The Value of the Solution
This is part 3 of my 6 part series. If you missed part One or Two...just click and catch up!
Okay…let’s continue: If customers in ANY business ONLY pay for solutions to problems that matter to them, it’s time to ask yourself what problems you solve. Do you:
- Get people out of pain?
- Help couples conceive a child when they are having trouble doing so?
- Eliminate the misery of allergies?
- Help people with digestive issues return to normal function?
- Help injured people heal more quickly and more completely?
- Guide people to a long-term, healthy lifestyle, adding years to their lives?
- Improve athletic performance?
As you can see, you potentially solve many, many important problems. And these solutions are what matters to your customers. Therefore, these solutions are what you must sell.
This is the first part of the marketing equation.
Being an acupuncturist puts you in a great position because you can CHOOSE which problems you like to solve. Which are you best at? Do you enjoy treating sports injuries? Internal disorders? Female issues? Fertility? Musculoskeletal pain? Emotional issues? Digestive problems? Seasonal illnesses? Go with your strengths and interests.
Don’t worry. You won’t end up only treating one or two things. But you WILL start by marketing only one or two things. It will grow from there.
Who Needs You Anyway?
OK, if you’ve selected a couple of problems you are good at solving, the next task is to decide WHO has those problems. But let’s be more specific. You need to decide not just who has the problems you solve, but who needs solutions badly enough to pay for the solutions?
Another way to look at it is, who needs your solution badly enough that they’ll be willing to let you stick needles in their skin, and pay you for doing so, all in hopes of solving their problem?
These are your future patients. These are your customers. And trying to market to anyone else is a waste of time and money.
So, who are these people? Can you develop a mental sketch of these ideal patients with ideal problems? Who are they? How does their problem affect them? Does it change their personal life? Their work? What are they already doing to try to solve their problem?
What do they read? Who do they talk to? Who do they trust to give them good advice? What would solving their problem mean to them? Who influences their decisions?
You need to put some serious thought into this so you know how to approach these people when the time comes.
You solve problems. You’ve considered who has the problems you can solve. Now it’s time to put together the third part of your marketing equation.
Why should someone choose your solution over the others available? Think about that for a minute. How many of your patients end up in your office because they’ve tried everything else and nothing worked?
This means you’re the LAST resort. Is that what you want to be?
How much better would it be if people thought of you FIRST instead of LAST? In the competitive field of solutions, your marketing task is to clearly communicate WHY your solution to their problem is really the best solution available, and the one they should try FIRST.
I’m sure you can think of ample reasons why your office ought to be the first place your patients turn.
This is the message you MUST communicate clearly.
Putting it All Together
It’s Finally Time to Define Marketing.
Let’s review the ground we’ve covered.
Nobody wants acupuncture. They want a solution to a problem that matters to them. The marketing task is to identify the solutions you offer, the potential customers who need your solution, and why they are best served by selecting your solution from among all those that are available.
Once you’ve clearly and powerfully worked through these ideas—and distilled your message down to focus only on these important points—THEN and ONLY THEN do you consider advertising. Know why? Because NOW you have a message worth spreading.
Whew. We did it. We defined marketing. Here’s the Equation:
You Can Do This!
Now, let’s talk about good news. You can do this. Were you asking yourself the questions I was asking you in the preceding few sections? Did you put some thought into problems? Solutions? Customers? Competition?
If so, you started marketing your practice, just by reading this far and thinking about a few ideas. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Marketing is the process of working through these questions and determining what message to share, who to share it with, and how to reach them. Advertising is the natural outgrowth of this process, and is the method you use to communicate your highly powerful and targeted marketing message.
The Next Steps
OK, we’ve made some good progress so far. But we’re just getting started. You may have noticed this is just part 3 in a six article series.
In my next article I’m going to take you into the marketing process, step by step, to help you realize your best potential and most powerful message.
Yes, it will be some work. But it will also be time VERY well spent. Best of all, it really won’t take that long; I make it pretty easy.
BTW – If you are new to my Marketing coaching you’re probably wondering what this “AcuGraph” device is that I often refer to.
I suggest you take 8 minutes and watch this demo video. Click Here.
In my next article we’ll be talking about how technology can help you with marketing ie. the AcuGraph, so be prepared!