It’s just a fact: To be successful and expand your practice, you need to sell your services.
But despite what many people think, sell isn’t actually a dirty word. It’s actually the opposite, because selling your service is the way more kiddos are going to be able to receive your care, all the way through completion of their programs and improvement of their skills and abilities.
Many people have negative associations with the word “sales.” These negative impressions routinely come from past bad experiences with salespeople, like the car salesman that refuses to let you leave until you sign on the dotted line. Or the insurance salesperson who tries to close the sale by describing all the terrible things that will happen to you if you don’t buy right on the spot.
Nobody is comfortable being on the receiving end of that type of sales technique. And I believe that no honest, caring person feels good about imposing that type of sales pressure on a prospective client. Fortunately, you don’t have to. You can still have a thriving, expanding practice while avoiding that black abyss of high pressure sales.
I’m going to explain to you just how to do it.
How to Sell Your Private Practice Services
Read the following tips, then practice them when you’re talking to prospective patients or their families. It might help to just focus on one tip at a time, rotating through the list. Then when you get some experience and confidence with each one, start putting them together. (You can even get some practice when talking to staff or family. Do you ever have to convince any of them to do something they don’t really want to do?)
- Change your mindset. When you’re sitting there with a family, you’re not a salesperson, not in the traditional sense. You’re the person that can help them with the services they need for their kiddo. Whatever difficulty their child is experiencing, you can improve their situation. You’re their entrance point to more independence, happiness and a better life for their kiddo. So step one is to change your own mind about your role in this conversation.
- Stop talking and start listening. Yes, they need a certain amount of information from you but then you stop talking and let them tell you what they need. Listen to their concerns, let them tell you about their fears and concerns. This applies to talking with parents, caregivers and the kiddos themselves.
There’s a maxim that relates to this skill: “Get a patient talking long enough and he’ll tell you how to treat him.” That person is sitting in front of you because they are concerned about their child’s or their own difficulties, skills, abilities and development. The best way to get them through any barriers to committing to a complete treatment plan is to let them tell you all about their worries. It’s the best way of easing them past their discomfort and getting them to see that you’re offering the solution.
- Be yourself. This is vital! So many people who are not “born salespeople” turn into someone else when they try to sell! I know how much you care. You’ve already invested years into this very purpose-driven profession. You never would have done that unless you cared with all your heart about these kiddos and their families. So just be yourself.
Then, as yourself, you can make it real to the family that it’s in their kiddo’s best interest to receive care from your practice. Demonstrate to them the improvements your services can achieve. Testimonials, videos and written success stories provide support for your message.
I hope this gives you a new look at selling your practice’s services. What you offer is valuable and life-changing. I want you to be a success at closing families on the treatment you recommend.
For a more in-depth look at these skills, check out Keys to Private Practice Success which comes complete with exercises you can do to boost your effectiveness.