Marketing Your Occupational Medicine Program
By: Tina Bell Director of Marketing, HealthCARE Express Business relationships are the cornerstone of building your occupational medicine program. So how do you grow your program and build relationships? Creating and implementing a successful sales and marketing plan specifically targeted at key people in different businesses is the key. Part 1: Develop a Prospect List The first step in any marketing campaign is identifying your target audience. For occupational medicine, your goal should be to reach the decision makers in a company who handle safety, hiring, and health related issues. In small companies this may be the business owner or office manager. In larger companies, this could be the director of human resources or the company’s safety manager. Finding out the right person to contact at a company can often be as easy as visiting the company’s website or calling the company directly. You can also contact your local Chamber of Commerce for a business or member directory list to build your prospect database from. When all else fails, persistence in showing up at the company repeatedly with small gifts for the secretary at the front office may help score you a meeting with the right decision maker in the company. Part 2: Finding Your Unique Selling Point Making the initial contact with a decision maker is usually the hard part. Many decision makers are busy, and finding the time to fit in a meeting with someone selling occupational medicine is not usually at the top of their list. They are looking for ways to make their jobs easier, to make their company run better or safer, and to save their bottom line. This is where it is important for you to understand how the services you offer outweigh the benefits they are currently receiving elsewhere. Seldom will you find a company who is not already utilizing an occupational medicine program of some sort within your community. Prior to your initial meeting, find out what benefits you offer that your competitors do not offer. Benefits can include things like: • Cleaner facility, • Shorter wait times, • Drug testing, physicals, and injury treatments all under one roof, and • Improved communication between physicians, injured workers, and the company. After your initial visit, you may learn other things the decision maker is unhappy about with their current company. Use those emotional buttons in all future correspondence until you are able to close the deal and bring the company on to use your occupational medicine services. Then, make sure you deliver and keep the customer happy. Part 3: Marketing Your Program Your resources, most notably time, are probably limited when it comes to marketing occupational medicine. You may have a full time sales and marketing person, but their time will be split between marketing your Medical Practice, attending community events, managing in-house marketing tactics, and promoting occupational medicine. Dedicating at least one day a week to occupational medicine is a good way to make sure this part of your business is not overlooked. Outside of visiting business owners at their offices, below is a list of tools you can also employ to market your occupational medicine program. 1. Telemarketing Develop a script for promoting your occupational medicine clinic, and then start calling people from your prospect list. Another option is to have your front desk staff participate in telemarketing during downtimes by calling businesses out of the area yellow pages. Make sure the staff is trained on how to answer basic questions about your occupational medicine program before they begin making calls. 2. E-mail Marketing Setting up a series of automated weekly e-mails to potential businesses can help educated them on why they need your services and the benefits you offer. Often times you can obtain an e-mail list of business owners from your local Chamber of Commerce. Other times you may have to do a bit of work seeking out e-mail addresses from company websites, business cards you have collected, and advertisements in local papers. After a company signs up to utilize your services, send them monthly articles focused on educating them and helping them understand ways to keep their employees safe on the job site. Done right, this value added marketing piece can help you stand out above your competition. 3. Lunch & Learns People like to do business with their friends. What better way to build a friendship then over lunch? Consider holding lunch and learns at your company several times a year. Invite a mix of potential clients and established clients to attend. Remember that in addition to offering a free lunch, you also need to provide great content. Topics to discuss at the different events can include: • Ways to reduce workers compensation costs, • Drug testing to improve workplace safety, and • Decreasing OSHA reportable incidents. 4. Manufacturing & Industry Expos If your community offers industry or manufacturing expos, consider attending them to network and meet people in the industry. Carry brochures and business cards with you, and never be afraid to ask the people you meet who the best person to contact at their company is regarding safety information. Also ask them for permission to use their name when contacting the decision maker at the company. 5. Chamber Events Finally, a great tool for relationship building is your area Chamber of Commerce. You should attend all groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, business after hours, and other events hosted by the Chamber. Being involved in your community through the Chamber shows you care about the success of area businesses. It also gives you the opportunity to network with area business owners and establish friendships.