HearBuy Conference 2013 Roundup

Keeping It Fresh

By Geoffrey Cooling

20130910-132544.jpg I really enjoyed presenting at the HearBuy conference, judging by the questions and the fact that no one was visibly asleep. I think the audience enjoyed it too. HearBuy members are an interesting and diverse bunch of people with really diverse business models. From high street Practices through clinic model businesses to solely field dispensing. It was obvious to me afterwards when talking with people in the exhibition hall that they are concerned.

They are concerned about the future place of the Independent Hearing Healthcare sector. I feel that while their concern is warranted, I consistently told them that they have the solution to their longevity and continued success. I firmly believe that and hope that it came across in both my presentation and afterwards in my conversations with people.

I think that the Independent Hearing Healthcare sector is important and its survival is paramount. The sector applies checks and balances on the profession as a whole and its continued existence is imperative for the well being of Patients. The questions after the presentation were focused mostly on online branding and it’s benefits. Afterwards in the exhibition hall I had a few conversations based around the presentation and other ideas that I have discussed on the blog.

I would like to thank everybody I spoke to on their kind comments and feedback in relation to the blog. The workshops on Saturday morning were particularly interesting. Practice owners from all backgrounds attended, so again the discussions were diverse and the outlined strategies differed. I think that there was elements of the message that were relevant to everybody.

I asked one group what they thought of the strap line “honest independent hearing healthcare advice from your local family healthcare provider”. They immediately jumped on the honest, they thought it devalued the phrase a great deal. So I asked what about “Independent hearing healthcare advice from your local family healthcare provider”. They thought that was a pretty good message.

I asked them how many of them used it? The answer was no one, I asked why not to shrugs. I thought the message had real power in the current climate and leveraged the shop local message. I told them that it was a message they should be pushing across all their marketing channels. I discussed the use of social events around your Practice some time ago in an article called, Community as a commercial strategy,

I was pleased to find in one of the workshops that a practice owner had come up with the same idea. They were running a monthly social event around the Practice. Some of the events would have a theme such as Tinnitus or medical or technical advances whilst others were purely social events. They felt that the startegy was really paying off for them, driving loyalty and referrals.

So in synopsis, a good time was had, no one threw fruit, I didn’t get scrumpy Jack’d up, I learnt some new stuff and I hope I brought real value to some of the attendees. Now I just have to lobby BSHAA and Triple A for an invite and we are off!

Regards

Geoff

About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

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