As we were writing the previous post, the subject came up about conversations with people where inevitably the “let me tell you what happened to…” stories come out. Let us assure you that digital marketers get just as many, if not more, of those stories too. It is truly unfair that human nature tends to paint businesses with the same brush of bad experiences, and this colors many people’s perceptions of reviews and reputation management as well. So, how do you, or can you, turn negative stories into something positive and even create a sales opportunity? Let’s take a minute extra to explore this.

In our experience, there are two ways to deal with these situations and turn them for good. You should spend time preparing for whichever one suits your style and business best. Both of these methods involve taking over, and controlling, the conversation on this topic. You can also head off “advice” questions with a similar approach. Whatever the scenario, the conversation should end with “give me a call or reach out and make an appointment or I’ll tell you what to look for.” In this way, you either get a potential customer or at least changed the narrative in your favor so they may look at your business differently the next time.

Method one involves asking them questions about the experience that steer them toward what good experiences should look like. As an example, not all Chiropractors do x-rays first but the successful ones have proven that x-rays help the doctor to see the extent of sublixations of the spine better, and give customers a frame of referrence on what needs to happen. When the experiences turn up about a Chiro just started cracking backs you can then ask if they were x-rayed first and how the conversation went afterward. This leads to the ultimate “I always get x-rays of patients so I know what I’m dealing with, then I discuss it with them openly and honestly teaching them about what I see and why so it becomes a group decision.” From that point, you are educating these people and controlling the conversation as well as establishing expertise and perhaps gaining a consultation because of it.

Method 2 is similar but involves you telling stories about consultations that went right. Keep two or three stories in your mind, changing the names if appropriate, about treatments or appointments that went well and their results. Just a couple of those stories, coming after the negative stories from others, will leave a lasting impact that people may reference later recalling the outcome. You then control that narrative and leave people to doubt the bad story. Controlling the conversation here is just as important to steer things back to a good outcome.

Spend time working on stories or a few questions before they come up in social situations. Then, find a quick way to have an outcome that will help you such as a quick way to get to an appointment booking, a real business card, or a QR Code on your phone, so you can act while the good will is in play. If you need help with this, or other, strategies for success, spend about 20 minutes with us in a Discovery Session and let us turn your negative experiences about marketing around.