Healthcare Consultations: Warming up your cool customers
Very few customers, in a health care marketing environments, want to get right down to business. Usually, a customer wants to “buy” the person first, the company second, and the product third. Hence, there’s very little advantage to launching straight into a discussion of either the company or the product/service you offer before the prospective patient is ready to buy you, personally. If they don’t buy you, then whatever you say about the company or the product/service will likely fall on deaf ears.
So, how do you get people to buy you? Most people will agree that they buy from people they trust. And often, before you can trust someone, you need to be able to like that person.
According to Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and a recognised expert in the field of persuasion and influence, people “prefer to say yes to the requests of people we know and like”.
Increasing the degree to which you are liked by someone will increase the probability that they will comply with your requests.
We like people better and believe them more when they: are more attractive; are similar to us; like us; are familiar to us; are engaged in a cooperative effort with us; are associated with things we like; are present while we are eating and drinking.
We’ve done it all our lives, just make a friend. How do we make friends? Often, someone will like you because they feel that you… wait for it… like them!
Dale Carnegie once wrote:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
In the healthcare consultations skills and teamwork training I deliver, I teach participants to spend a little time warming up the prospect with some small-talk after they initially greet them, just to get the juices flowing.
Bearing in mind that the needs analysis is the most important part of the healthcare consultation process we must do everything possible to put our prospects at ease prior to the that stage, so they will open up to us when we begin asking them questions.
What is the goal of the warm-up in a healthcare consultation?
The goal of the warm-up is to further reduce the customer’s tension so that we can establish rapport and credibility.
What’s the best way to establish credibility with a prospect? Tell them about yourself? Explain the longevity and experience of the practice? Tell them how wonderful the product is?
Actually, the best way to establish credibility with a prospect is to find out what’s important to them.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the warm-up in more detail. For now, I’ll leave you with these questions:
- How can I get the prospect talking about him or herself?
- How can I find something to genuinely like about them?
- How can I find a commonality that is important to your prospect?
- What kinds of things can we talk about at the warm-up?