Engage, Then Sell

By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

Though I was not standing beside you, I know something about the last time you bought something. You were engaged in the sale before you pulled the trigger.

You might have been engaged in the product itself and thought, “I really need a super-expensive name brand coffee right now,” and you might have been engaged by a convincing salesperson to whom you just could not say no: “I guess I really do need an extra set of knives right now.” Either way, you were engaged.

Let’s use the example of purchasing a car from a salesperson. Even the best salesperson cannot sell to you unless one of two things happen:

  1. The first is that you know what kind of car you want to buy and what you are willing to pay. You are engaged in the vehicle or product itself. Something, somewhere caught your attention and convinced you that this was the car for you. You are engaged, and now you will buy.
  2. The second is that you make a friend. Once you are a friend, anything can happen. A friend cares about you. They listen to you. And they can influence you. If I am a friend—even one you just met—my chances of selling you on an idea (“buy from me” included) is enhanced dramatically. If a friend engages you, you will also buy.

Now think of your marketing efforts—especially those that do not work. Do they not work because you do not offer value? Not a chance. Do they not work because you do not know how to sell yourself? I also doubt that. Do they not work because you are trying to sell before you have engaged your audience? Think about it and let me know.

Chances are good that when marketing is not going your way, you are not adequately engaging before trying to make the sale. And this can turn away even the most valuable of clients.


Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA, lives at the intersection of physical therapy and entrepreneurship, spending his time helping physical therapists build and operate successful practices through his company, Vantage Clinical Solutions. He specializes in marketing, finance, and business planning, and authors and speaks regularly for the APTA and PPS. He can be reached at tannus@vantageclinicalsolutions.com.

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