“All he could manage to get out was a gurgling, guttural grunting sound”. Yet, he was not choking and had no obstructions in his throat.

This is a recurring complaint that I hear  from mothers of 17-year old boys. Exasperating as it was, the vivid memory comes  back instantly to when my son was that age and he too grunted. Somehow development turned him from a sweet, cuddly, loving son to an eye-rolling grunter. This was especially true when he was cranky, things were not going his way or something embarrassed him.

His grunts and gestures had to be interpreted to understand him, like taking on a foreign language. Funnily enough, his friends seemed to grunt in the same way, the same language, only understood by themselves.

Yet doesn’t this bear a similarity to the way some practices or companies communicate? They speak in a language known only to themselves (shop-talk) and when you try to understand, it seems that they are only grunting, bothered by having to explain themselves.

Let’s think about this. In today’s world, it is no longer possible to “just get by” on a name or a service. Communication is where it’s at and if you cannot convey your message, clients or patients will just walk away and go to someone that they can understand, someone that they can have a meaningful relationship with. Not being forthcoming is actually “anti-marketing” or chasing your business away- a sure thing to committing business business suicide. What missed opportunities!

Here are some tips when it comes to highlighting yourself, products and services:

  • Work together with your patients or clients. Find out what they want and need. It’s not about you
  • Be flexible with your boundaries
  • Don’t lose your humor. Smile and laugh often. This puts everyone more at ease.
  • Create your own identity (branding) and convey that to the public. You can not be everything to all people but for those people that need you specifically, they will bend over backwards to get to you.
  • Just as with teenagers, pick your battles. Be reasonable. If something is not working out, apologize and seek a solution with your patients/clients together.

Having the chance to develop a rapport with your market and really get to know them is an honor and will create a fan club of loyal patrons that will stick with you for years- a sure way to success!

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