Your ideal patients will make investments in you based on the amount of trust that you have earned.
Because this is true, one of the things that you may have heard frequently is that you need to win trust by delivering on “small” promises at the beginning of your relationship with your patients.
Old Faithful Model
As some of the prospective patients “filter along their journey”, you gain sequentially more earned grace.
This is nothing new and it certainly works well. It looks something like this:
- Engaging Video
- Small offer like a free eBook download (cost is an email)
- Progressive options with more engagement
- Inducements - analysis, advice, bonus
- Final Call to Action
Your patients all need to qualify themselves through each step in order to graduate to the next level…
BUT here’s the problem with that:
Trust develops at different speeds for different patients. There is no single journey for your patients, as each individual is different and may join at different stages.
Two things are necessary for a relationship to go the full distance.
Your prospect must have a need that you can service AND sufficient trust in your ability to deliver that outcome.
So rather than assume that the patient will come to you when their trust is at the “baby” level, it is better to assume the worst.
Rather than push a patient to make the booking, it is better to understand where they fit into their readiness continuum, and match their questions and needs there and then.
Your offers can be structured or arranged differently. Much like a carousel, where you can match a patient’s need with a staged offer immediately. It is surprising how patients will commit earlier than expected.
Tale of Two Patients
Some patients may be putting off a procedure. They may have seen you 2-3 years previously, and then read everything that you have posted on your blog or sent them via email. They are “engaged”, even though they may not be ready to commit. It could be financial, pain level, or work. Whatever it is they defer. Then one day out of the blue they call the rooms and books a pre-operation appointment.
That same day, a new patient watches an online video or examines an infographic and clicks through. Her questions are answered easily. She has never heard of you before, but after seeing what you say and do, knows that you’re the right person for her.
Your Online Presence
These patient types are real, and happen daily. They can happen more frequently if you have your wares on offer all the time… everywhere… and in different modalities.
Trust is earned, but often their are other major drivers in a decision journey.
That is what Content Marketing can do, it is about engaging patients in many places at every stage of the patient journey.