If you’ve been following this 5-step series on sales (for PTs who HATE selling) you’re probably ready to get down to it – let’s make the sale already!
And that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article – converting the sale.
To recap, we’re in part 4 of our 5-part series on selling, the steps for which are:
Awareness. Before all else, the target of your sales efforts must know you exist.
Engagement. Once aware, you must engage their interest, or be forgotten.
Education. Once engaged, you have the opportunity to share your value through education.
Conversion. Once educated, you can comfortably make “the ask,” converting the sale.
Amplification. Once the sale is made, you can now amplify sales through new relationships.
First, we discussed Awareness, acknowledging that before we can sell to someone, they have to know we exist. Awareness is where it all starts. Click here to read about Awareness. [Link to article #1]
Next, we discussed Engagement and I shared a set of tips for embedding yourself in conversation with both the community at large as well as your professional referral sources. Click here to read about Engagement. [Link to article #2]
Last issue, we discussed Education – something PTs are inherently good at – and how to leverage this strength as a critical part of the sales process. Click here to learn about Education. [Link to article #3]
This month, we’re going beyond the setup phase of selling (steps 1-3) in which we prepare our sales target to be open to the possibility of doing business with us, and we’re actually making “the ask.” Will you trust me with your body – your patient, your family member?
During this step – conversion – we are changing the relationship. We have to be clear about this. While it will always pay to remain engaging and educational, the conversion is about crossing the line – being clear and to the point. “I want you to do business with me.”
Believe in yourself.
When converting the sale, you are cutting through the fluff and using your awareness, engagement and education to ask someone to trust you. If you don’t first trust yourself, you’ve already lost.
This may sound obvious, but I see it time and again – PTs second guess their value. Sure, we think WE are worth what we charge our clients – but will THEY think we are worth it? We know WE are the best in our area, but do THEY? We know WE can change the lives of those who enter our clinics, but will THEY believe me when I tell them this?
The answer to every question must be “yes.” If it’s not, you’re not ready to sell.
You absolutely, entirely, must believe in yourself before you can ask someone else to believe in you. If you don’t have 100% confidence in this, don’t make the ask – you’re not ready. Even if you get the words out right, they’ll read it in your face, they’ll hear it in your voice. When converting the sale there can be no doubt that what you are asking someone else to buy, you’d buy yourself.
If you truly believe in yourself, this part is going to be easy – just be honest.
As PTs, we have the compassion gene. We care about people. We want the world to be a better place. We love the power that movement plays as a conduit to happiness. Using this part of our DNA during the sale both keeps us sincere and effective as we attempt to influence the behavior of the person we are selling to.
“Darren, I care about you buddy. Your back pain doesn’t seem to be getting better on its own and this is not something you need to be living with for months on end.”
“Karen, I’m worried about your mom falling at home. I know it hasn’t happened yet, but there’s no reset button to press after it happens. Balance training is something that can help your mom.”
“Dr. Moore, I’m concerned about the incidence of undiagnosed incontinence – much of the time patients are too embarrassed to talk about this kind of thing on their own. I want to help get the word out for the benefit of your patients and our community.”
Being honest is about taking the conversation to a clear, sincere jumping off point where you can discuss your solution to the problem at hand.
Make ‘the ask.’
The moment of truth has arrived…but it’s really not that big of a deal. You’ve laid the groundwork and this part will come naturally.
Here, you’re going to clearly articulate what you want to see happen. You’ve set the stage and led your prospect to a place where they know you, like you, trust you, and can hear the sincerity in your voice. Now you’re going to simply ask them what you’d like them to do.
“Darren, I want you to call my office tomorrow and make an appointment. It typically takes a few days to get on my schedule, but I want you to tell the front desk that I’ve asked you to make an appointment for no later than Thursday – they’ll get you in.”
“Karen, let me get your phone number and I’m going to have my office call you to schedule an appointment with your mom. We can’t let this go – she needs to be seen before a fall occurs.”
“Dr. Moore, I’d like to put together an educational pamphlet for your office that discusses incontinence and how it can be treated with physical therapy. With your input, this could be a great way of getting the word out. I can get something to you by next week – can I swing by your office to review on Friday so we can get this to press before the end of the month?”
Done correctly, converting the sale should be a high percentage shot you’re taking from close to the rim. It’s not a half-court shot at the buzzer. You should be converting the majority of clients that get to this point, and to whom you deliver a clear and compelling request. You know me, you like me, I can help you, come see me.
Next time, we’ll wrap up our series and talk about one of the most exciting, fulfilling and lucrative aspects of selling – amplifying your sales through those you’ve converted.
Until then, find me online at @tannusquatre or firstname.lastname@example.org. Shoot me your best pitch and I’ll let you know if your shot goes in.
Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, is a physical therapist and entrepreneur dedicated to improving the profession through innovative business and marketing solutions. His work can be seen in such projects as PT Pub Night® and BuildPT.com, as well as through numerous speaking and authored contributions to APTA and PPS. He is president of Vantage Clinical Solutions and can be reached at email@example.com.