For reasons that appear to rooted in our sub-conscious, the phrase “to sell” evokes a negative emotion. In an attempt to make it more palatable in our profession we refer to the process as “a consultation”, “an evaluation” or any number of other equally and occasionally interesting terms.
If your objective is charity work, then give hearing aids away for free. However if you aren’t independently wealthy as a hearing healthcare professional you typically have to sell hearing aids to make money. You can have the best marketing program on the planet, but if 8 out of 10 people who come through your door leave with out buying anything, you won’t be in business very long.
To sell, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means to persuade another to recognize the worth or desirability of something. Too often the belief is that the product, whatever the product is and the attributes of the product should be all it takes to buy the product.
Wrong, customers buy with their emotions long before the rational part of their brain kicks in. While that’s easy to understand when it comes to some products (clothing, cars, weight loss programs and creams that remove wrinkles), it’s true of everything that you buy.
The sales process for any product can be very complicated. Many factors are involved. But more often than not its because everyone from the person who answers the phone to the person who checks you out understands that they are selling the patient. They are persuading the patient to choose your office for their hearing healthcare needs.
- Yes it was a great idea to call us.
- Yes, we’re so happy you came for your appointment today.
- Yes, we’re on time and happy to see you.
- We’re sad you’re leaving today but you’ll be back to see us again in a few weeks.
Every so often really listen to and watch how your staff interacts with your patients. Do they really grasp that the patient is the customer and the customer is the reason they have a job? Or do they act annoyed because the customer interrupted whatever task they were in the middle of?
It may sound corny, but from a patient’s perspective this is going to go one of two ways. I’m sold or I walk. It makes more sense to make sure that every step along the way gives the patient one more reason to say yes instead of one more reason to say no.