Have you ever had to do the “old school” boots-on-the-ground marketing? I prefer to say heels on the ground as I am rarely seen without heels on. Really, only when I run and hurt my ankle and need to wear flip flops. I don’t even own flat dress shoes, if I’m being honest. But, I digress.
If you have had to market by doing boots-on-the-ground marketing, then you know how difficult it can be and it’s even more difficult in the world we live in today. Many businesses already didn’t like solicitors, yet alone during a pandemic when they are trying to monitor the number of individuals in their space. None-the-less, as a marketer, you must continue with your job. I, particularly, market for healthcare facilities, which adds an extra layer to the mix of not wanting you in their building. Heck, they don’t even want +1’s to come in, yet alone a marketing rep pushing their agenda!
So… what do you do?
I have some quick tips that will help – no matter what industry you’re marketing in!
- Bring goodies with you! Who doesn’t love getting a box of gourmet cookies or donuts from the local bakery?
- Time your stops around holidays. Easter coming up? Great! Grab some little easter bunnies and throw them in a basket (all can be found at the Dollar Tree) and drop them off with your cards, wishing them a Happy Easter.
- Always bring value. I can’t stress this enough. DO NOT just drop by and ask to leave business cards or ask for referrals. Research the businesses you go to and tell them how you can bring THEM value. Figure out how you can work together, and for pete’s sake – always ask for their cards, too!
- If you are uncomfortable going out during these times, then send out – what I like to call – bubble mailers. Include a cute bag of popcorn with a handwritten note, business cards, and swag, wrapped up in a cute ribbon and mail it to them! FOLLOW UP. Don’t let your $2 in shipping go to waste. Call a week later and ensure they got your delivery.
- Lastly, boots-on-the-ground marketing is not one & done. You MUST build these relationships. You cannot expect after one cookie drop off to get 40 referrals. Yes, you may have a heel up on those businesses who don’t go visit them, but they may also be loyal to someone else – right now. Build up that relationship and rotate your visits and deliveries.
- It is all about consistency!
Bonus Tips for Healthcare Marketers!
- Visit offices that can benefit from your services and just let them know that you are there to lend a hand if needed. Here’s an example: if you are an urgent care practice, visit primary care practices and let them know that you are happy to assist if they are booked, but have patients that need to be seen for urgent matters. Always remind them that you are not there to take their business, but rather help and send them right back with notes!
- Find offices with varying hours and let them know that you can help see patients after hours. Determine if they have an answering system that could send them your way or an on call provider that doesn’t need to make the trip in for a concern that could be handled with you during regular business hours.
- Bring your provider! Most providers want to speak with the rendering provider in your office. Any time that you can bring him / her with you – do it! It brings a lot more credibility. When I worked for an urgent care, my Medical Director used to do site visits with me. Most of the time, we were able to meet the provider directly – but, not always.
- Lastly, do you have a referral list for your practice? If not, make one! This is the easiest way to bring value to them. Ask for their cards and let them know that you will use them when you have a patient needing their services. BE GENUINE.