If you’re shopping for a big ticket item this week, chances are you’re going to ask some BIG questions. At the very least, you’ll read online reviews, maybe check out Consumer Reports, and do a bit of “Google” searching. If you can, you will definitely talk to a real live sales person, too. Along the way, you will ask friends and neighbors about their experiences with the product or service provider in question, right? It happens all the time.
My mom friends and I are no different. We are always asking each other questions. Whom do you recommend for a doctor, a dentist, an orthodontist? Why? Did you like your HVAC company? Why not?
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had a few questions for our future pediatrician. Our hospital at that time required you to have one lined up before giving birth. Momma bear went into research mode.
Guess which pediatrician I chose? The doctor who called me back and allowed me 5 minutes of his valuable time to answer my few questions. He soothed a momma bear’s heart. He is excellent at patient-centered care!
Funny thing — I tried this same tactic very nicely at our local primary physician’s office this week. I walked in. I waited patiently for a receptionist to finish a call. She then asked if I was there for an appointment.
No, but are you currently accepting new patients? Yes? Great! Would I be able to ask a doctor just a few questions before I make an appointment as a new patient? She can call at her convenience any time. No rush.
The receptionist actually told me, Oh, you’re shopping for doctor? Well, you can’t do that here. I smiled, said, Okay, that does answer my question, and left.
My daughter’s outgrown her pediatrician, and she’s really nervous about seeing a new doctor. I’m still the momma bear. I’m out to protect my cub. It’s my right.
You can guess the office I walked into obviously got a big fat “F” in the realm of patient-centered care. Maybe that receptionist was just having a bad day. She needs to practice a new line, though, or undergo more training. Wonder why I wrote this article about a medical practice’s most important hire?
I should know, because I spent a few years being that front desk lady. As I learned later, our optometrist’s office had gone through quite a few hires to find a multi-purpose receptionist (greeter, appointment-setter, eye-care coaching, insurance and financial data gatherer, and eyewear sales, anyone?)
You’re only permitted one shot at a doctor for a yearly routine appointment covered by insurance. Otherwise, you have to pay out of pocket for a second visit to another physician, and the cycle could repeat itself until you find someone you like and trust.
Why wouldn’t there at least be a representative nurse to answer a few questions? After all, whoever helps you take care of your health is actually one of the most valuable purchases you make in life.
Consider this, too. For most folks, medical insurance is one of their larger monthly bills. So why wouldn’t you ask questions and invest in yourself wisely? Who has the gall to say they won’t talk to a potential buyer? Really?
Something similar also happened this week to another lady friend of mine as we shared stories. She went shopping for a doctor and asked the same question I did. Truly reasonable question, I think.
Happily, she received a slightly-altered, but much more patient-friendly response.
“We don’t offer a meet-and-greet session with our doctors, but we do have a nurse that knows each doctor very well who can answer your questions.” Ahhh! Your nurse is your salesperson. That works. Yes, I’ll be happy to talk to your nurse.
As it turns out, my friend who also asks annoying, intelligent questions has some very unique and serious health issues. She simply wanted to learn more about this doctor’s level of experience with her specific needs. It was vital!
Her next doctor would affect the quality of her life. She’d been down a long medical road, knew what had helped her, and what didn’t. She didn’t want to go back through all of the “experimental stages” with a new doctor in a new area.
My mom friends and I — well, we’ve heard this run-around from medical practices before, so we compare notes. We chat about our various doctors, because it’s often the only way to get information.
One friend has been so perturbed by her experiences that she refused to hire a primary care physician for several years. She would just go the the walk-in emergency medical clinic if she was sick, instead.
There’s a simple answer actually. What we all want is genuine transparency from our medical providers with a touch of caring.
And that may take more than 15 minutes of scheduled time.
We don’t just want to read about you on the web. We want to get a feel for your practice, and have a few personal questions that may be quite private.
Just a little bit of time goes a long way. If you don’t allow “interview questions” you’re really not being fair to us your consumer. You’re asking us to hire you blindly.
Even if it’s just your trained staff responding knowledgeably to our questions before we hire you to protect our most valuable commodity, that counts.
“Golden Rule Marketing” — life’s really golden when you apply it. Very simple, actually. You treat others the way you want to be treated. I’m excited that my friend found a doctor who sounds golden. It’s good to know you’re out there.
