The key to success in any business is to have some understanding of psychology that allows you to match your products and services to a buyers emotional need.
Human behavior, at it's roots, is driven by pain avoidance and the desire to increase pleasure. It's the basic trigger upon which all other actions are based. And what is the #1 way to most clearly communicate the pain/pleasure journey and outcome?
Humans "buy" stories, because, as you probably already know, people make their buying decisions with EMOTION. Stories put people inside of the experience in a relatable way. They work much better than simple data or list of features. Feature lists are how you sell commoditized products and if you're doing that, you're only competing on price which is eroding your margins and profits.
Gerard Zaltman, the author of How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market found that 95% of cognition happens outside of our conscious brain and inside our subconscious, emotional brain.
Telling stories activates parts of the brain associated with sight, sound, taste, and movement. They make us feel an experience without directly experiencing it. They literally transport us into the world of the story and light up our emotional brains, which is where we make our decision whether to buy or not.
Then question then is: whose story do you tell?
There are any number of options here.
First off, you can tell your story, and by your story I mean you as a clinician... there are big benefits with this in that almost any story engenders the knowing, liking, and trusting that leads to patients feeling comfortable buying from you.
Second, you can tell the patient's story. Here, you could talk directly to the patient going through a common experience, with just the right combination of specific details and vagueness so they can fill in the details for themselves.
Third, you can tell the future patient's story. By this, I mean the story they’ll be telling after they’ve benefited from your service. This is called “future pacing” and the trick with it is to make it feel as real as anything that’s already happened or is currently happening to them.
But all of these stories come with a price. You've got to produce them all, or have others produce them for you. THAT is the beauty of patient testimonials and reviews, you're enlisting your happy patients to help sell these short stories to others in the form of "reviews".
Benefits of Patient Testimonials for a Medical Practice
As John D. Rockefeller said, "I'd rather earn 1% off 100 men's effort than 100% of my own efforts". Organizing and promoting your patients reviews can add significant growth and traction for your clinic. Your existing patient's 'reach and network' dwarfs your own. That's why it's critical to get your patients working for you. It's the "word of mouth" Holy Grail, but it doesn't build itself, you're doing to have to facilitate it.
It's all about social proof.
Professor of psychology and bestselling author of Influence: The Psychology of persuasion, Robert Cialdini says “If you can get people who are similar to the person you’re trying to persuade to speak on your behalf, it’s a lot easier for you than if you have to try to hammer your message one more time into a reticent mind.”
Human beings are social creatures. We look to others to determine what actions we should take.
If you're ready to follow Rockefeller and organize your patients to help grow your clinic, you're going to want to help them tell stories and add recommendations and reviews. You can either push that boulder up the hill yourself, or you can use tools that make it easy.
Our suggestion is that you take a look at the special offer from Podium, and then you get to work helping your patients tell stories that grow your clinic's new patient bookings.