Hot Dog!…Get your hot dog!
This article highlights how we, as healthcare professionals, are salespeople. Some points I don’t agree with and others I would take a step further. Enjoy!
- “Be patient: ‘the purpose of a pitch…is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the other person in as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you’.”
I reminisce about my few marketing experiences that have produced major referrals. In one instance, I (there were three of us, but I did a majority of the talking) was sitting in front of a medical group (around 12 physicians) and just gave my pitch. It was great! Those that know me, know that I can be verbose and a salesperson…especially when it comes to back pain. It just so happens that it was my opportunity to tout our clinics greatness when it comes to treating back pain. I was writing checks that my a$$ couldn’t cash at the time, but in the end it worked out so well that we have more patients than we can handle.
- “Be present: Be in the moment in your encounter”
This holds true for every encounter throughout the day. This doesn’t apply just to “the sell”. My patients can tell when I was up late writing…like tonight. I just don’t have the same sharpness that I normally do. I try to be in the moment as much as possible and do my best to clear my head during the workday by taking a nature walk in the short time I have for swallowing my meal. Do what you have to do to make the person in front of you feel like the only person alive.
- “Be prepared: Physicians are just like everyone else, and they typically love to discuss things like football, golf, and pop culture.”
Look…I disagree with this to my very heart. If I have to learn about how Taylor Swift broke up with her latest boyfriend…(this statement seems to be timeless throughout the years)…in order to have a conversation, then I consider myself a failure. If I can’t make my topic of interest so compelling that I can keep the physician’s interest, then I need to work on my knowledge or performance of my knowledge. I go a little different direction with be prepared. Know so much about your topic that the other person actually learns something that can be helpful to your audience. If I provide a physician with information that can help his patients…I have physicians now call my personal cell phone for a quick phone consult…then I will have done a good enough job to have that physician’s trust to send me patients.
- “Ask questions” Referring to personal questions.
I don’t look to this as selling, instead this is simply “not being a douche”. I know as much about my referrals as they want me to know. I don’t pry, but I don’t shy away from a “normal” conversation either. Be real…be you…and if you are a douche…act like someone else.
- “Be cool: …this is a way to show off your bedside manner”
Again see number 4. I thought that this point was redundant.
- “Be punctual: Which really means, be early.”
Again, this goes back to not being a douche. If someone takes the time out of his/her day to meet with you, in order to further your agenda, at least be respectful of his/her time. I’ve heard that in the military if you are 10 minutes early, then you are late…but if you are 15 minutes early, you are on time. Take this to heart.
- “Be human: Give them a chance to highlight their accomplishments or current work they are doing.”
I don’t know how much I agree with this, especially for the first encounter. I would be just as happy to say hello…My name is movementthinker and here’s my card. If there is anything that I can do to assist you with a problem or if you have a patient that has tried everything else…give me 3-5 visits to prove myself. Wow them!
- “Be awesome: …always point out the things that you have that no one else has”
I think that this is a very superficial definition of awesome. Writ a check that you will difficulty cashing! Make statements that you will have trouble backing up. Push yourself to be better by putting pressure on yourself to get better. You had better live up to the hype though. If you can’t cash the check…don’t bother even having the discussion. As a matter of fact, if you can’t cash the check…go listen to the following:
Entreleadership, Spartan up, PT insiders, the Tim Ferriss podcast.
- “ Do your homework: Find out where they went to school, where they did their residency, and most importantly what their Starbucks preference is”
This is infuriating! Drug reps sell drugs to physicians, but really they are just the closer. The commercials pitched the entire game and the lunches, “business trips” and other perks are acting as the Mariano Rivera of drug sales. I would rather find a good starter and have them pitch the entire game. When I need a closer, I will look into it. Give me a Nolan Ryan over Kid K. I will be advertising…no…selling to the patients. They are the ones that make the health care decisions, because as time moves on…they will be the ones paying out of pocket. I will give value.
- “The most important ingredient we put into any relationship is not what we say or what we do, but what we are.” Taken from Stephen Covey.
I have had many conversations with private practice owners and this seems to be the overarching message. Provide good care, be a good person and allow the patients to see that. The attitude of “if you build it, they will come” no longer applies in healthcare. I take pride in the fact that patient’s refer me friends and families, I will take my attitude towards providing service to whatever avenue life brings.
Quotes taken from:
Lee A. Top Ten Tips: Selling strategies for the nonsalesperson physical therapist. IMPACT. April 2016: 63-64.