If you’re interested in growing your wellness practice with patient-centered care, then you should also try patient-centered content marketing. I’d love to help you make friends with your clients using email newsletters or friendly, helpful blog posts on your website.
Fill out the contact form below. I will be happy to help! Or call me directly at 443-362-8789
A chronic illness that lingers gradually strips the normalcy from your life. It steals your dreams, your friends, your finances, and your loved ones.
Or an illness like cancer can suddenly attack and suck the life from you overnight. Instead of a rags-to-riches story, you endure the reverse tale.
If you get a diagnosis, you and your medical team can start working on a solution to those health problems with a real sense of understanding, right?
Imagine running medical test after test, brutal blood-draw after blood-draw, chasing clue after clue, and not getting the answers you need to help your suffering child.
The Might family never gave up. Finally a research team from Duke contacted them and asked them to join a study on illnesses with no diagnosis. Why? To see if exome sequencing, a cutting-edge DNA research, could lead to answers. Exome sequencing, a less expensive option, only deals with one small portion of a person’s genetic coding. In the case of the MIghts, researchers compared a small amount of DNA sequencing from their son’s DNA to each of his parents DNA.
About two years into the study, the Mights discovered that their son had a previously unheard of disease with no known treatment plan. He inherited an extremely rare glycosylation disorder caused by NGLY1 mutations. Precision medicine at work — so amazing! My hat is off to those researchers devoted to helping those with rare medical needs.
On with our (true) story. With a combination of perseverance, brains, grit, and social media networking, Matt Might went to work to find other NGLY1 victims.
Why? According to Seth Mnookin’s article (see link above) in The New Yorker, “… without additional cases, there was virtually no possibility of getting a pharmaceutical company to investigate the disorder, no chance of drug trials, no way even to persuade the FDA. to allow Bertrand to try off-label drugs that might be beneficial.”
Precision medicine doesn’t work without finding the precise drugs needed. What the Might family needed was a drug or drug combination that would be effective and currently FDA-approved to use for their son’s condition. Relief could not wait for years of drug-testing and research.
Enter Might’s viral blog post!
He did it! He found other sufferers with NGLY1 disorders. Most importantly, the Might family improved the quality of life for their son AND others with the rare NGLY1 disorder. Their research led them to FDA approved drugs within a few years.
It’s not the kind of precision achieved by AI, bots, or any computer-generated copy. I’m a firm believer that no robot will ever fully replace passionate human creativity! Technology should forever be a helper but not a replacement for the human touch.
Matt wrote from an intimate understanding of his son’s need. He also wrote his story from his heart — full of love, compassion, and urgency. His story, though technical at times, was not stuffy. I got choked up reading it. I cheered him on in his search. It sounded like a mini-stadium in my living room!
You need someone who cares about your business to write about your business — that’s heart.
Sharing his unique challenge in a personal way hooked those might also be facing some other sort of unknown genetic nightmare.
That’s what I’d love to do for your business today. You can reach me 443-362-8789 or email email@example.com.
My Grandmother grew up as a sharecropper’s daughter on the West Coast, moving from farm to farm wherever hired hands were needed. With grit and perseverance that matched her fiery, tousled locks, she pulled herself up from her roots, graduating from college with a degree in education.
She was always trying something new, insatiably curious and intelligent, though her career as a teacher was undeniably, well, lackluster. However, she reared four amazingly gritty, intelligent children who multiplied that influence with large families. To date they’ve reared dozens of doctors, musicians, entrepreneurs, and skilled artisans. She certainly left her mark on my life!
“Learning a new skill is never a waste of time, Julie!” The gusto in Grandma’s tone made her voice tremble.”You never know when that skill will come in handy.” She may have been referring to my efforts at piano or perhaps to my budding sewing abilities at the time. Her underlying message came through loud and clear — no slackers in this family!
She and Michelangelo had this in common, according to Jeff Goins, author of Real Artists Don’t Starve. Always be learning something new. Michelangelo segued from sculpting abilities into architecture and engineering. As Goins puts it, “One skill sets into motion the need for another.”
