Archive for month: October, 2012
It does not take much to see the connection between bad PR and a poor number of sales leads. However, the trust and interest you have lost are not the only things at stake if you do not do something about your image right away. Furthermore, these things will also come full circle and worsen the chances of both marketing and sales.
A quick glance at the world of B2B healthcare and you might think that the only way you will succeed in lead generation is if you come at your prospects with hard facts. You invest in research, do some heavy consulting, and stockpile on strong evidence proving the need for your industry (or better yet, your specific business).
In your haste however, you might be skipping over one of the most important steps in establishing appeal: logic.
Thinking outside the box is not a calling exclusive to entrepreneurs. In lead generation, it is also an often overlooked technique. For example, when you are a business striving to sell technology and support to healthcare, you tend to sell only things that immediately bring that label to mind. You seem to forget that other fields and industries can tailor themselves specifically for the use of healthcare-related processes.
Both old and new forms of business lead generation have the powerful capacity to attract certified professionals whose combined knowledge and expertise are critical in a world that is still starving for information. Ironically, one of the perks of this century is that such information should be more widely available due to the rise of online services and advanced communication technologies.
Unfortunately, professions like those of medical doctors are not always up to speed. Many still do not realize how much good they can do for patient education if they combined and shared their knowledge in one place.
Even healthcare, you do not always push the panic button and it is the same with appointment setting. However, perhaps it would be a good idea to elaborate more on the situations that tempt people to push this button. In fact, the overreaction could be the result of numerous factors that need to be organized.
Panicking During Lead Generation Is Counterproductive
In the following list, you will find some of the situations but despite their differences, these all can occur during the sales process where you qualify health leads. While serious and urgent problems can turn up, even those need to be approached with level head in order to critically evaluate:
- Feeling that a problem is being overlooked – You spoke with a prospect after a successful call but get the inkling feeling that something is off. You have all the details but the prospect never brought up any of the objections you often expected would be raised. Beware this feeling of suspicion because you could be treading the thin line between intuition and paranoia. The best way to avoid pushing the panic button here is by simply mentioning it to your sales. You do not tell them to make the mistake of assuming a problem until you hint it to a prospect. This is why encouraging feedback, even this early in a business relationship, remains to be an important rule to go by.
Related Content: Healthcare Telemarketing – Asking And Answering The Right Questions
- Prospect comes to you with a problem – Whether it is an unfamiliar prospect or one you are still trying to get to know, avoid getting caught up in their hysteria if they come to you in need of an emergency solution. Though realistically speaking, they may not have literally gone over the edge but are simply insisting on meeting with you soon. The best appointment setting strategy does not snap you under that pressure. It is supposed to carefully and politely evaluate their problems. Besides, there are many situations where a non-expert can overreact from issues that experts deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes the problems they are fretting over are not even the real issue they need to deal with.
Related Content: In Appointment Setting, Go Beyond What Is Wanted
- A customer comes to you with an emergency – Some might think that this is just the same as with a prospect except you have a stronger familiarity. That is only half true. In fact, if you really know your customers, you know that they can still be just as prone to making a big deal out of a small issue. Different customer types vary as well. For example, if the customer has been doing business with you for a long time, then perhaps their problem could in fact be quite serious. On the other hand, problem customers are always nitpicking over the smallest details so you tend to take their issues with a grain of salt.
This does not mean you should never dismiss the possibility of a major problem coming up. On the contrary, it is good to be vigilant. But again, vigilance and quick-response to a situation is not the same as your lead generation services being jittery with a panic button close at hand.
Healthcare may be no stranger to physical risks but it should be the same for business risks too (like lead generation). Then again, you might say that risks are not avoidable in business either. But despite that, you should draw a line before your marketing campaigns accidentally cut themselves.
