Doctors of chiropractic generally are attracted to the profession from a desire to heal others. The majority of DCs we come into contact with say they were attracted to chiropractic because they saw it as a way to “make a difference” in the world and truly “heal” people. There are all different kinds of DCs – with varying philosophies – but the majority see themselves as healers.
That is why some DCs have a problem with selling products in their practice. We often hear, “But I am a healer, not a salesman.” “Salesman” are the guys down at the corner at the car lot. They “sell” people. DCs are there to heal and make us feel better, in less pain. Many do not feel it is their job to “hawk” products. It makes them feel cheap and uncomfortable.
How many of us are not “in sales?”
Many of us do not have the title of a salesman, but does that really mean we are not in sales, at all? Fact is, almost every one of us is in sales in same shape or form. No? How about these jobs?
CEO. Not in sales? Don’t bet on it. CEO’s have to instill confidence in their teammates that they have a good plan. No one can dive into their work if they don’t believe in the master plan. A CEO has to see him or herself and know that they know what they are doing. They must SELL themselves and their game plan.
Manager. Same as above. If the employees under the manager don’t believe their boss knows what he is doing, then they will be uninspired and the opposite of – what all employees want – which is in the mindset of “taking initiative.”
Artist. This may seem like a stretch, but, at the end of the day, they must influence people to feel their work is worth paying for. (Unfortunately, people often come around to valuing their work after the artist has passed away. Not much “selling” from them at that point, other than the work they already did.) But if you have attended viewings at art galas you will often notice the artists themselves, out in front of their work, and, yes - in their own way – selling the value for their paintings or what not.
MD. Whether it be a case of a general MD or a surgeon, these docs do indeed sell. If the patients doesn’t feel confident a surgeon knows what they are doing, will they go on with the surgery? How about the general MD; what are they selling? How about drugs? They confidently write out the “sale” on a prescription pad, but they are selling, none the less.
Mom. Yes, I wrote “mom.” Does she not have to sell her agenda to the kids and the dad? She may not always get her way 100% of the time (depending on the relationship), but she has an opinion on how the household should be run, how the kids should be raised, schooled, what sports they should be allowed to do, etc. Is it time for a new car, a vacation, house project or stashing away some money for the kids college tuition? Mom will sell which direction she feels the family should go (and dad too, sometimes.)
Your patients come to you for your expertise!
This is what you do. Your patients rely on your professional opinion for their health, including directing them to the best products, whether it be the right pillow or nutritional supplements. They could go to Wal-Mart and buy the cheapest memory foam pillow they have, or they could listen to your expert advice on the best pillow for their condition, size, etc. Who exactly benefits from you not suggesting the best options for your patients? Them? No. You? No. No only are you keeping yourself from some extra revenue buy keeping mum, but you are also depriving your patients the best possible wellness level and losing an opportunity for that people to create more business by, A.) Reminding your patient, on a daily basis, where they got that pillow that changed their life, and, B.) The opportunity for your patient to tell their friends about their love for their new pillow, which obvious leads to them also telling them where they got it. And, whammo, just like that, you might have some new patients walking through your door.
Many of us do not have the title of a salesman, but does that really mean we are not in sales, at all?
I’m still not a salesman
OK, you’ve read the above and still feel like you can’t muster up mentioning various products for your patients to buy, even though you know they would improve your patients’ conditions and lives? That’s all right. You don’t have to become Zig Ziglar or Ron Popeil overnight. There are some procedures that assist those who may be a bit shy about suggesting products for purchase.
1.)Hand out literature at patient sign in. This will cause the patient to ask you or the CA about the product.
2.)Have signage and kiosk information visible. This will also create an environment where they ask you about the products.
3.)Create a environment where the staff can offer first- or second-hand stories about the product helped them or family members. Nothing is more effective than the CA telling a patient about how their support pillow made their mom’s beck pain go away and delivered her restless nights of sleep, etc.
4.)Use your own version of prescription pad. Matter-of-factly write down what you suggest a patient should purchase for their particular condition. If MDs can confidently write our prescription for drugs, with no hesitation, why can’t a DC write out their suggestion for non-allopathic products, that don’t possess any risky side effects?
Bottom line, DCs should feel no aversion towards suggesting products to help patients. Not only is it “OK” to do so, but some would say it is your duty to do so – to offer all the advise you can to make your patients as healthy as possible. Just being armed with that mindset is half the battle. But if you still feel uncomfortable with suggesting products to purchase, there are several things at your disposal to help make it over the hump and giving all the expertise your patients deserve, including in-home rehab products and the like. Do it with confidence, knowing you are doing the right thing for everyone. If you make a couple of bucks in the process, all the better. Last time I checked we still lived in a country operating in a capitalistic system, and if you don’t make profit, you go away. The guy down at the car shop wasn’t offering to fix my car for free last I checked.
Phil Mattison is president of Core Products International where the company’s motto is “Make Your Life More Comfortable.” In 1988 Mattison launched Core as a company making support pillows, including their flagship “Tri-Core pillow” which is widely recommended by chiropractors. They have since expanded beyond pillows to offer support and therapy products for people suffering from all kinds of aches and pains. To view their entire collection of pillows, supports, braces or hot and cold therapies visit www.coreproducts.com or call (877) 249-1251.