Which is why as a business blogger and writer, I’ve been challenged to continually learn about sales and marketing. Words like sales funnels and target market were formerly bridges into unknown territory for me. I had to embark on a new learning adventure.
Here’s what I discovered. Warm, friendly words that sell helpful products and services benefit both the target audience and the professional service providers. My tools are the 26 letters of the English alphabet.
Now I’m learning to keep my ear to the ground as to what works best on which social media platform.
In this rapidly morphing world of tech and marketing, however, some basic skills and values never go out of style. Treat your clients the way you want to be treated. Always show up when promised. Do your best!
What about those piano and sewing skills? I shake my head when I think about it. Handmade wedding gifts, dresses for my only daughter, and tons of mended clothes later — yep, that’s a skill well worth the time.
Teaching private piano lessons has unbelievably paid over half of our bills for the past dozen years. Who would’ve guessed? Plus, I’ve had the sheer delight of investing in a future generation of musical literacy.
In a few of my students, I’ve seen that inner spark ignite. I sit in awe as beautiful music flows from their fingertips. Who knows? I may have had a hand in molding a future Great Artist. The thought gives me goosebumps.
Meanwhile, as I keep building my own skill sets, I’m in search of my own inner Michelangelo. Thanks, Grandma, for your example of grit that never quit.
Let’s start with a basic question. What is your business mission statement? If you’re reading this article and your bottom line is your biggest WHY for your business, read no farther.
It’s okay with me. This article is not for you. However, if happy, healthier clients are your focus (along with that necessary bottom line), then you’re in tune with patient-centered care.
According to this article in Catalyst (https://catalyst.nejm.org), how you make your clients feel is an important part of quality care.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) also lists patient-centered care as one of six markers of quality health care. In fact, all six goals could be summed up by saying, “Do your best for each client. ”
How many of us actually look forward to picking up the phone and calling a doctor, dentist, or other wellness provider? Ladies, how about getting the man in your life to schedule his own appointments? Is it like pulling teeth? Healthcare is a very emotional and personal experience for most clients.
While you as the wellness provider bear most of the responsibility for safe and effective care, your office staff will make or break patient-centered care with a tough-as-nails or a sour lemon approach.
Your “gatekeepers” should embody all that is wonderful about your wellness practice.
If you’re as healthy as a horse, you can’t understand your clients. You need to hire a secret “quality control” agent to discover how it feels for your new potential to phone or walk in the front door of your practice.
Don’t hire your best friend. Don’t even hire an acquaintance. Hire someone who has a sick loved one and experiences doctor’s offices ALL the time. Have them call your office at different times with “new patient” questions. Pick the busiest times. Here are a few suggestions — keeping it simple is great!
Yes. I deliberately placed a small ad for writing work that would make me happy. Not that I don’t enjoy learning and writing about many different topics. I’m a self-confessed word nerd. Think insatiable curiosity like “The Elephant’s Child” who visited the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River to satiate his curiosity. His curiosity drove his relatives batty. If you’ve never read Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, you’re really missing out, “O Best Beloved”.
I wanted to reach out to new potential clients and jazz up my business. January and February are survival months. Seasonal slump, anyone? Grin and bear it. If you’ve saved up for a trip to a sunny island, well, that’s warm and wonderful. I just wanted business — happy business!
Also, I wanted to make someone else happy. If you meet someone else’s needs, surprisingly, you often find your own needs met. That’s exactly what happened for me. I ran a crazy discount. Got a lead. The lead became a client, and I solved a problem for her — polished happy client stories i.e., mini case studies.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone and met new people. I chatted on the phone with a business owner while she was walking home in NYC. How cool is that for a small-town gal? The wellness therapists that I interviewed for my client’s customer success stories are amazing, successful business owners in unique niches. Helping others. Meeting genuine needs.
Along the way, I rediscovered how much I appreciate the wellness industry and an integrated approach to medicine. Researching different therapy options was just plain fun and positivity rolled into one. Positivity is a rare find in a doctor’s office, just sayin’.
Even better, my client was over the moon with the final product — polished happy client stories with quotes she can use across all of her marketing platforms. She already knows she does good work. But it’s hard to to “toot your own horn” and even tougher to put it into writing yourself. Anyone agonize over writing their About Me page or personal bio? When someone else gushes for you — that’s some serious sweetness for your brand. Happiness for myself and my client? I’d say it was a win-win.
