Buying anything is an emotional decision. Watch any Subaru commercial for proof. Even the tagline evokes our strongest emotion: “Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.” But a car is a consumer good. Do emotions play a part in B2B sales? Until those purchases are made by Artificial Intelligence instead of people, the answer is a resounding YES! The same holds true for medical device marketing.
You may be selling to a hospital or a physician, but SURPRISE! Humans, just like you, run them. Humans who are paying mortgages, planning vacations and trying to leave work on time in order to make it to their kid’s soccer match. And those humans are responsible for making the decision to buy your medical device over the one offered by another company. And no matter what the cold, hard data says, people still make an enormous portion of their decisions based on emotion. It’s how humans are built.
Here are some ways to take emotion into consideration when selling your latest piece of medical equipment.
1. Make Your Marketing a Story
Want to create a connection with your audience? Tell a story. How about the time Dr. Smith used your incredibly easy-to-use surgical laser for life-altering surgery on the eyes of a 9-year-old. Instead of functions and features, you’re telling the story of how your product is used in real life.
Stories create a picture for your reader and a good story pulls the audience in and makes them a co-creator of your message. Tell the story of how your brand is the solution to all the pain points your potential buyer may be experiencing.
2. Social Proof
Let your best customers tell your story. Sure it sounds good coming from you, but it sounds GREAT coming from one of your customers’ peers. There’s a reason why people check the reviews on Amazon and Yelp before plunking down their hard-earned cash. Social proof is a way to send a powerful emotional message to your potential buyers, whether it’s through reviews, testimonials, case studies, or social media. And don’t confine that proof to one part of your website or the back page of your brochures. Sprinkle liberally throughout for maximum credibility!
3. Don’t be too hasty to get to the price
B2B customers relish big spreadsheets they can show in meetings that try to compare products. They make lists of features and prices and throw them on a chart. When this happens, you’ve lost the narrative arc of your product’s story. Make sure your customer understands the value of your product before you ever get to the price
4. Talk Benefits, Not Features
As noted above, B2B customers seek features for comparison. If they’re looking at multiple options, they compare what they can get from each company. Stand out from the competition by talking about features in terms of the benefits they provide. How will they profit from your device? How will your device make their life easier? It’s like using the storytelling technique above but in small scale.
5. Don’t be afraid of color!
Walk around any medical trade show and you’ll see an ocean of blue. Blue booths, blue logos, blue suits, and shirts. Don’t be afraid to explore the entire spectrum and embrace other colors and the emotions they express, like regal purple, calming green, and show-stopping, grab-you-attention orange. Find the colors and their associated emotions that convey your brand.