Keeping A Lead Generator Safe VS Keeping It In A Bubble
There is a fine line between maintaining the health of your marketing and an irrational aversion to all risks. It is like the difference between someone who knows how to use a scalpel and a bone saw to address the same problem. That difference is not that hard to tell. And in business, all you need is a little marketing common sense:
- Using a scalpel – When it comes to B2B marketing and generating health leads, the first thing you need is attention. You want to present your business image and attract the interest of your market. This same market has an established need, a set budget, and the position to authorize the purchase. There are various methods and tools like telemarketing and social media. Each carries a certain risk but you must take those risks because your business needs to get out there and meet with people.
- Using a bone saw – There are some methods however that, despite promising high rewards, have risks that your business might not survive through. Do not be so easily tempted by such rewards. Have you considered the long-term consequences? Do you think money is the only thing that you are risking with this tactic? What about your reputation? How much is that worth to you? Are you prepared for the worst-case scenario? How much does this method leave in your control?
Related Content: Does Lead Generation Require Viral Attention?
Obviously, people exercise much more care when handling a bone saw compared to a scalpel. (And if not, congratulations, you are officially scaring people.) But for marketing, some methods are arguably so risky, it might be better not to delve into them at all. A few of them would include:
- Tying yourself to politics – Just because healthcare has been the subject of political debate does not give you any license to just jump right in. On subjects like this, tensions run high and your viewpoints can wind up more emotionally skewed (and not to mention, off-topic). Avoid getting caught up in election hype and keep your sales lead generation focused on the objectives of your business.
- Overusing celebrity connections – These days even B2C companies are wary about tying their brand image with that of a well-known public figure. And the farther these superstars are from your niche, the worse you will be doing if you think of parading them around. What you may not realize is that you are tying your brand image to theirs, not the reverse.
- Overspending on ‘new’ marketing tools – New or old, no marketing tool is mastered overnight and no amount of money is necessarily going to accomplish that for you. Instead of always jumping on the latest trend, check how much you are spending and actually measure it against how much you are earning. Start controlling your marketing budget before it devours itself!
Again, no matter how many B2B sales leads you will generate, there is no point if it results in your entire business cutting itself.
Lead generation may be a staple process but sometimes that requirement puts it at odds with other business needs. More specifically, it tends to compete for your budget with the other functions that demonstrate what your business is really about.
Is Lead Generation What You’re About?
It’s a typical dilemma: on one hand, you need health leads but on the other, you need to also focus on giving the healthcare support that you actually provide. You might be able to juggle both but do you know just how disparate the two processes can be?
Of course, one can draw parallels to make it sound easy. On the other hand, you can draw as many as you want and still struggle with the same issue that your time, money, and resources are all torn between the two. The tradeoff can still hurt and cripple your business either way. Going about managing production, R&D, and in the case of service providers, maintaining business relationships take dedication. The same goes for creating materials for marketing, evaluating prospects, and maintaining business growth.
The question is: What are you really about? In healthcare, working for more than just the profit motive is often an ideal (and for cynics, it is often unrealistic). Regardless of the cynics though, what do you really want to do? Do you want to stress yourself over how to attract more attention from prospects or do you actually want to follow your passion and serve your current customers?
Here is the surprise, choosing one does not necessarily mean you are doing away with the other. This is simply a call to re-evaluate your priorities. Would you rather focus on B2B lead generation or providing healthcare support? Would you rather focus on designing a market-friendly website or actually fulfilling the promises you make on that website?
If you have chosen the latter, then why not simply outsource the former? There are many B2B marketing companies who are willing to offer their own services for B2B healthcare companies like yours. Think about it:
- You’d rather not do it.
- You find the responsibility burdensome.
- The process requires the type of effort, expertise, and tools unavailable to you.
These are all the classic symptoms of a company that is need of outsourcing. Furthermore, their success can still depend much on what you are really about. There are still some things that their leads can do and what they cannot do. It’s not like you are leaving everything up to them.
Related Topic: What Sales Leads Can And Cannot Do
All they are really doing is dedicating themselves to amplifying the dedication you have towards supporting healthcare professionals and institutions. You are still attracting your medical sales leads through your own efforts, even if you are outsourcing. It all boils down to how you decide what you’re really about.
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