If your business or mindset is in a seasonal slump, celebrating client wins is a sure-fire way to put some spunk back into your step. Happy clients remind you of the basic WHY of your business.
Brainstorm with your sales and marketing departments. Do you have some happy clients you can reach out to for case studies or happy client stories?
If you’re a sole proprietor, go hang out with some other small business owners, perhaps at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting. Is there a special package deal you could run that includes other small businesses? Get the juices flowing and create some good buzz!
Highlight other businesses that have served you well on your website or email newsletter. Give them a shout out on your Facebook or LinkedIn page.
Look at your online reviews. Screenshot the great ones (funny ones are even better — How So-and-So Saved My Bacon) and put them up on your business Facebook page.
Don’t forget current employees or freelancers that serve your business. You’d be scrambling on a hamster wheel without them. Make them happy. Write that recommendation already! Include a tip or a bonus.
We’re up to our ears in negativity in real life, in business, and in the news. Even the gritty, persistently curious Elephant’s Child needed some kind help (no thanks to his relatives, hmmm) along the way to save him from the Crocodile at the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River! (Curious yet? Need a fun weekend read?)
Be the difference you want to see. If you’re just “in it to win it” for your bottom line, you’ll end up being the loser in the long run. I LOVE seeing businesses big and small that have a mission statement of kindness and fund charitable works with their profits.
Treat others with extraordinary kindness — don’t just talk about it. Do it! Sooner or later, that kindness boomerang’s gonna come back to you. A true happiness project will make you AND your client smile. That, my friends, is the Golden Rule.
Here’s where I offer to help YOU in exchange for a helping of happiness (and some cold, hard cash, too). I create warm, friendly words that sell your business solutions. Need some polished happy client stories? Need marketing blog posts that improve your business visibility and reach your target market? I’m here to help with your content writing and marketing — Call me at 443-362-8789 or email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe your business is going through trying times? Maybe you’ve hit a wall with growth.
It’s time to scratch, hunt, and dig up some happy client stories. Don’t invent them. Sooner or later you’ll be seen for a fake. I’m sure you’re not.
What about a quick exit survey on your website?
What did you like about us? Did you like our service? Please leave us feedback and an email. This may generate a client you can actually talk to in the world of online sales.
Other ways include in-office surveys and asking happy clients in person if you can share their story.
Good feels. We all need them. An ancient Proverb compares pleasant words to honeycomb, sweet and healthful. How you spread your news is up to you. Facebook is a quick hit and an instant share. This will mean an abbreviated happy client story, so shrink that case study down to one paragraph with a quote!
If you’re a B2B company, then you can share the love. Even a small business can feature another small business. Life gets more beautiful.
Your generosity in featuring another business will not go unnoticed. Generosity breeds generosity.
For longer-term impact, you will want to use your full-fledged 500 word or more case study as a printable sell-sheet for your sales reps. Your in-house marketing and design team create an attractive format that your sales reps hand to a client. Or you can ask your freelance content writer who their favorite designers are. They often work hand-in-glove.
You know the drill. B2B clients stop by your booth. You want quality brochures or fliers to hand them as they move along to the next vendor. Attractive stories are a quick way to get your company remembered. At end of the day, your case study flier may be the first thing your potential client wants to read.
Updated information on your website keeps the SEO rolling. Is your web copy boring and bland. Add some zip and zing to your content. A happy client story? Bingo!
Old-fashioned emails are not dead. In fact, I just bought a small item recently from a small company that emails me regularly. I may skim most of them — truth– and don’t read every word. Some get trashed. Still, the word SPECIAL caught my eye.
Offer a discount with this teaser — an abbreviated case study or a happy client story. That’s a winning combination!
B2B customers hang out on LinkedIn. Why not put your best foot forward? You need to publish regularly to get seen on LinkedIn. No fairy dust here. Just a steady drip of attractive information will do.
If you’re ready for a new lead magnet on your website, a great case study could fit the bill. Maybe you are shifting your target market. New client case studies based on this specific market might be just the ticket. You can include the link in business emails with clients. Boom! They have something attractive to print off for their boss, or whomever is in charge of the buying decisions.
