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Give Them a Reason

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By Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

We need to make sense of our lives.

This applies to all the lofty “I have a purpose” and “my search for meaning” kind of things, but it also applies to the mundane. The daily. The actions we take at each turn of our lives.

And it especially applies when we buy.

Whether buying a new car, a cup of coffee, or a session of physical therapy, the basic motivation that makes us say “Yes, I’m in” is a reason to buy.

Also known as our excuse, rationale, or need, the reason behind the buying decision is one that, if understood and presented in a way that makes sense to them, will convince customers to buy.

A few examples:

I’m a practical guy. I don’t need a lot of flash. When I buy a car, I’m looking for practical things: safety, utility, reliability, and price. The latest and greatest features, while interesting, are not my reason for buying. The cars I’ve bought are models I’ve found a reason to purchase that is in line with the criteria important to me.

Not everyone operates on the same set of criteria, however. Some are drawn to the deal. If they can find something that’s half-priced, that reason alone may spark interest. This type of consumer needs to be shown the discount in order to buy.

Depending on the nature of the good or service being purchased, the reason that prompts the buy can also live within the sales process itself. The trust and relationship found in the seller can be a compelling reason for some to buy. Physical therapy likely finds itself in this category more often than not.

When you offer your services, are you giving a reason to buy? Here are some tips that you might want to try in your practice:

  • Reason = scarcity. Customers will sometimes decide to purchase because they may miss out on the buying opportunity if they don’t act fast. Limited seating within a class session is a good example of leveraging scarcity.
  • Reason = likability. I really like this one, and believe it to be of one the most powerful tools used when selling physical therapy services. We form relationships with our patients over multiple sessions (or weeks or months), so likability matters. Also, as you and I are the one thing that can never be totally copied, it’s also a distinct competitive advantage if applied correctly. Be likable in your unique way, and for that reason alone build your following.
  • Reason = simplicity. Physical therapy is often difficult for our customers to understand. Make services easy to comprehend by packaging up services into programs or solutions. A “Back to Life” core stability program, for example, may appeal to your customers’ need to simply understand that you can help them.

There are infinite reasons people buy. The key is not to use them all but to select the ones that matter to your customers. Dissect the reasons your customers buy and put them front and center. Give people the reasons that make sense to them. You’ll be amazed at how well it works.

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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.