If you haven’t already, we highly recommend reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In the book, Dr. Cialdini proposes 6 Steps of Persuasion. One of his steps of persuasion is Likability.
Likability is a key element that can make or break your Senior-targeted business. Let’s discuss how to successfully incorporate Likability into your Hearing Care Practice and why it works.
Seniors Buy Relationships
Get nostalgic with your customer service.
One of the foundations of the Likability step is that “People buy relationships”. This is especially true in the Senior market where trustworthiness and likability are highly valued and often longed for in a world of cold automation. Seniors long for the days when the corner drugstore owner not only provided the products they needed, but offered familiar conversation and a friendly smile. Achieve the Likability factor in your Hearing Care Practice and you will have happy, long-term, customers who (most importantly) refer their friends and family to you. Here’s how to get started.
Likability All Starts with Top-Notch Customer Service.
This needs to start with the person answering your phone. For more information on excellent Receptionist skills, see our last blog, How to Sell More Hearing Aids? Set More Appointments.
Once your customer has made the appointment and is in your office, make sure your front office staff is turning on the charm. Always greet the customer with a smile. Speak clearly (not too fast, but not so slow that it’s offending). Open the door if possible. Help them get seated comfortably. (See our blog about making sure your office is set up to be “Senior Friendly”). We recognize that offices are busy and staff may be short, but a little extra effort in outstanding customer service will go a long way with the Senior market.
Don’t just have a coffee maker in your office. Get the coffee for her (or him). Ask if she wants cream or sugar, and serve it to her yourself. Have small snacks and water available to go along with the coffee. Keep sugar-free items on hand as well for the diabetic customers. A little thought into your initial impressions will go a long, long way to building your Likability factor.
Don’t just have a coffee maker. Serve the coffee with a smile. “Cream or sugar?”
Now that your customer is comfortably seated in your waiting room, make sure she sees proof of your Likeability. (Social Proof is also another one of Dr. Cialdini’s 6 Steps). Use a bulletin board with Polaroid shots of all of your existing customers, along with thank you notes and testimonials. Show your customers proof that you are likable and trustworthy.
(We will discuss more on Social Proof & how to get more testimonials in later blogs… so stay tuned for that.)
When it is time to see your customer, take a moment to talk (and most importantly listen) to her.
Start with hand shake and an honest compliment. This allows people to drop their guard for a moment and increase your likability factor. A good starting point:
“I really commend you for coming in today. Taking time out of your schedule to have a hearing test shows you really care about your hearing health – not only for yourself, but for your loved ones’ happiness as well.”
Find things you have in common. Talk about things going on in everyday life. Building genuine rapport should mean more than talking about the weather. Relate your kids, grandchildren, and special interests. Make eye contact and smile. Show that you are truly interested, not in a rush to get a sale through the door. Learning more about that person and their lifestyle can help you match them with the right hearing aid and yield happier, healthier patients in the long run.
As your appointment moves along remember one very important thing…
A Good Listener = A Likable Person
In order to be likable, you have to be a good listener. We don’t mean the smile and nod listener. Also, don’t be the “I’m waiting to pounce on an objection and rebuttal it” kind of listener. REALLY listen, show your customer that you care and that you are interested in her life and concerns.
Good listeners are parrots. As you get into the topic of hearing, repeat back to the customer what they are saying. Show
To be likable, you need to listen. To be a good listener, you need to be a parrot.
that you are truly listening and that you care about their concerns.
“So you’re having the most difficulty with understanding children and following conversations in a crowded place. Is that correct?”
Increasing your Likability factor will give you many in-roads with the Aging Adult market – those who long for the days gone by when customers were treated as old friends. Walking into an office that is reminiscent of customer service from “the good ‘ol days” will take your far in the hearing aid industry.
So share this blog with your staff. Take it to heart, and work on increasing that “Likability” factor.
Do you have other ideas for increasing Likeability? Have you found Likability successful in your practice? Let us know what you think!
We strongly recommend reading the books by Dr. Robert Cialdini, which discuss Likability as a key “Principle of Influence”. Watch for future blogs as we discuss how to incorporate these Principles and making them work in your Hearing Care Practice.
Written by Nikki & Alex Hughes. Alex comes from a long history of family involvement in the hearing aid industry starting with his grandparents in the 1960’s. Alex was a partner in a hearing care practice before starting Beeman Marketing.