Are you as connected as you could be to what’s really happening in your accounts? How do you communicate your value to prospects and customers?
Story gathering and storytelling boost your ability to make human connections and build trust with clientele, prospects and other target audiences. Health care product and service companies that don’t venture out regularly on story gathering expeditions from customers and prospects are likely missing out on one of the best methods of creating powerful marketing messaging.
Sales and marketing professionals work hard on polished, accurate customer presentations outlining the attributes of their products and services, efficacy data, and sales performance figures. Beyond that essential data download to customers and prospects, the ability to convey the human experiences surrounding their brands seems more rare.
The sales presentations I endured as a health care purchasing manager usually consisted of little more than general corporate overviews, product summaries focusing on clinical attributes and sales recaps and forecasts. Presentations seemed scripted (or simply read directly from PowerPoint slides), and presenters were detached from the material. I was hard pressed to make strong connections to the professionals or their companies, and I often thought about how that valuable time between purchasers and suppliers could be better spent.
I suggested that suppliers provide real examples of their success in story form. That proved to be a nearly impossible task for them. There were stories that were ready to be told, but only a few suppliers ever produced anything to share. Every company, no matter how large and well-known, likely has many stories to tell. Certainly, all health care suppliers can benefit from the story form of communication, if they can take advantage of their opportunities to use it.
I still believe in the importance of the human story in health care marketing and selling, and my current content development process at Worrell Communications incorporates many of the story gathering strategies I have recommended to suppliers. Real stories can greatly enhance marketing materials and sales conversations with authentic evidence – and they’re relatable! And – most importantly – they have the power to transition prospects from positions of disinterest to a more intrigued and engaged audience.
Even if you have just one special story to tell, it will accomplish a couple of big things:
Target audiences notice your efforts.
Requesting and getting the inside stories from your customers isn’t easy. You might feel uncomfortable with asking for something after tough negotiations. And once an account is sold, there’s always 10 more potential accounts in the sales process! The additional work you do to be closer to caregivers and patients, however, shows dedication and follow-through. Remember, though, that the human health care stories include chapters that take place both inside and outside the walls of medical facilities. Chasing down the bigger story takes effort but can generate huge rewards.
Engaging stories are memorable.
Companies that can incorporate personal, relatable anecdotes into their product and service marketing content (and sales presentations!) enhance their opportunities to connect to people and build trust. Even professionals who live and breathe clinical information every day respond positively to stories about real people whose lives were improved through great products and other health care innovation. In a landscape of competitors slow to evolve into this effective marketing technique, you will stand out. So why not put your best foot forward with motivating and memorable stories from the field?
Health care salespeople are busier than ever…and your sales cycle can be long when converting a prospect to a customer. Customers and prospects will recognize and remember your ability to gather and share compelling stories, and it’ll be a way to make you and your company shine.
Worrell Communications provides marketing content support to health care companies and organizations that want to find and tell better stories, relate more effectively to their markets and achieve their missions. Let us chase down your stories!