Category Archives: Sales

Using LinkedIn to Connect with Referral Sources

Social media is all the rage these days as a source of “instant gratification” in connecting with your customers.  While plenty of marketing resources exist to help guide your consumer-focused social media efforts, very few exist to guide your online marketing efforts toward referral sources – clinicians, non-profit organizations and other professional connections.

LinkedIn is well-known for being a place to network, and especially as a place to polish up and promote your resume.  But did you know that  you can use LinkedIn to position your business with referral sources as well?  With 200 million members worldwide, and 2 people joining LinkedIn every second, [yes, every second!] the odds are more than good that your referral sources are part of LinkedIn too.

Here’s a few quick tips to creating a referral-focused marketing campaign on LinkedIn.

Create Your Company Page
A LinkedIn Company Page is a fantastic way to promote your business, products & services, and job opportunities.  Your company page serves as a connecting point where LinkedIn members can stay in the loop about what your company is doing.  Learn more about how a LinkedIn company page can help your business here.

Join The Conversation
Now that your company has a presence on LinkedIn, it’s time to get social!  The best way to do this is by publishing content that will engage your followers [not just an ongoing commercial about your business] and by taking part in discussion groups that have members who may refer patients to your business.

You can find discussion groups for just about any business topic or business focus area on LinkedIn. Here’s an example of just a few that I found the other day related to buyers/group purchasing managers for healthcare organizations.

discussiongroups

Advertise to Gain Followers & Collect Leads
Setting up an ad on LinkedIn to promote your company page or website is a very similar process to creating ads on Facebook or Google Adwords.  If you know how to create an ad there, you can do it on LinkedIn too.

However, one of the most compelling reasons to use LinkedIn advertising is because of a unique feature they offer that Facebook and Google ads do not.  You can collect business leads from LinkedIn users.

leadcollectionlinkedin

Another unique feature of LinkedIn advertising is that you can run video ads and not just those with static text.  So if you have a YouTube channel or even iPhone footage of your latest community event, you can serve it up for referral sources to see here on LinkedIn.

Budget Considerations
LinkedIn must realize the value of their lead generation tool, as I’m sure you do, because the average cost per click for LinkedIn ad is relatively high compared to other social media platforms.  You can expect to pay upwards of $4-$5 per click if you go the CPC route. In this case, I would serve your ad up first using impressions rather than clicks as the baseline measurement, as the cost per impression is considerably less.

Here’s a sample of the LinkedIn ad creation form that shows you where to choose the budget option that’s right for your campaign:
budgetlinkedin

Either way, keep in mind that once you connect with a referral source – the lifetime value of that lead is greater than that of an individual consumer.  Referral sources, as they say, are the gift that keeps on giving!

This article was originally published on Medtrade 365: http://blog.medtrade.com/2013/07/using-linkedin-to-connect-with-referral-sources/#sthash.0VrpNYCK.dpuf

 

How Human Nature Influences Medical Device Purchases Online

Successful marketing campaigns usually begin with an understanding of human behavior.

Forget about the copy and the graphics for a second.  Stop and think about what people do, how do they act every day?  What is normal behavior for the situation that your customers are in when they make a buying decision?

Here’s an example.
When you’re looking for a florist, do you whip out the yellow pages to find one?  You used to, I’m sure. But nowadays, I’m willing to bet you hop online [using your phone more than likely] and go to what?

That’s right, Google.  Or Bing, or whatever search engine your browser defaults to.

Do you go to a rose grower’s web site to look for their local distributors? No, of course not, that would be silly!

So why do so many medical device manufacturers think that consumers want to go to their website, first and foremost, to find a local dealer?  That approach doesn’t jive with human nature when it comes to how most people search for things online.

Am I saying device manufacturers shouldn’t have a dealer directory on their main website?  Absolutely not, that’s always important.  But if you are a device manufacturer and you’re not employing other web strategies to drive customers to dealer locations, you’re missing out on sales opportunities left and right.

