Businesses are People, Too

I was just reading an article about Marketing and selling to doctors because I recognized that making a sales or marketing connection with a doctor or other professional – particularly in a smaller practice, presents some unique challenges. The article author Stewart Gandolf summed it up quite succinctly when he wrote:

“Doctors are notoriously hard to reach. They are unbelievably busy, refuse to use technologies like voice mail and email, and are protected by the most aggressive receptionists on the planet.”

Indeed, reaching out particularly to doctors and also to similar professionals (dentists, lawyers, accountants) was one of the driving forces behind Boxpilot’s live message service – but I digress…

Further on in the article, as the main points necessary to make an impression on a doctor came to light, it became pretty obvious that they really aren’t all that different from communicating with any other business – large or small.

Every marketing and every sales person knows that you need to start with an excellent offer. So why does it seem that we have so many truly feeble offers out there – like for example and event invitation whose only offer is that you can “see us demo our product”? I promise you, that wouldn’t get a doctor to your event.

If you can’t come up with an even marginally unique selling proposition and instead have to rely on a “me too” benefit, no one will get excited.

Get to the point, quickly. No one has the time to listen to you beat around the bush in a fruitless attempt to render them breathless with anticipation.

Add value to their daily business life, not just to their business. Make their lives easier, richer, happier, less stressful and win a customer. Most of the business messages I see don’t even acknowledge that the people who are in their customer offices are any more than a cog in the wheel (except of course for the decision making cogs).

Communicate with them as a real person who deserves their attention, respect and their business. I see a lot of businesses fall down on this point.

I think if we took more of our marketing and sales campaigns and measured them against these simple standards, they would me more successful and ironically, I think that these are guidelines that offer a point of competitive difference to smaller companies, who actually have a few real human faces of their own.

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