The hearing care industry hasn’t changed much in 30 years.
Now, that’s OK if you’re someone who is making a decent living out of your private practice with no great plans to expand.
But, what if you’re not?
What if you’re someone who’s wanting to grow the business and is keen to know how to do this – well, this should help.
In this complementary article to the podcast of the same name, we identify the three biggest mistakes 99% of private practice owners make that could be thwarting your business’s success and what you can easily do to fix them.
Mistake #1: Calling People “Patients” Instead Of People
Let’s get something cleared up from the off. Yes, hearing care is a medical industry, so of course the use of the word “patients” is commonplace in the setting of the practice itself, but what about in the marketing?
A lot of hearing care businesses refer to people as “patients” on their websites, brochures, and social media.
“We help patients bring the joy back to their life with better hearing” – sound familiar?
Yep, and therein lies the problem, because, when it comes to their hearing, people don’t actually see themselves as patients at all.
That’s because it’s widely known that getting your hearing checked out isn’t as “go to” as say getting your teeth checked, or your eyes, which suggests people don’t really see it as a priority and therefore not a patient.
Furthermore, the word “patient” suggests being ill, broken, or needing to be fixed somehow and, as hearing loss is stigmatized as something people often prefer to ignore or deny, you can see why the terminology may need a rethink.
So, what word should you use instead?
People. Refer to people as people. Simple as that.
If we can change more of our language away from patients and toward people, what happens is it becomes better accepted. Somebody isn’t treating their hearing loss because they’re broken. They’re treating their hearing loss because they’ve lived a great life and they want to continue to live a great life.
Switching up your language, particularly in written copy, to people from patients will be one big mistake resolved.
Mistake #2: Making Yourself The Hero Of The Story
Take a look at your “About Us” page on your website and make a mental note of all the times you use the word “we.”
We were established in…
We take great pride in…
We’ve helped many people achieve…
We. We. We. We. We.
It’s not a bad thing to show your expertise, but when it comes to speaking directly to someone who needs to be convinced they even need the help of a hearing care specialist, this “watch me” approach is certainly not the best thing either.
Instead, you want a more “come with me” approach.
Let’s further explain this in an analogy you’re almost certainly going to smile at.
There are two key characters and one personification that enable Harry’s success: Harry himself, Dumbledore, and Harry’s wand.
Harry is the star of the show, the hero. Dumbledore is the guide, and Harry’s wand is the enabler.
Now, most hearing care practices write their copy from the position of Harry. We’re the heroes — we’re the ones who make it happen — when instead you might want to consider writing it from the position of Dumbledore and Harry’s wand.
So, instead of “We’re the heroes,” it’s “We’re the ones who will guide you and enable you to be the hero of your own story.”
Dumbledore in this context is the audiologist/hearing specialist, the wand is the hearing aid, and the magic is your service.
Get the gist?
If you write all of your copy from that standpoint, you’re guaranteed to speak to your audience in a much more encouraging and “come with me” way, making THEM the hero of the story.
In addition to this, consider including more pictures and success stories of the people you’ve helped on your website, thereby further showcasing the real stars of the show.
Mistake #3: Talking About The Cost Of Hearing Aids
Wait a minute, what’s wrong with that?
If that was literally your first thought upon reading that, then we should probably amend this to say: Talking About The Cost Of Hearing Aids As If That’s Where The Main Value Is.
Put bluntly, the issue here is that most private practices sell from a standpoint of hearing aids plus service, when in actual fact, they’d be much more successful if they sold from a standpoint of service plus hearing aids.
This is because if you put the emphasis on your product and therefore the price, then you’re always going to be in a price war with big box retailers who will almost always undercut you.
The key is making your service the star and not the product, more specifically introducing “itemized service bundles” into your pricing packages.
By creating packages based on the level of service offered opposed to just the products, you’re sending a subliminal (but also very clear) message that the real value is in the amount of time people get to spend with you/your team and the hearing aid is the given.
Here’s a brilliant example of itemized service bundles:
As you can see, the services are listed first and it isn’t until the eighth bullet point that the hearing aid/device is mentioned.
Such a powerful way to flip the narrative.
In addition to this, if you’re a practice that identifies its USP as its service, then this is EXACTLY the approach you want to be taking with your pricing, as how else are you going to prove your service is different and better than the rest?
Are You Prepared To Change?
It’s all well and good reading about ways to improve your business, but what about when it comes to actually doing the things that will improve it…are you the sit back and wait type or the let’s do this now type?
Truth is, 99% of your fellow private practice owners are the sit back and wait type, which is why, as an industry, we are where we are.
There’s a bit of work involved, which granted isn’t the most attractive prospect when you’ve got a to-do list longer than your arm, but it’s work that, when done, will have a significant impact upon how people see you, how you make them feel, and their perception of the value you offer.
If you haven’t listened to the full podcast with Phil and Oli, you can do so by clicking HERE.