You’ve Got One Shot to Make a Good First Impression—Don’t Blow It!

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Because of a change in coverage in my health care insurance, recently I was forced to choose a new family doctor. Not knowing much about this physician, I called his office, made an appointment and mentally prepared to face the worst.

The grip of my fears significantly loosened upon entering a brand new and tastefully decorated office where I was greeted by friendly, energetic and cheerful staff. However, what really captured my attention was the state of the art computers placed in each examining room. I could not help but think that if this physician had invested so much money in cutting edge medical equipment, without a doubt he cared about the service he provides to his patients. Right there, his practice gained a new patient.

According to several marketing studies, when consumers seek out new products, services or brands for the first time they base their decision on their deductive reasoning—the process by which a conclusion is logically inferred from certain premises. The challenge for advisers like you who run their own practices, just like my new doctor, is to facilitate the deductive reasoning of your prospects as they follow different avenues to get to your door. Your main challenge is to strategically post effective and convincing signs along those avenues that compel them to continue their journey. As second chances in life are often a rare occurrence, you must be very careful in offering to your prospect easy to understand messages that clearly and unquestionably convey your expertise, mission and client-centric approach.

Here are some suggestions to make your messages resonate with your prospects:

  • Be Specific—Be clear, concise and memorable. Use your words to paint a picture that is vivid in details.
  • You’re the Doctor—Identify your prospects’ pain and position yourself as the doctor who can relieve that pain. To accomplish that, go beyond the basic offerings by addressing specific needs.
  • Connect with Your Prospects’ Emotions—Engage you constituencies’ emotions: fear, hope, safety, greed and the drama that these create in their lives. Touch their hearts, as for years they have only heard marketing hype.
  • Trigger Curiosity—Curiosity is a powerful motivator that drives our behavior. Make your messages so compelling that your prospects can’t wait to find out what is in it for them.
  • Step Off the Podium—Do not attempt to preach about your brand and services. Use the same language you’d use when talking to your friends.

What strategies do you employ to make a good first impression? What kind of messages do you use to attract prospects to your practice? Do they work? I’d like to hear from you!

Claudio PannunzioClaudio Pannunzio
Blue Chip Public Relations
Greenwich, Conn.

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