America are headed down an astronomically-expensive healthcare road of no return for small businesses and professional practices. So NOW may be the best time to share some critical business insights with medical and allied health professionals.

And if you’re in any way involved with sales TO doctors,

stay with this post (and tomorrow’s, and be sure

to check out the link in the next sentence).

First, you do not know it all. Second, if you’ll pay attention to this short post (and tomorrow’s), you will know enough to get you through the leading edge of the oncoming mandated healthcare storm. Third, if the storm can in fact be sidetracked or beaten back, you will gain even more by digesting and using this information now.

Like it or not, the key to your survival and growth is rarely the medical training, skills and experience you offer… these great strengths of yours are merely “features” that patients will use to justify choosing you. With mandated healthcare, there will be no real choices to retain your services, but there may be choices to avoid your services.

More often than not, your success as a healthcare professional is tied to that word you may dread: marketing… but NOT “marketing”‘ as you have come to know it: office popcorn, candy and sub deliveries, event tickets, dinners, golf.  (Effective marketing that creates sales is the only way your practice can keep pace and grow right now!)

Most medical marketing is either noncommunicative because it’s too technical for the target audience or it’s too verbally bland, too visually sterile, and utterly meaningless — like virtually ALL hospital advertising messages!

How does this happen? Most medical skill development is rational, logical, analytical, unemotional left-brain activity based. Most effective marketing (which includes advertising, promotion, sales, and public relations) works because it appeals to right-brain emotions.

To achieve improved musculo-skeletal balance, physical therapists tell us a commitment to training, retraining, and ongoing exercise is required. The same kind of commitment is needed to achieve right brain/left brain balance… the root of stress management, self-control, self-esteem, and trust.

Trust is every patient’s

cornerstone of confidence.


No more than a radiologist is a good first choice for surgery, a technical thinker/writer cannot be expected to write marketing content that triggers emotional buying motives. Though I would hardly endorse the specialty, many cosmetic surgeons get it. They market benefits and results instead of features.

Someone seeking results (and in medicine that almost always means reassurance in some form) is not the least bit interested in what technique or instruments will be used. That person will want that information simply to justify the decision, but it is not what will ultimately “make the sale.”  Having a sense of trust makes the sale.

HOW to market your trustworthiness? Tomorrow. Here. The answers.


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