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The Blog - Where Business Collides with Human Nature

Marketing and Selling to Doctors

doctorYou will refer your own doctor but as a general rule won't walk into just any doctor's office to get treatment.  

You are usually willing to share with your inner circle that you are not physically well, ill, hurting and encumbered.  When it comes time to go to a doctor for a check-up and fix; "I don't like going to the doctor" is a frequent response.

When you get the doctor bill, there is a confounding period of perplexity as the bill seems to make no sense.  When you get the second bill from the same visit, you are convinced the medical industry is not to be trusted.

When you do visit the doctor and he determines the best options for your "cure", he/she may  inform you that your insurance company will not approve his/her recommended tests or prescription.  This leaves you wondering why you bothered visiting if the "all powerful" and knowledgeable doctor is unable to help you further.

You fear the famous words: 'Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.  That is $125 please."  Next time you will stay home, skip the doctor, do the aspirin yourself to save the money and time.

The paperwork overload within a doctor's office is apparent before you set foot in the office.     Instructions to arrive 15 minutes early and complete the forms is another reminder of why the doctor office is not a happy place. (and so very inconvenient.)

The government is the watcher, guardian and controller.  Nothing happens without the government overseeing every step of the process including what can be said and what can't be shared.  While you may appreciate some control to protect your interests, the inconvenience and costs involved are very high for everyone involved.

Doctors are not always a happy group.  Considering the environment where every one of their customers (patients) is focused on "complain, moan, groan" and reveal secrets about body parts most of us avoid talking about; you are lucky that doctors are able to cope enough to talk with you at all.

If you believe marketing is difficult for your business, think about the fickleness of the those who say 'nay' and then 'yeah!' about their doctor.  "I don't like going to the doctor but I will certainly recommend you go to my doctor."  

Feel fortunate that you do not have the complexity which doctors have for their business.

Are doctors your potential customer?

If doctors are your potential customers, marketing to doctors will include high impact, high service and high sacrifice.  Doctors have many controls and they are approached by an abundant number of sales people who want to sell to them directly.  We know that doctors are the source of all things "money" are perceived as "rich, wealthy and plenty of excess cash".  (Perceptions which may be untrue for many doctors.)

Marketing to doctors will include:

  • High impact personal notes in snail mail envelope
  • Newspaper and magazine articles which mentiion their name and business
  • Awards, recognition and honors
  • Voted as "best"
  • Donations and volunteering for their favorite charity
  • Testimonials
  • Complimentary membership to prestigious associations
  • Referrals to their practice or medical center.
  • Gifts (Go with samples or fruit)
  • Traditional knick knacks which can be shared with staff
  • Golf gift certificates
  • Exclusivity
  • Lunch
  • Videos
  • Give interview and speaking opportunities
  • Tickets to events
  • Tips about methods to improve their processes

When marketing to the medical service business where almost no one shows appreciation, the first approach is not to target them with a "sell, sell, sell" tactic.  The doctor would prefer to cure and serve and avoid you.  Chances are your product or service is another to avoid.

Considering the potential purchase by the medical service will be a large ticket item, the tools to introduce, invite and connect will not be average in any way.  Nor will one contact be enough in a world where everyone the doctor comes in contact with has their hand out.  Your connection will be a reflection of what you believe doctors offer the world.

Extraordinary is a good place to start and being very relevant to their specific needs a priority.

Reminder:  Since walking into an office and talking is not so extraordinary, it will not be enough.

If you have not yet changed your paradigm that a doctor's business is high pressure and very controlled, then you may need to sit in a doctors office for a few hours.  Marketing to doctors is different than other profession and requires more than a new tactic or system.  They are in the personalized service business and YOUR approach needs to outshine theirs by TEN.

Factoids About National Doctor's Day - (March 30th)

"National Doctor's Day" observances date back to March 30, 1933. It was started by Eudora Brown Almond of Winder, Ga. The day marks the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. The first National Doctor's Day was celebrated in 1991.

On March 30, 1958, the United States House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors' Day.

In 1990, the congress and the senate approved legislation establishing National Doctors Day. The resolution designating March 30 as National Doctors' Day was signed by President George Bush.

National Nurses Day - (May 6th)

National Nurses Day is also known as National RN Recognition Day, is always celebrated on May 6th and opens National Nurses Week.  National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, the birth date of Florence Nightingale.

Think of how every doctor (regardless of income) impacts the life and well being of those they serve.  Bad medicine in a community changes the community at every level.

Give more appreciation to doctors and when you are marketing to doctors, show that appreciation in grand style.

Topics: Celebration Guerrilla Marketing Ideas Selling