3 Myths About Physician Marketing That Are Holding You Back
By Katie Armatoski, Au.D
Let’s just get this out of the way: physician marketing is tough. I’m not going to lie to you and say that it should be easy or that it’s easy for me.
It’s not easy to get the attention of busy physicians, and you get a lot more rejections than open doors. Of course, Covid has added another layer of difficulty when it comes to connecting with physicians in person.
So, how do you make any kind of traction with all of these roadblocks standing in your way? It’s definitely not going to be as easy as it once was, but I know a lot of audiologists who are still seeing some positive results from their efforts.
Today, I want to debunk some of the most common myths I hear over and over about physician marketing. I also want to share some of my favorite strategies to set yourself up for success!
Physician Marketing Myth #1 – They Won’t Meet With You
“It’s not worth my time to sit there and ‘sell myself’ to the front desk, just to maybe get 5 minutes with a healthcare provider.”
Does this sound familiar? Maybe you’ve even said something similar to this in the past. I totally get it. It can feel awkward trying to “sell yourself” or your services, but I don’t feel like that’s what we’re doing at all. I look at it like we’re educating and advocating for people with hearing loss.
Sure, maybe 5% of all physicians are going to give you a hard time when you reach out to them and try to develop a working relationship. But think about the other 95% who are currently neglecting hearing loss as a health concern simply because they’re not taught much about it in medical school or even during their residencies. They need us to go in and educate them!
Here’s one thing that helped me: When you show up to a physician’s office, think about yourself as a representative of those with untreated hearing loss. That way, it’s not about you, it’s not about business, it’s about helping people. If they reject you, they’re rejecting the chance to provide better patient care.
If you want to “practice” framing your approach this way, why not start with a physician who is already referring to you? They’re much more likely to be receptive, and this is an easy way to gain confidence.
Physician Marketing Myth #2 – I Don’t Have Time
“It’s just me and one receptionist. We just don’t have time during the day.”
Most of us are running small teams, so how are you supposed to leave the office for an afternoon or even just a few hours to have in-person meetings with physicians?
To me, it’s all about priorities. Some audiologists are booked out months in advance and are not interested in expanding their practice. You know what? Good for them. However, most practices are not in this position, and we have to keep marketing ourselves to make sure we have new patients coming through our doors.
There are many ways to do this, but I consider physician marketing a more effective use of your time than other forms of marketing. An article in the Hearing Review stated that “physician referrals [are] … the highest revenue-producing referral source with the lowest amount of marketing spend, yielding a much higher return on investment.”
If you want to get more mileage out of the time you spend marketing your practice, why not use the materials you create for physicians as an awareness campaign for the general public in your community? It’s a great way to keep your name front of mind.
Physician Marketing Myth #3 – I Don’t Need Referrals
“I work for a major hospital with several other audiologists. I don’t need to market myself to physicians.“
Sure, some audiologists may already have a steady stream of referrals and might not feel the need to invest time into physician marketing. If this is you, I challenge you to look at this process not so much as a way to drum up business, but more as a way to develop better working relationships in your local healthcare community.
As with most things, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The winds may change direction (or you might decide to open your own practice) and if that happens, you don’t want to have to start from zero. You want to have solid relationships in your community that you can lean on.
My brand new “Physician Marketing Made Easy” subscription helps audiologists put themselves in front of physicians with confidence. You’ll get personalized, downloadable marketing materials (like intro letters, postcards, and newsletters) designed to build your reputation with all kinds of specialists, from primary care to endocrinologists to nephrologists and everyone in between!
If you’re ready to finally be acknowledged as an essential member of a patient’s health team instead of just “someone who sells hearing aids” join the waiting list below to learn more!
And just remember: a big part of making meaningful connections with physicians in your community is just having a positive attitude and a bit of resilience. Don’t give up right away, and don’t let the myths I’ve shared above get in your head and derail you!
If you have questions for me or want to brainstorm some ideas, I am here for you! Feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to chat with you.