Six Essential Ingredients for Monthly Nutritional Product Sales of 30-90K in Your Weight Loss Practice
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
If you think 30-90K monthly nutritional product sales in your weight loss practice is unattainable — think again. Your recipe for success requires six essential ingredients.
There are terrific cooks who follow recipes exactly and wonderful cooks who don’t. However, for consistent results (especially if you have limited cooking experience), using the required ingredients with a recipe to follow (then tweak to make your own if desired) helps to ensure a delicious and desirable result.
For your weight loss practice, desirable likely relates to optimal patient outcomes and profitability. If that sounds good to you, here are not only the essential ingredients, but a recipe that has been shown to produce predictable sales and profits for many medical and surgical weight loss practices that choose to support their patient outcomes with healthy and delicious nutritional products.
Before we get to the ingredients, you may be counting yourself out on this revenue stream because you don’t have enough space or a team experienced in marketing/selling nutritional products. However, you don’t need to have a great deal of space in your office or an expensive marketing budget in order to get the results you desire. With intention and purposeful action, you and your team can make it happen with a full storefront or simply products on display and stored in a closet. You can also add an online fulfillment option to enhance your sales and profitability.
6 Essential Ingredients…
While you can get started with just a few of these ingredients, all six are required to attain higher sales and maximum profitability.
1. Delicious Products with Program Integration: Your patients have a choice when it comes to purchasing weight loss products. While some products from big box stores are less expensive, many do not contain the highest quality ingredients or taste as great as what you can exclusively prescribe as a weight loss practitioner. Product selection is critical because in order to sell these products, you and your team need to fully understand why they are most beneficial when compared to similar products, like the taste and use them yourself. Once you have the right products, you will want to make sure the products are integral to your medical and/or surgical weight loss programs. For example, prescribing them as a necessary part of your surgical 2-week liquid diet before and/or after surgery. Or, including your products as a required component of your medical weight loss plans as a standalone meal plan option or on a plan that combines products with healthy food options. Bottom line, weight loss practitioners with the highest amount of sales includes their quality protein products into their prescribed meal plans.
2. Passionate Team Who Understand & Supports Your Vision: Team motivation is easier to attain if your team understands your vision, goals and how they are an integral part of what you define as success. This requires open communication and willingness to share what success looks like for your practice. Yes — even sharing specific financial performance indicators for sales and profitability. Your team wants to be a part of your story, contribute their many talents to bring the vision to fruition, be challenged and recognized for a job well done. Your team is your reputation and your greatest asset — especially when it comes to nutritional product sales.
3. Consistent Promotion: Selling does not feel awkward or salesy if you believe in what you have to offer as well as the transformation it provides for your ideal patients. When you focus product promotion on the many benefits they provide such as better results, built-in portion control, convenience, balanced nutrition, delicious options and money savings when compared with purchasing a meal, promotion becomes second nature to everything you do. This includes your one on one patient discussions, educational materials, newsletters, social media posts, blogs, fun videos and testimonials. Mentioning your products as an after thought or infrequently will not provide your patients with the information they need to understand how they help save costs and improve their satiety and weight loss results.
4. Simple Sales Process: Complicate the purchase of your products and you will compromise your product sales and potentially turn off your current and prospective patients. With every promotion in your office and online, your patients need to know what the next step is to purchase. Think about your own purchasing thought process. Don’t you like to know your options, which is best and why, as well as the cost? When you make your decision, you want an easy way to purchase and be assured that you will receive the services or products you purchase immediately or within a short timeframe. Your patients are the same so let them know what you offer, how it will help them, the price and how to purchase. Good news – it has never been as easy as it is today to set up an effective point of sale system as well as e-commerce.
5. Motivated Buyers: Your patients are motivated to purchase your services and products both internally (such as how much they want the transformation you provide) and externally (testimonials, reviews, in office and online information about you and your team, promotions, and cost). In order to have patients motivated to purchase what you have to offer, there are four primary things that need to happen. They need to find you, they need to learn more about you and like what you offer, view you as a trusted source, and know how to take the (simple) next step.
6. Effective System for Tracking Inventory & Sales: It is difficult to make good business decisions without specific goals and a way to measure data that indicates your results. There are many ways to gather make this happen. The key is to make the process as easy as possible, set systems in place to make sure it happens and take the time to analyze and report the results to those that impact your outcomes. This can be accomplished via your point of sale system, QuickBooks or similar, a spreadsheet or combination managed by one of your team members. Simple gets done and what is measured tends to improve.
Now that you have the ingredients, here is a timed ‘task’ recipe for what it looks like in a medical or surgical weight loss practice making 30-90K in gross nutritional product sales each month:
- Promotion (online & onsite)
- Sales Coming In
- Listen to Wants/Needs of Your Patients
- Order Fulfillment
- End of Day Sales Report
- On-the-Fly Testimonials from Happy Patients
- Use Your Products & Experience the Results
- Product Ordering (some order monthly)
- E-Mail Newsletter/Communication to Your Patients
- Promote Success Story or Team Favorite Product
- Profit/Loss Tracking
- Goal Tracking/Reporting to Team
- Sales/Product New Idea Generation by Team
- Update Store/Waiting Room Displays
- Financial Reporting
- Research Ways to Improve Sales/System
- Personal/Team Education About Products/Sales/Goals/Outcomes
- Promotional Planning for the Following Month
- Specials/Bundles/Events for Next Month
- Goal Setting
- Goal Review/Communication to Team
- Financial Reporting
- System Review
- Performance Improvement Activities/Plan
This information is not meant to create overwhelm. However, it is intended to summarize the best practices for those practitioners maximizing their nutritional product sales by tracking it as a separate cost center and maximizing results for their business while optimizing patient outcomes.