As hearing healthcare professionals, you are one of the most informed people when it comes to the services and practices you provide. It’s why you are the professional; you know things your patient does not. You know the technical terms for every bone in the ear and what it means if something isn’t quite right. But, rattle off that jargon to your patient, and they will quickly ask you to put it in terms that are easier to understand.
Just as your patients want to hear the “simple” version of their hearing problem, they also want a clear reason for coming to you in the first place.
When it comes to marketing your practice, we want to use the idea of creating a “story”.
Nearly every great story follows the same path. There’s a hero, guide, plan, and a call to action, which results in either success or failure. (And in this case, we always hope for the former.) When it is clear who this story is about and what problems it solves, your patients will be compelled to use you for their hearing needs. Not the competition.
Great stories are often told in movies and books. In the Harry Potter series, Harry longs to defeat Voldemort, an evil wizard who killed his parents. Throughout the movies, Professor Dumbledore is a constant guide, training Harry for the moment when he will face Voldemort once and for all. The series ends with Harry defeating evil with good, saving the world from enduring a horrific reign.
Without the help of a guide, the hero cannot see how he will become what he is destined to be. Po thinks that he’s not fit for kung fu, even though he was chosen among a crowd to become the next Dragon Warrior. Master Shifu recognizes that Po loves food, and using it as motivation, he trains Po to become a kung fu master, and eventually, the Dragon Warrior. Po fights Shifu’s previous protege, Tai Lung, and protects the valley.
The hero is the focus of the story. In your case, the hero is the patient. Their problem could be ringing in the ears or failing to hear loved ones properly. Not only do they have this physical problem, they also have an internal problem, that typically deals with the emotions, such as being willing to believe there is something wrong with their hearing. Internal problems typically deal with the emotions that are a result of the external problem. In this case, hearing loss (external) leads to lack of connection with friends and family and potential loss of dignity (internal problem). There’s also the philosophical problem of experiencing a great life with a hearing issue.
As audiologists, you serve as the guide for the patient. You obviously know more than our hero. You also know what the problem could be and the solution. But, in marketing, your job isn’t to only provide an answer. Your job is to be empathetic. The hero needs to know that you understand their needs and how to meet them.
To tell a successful story, one that brings in new patients and keeps them at your practice, we need to create a clear story that puts your potential and current patients at the center of it.
We want your patients to believe that, not only do you understand what they are experiencing, you also have a great plan that will open the door to great hearing.
The plan could be one that shows your hero that, although they once thought seeing an audiologist was only for the elderly or those who suffered hearing loss since birth, visiting a hearing professional is a great and normal experience. You give them a plan that proves adding an audiological appointment to their schedule is a step of action, not a step backwards.
This plan should bring your hero to a crisis of belief, a moment to choose between the ways they have always walked, or choosing to listen to you, the guide. You provide a call to action, something that gives them a chance to follow through with this plan presented. This call to action could be a simple “Call Us Now” button on your website.
In telling this story, not only do we want to show the hero what happens when they do see an audiologist–the gratification of normal hearing–we also want them to see what could happen if they don’t. For instance, without seeing an audiologist, your hero could experience a life of lower quality because of hearing loss.
In this story, we don’t need you take action. We want your patient to. And when they do, we want you to be the first one they call.
We want to give your patient, potential or current, a clear vision for high-quality hearing and audiological care. Your practice is not the hero. Your patient is, and we want them to believe this story you tell is their story, too.