Offering Products in Client Care
We often hear from private practice clinic owners that they’re frustrated because their practitioners don’t sell products or sell enough products as part of a patient’s care.
It’s very common for practitioners to avoid ‘selling’ products because they’re not comfortable or confident in the process.
You’re probably frustrated because as a clinic owner your always looking for new and better ways to serve your clients whilst also trying to grow your clinic profitably.
Sometimes I’m sure you find it hard to wrestle with the fact that you’re a health care practitioner and a business owner yourself, the dynamics of making money while helping better get better is delicate.
The most common reason why health professionals don’t sell products in client care is that there is no structure or system to follow.
At the end of the day, we want to get better clinical outcomes by offering clients quality products and services as part of the best client care recommendation.
What you need to do to effectively implement a system for selling products is start by facilitating a discussion about:
- Why products feature in a client’s care
- How you can educate, invite, offer and enrol client’s into using your products
- What to do and say so that you deliver the right product at the right time
In this article we’ll cover exactly how you can train your Admin and Practitioners so that they can confidently offer products to clients as part of their care plan without feeling salesy, pushy or unethical.
By following this approach to products in clients care, your patients will understand you and your practitioners will respect you.
8 Reasons Why to ‘Sell’ Products As Part Of Your Client Care Plan
If you are going to engage and align your team to offer and sell products to clients then you must communicate why it’s important.
Selling is a foreign term and a frightening idea to most health practitioners, so you need to carefully educate them before you ‘ask’ them to do it.
When your practitioners understand the role of products, services as part of their best recommendation for the client, then it will make the process much easier.
The aim is for you and your practitioners to help a client get better quicker and stay that way for longer.
Products are a great way for clients to help themselves stay better from the comfort of their own home.
Here are a list of reason that you can use when communicating the importance of products in client care to your team.
1 of 8: Client’s Deserve Your Best Recommendation – You Are The Trusted Advisor
Your duty of care is to first provide the best recommendation (services and products) based on the client’s health condition/problem or challenge.
It should not be based on what you believe they can afford.
Affordability (time and money) can always be discussed and considered after you have outlined your best care plan.
Remember, any compromise in the plan is a compromise in the client’s health and of your professional standards.
2 of 8: Client’s Deserve Value – Anticipate & Meet Their Needs
As an advisor you should seek to provide more value to each client than anybody else.
If you want to stand out in the crowded market, you should anticipate your clients needs and look for new and better ways to serve them now and into the future.
This is includes offering the best products, services and experiences.
3 fo 8: Client’s Deserve Your Care – Guide Your Clients in Their Health
Clients already have like-ability, trust and rapport with you because you are the health authority and guiding figure for them.
That means they are willing to accept your advice and offers.
In fact, that is what they really want, your best guidance for their health.
It’s not a sale if you realise that it is just an extension of your professional service and representation of your best care.It’s not a sale if you realise that it is just an extension of your professional service and representation of your best care. Click To Tweet
4 fo 8: Client’s Deserve Respect For Their Time – Make It Easy For Them
Time is precious and by offering the products and services together as a package you make the experience convenient.
Client’s shouldn’t have to spend more time and effort to go to another location, store or sales warehouse to get the services or products that they need.
You should make it easy for them by providing client’s the ability to get what they need at the time of their appointment.
5 of 8: Clients Experience Better Health Outcomes – They Can Be More Independent
There is a great opportunity to improve client health between appointments.
If clients can take control of their own health outcomes by doing home activities, exercises or rehabilitation processes using your products then they can maintain or even optimise their state of healing and wellbeing.
6 of 8: Clients Need The Right Advice At The Right Time – Nurture Them Through Their Journey
Receiving guidance on using products and services is going to be more accurately tailored to the client if the caring practitioner is offering it, because you understand their health problem/injury/sickness etc.
In fact, it’s common for client’s health to stall or go backwards if they are subjected to external services or products from providers who are not familiar with the client’s condition.
Clients can be poorly advised about the use of products or services they need, like in the case of receiving products from retail assistants, not health professionals.
7 of 8: Clients Can Experience Better Services and Products
Product sales boost business income, allowing clinic owners to reinvest the capital into client care.
- Invest in better client products (increase volume, create variety, boost quality, etc)
- Invest in better client services (training team, client resource development, better facilities or equipment, etc)
- Invest in the client experiences (personalisation, aesthetics, entertainment, etc)
8 of 8: Private Practices Can Differentiate Themselves To Stand Out In The Market
Don’t commoditise your clinic.
Provide more than price and convenience by packaging your products and services in memorable way.
See yourself as more than a transactional ‘therapist’ and position yourself as the place that helps their clients live better throughout their life.
Please Note: Generating more income is simply the result of providing more value to your clients and community. Making money is not the front line focus, it’s just a measurable way of how much value you are providing (value being better products, services and experiences).
Offer & Sell Products At The Right Time
Im sure you’d appreciate that there is a learning process involved with any new skill like ‘selling’.
