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Create your Personal Marketing Plan with the Know-Like-Trust Principle


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Some years ago, I had a good friend who was a minister, and every Sunday he would scan the congregation, checking to see how many people were there. He took it personally when people didn't show up, and he was correct in his assumption that people came to see him and hear him preach. Whatever else they felt about that church, HE was the church. When he left, a lot of people stopped attending. Just like ministers, when you have a professional practice, YOU are the practice. People associate the practice with you, and they come in to the practice because of you.

Whether you intend to associate, or to work as an independent contractor renting space from someone, or to start your own solo practice, you need to think about how you will market yourself to people in your community so they will come to your practice.

It's all about KNOW-LIKE-TRUST. People first have to know you; they need to feel they know who you are and what you stand for. Then they have to like you; they have to feel that there is a connection between you and then through this "liking-ness" finally, they have to be led to trust you. Trust only comes by interacting with people over time. So how will you develop this Know-Like-Trust thing?

First, you have to decide who you are and what makes you special so people can get to know you. But people won't know how special you are unless you either tell them or they figure it out from talking with you. You can communicate your uniqueness just by talking about your interests and passions. In communication, when you tell someone a fact about you, this empowers them to tell you a fact about them. This exchange of personal information grows into a conversation and into knowing. You can also get people to know you through advertising. For example, include your photo in your ads; tell about yourself on your website, and include photos of your family. But "getting to know you" is only the beginning.

Next, you have to get people to like you. This may be difficult or easy for you, depending upon your personality. People like people who:


Look them in the eye

Sincerely listen and respond

Evidence compassion

Say, "I like you"

If you're not now comfortable with the interpersonal thing, you'll need to work on this. Practice smiling at people and looking at them for a second or two. (Don't look too long, or they'll think you're staring.) Learn to listen. A very wise person once told me, "You learn nothing when you talk, because you know what you're saying already. You learn when you listen." And listen actively. Active listening is the practice of paying close attention to a speaker and asking questions to ensure full comprehension. Active listening also helps promote a relationship, because people like people who care enough to listen.

What about this "I like you" business? Well, the "world's greatest salesman" (as attested to by none other than the Guinness Book of World Records) is a guy named Joe Girard. Joe sold used cars better than anyone else because he understood the KLT principle, and worked on it every day. He knew that people like people who say, "I like you." So he would say this. But the trick, as he knew, is to mean it. If you're not sincere in saying you like someone, they'll know immediately and be turned off.

But knowing you and liking you are still not enough. You must get people to trust you. The only way to gain trust is over time. And trust is about two things: professionalism and integrity. Your professionalism must be evident everywhere in the community. Do you look like an unshaven bum when you go to the store on a Sunday morning? If you're the soccer coach, do you show up for every practice prepared and enthusiastic? If you're on a Rotary committee, do you pitch in and work hard?

It's also about integrity. The root of the word "integrity" is "integer." If you remember your math, an integer is a whole number. So integrity has to do with wholeness. It means your whole life is unified; it means what you say and what you do are in congruence. It also implies completeness. Are you completely honest in your dealings with clients? With vendors? With other professionals in the community?

The sooner you get busy creating that personal marketing plan, by working on the principles of Know-Like-Trust, the faster you'll be able to gain patients when you start into practice.

About the Author

Copyright 2007-2008 Jean Wilson Murray, MBA, PhD. Dr. Jean Murray has been advising small business owners since 1974. As the founder of Planning for Practice Success, she specializes in assisting health care professionals with business plan construction and startup details. She can help you gain the knowledge to act and the confidence to begin.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-06-12 09:25:45 in Marketing Articles

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