The return on investment you reap from equipping your practice with the best possible technology depends on whether or not your patients understand the benefits of the new installation. Show off your new equipment through clear communication and events that develop desire among returning patients and potential first-timers.
There’s no reason to be shy about the brand new equipment that you’ve added to your practice, especially when it comes to comparing your technology with competing machinery. Go through the features offered by your new equipment, making note of the improved capabilities.
Consider the impact of the technology from the standpoint of your patients—what’s in it for them? Greater efficiency, noticeably improved results, and advanced safety features are some of the most obvious benefits. Don’t hesitate to explain how the technology works if the patient shows interest.
If the new equipment you purchased complements older technology that is still being used, compare the two without disparaging the less advanced solution. Unless the old machine was in complete disrepair, patients will still purchase and benefit from either treatment. In this case, the tone you set should be that of an up-sell, similar to how a luxury auto salesperson persuades a buyer to upgrade to more expensive rims.
Although a bit risky, if you know for certain that a competing practice isn’t using the latest equipment, introduce this fact in a respectful manner, allowing them to decide for themselves while subtly influencing their choice.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of persuasion in marketing, because the person spreading positive information about your practice has nothing to gain for themselves. Instead of being interpreted as a sales pitch, word-of-mouth advertising comes across as a genuine opinion offered to help someone find a solution to a problem.
If you know your market well, you might be able to identify what Malcolm Gladwell refers to in The Tipping Point as “connectors.” Connectors are people in your practice who are highly adept at socializing and networking. Their social links extend throughout the community and perhaps further. While others create change through other methods, “connectors make change happen through people.”
When you get new equipment, introduce the technology to a patient you consider a connector. If they seem interested, mention that you don’t mind giving them a free treatment. As you go through the treatment, talk about the benefits of the new technology in a conversational manner. In addition to feeling grateful, this person will likely spread the news to interested friends and contacts while speaking positively about your generosity.
Showing off your new equipment doesn’t have to be a rigorous attempt to establish best practices in marketing. Sometimes, it’s best to create a fun, laid-back atmosphere to welcome the new technology into the clinic instead of worrying about word-of-mouth or pitching the new machine to established patients.
If the equipment you add to your office makes a huge difference for your patients, celebrate the fact that it does so. Welcome established patients to your practice with a relaxed gathering, offering coffee, tea, snacks and, if appropriate, a glass of wine or two. Don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with the concept, perhaps even setting up a countdown until the new technology arrives, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Tailor the details of your event to match the tastes of your patients. For example, if your practice attracts younger patrons, you may want to ask someone to put together a music playlist that won’t drive them away. If your practice is located in Manhattan, the tastes and preferences of your patients will likely reflect cutting-edge trends that have yet to become popular elsewhere.
It’s a good idea to introduce new equipment through in-person explanation,
Part of your marketing and communications campaign should consist of brief notes about special offers and discounts mixed in with longer posts that resemble short news releases and information that may be useful to patients. Quickly showing off a few features of new equipment about to become available will pique the interest of many in your contact list.
Social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook provide another vector to get your message across, potentially attracting new patients along with familiar faces. Patients who visit another practice may be drawn to yours when they see the opportunity to try a more effective and efficient method to achieve their desired results.
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