This past month we formed several new exciting partnerships which we’ll be launching in 2016. During all of my conversations about how to launch or introduce these technologies, products and services to our members, we’ve been confronted with the question of “How do we make our members more successful in SELLING or using these products?” Well, that’s the million dollar question isn’t it?
When an aesthetic medical practice buys a device or product, their vendor should look at the SALE as only the first step of the transaction (so should the practice). Frequently, I hear members complain that they purchased a $100,000 device only to find out that the minute they signed on the dotted line, they never heard from their sales rep again. While this is unfortunately common, this is a perfect example of what a sales rep should NOT do if they want to keep that medical practice happy and earn referrals and testimonials.
As a result of this ‘stunted’ sales process (as I like to call it), practices are finding that their investments are not paying off.
For those reps AND practices that look at the sales process in a different way, here are five tips to ensure your new investments are always ‘winners’:
- POST-SALES SUPPORT. When considering adding a new technology, treatment or product to your practice, ask about post-sales support. If the vendor does not have an established training plan and ongoing marketing support for your practice, how can you expect to successfully integrate and promote the device to both your staff AND your patients?
- I can’t stress the importance of training for ALL of your staff members. Often, I speak to vendors who explain that they will train only the nurse or physician to perform a procedure…and that’s the extent of their training. This is NOT enough! Everyone in your office needs to be educated on what type of product/treatment you’re offering, how it works, what kind of results it produces and how much it costs a patient. If a patient asks anyone in your office about it, they’ll always receive an educated answer (no matter who they ask in your office).
- FOCUS ON THE FRONT. When we mention the importance of training all of your staff, remember that the most important way to convert patients is by having someone skilled at your front desk. If ANYONE should know about every treatment, product and procedure you offer, it is this person. Your front desk employee(s) fields calls from dozens of prospective patients on a daily basis. By ensuring that your front desk is well versed in everything you have to offer you will exponentially increase your chances of getting a patient in for a consultation. As a patient myself, there is nothing more deterring than calling a medical practice and getting an “I don’t know,” when asking about treatments.
- BRAND CHAMPION(S). Does your aesthetic medical practice have a ‘brand champion’ for everything you sell? I’ve often seen a practice incorporate a new service into their business only to find that while everyone knows about the new product/technology, nobody is passionate enough to talk about it. While training and education is critical for everyone in your practice (as I’ve mentioned twice now), it is just as important to find someone in your practice that is excited about the new offering and will ACTIVELY share their enthusiasm and knowledge with your patients.
- USE YOUR REP! A good sales rep will sell you a device and follow up to see how it’s working in your office. A GREAT rep will follow up with you regularly and assist you with converting patients and developing sales! Use your rep to host a party to promote your new product or treatment—your rep should be willing to help you do this! As with most treatments today, products and consumables represent ongoing revenue opportunities…the more you sell, the more profitable you (and your rep) become. Sales reps are business people; they know that if you’re successful, they’re successful! Take advantage of this.
- OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND. Have you ever wondered why some practices have a number of devices that seem to collect dust in one of their treatment rooms? If could be because there are better devices on the market. OR, it could be because the practice simply stopped ACTIVELY promoting the treatment. Placing products on a shelf in the reception area or displaying treatments in brochures at the front desk are simply NOT enough to pique a patient’s interest. This goes back to my original message—just because you added a new treatment to your offering, doesn’t mean patients are going to want it. To successfully sell a product or treatment, you have to create a paradigm shift in the minds of your patients. Ultimately, you want to create a demand for YOUR products and treatments…you want patients to ask YOU for these treatments. You can do this by continually reinforcing your new offerings at the front desk (during intake or reception) during the consultation, and in follow-up consults. You should also have a comprehensive marketing program to ensure that your entire patient base knows about your product/service portfolio. Awareness = Interest = Sales.
What’s that jingle on TV? ”The More You Know…” They have a point.
Jamie Parrott, President