The best way to sell a good product is to let it sell itself. Kansas-based audiologist, Thumper Johnson, is a big believer in hosting what she calls “solution-focused” events. She invites hearing instrument users to attend real-life events (e.g. the theater) where they can test-drive hearing technology in an authentic listening environment.
Step 1 – Choose an Event
Select the type of event and venue. Choose a setting that is typically difficult for those with a hearing loss. Here are some examples of solution-focused events.
- Lunch and Learn: Introduce the Unite Mini Mic or sit at tables of 4 and encourage better listening habits. Educate attendees on the differences an accessory can make in this environment and that it isn’t always hearing aid settings that make the difference.
- Church: Offer to organize a meeting in a local church where you have several patients or a prominent referral source. Provide a TV streamer for the sanctuary. Get the clergy involved and do a program about hearing difficulty in reverberant environments. Take the Mini Mic into the Sunday School classroom.
- Movie: Contact local theater owners and demo the streamer to them. Provide a streamer and host a movie event.
- Live Theater: Meet with their internal sound people and management. Provide the streamer and stress the number of patrons you anticipate being able to use the device. Offer support to train their staff or attend the first few events to ensure all goes smoothly.
- Cocktail Party: Host an event at a local country club or retirement complex. Explain how to use the Mini Mic to address speech understanding issues in background noise.
- TV Party: Host a TV night where you talk about solutions with taped examples of popular TV shows (the news, music based, game shows, etc). Talk about how they differ and what makes them hard to understand.
Step 2 – Zero In On Your Audience
- Think about who would struggle in the listening environment selected and how that affects whether you should invite new patients or those that could upgrade their existing technology.
- Invite from a narrow base – those who may already know each other (e.g. church members, country club members, season ticket holders, etc).
Step 3 – Choose How You Will Market The Event
While hosting a solutions-focused event is ultimately about making a sale, Johnson stresses the importance of avoiding the sales-pitch. “These events should not be positioned around the price but instead the benefit to the attendee,” she says. “Marketing for the event should focused on how they can hear better in the listening environment in question.”
Step 4 – Prepare Paperwork
Go to the event prepared to take orders from attendees and make sure you have everything you need to accept payment at the event.
Step 5 – Prepare the Demo Hearing Aids
- When attendees RSVP, have them tested, measure them for receivers and ask them to choose their technology level.
- Collect registration fees (if applicable) in your office ahead of time (ensures attendees will show up!).
- Fitting the demo hearing aids for the event will result in increased sales – be prepared to send them home to start a trial after the event.
Step 6 – Create a Presentation Targeting Your Audience
- Make the presentation solutions-focused (not a sales pitch!).
- Be sure to include an educational component.
- Be excited about your ability to offer a solution not previously available.
- Position yourself as the community expert in hearing – “I’m here to provide solutions to your hearing troubles.”
Check back on Monday, August 19 for the second blog post in this series: “Event Marketing Critical Success Factors“.