Often the worry about “marketing” is that it’s perceived as being the pushy car salesman, timeshare representatives or someone with an expensive product to sell. I say that last one because I recently was at a health show (as an exhibitor), and after setting up had a couple of hours to spare, wandered round to see what goodies were on display, and pick up information that would be valuable to my clients and me.
I saw this amazing machine that juiced, blended, cooked, I mean EVERYTHING. It did pretty much absolutely everything. And unknown to the “salesman” I’m pretty interested in this type of equipment, and told him that we did in fact have a great blender, that we loved, and used every day. But I asked him “tell me what this one does?”
He tells me that professional chefs use it to make soup in minutes (time saving), this one machine does multiple jobs (convenient) and although expensive, would over time save money! I’m kinda hooked at this stage. But does he know? No. In fact he starts to say that his machine is so much better than my blender (suggesting I was silly to fall for their sales pitch), that I paid way too much for it (silly again), and continued to rubbish my buying decision. Hmmmm.
You see I don’t think it’s necessary to “bash” another product/therapy/company in order to prove how good yours is. It should stand alone, with all its benefits, uniqueness and solutions it provides. This salesperson was so wrapped up in his product that he forgot what I wanted. And he wasn’t going about that the right way.
I’m sure we all have experiences like this. And it’s a pity because it’s so unnecessary. But bad experiences affect how we feel, react and carry out marketing and promotions for our clinics. And because we don’t want to be perceived as the pushy salesperson, nor want to bombard people with our advertising, and certainly don’t want to be “too commercial”, we feel stuck, disillusioned and blame outside influences when our practice isn’t growing.
When writing your promotional materials, giving talks about your treatments, going to health shows where you’ll meet potential clients, networking events, or writing articles, ALWAYS be thinking, how can a build a relationship with these people to see if they are a good match for what I offer? Maybe they are, or maybe they aren’t. You’re only finding out if they are interested in having a conversation with you – not asking them to commit to buying from you. How can I explain what I do so that they better understand?
Have you ever bought from a good “salesperson”? Of course you have. Buying is often VERY enjoyable. If you’ve ever bought a pair of shoes because the salesperson took the time and found the best pair of heels for you, then didn’t that feel good?
- Find out what your clients want.
- Explain it in their language.
- Offer your solution to those who have expressed an interest.
I found this quote from S.H. Simmons, author and humorist, that may help explain the difference:
“If a young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing.
If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is — that’s advertising.
If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is — that’s public relations.”
I felt inspired to share my pushy salesman experience because I know we would hate others to feel that way by our attempts to market our practice. Be assured though that we have to find a way to share our message that helps others to see the benefits of our service, because there is such a need for what we do.
Don’t let the fear of pushiness result in inaction.