Tips for Driving Online Traffic To Your Medical Device Dealers & Retailers

  • Keep the dealer directory on your website, but advertise the directory via Google ads and through content placement on health sites.
  • Employ Google’s remarketing tactics to get people back to your website once they visit the dealer directory.   [Don’t know what Google Remarketing is or how to use it?  Contact us, we’ll tell you all about it.]
  • Create an e-newsletter for your audience – whether that’s clinicians or consumers – and embed a link to your dealer directory in each edition.
  • Use video to talk about your products and then have that video point viewers to your dealer directory to find a local provider.   Upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo and other video hosting sites that allow viewers to forward your helpful information to a friend.

There’s plenty of other ways to extend your medical device brand online.
If you’d like to learn more, give us a shout. We’re happy to help!

(C) Lisa Wells, Get Social – All rights reserved, 2012.

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Aligning Technology to Improve Sales Success

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of co-presenting a webinar with renowned HME Sales Consultant Eric Kline as part of the ongoing webinar series offered by HME News.   Together, Eric and I shared our best practices for Aligning Technology to Improve Sales Success. 

If you missed our webinar, catch the replay at www.hmenews.com.

Here are a few of the highlights from our presentation that cover many of the questions we received from participants.

Main Point
Improving the productivity and effectiveness of your sales reps is a great way to boost profitability, especially when you use a process-driven sales approach supported by technology-driven marketing tools.

HME News offered these bullet points to summerize the topics we covered:

* Fostering consistency and utilizing technology to share new information in referral source visits
* Creating online communities using social media to develop a trusted relationship with referral sources
* Being proactive in asking for referrals and providing those referral sources with online tools to guide their decision-making

A couple of quick and easy techie tools that can assist sales reps in the planning process are:

Healthgrades.com: This website was designed to help consumers find a local healthcare provider.  But you can use it to better understand your referral sources before you visit them.  Look up a physician on Healthgrades and their profile will include the number of patients they see per day, their areas of specialization, office hours and locations AND a list of the health insurances they accept.  Pretty good details to know before you call on them, right?  And the best part — it’s free.

Task assignment and management thru CRM. If you don’t have a system for assigning follow-up items to field reps, how can you expect them to remember the details?  It’s very hard to drive a process within your sales team without implementing a tool that makes them follow one.  A system that records and reminds reps of their to-dos, follow-ups and opportunities is key, as it helps them organize their next steps in terms of the biggest wins first.

As your call lists change, your outbound marketing efforts should coincide to support their sales focus.  Here’s another advantage of CRM, if you are storing contacts and call priority in a database, you can export that list to target with personalized email campaigns  that contain your rep’s contact information. That way you are still communicating with that prospective referral even when the rep isn’t in the office, and providing them with a means to connect with you on the spur-of-a-moment when they have a need.

Route planning tools: When your reps are heading out, do they plan their stops in order or do they cut back and forth across town all day?  Save time in traffic by GPS-ing your destinations to determine the quickest routes before you set out.

If you don’t remember anything else:

Eric says it’s crucial to emphasize that sales reps should “Always ask for the referral on every call, every time.”

But because referrals sources don’t always decide on the spot, I always stress importance of creating an online resource on your website, so you can direct referrals sources there for more information.  Also, be sure to leverage online marketing, direct mail and email efforts to target those prospects that don’t merit an in-person visit as the charge for e-communication is only a fraction of what your feet on the street cost you.

Watch the Recording Here

About Eric Kline
Eric offers more than 20 years of sales and management in this industry. On a daily basis, he helps HME companies increase their top-line revenue by hiring, training, managing and mentoring salespeople.  He’s also a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, donating his time and resources to fly critical-care patients to treatments across the Southeast.

To contact Eric, visit:
Website: http://www.hmesalespro.com/
Email: ekline@hmesalespro.com
Cell: 850.341.7467

About Lisa Wells
As a HME/DME/Medical Device marketing consultant, I have ž+17 yrs of global product management and marketing experience with a technology focus.  I often give back to the HME community by serving as a subject-matter-expert on marketing for industry publications and speaking at events like the HME News Business Summit, Invacare Supply Group’s annual Customer Appreciation Meeting and Medtrade. ž

Feel free to contact me at:
Website: www.getsocialconsulting.com
Email: lisa@getsocialconsulting.com
Phone: 678-232-1330

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