Don’t we all like to talk about ourselves? Our thoughts, opinions, experiences, ideas…
Let’s harness this desire to talk about ourselves to encourage our patients and potential patients to open up and let you in on what they are thinking, what they need and what they are experiencing.
In this way, we can learn an immense amount about our specific audience and we become more able to first of all connect with them on a much more personal level, even if it is online at first, by being able to craft content that they want to read, provide information that they are looking for, and create articles that they will find helpful.
So rather than telling your audience what they need, how you can help them, what products you offer, what services they should try, start asking them about themselves!
Most people will be more than happy to join in on the conversation, and answer your questions. Especially in a Facebook Group where there is a little more control over who is in the group and the dynamic that is created.
Here are a few ideas as a jumping off point to get some conversation started. It’s always nice to pair this conversation with a graphic, so that it gets people’s attention.
• What struggles are you experiencing today?
• Do your find yourself in pain by mid-day?
• Are your children always bringing the latest sickness home from school and spreading it around the family?
• Are you at a loss for finding delicious, healthy recipes to make for dinner?
• What makes you the most stressed out?
• If you could have one super-power for the day, what would you choose?
Find a way to bring the conversation back to how you can help them, once you start getting some replies. Even if you have to ask some of your friends and family (with different last names!) to start commenting on your posts for the first little while until people are comfortable sharing online, it’s a great start to open up the communication lines with your patients and potential patients.
Questions are also very important when you are meeting patients at trade shows or in your office for the first time.
When people talk about themselves, and you are an active listener, you let them feel heard, understood and important. This is one of the best ways to create rapport with a new patient, and really make them feel like you care. And actually listen. Nod your head in acknowledgement, repeat back some of their answers and then ask further questions if need be. Take notes and follow up on any changes at subsequent appointments.
Make conversations with patients actually be about the patients. Let them tell their story and make sure they feel understood. This creates a great deal of loyalty right from the start. Of course you have a multitude of information to share and education to provide, but at least at the beginning of a working relationship, it is most important to Ask than Tell.