July 27, 2009

Four Marketing Lessons from an Executive Physical

The only equipment lack in the modern hospital? Somebody to meet you at the entrance with a handshake! --- Martin H. Fischer

You've probably heard of executive physicals. I've thought of getting one for years. The range of services varies. I wasn't expecting a massage or a gourmet meal but was looking forward to tests you wouldn't get from your regular doctor. Tests that might spot a life-threatening condition that would not normally surface only when too late for treatment

You can read about my executive physical. Although everything was done professionally in pleasant surroundings, I felt disappointed. Are you disappointing your clients and prospects without even knowing? Probably. Let's look at four actions you can take.

Four Marketing Lessons
Clients and prospects have expectations when they come to your office for the first time. What can you do to manage and exceed their expectations? Clients who don't know what to expect are easy to disappoint: they expect what they expect. That can easily be more than you provide.

Here's what you can do
  1. Position the experience
  2. Personalize the process
  3. Show other options
  4. Stay in touch
Position the Experience
In financial services, you provide an experience --- a service, not a product. You're selling the intangible. The placebo effect says we experience what we expect (even if that doesn't happen). Why not describe what your guest can expect in advance? Answer common questions in an e-mail or online.

Here are some of my unanswered questions prior to my physical.
  1. Will walking to the clinic elevate my heart rate and negate the tests?
  2. When can I eat (you fast for 12 hours)? Is food provided?
  3. Are locks provided for the lockers?
  4. Are towels provided for the showers?
  5. Is the testing so strenuous that a shower is required?
Personalize the Process
You likely provide each client a tailored subset of your services. Does your client know that? Or could your client think you're leaving things out that others routinely get? For example, you omit discussions about disability insurance but your client may not realize this is because they are too old or unhealthy to qualify.

Why not have a checklist to show progress? For example, if you're doing financial planning, you can explain that the fact-finding is taking place now, to be followed by diagnostic tests, recommendations and ongoing follow-up.

Show Other Options
Clients may think they know what they want because they don't until they know what's available.

Why not describe your full range of services with estimated costs. In the case of the medical clinic, this could include
  • physicals for other family members
  • optional tests (e.g., I wanted to go on a treadmill with sensors all over my body but this was not offered. Revenue lost. Disappointment found.)
Stay in Touch
I was not told what to expect after I left. Would there be any follow-up? Would I get a report by mail or email? Did I mean more than money to the clinic?

Why not stay in touch with your clients and prospects to show you care and are organized? How easy and inexpensive to send a monthly eNewsletter with health tips. If the content is truly valuable, recipients might even forward copies and recommend you.

With simple, easy actions, you can achieve results beyond your efforts. And become remarkable in a world of average.


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