selling-the-sizzle-in-practiceThere’s an old advertising saying that exhorts us to sell the sizzle and not the sausage!

People don’t buy things or services, they buy benefits. Exactly what those benefits mean to your patients varies from individual to individual.

Depending on what services you offer, their motives for buying can vary from the purely rational – based upon needs (pain); budget, timing and service; to the purely emotional – based upon how it makes them feel.

These different groups of purchasers are your Market Segments.

Take for example, a car purchase. There are a number of factors that will determine the purchase decision; even more with a partner involved. The sizzle factor represents the style, model, name and colour, i.e. What the car is saying about them and how it makes them feel.

Others’ sizzle will be based purely upon their budget restrictions, service agreement offered, vehicle insurance grouping, trade-in terms and performance statistics. This, although at the other end of the buyers’ spectrum, is another Market Segment – same car, different Market Segments.

When I was a boy, I would often go to the delicatessen with my mother. Johan, the deli owner, knew exactly what his customers wanted. So much so in fact, that he would tailor produce to meet each of his customers’ needs. He would say to my Mother, “I’m getting in some lovely rye bread for you this Friday. I know how your family loves rye bread toasted.”

Customer Management has always been the name of the game. Tailoring our services (& products) in practice to fit patient requirements will help us to know how to relate to them more effectively. Finding out about their needs is something we can do by asking them directly or by involving them in questionnaires, feedback forms & just asking them, etc. Armed with this practice Marketing Research we can adjust our practice accordingly.

Now, has that sold the sizzle for you…?