The best way to learn, is to break down the individual components, just like this;
Step 1 of 4: Learn About The Product
- Who and What is the product for (condition, sickness, injury, outcome, demographic etc)
- Why would we select and use this product over others (other brand, styles or approaches)
- Features of product – details of its components or differences
- Benefits of product – what those features mean for the user/client
Step 2 of 4: Experience The Product
- Allow your team (Admin and practitioners) to experience and use the products you offer so that they can understand how the product feels, works and transforms them before and after use.
Step 3 of 4: Product Positioning Statement
- Get the team to explain how the product made them feel.
- Then ask, if you felt that way, what would that mean you could do, be and have?
- Identify the top 1-3 transformations (feelings) created by the product, then correlate what that means for the user/client.
- Train your team on how to offer, invite, introduce products and services to clients in a clear and relatable way with a simple script or template by articulating the above step.
Example product positioning statement for a Spikey Ball (foot roller)
Feature – Spikey surface
Benefit – increases blood flow to sole of foot
Transformation – feel lighter and freer
Meaning – walk more comfortably
Allowing – enjoy sunset beach walks with your husband
Novelty – it’s like having your own massage therapist
Step 4 of 4: Offer, Invite, Enrol and Sell Products to Clients
- Passively offer the product by displaying it in key clinic areas or advertising it to your clients through communication channels or points.
- Actively offer the product to clients by engaging with them about it during consultations.
What to Do & Say When You Offer & Sell Products
When offering a product to a client, we should always engage them in a personal way.
Here’s how you can offer, invite, enrol and sell products in client care.
Identify client’s health problems through questions
- Uncover their frustrations, limitations or challenges that the client is having.
- What are they missing out on because of their current health status and what does it mean for the client (what is the impact for them).
- Repeat the problems back to client to show understanding.
Introduce the product to the client
- Run through the ‘Product Positioning Statement’ – tailor to the problem of the client as best as possible.
Use the product with the client
- In the appointment demonstrate the product on yourself and allow the the client to experience it.
Offer the client the product with risk reversal
- “What i recommend is that you take this (product) and use it between now and our next session. The fee for (product) is ($fee). If you don’t think its helping you with (insert health problem) then i will buy it back off of you next time”.
Finish with anecdote or client story with product included
- Most of my clients have said…
- I use the (product) and…
- (name) at the front desk says…
6 Golden Rules To Follow When You Offer & Sell Products
- Products should only be offered to clients if it is in the client’s best interest and is part of the best healthcare recommendation plan, including reviews of product use and efficacy.
- You must believe in the product you are offering.
- Your Admin team will likely be your biggest sales people especially if the products are in a central area like reception because they are more obvious and able to converse about them.
- Support your products with client resources for best practice. For example, instructional guides and video demonstrations links.
- Quality products are always worth investing in. Clients will appreciate that there is no substitute for quality. While the price may be initially cheaper elsewhere, what is the real cost to the client, because quality and endurance of well designed products is where value comes in long term.
- Risk reversal is important – “If it doesn’t work, I will buy it back off you”…It shows confidence in what you are providing.
4 Reasons Why Practitioners Don’t Offer & Sell Products
As Steven Covey would say, “You should seek to understand and then be understood”.
You should find out why your practitioners are not selling products and then help educate them with the reasons and rationale (steps) above.
Here are the top reasons that we see for why practitioners don’t sell products.
- Forget to do it, it’s not front of mind
- Didn’t have time in the session
- Feel ‘salesy’, pushy or unethical
- Didn’t know how to pitch it to the client
Product Positioning Statement
This statement is designed to help you deliver a consistent message to clients, especially if you have a team.
The outcome for using this statement is that the client receives the best product for their health and that they understand why that is.
As always, I’d suggest that you go through the exercise and then tailor it so better reflect ‘your style’.
There is no, ‘one-size-fits-all’ for this process. We just wanted to give you a foundation to start with.
Here is a quick example of how to go about it:
|Spikey ball |
|Figure eight shape||Entire sole of foot is massaged|
|Spikey surface||Increases blood flow to sole of foot|
|Before using Product||After using Product|
|What do you Have?||Stiff cold foot||Warm pliable foot|
|What do you Feel?||Older, frustrated||Lighter, freer, confident, younger, comfortable|
|What does that feeling Mean?||I hobble and cringe||Walk more comfortably|
|What does that meaning allow or not allow for you?||Missout on quality time with my husband||Enjoy sunset beach walks with my husband|
|Novelty||It’s like having your own massage therapist… |
or, it’s like getting a spring in your step.
As a health professional, you actually have to ‘sell’ yourself every day…
You have to ‘sell’ your clients on the fact that you can help them and that they can trust you to care for them.
You just don’t think of it as ‘selling’.
So what you need to do is position products as one element of your ‘sale’ to a client which is actually just a representation of your best recommendation for their health. (products, services or otherwise)
Selling products and selling your services (in the form of a treatment plan) should be seen as one thing.
That one thing, is about helping clients get better quicker and stay that way for longer.
As part of our Business Academy we help clinic owners just like you to implement the systems and structures they need to better nurture clients through their journey.
If you’re looking to grow your clinic, you can start your journey with use here.
Until next time;
Live with Passion and Serve with Care