Our medical communication group sneezes.
We sneeze Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini any time someone asks us “What’s a great marketing book to read?”
You see, Influence is not just a marketing book. It’s a book about psychology and how, armed with its insight, you can improve your marketing results and grow your medical business.
1. Reciprocity. Easy. I do something for you; you do something for me. I love the anecdote he tells. People come in to take a survey. Half the time, the moderator excuses himself and returns with two sodas saying, “I got one for myself so I picked one up for you.” The survey continues. At the end the moderator says, “I’m selling 25-cent raffles for my kid’s something-or-other.” People with sodas were twice as likely to buy a raffle.
Then the punch line: This is 1960-something and the cost of the soda is a nickel. The moderator increases his return fivefold on every sale! Love that one.
What little something can you give to your prospects to increase the likelihood they feel obligated to give you something in return?
2. Commitment and consistency. You said you’d do something; if you don’t you look bad. It’s the essence of the timeline. Show up to your next sales call without the work you promised. See how that goes for you. Trust, at the center of everything, really, relies on your ability to do what you say you’ll do.
Get your customer to say (out loud), “You provide the best service.” They’ve committed, to themselves anyhow, you are the best. Ask them to put it in an email. It would be inconsistent to turn around and give business to someone else.
3. Social proof. Paint a picture your target can relate to.
Back in the late 90’s I did some serious fund-raising for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Ann Fudge and Jim Craigie were wonderful – they gave me time at their divisional meetings, allowing me persuade hundreds of fellow Kraft Foods employees.
I painted a picture of everyone walking together in New York’s Central Park on a crisp spring morning. I showed photos including a sales guy from last year’s event that everybody loved, with his adorable three-year old beaming atop his shoulders. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Pat on a fun day like that?
I recruited Doug by saying that Helen was going. Donna went because Michael was going. Then Adina came too.
Never did talk much about homosexuality, syringes, or death. Raised $300,000.
4. Scarcity. Call your customer and say if he helps you hit your quarterly number by committing to that new piece of equipment by Friday, you can get it to him for 10 percent less. Come next quarter, sorry, the deal’s off. The scarcity of time is one of the reasons promotions have expiration dates (and the nearer the end-date, the more responsive your prospect).
We were about to introduce the newest model of a particular medical device and had inventory to liquidate. Scarcity helped us blow through the inventory: Once we sold the last one at its discounted price, that’s it, there would be no more.
5. Authority. When the FDA shows up, you do what they say. ‘Nuff said.
6. Liking. This one’s no surprise to any salesperson reading the post. One of your competitive advantages is the relationship you’ve built with your customers. Yes, they probably could buy accessories from CablesAndSensors.com but they have a relationship with you and will even pay more for them … because they like you.
They like you because you’re straightforward with them and you provide top-notch service. To be sure, “liking” in business doesn’t come easily but it’s a worthwhile use of your time.
If you “liked” reading this, you may visit again. In fact – see point #2 and then repeat after me – “I could learn how to improve my lead-generation efforts with Medical Marcom. I’m going to contact Joe right now!”