5 TIPS ON MARKETING YOUR PRACTICE AND WHY IT MATTERS

Marketing for a practice is just as important as a retail store or online business.  With patients having the ability to choose their general practitioners and their specialists alike, it's more important than ever to have a marketing strategy so you aren't lost in the mix.  Long gone are the days of there being only one doctor in town that everyone went to see with no questions asked.  Now, people have the opportunity to make their decision based on patient feedback, ratings, etc.

….FULL ARTICLE

2018 BUSINESS IMPERATIVE

Have you begun your business planning for 2018? If you’re looking for a few places to start, I’d like to offer some recommendations.  The process of putting together a detailed plan is what I refer to as The 2018 Business Imperative. There’s an old adage, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Quite frankly, we work too hard to let that be the case.

….FULL ARTICLE

DID FACEBOOK SELLOUT?

Over the past few years, many firms have realized the advantage of a well-planned social media strategy. The reach and pervasiveness of social media makes it a valuable component of an effective marketing campaign.  Facebook led the charge as individuals quickly adopted the platform.  Facebook literally changed the use of the word “friend” from a noun to a verb.  However, the question now being asked is critical for any small business, “Did Facebook sellout?”

….FULL ARTICLE

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BOB WOODS


STAGE TWO: EDUCATE YOUR NETWORK

Teach them how you can alleviate their concerns, and you’ll have great relationships for life. Additionally, educating your prospects, clients and followers establishes your thought leadership and subject-matter expertise (further discussed in Stage Four). Educating prospects and building a strong reputation begins with a customer-centric LinkedIn profile. Leveraging the Summary area to provide value is a simple way to begin. To see an example of such a profile, visit mine at http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobwoods.


Using LinkedIn’s Publishing platform is a great way to offer educational content in a blog-like format. If you’d like to see some examples of this, please visit our posts at http://www.leveluponlinkedin.com.


Blogging on a company or personal Website is another easy way to share knowledge and offer tips and strategies to your readers.


STAGE THREE: IDENTIFY THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO PROSPECT

When it comes to social selling, most people are interested in prospecting. There are many platforms that offer business development opportunities, including Facebook’s Fan Pages and Pinterest (for consumers), LinkedIn (for B2B) and Twitter and Google+ that overlap both worlds. LinkedIn offers many different ways to prospect, but here are my Top Five:



STAGE FOUR: POSITION YOURSELF AS A SUBJECT- MATTER EXPERT (SME)

The era of the salesperson traveling with nothing but a kit full of samples, a smile and a strong handshake is gone. A key part of Social Selling entails the salesperson discussing industry insights, competitive advantages and thoughtful research through social channels, including LinkedIn. In effect, the sales pro either runs her or his own publishing empire, or has their company’s help in running it.


Because the salesperson is already “out there” with their information, it’s easier for a prospect to scrutinize the company’s products/services and the salesperson her/himself. This makes that all-important first call easier.


The positioning doesn’t stop with branding and marketing. In fact, it is at the 1st call and/or appointment that your expertise is truly scrutinized and validated. Social Selling is about offering this information prior to your meeting.


The key to well-position you and your company is to use your findings in your prospecting meetings. Often this step is targeted to the company background and individuals you are meeting with. Be sure to Google your prospects and their company, search industry trends and use their LinkedIn profile to help you build rapport. In addition, follow all the potential influencers, decision makers and company pages, as well as other online and social sites, to have full visibility into current events and happenings. Being prepared will ultimately position you to be the subject-matter expert they need on their team.


More and more professionals who “touch” a sales-type role in any way— salespeople, sales managers, channel sales, marketers, business-development pros, business owners who have to sell and the like—are gaining an edge over their counterparts by using Social Selling. By integrating this mindset into your daily routine, you will be more successful.

The world of sales in general, and the “behind-the-scenes” of the sales process in particular, are becoming much more socially powered than ever.


Now that relationship building via social media is more than ever a part of our everyday lives, it’s finally time for the principals of marketing to combine with the art of sales—yes, sales is an “art” —into a process called “Social Selling.”


Here’s a quick definition, via Wikipedia: Social Selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process. Today this often takes place via social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, but can take place either online or offline. Examples of social selling techniques include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential buyers and customers, personal branding, and social listening.


For those who sell in the business-to-business environment, LinkedIn is a key tool in the Social Selling portion of one’s sales toolbelt. Salespeople, business-development pros and business owners who use LinkedIn have to shift their efforts there from a message-driven monologue to an idea-driven and community-serving dialogue.


It’s very easy to say Social Selling is “just a trend. ” Quite a few sales experts do it all the time; usually when they’re discounting it. In reality, Social Selling represents more of a shift in strategies and mindset.

BY BOB WOODS


As Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social-media channels continue to grow, I’ve got news for those naysayers: While traditional prospecting techniques like cold calling are still important, Social Selling ain’t going nowhere.


Whether you are hunting for new prospects, expanding your current base of customers or cross-selling to your clients, leveraging the strategies behind Social Selling for any salesperson and/ or company is now imperative to staying competitive in today’s topsy-turvy business world.


It Takes Four (Stages)

STAGE ONE: LISTEN TO YOUR TARGET MARKET

The foundation of Social Selling involves your “ears;” although when it comes to social media, you’ll use your eyes. You have to listen to your target market, and what’s happening with their clients and competition, and their industry as a whole. Use social platforms to identify articles your prospects “like”, blogs they share and their new connections. Doing this allows you to quickly understand what matters to them, and social media makes this activity easier than ever. Tools like Twitter, HootSuite and Google Alerts allow you to keep these tabs on your prospects.

Bob Woods is a partner and co-founder at Lexington, KY-based LevelUp Business Coaching & Training. He specializes in Social Selling, which uses platforms like LinkedIn to aid sales and marketing teams, business profes- sionals and selling CEOs to generate better leads, close more business and develop strong professional relationships.

Bob can be reached at:

EMAIL: bwoods@levelupforsuccess.com

PHONE: (859) 514-0700.