Ready to invest in quality case studies for your business? I’m here to help strategize, interview and write, polish, and write!
As a professional service provider, your clients want to hear from other folks just like them. How did you solve their problems?
Now that’s a story worth telling. Let’s get started today! I’m talking to clients every single day, so please leave a message on my cell 443-362-8789 or email email@example.com Your story is important to me!
Why? I can’t give one good reason to use their services after I read their website. It’s such shame, because I know most businesses care about delivering a great quality service or product.
Fuzzy, unclear web copy is like getting the wrong prescription in your new glasses — you can’t see and those glasses will collect dust!
Your potential client wants to know ONE thing — what’s in it for me? Before you can answer their burning questions, you need to answer this question : WHO is your ideal potential client?
What do your current clients look like? Are they your ideal clients?
Small town? Big city?
Deep pockets or tight budget?
Most importantly, what are their specific needs or “pain points” that you can solve?
This is called creating your ideal client avatar. Flesh in as many juicy details as you can.
Young urban professional. Gen X, Y, Z or Millenial? Married? Kids? Home-owner or renter? Sports car or SUV owners? Both, hopefully!
Now hang this up in front of your eyeballs and talk out loud.
Write as you talk. This is time to put on your “Super Business-Person” cape. What would you love to tell your ideal client?
Here’s a brief sample of how this works for me:
My ideal client: a successful business owner or professional service firm/provider who already understands the importance of marketing content and is willing to pay accordingly. They have a budget set aside for marketing. Bing!
They want words that shine, client success stories, warm email marketing, regular blog posts, and web copy “makeovers”.
They let me talk to their clients for them, but will jump on the phone to tell me the latest and greatest about their business. They take pride in their work.
My ideal clients are successful and know they need to delegate their content marketing.
Writing about themselves is hard — sometimes painfully so.
Having an objective outside set of eyes and voice for their business brings much-needed clarity to their business voice.
It’s the power of brainstorming or a mini-mastermind session.
Finding time to create quality content is also painful for them.
Maximizing their time and business productivity is their Mount Everest. It’s a constant challenging climb to the peak!
When they get home, they want to leave work behind, take those weekend trips with family or friends, and let their content do the work while they play! (SUV owners for family trips, and sports car owners for fun, right?)
They “get” it. Words sell for them.
Get talking! Hone your core business message. Ask your fellow business friends: Do you understand clearly what I do?
Ask them about their business. Find out what makes them shine.In this process you may discover more about your own business.
Next, write like you talk. Write a paragraph. Shrink that paragraph into one short sentence that describes your business in a nutshell. This is your core business offer or message.
Do they state their core offer clearly? What do you offer that is different and unique from theirs?
I recently researched the eye doctor I’ve used for the past four years. The online reviews were dismal! I wasn’t surprised.
I asked questions of his staff. They don’t perform quality control checks on their newly-prescribed glasses. If their lab makes a mistake, no one cares unless the client complains.
When I called a local competitor, I was blown away by how much warmer and friendlier they are on the phone. I would switch eye doctors in a heartbeat if my insurance allowed based on this fact alone.
Maybe you’re small but super-helpful! Get some great client success stories online, pronto!
Make a list of all the search terms your competitors rank for. This is one way to find out what your ideal clients are looking for.
Be sure to include these key words in your online marketing content. Your clients can find you and your SEO will improve!
As you talk out loud, write things down. Look at your client avatar and talk.
Selling insurance, for example? Talk to the hard-working couple just making ends meet. How would their world crumble if either one was killed in an accident with no insurance to cover burial expenses let alone living expenses?
Provide a simple survey for your current clients. Ask them what problems sent them your way.
What are their biggest challenges?
Did your business provide the solutions they were looking for? If not, why?
This survey can be sent in email or as a simple form in your business office.
Some doctors’ offices are using an iPad or a touch screen at the checkout desk for their clients to provide feedback.
The fast food industry has been doing surveys on receipts for a while. It’s an effective information gathering tool.
Get your clients talking to you!
Even a small act of generosity can create connections with potential clients.
After all, our clients all share one thing in common — what’s in this for me?
Feel free to print and share this little guide, by the way!
If you’d rather just pay someone and get your business content written clearly and promptly, I’ll be happy to “talk” to your clients for you.