Earn More, Sell Less – Getting Physicians to “Pre-Sell” Your Services for You
By Katie Armatoski, Au.D
It should come as no surprise when I tell you that “sounding like a salesperson” is by far one of the biggest pain points I hear from audiologists. No one wants to be pushy. It doesn’t feel good, especially when we know that what we’re offering has real value to our patients. We shouldn’t have to pitch ourselves and sell our services like we’re starring in a late-night infomercial.
This was one of my least favorite parts of practicing audiology, and I know that even when I made the decision to start a personal brand, I felt so self-obsessed and disingenuous. I wanted my WORK to be front and center, not my face and definitely not my sales pitches!
That’s why I am so passionate about helping audiologists grow their businesses in a way that feels authentic and places value first. I believe that authentic relationship-building and trust should be the foundations of your marketing and sales strategy… whether you’re posting on social media, blogging, and working on other forms of content marketing.
You can do this with physician marketing, too! In fact, prioritizing your physician marketing is a great way to “pre-sell” your services to people without even having to speak to them first.
What is Pre-Selling?
So what do I mean when I say that you can “pre-sell” your services by focusing on physician marketing? As you know, physicians are an excellent source of referrals. Marketing to them and letting them know about your services, areas of expertise, and key differentiators is a fantastic way to encourage them to send potential patients your way.
Physicians can really help prime potential patients to say “yes” to your services. Let’s look at two different scenarios:
A patient calls your practice after looking up “hearing aids near me” on Google. They want to hear about the cheapest option you have to “fix” their hearing loss. They’re also curious to know why they should come to you versus just getting a cheap $20 amplifier online.
A patient calls after being referred by their primary care physician. They have already been told that they need something beyond what they can get at Costco to address their hearing loss so when they come to you, they’re prepared to take your recommendations with an open mind.
Which patient would you rather work with? The second one, of course! This person already sees the value in what you do because their physician pre-sold the benefit of your services to them. You don’t have to do any of that selling you find so uncomfortable.
But I’m Intimidated by Physician Marketing!
Does the idea of walking into a physician’s office to introduce yourself and talk about your services make you break out in a cold sweat? Yep, me too.
According to a 2009 survey, only 8.1% of the revenue spent on marketing by hearing practices is spent on physician marketing. However, it is rated as being one of the most effective marketing tactics next to patient referral programs. This tells me that it needs to be a priority for audiologists. But, that doesn’t always mean it’s easy to do.
I distinctly remember one Friday afternoon when my coworker and I finally got the nerve to gather a bunch of our materials to go distribute at local hospitals. We visited local neurologists, primary care physicians, nephrologists, cardiologists, and endocrinologists. Needless to say, it was an exhausting day! I was not just physically drained, I also felt a little self-conscious.
Shortly after that, I discovered Gary Vaynerchuk, who taught me the importance of building a personal brand on social media to connect with people more authentically. For me, this was a revelation. Writing LinkedIn content that speaks directly to physicians is a LOT more appealing than dropping into clinics and hospitals, and I found it to be a more effective use of my time.
Now, I’m OBSESSED with helping audiologists with their physician marketing, whether they’re comfortable with in-person meetings or they’d rather connect online. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you do it, it just matters *that* you do it.
If you need help mapping out a physician marketing strategy, I would love for you to join our Physician Marketing Waiting List Now! Physicians are looking for validation that YOU are the perfect audiologist to refer their patients to. The content inside my program has been designed to make the decision to collaborate with you a no-brainer!