Thirty One years ago when we first started consulting healthcare professionals, the words “sales” and “selling” were almost swear words. Seriously! Some doctors would get angry at us for even mentioning those words in relation to their patients and their health care. We had to say “treatment plan acceptance” and so on to go around the sales word.
In those days and even closer to the present, doctors were educated in college that they are NOT a business … they are a healthcare provider. Therefore sales was a bad word because it was a “business” word.
Factually, healthcare practitioners who own a practice DO own a business. You have rent or a mortgage to pay, staff to pay, equipment to buy and pay for, taxes to pay, personal income to earn and live on, etc. And you have a service to deliver. That is exactly and precisely what a business is.
This does NOT mean that you are a profit seeking maniac and will do anything possible to make a patient or client go ahead with a service they don’t need just so that you can line your pockets with lots of bucks. Nothing could be further from the truth in a properly run healthcare practice.
What is your goal?
Firstly, realize that your goal is to give your patient or client the most perfect service that you are trained to do and ensure you give them the care they deserve to have. Furthermore, in an ideal world everyone deserves to have the best possible treatment, whether they be a king or a pauper or somewhere in the middle class. Not everyone can afford to go ahead with the best possible treatment plan but you cannot prejudge and play God and guess who will want the best or not and who will find a way to do the best (or not). So you must present it to them.
Education is a sales tool
Having the correct “tools” to properly educate the patient on their ideal care and on how to arrive at the patient choosing to do the best possible treatment is ALL that sales is. You have to handle their concerns, considerations, understanding of the process and look at the consequences of not going ahead with the ideal care. It takes work with many patients or clients. Don’t forget … they are not trained in your profession and neither do they necessarily want to be, but they DO need enough information to make the right decision for themselves. And that is what sales is all about.
So, yes, sale IS a 4 letter word, the same as CARE is a 4 letter word. It is simply helping the patient or client accept and go ahead with the ideal care they deserve to have. It is about caring enough on your part to help them get there.
Do well, for the patient or client’s sake!