Looking to Increase Patient Volume? Plan A Red-Hot Practice Sales Pitch
By Pam Cummings
Good news! Your marketing outreach is yielding results and the opportunities and inquiries are flowing in. Now is the time to make sure you and your staff have a solid strategy in place to convert these leads into patients. Here are six pitch strategies to grow your practice.
MAKE SURE YOU GET TO THE POINT QUICKLY
You may be tempted to kick things off with an introduction to the practice, your background and the experience of your staff, etc. This may seem like a good way to establish credibility and build trust with your prospect, but it can be a turn-off and distract from your goal — to convert this prospect to a patient or referral relationship. Instead, come up with a brief one- or two-minute elevator pitch that captures all this information. In today’s information age, it is likely that your prospect has already done some initial vetting of you on-line.
REMEMBER, IT’S REALLY NOT ABOUT YOU
Your prospect is coming to you for a reason — they have some pain point or goal that they are trying to address. Don’t jump in right away with information about you, your practice and its capabilities. People like to talk about themselves, so give your prospect the time to tell their story at their own pace. Allowing the prospect this time goes a long way toward relationship building.
UNDERSTAND THEIR NEEDS
The best thing you can do during your sales pitch is to not talk, and instead, listen. Don’t get caught up in planning your response; just listen and get a true understanding of your prospect’s needs. Be engaged, ask clarifying questions, and remember to look for the underlying emotional need — people rarely make decisions relying solely on facts.
MAKE SURE TO FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS, NOT THE FEATURES
Now that you understand the prospect’s needs, you can confidently address how you are best suited to provide the solution. As you do this, it is important to connect the dots for the prospect so they truly understand how a feature of your practice will be of benefit to them. This will make for a more compelling message and be far more persuasive. Plus, it will drive the point home that you really understand the prospect and what they need.
PUT ON A SHOW
Having a prospect experience something first-hand and come to their own conclusion is a more powerful sales tool than telling them. Invite prospects in so they can experience the energy of your clinic firsthand, meet the team, and even try out some of the equipment. This can be accomplished as successfully with some well thought out video content as well.
CLOSING IS A PROCESS, NOT A STEP
It is important to remember that there are a number of conversion points that go into the sales process. While it would be great if everyone who visited your website just called in to schedule an appointment, it is not realistic. More often than not there will be a number of steps in the journey; your job is to make sure the prospect keeps moving forward.
Whether your sales efforts are business-to-business or business-to-customer, take the time to map out what the journey down the sales funnel will look like and plan your tactics accordingly. For example, a next step for a prospect who calls in for information may be to schedule a tour or come in for an evaluation. With a prospective physician partnership, you may try to close on something light first, like allowing both of your office managers to speak to see if there is alignment with accepted insurance payors. Each step will get you closer to your ultimate goal of winning the business!
Pam Cummings is the senior director, business development for Association Headquarters. She has more than 20 years of sales and marketing leadership experience in the healthcare industry.