Speaking with Your Weight Loss Patients: The Non-Salesy Sales Conversation
— By Karol Clark, MSN, RN
Wouldn’t it be great if you and your team never had to feel like you were ‘selling’ your weight loss services and/or products? If you follow these recommendations, feeling ‘salesy’ can become a thing of the past!
As clinicians, our desire is to help, heal and serve with integrity. However, there is still a required transaction or sale that has to happen before such care ensues — especially when it comes to weight loss services and products. Unfortunately, our natural aversion to sales can result in serving less people and missed revenue. Conversely, when you aren’t ‘selling’ in the traditional sense, more people tend to want what you offer and your revenue increases — often significantly. It also creates a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Begin by Paving the Way for Non-Salesy Sales Conversations
Preparation for an effective non-salesy sales conversation with prospective patients begins before they contact you directly. It begins with the quality of your presence and reputation online as well as in and around your community as communicated by referring physicians/groups and your current patients.
A 2020 study showed that 57 percent of consumers go online when searching for a new provider.1 This percentage is likely higher when it comes to weight loss services since the market is saturated with professional and non-professional weight loss program options.
A well-paved path to your door looks like this: A prospective patient reaches out to you, feels as if they already know you/your team from what they have heard/read, understands what products and services you offer, has a few more specific questions for you — but is convinced you are the one best equipped to help them with their primary problem. In your case: Creating a healthier and happier life with effective weight loss.
So how do you pave the way for prospective patients finding you as well as selecting you over the plethora of choices out there?
First, take an honest look at your online and offline presence. Are you creating a number of smooth in-roads to your practice (that coincidentally increase your Google search ranking if done properly) such as a blog, engaging social media posts, videos that address your patients’ top concerns, accurate Google listing, recent positive online reviews, referral program, online webinars, and advertisements with a positive ROI?
Second, once you complete your review, optimize these efforts with a simple system to make sure people can find you, engage with you and understand what the next step is to contact you with questions or purchase your services and/or products. This includes ensuring that your team responds in a positive and efficient manner whether responding to a telephone, online, e-mail, or text inquiry. Follow-up is critical.
Third, create a ‘wow’ customer service experience so that patients are thrilled, tell their other treating physicians, and happily refer more people to you.
If you pave this smooth path to your door, everyone is much more at ease. You don’t feel salesy and your patients do not feel ‘sold.’
Best Practices for Conducting the Non-Salesy Sales Conversation with Ease
Even if you have a smooth path to your door, there are still some best practices to ensure a ‘non-salesy’ sale. As with anything, this requires some training and practice. However, with training and practice comes confidence — which is exactly what your patients need to feel from you and your team in order to say ‘yes’ to what you offer. Below are best practices for conducting your non-salesy sales conversations with ease:
- LISTEN: Take the time to uncover what is underlying their desire for seeking what you offer. Explore their specific pain and frustration. Then help them describe their goals – exactly what success would look and feel like for them if their journey with you brought them the results they desire.
- PLACE THE FOCUS ON YOUR PATIENTS: Your patients need to know you hear them, you care and that you can help. It is easy to turn conversations into something ‘all about you’. Stay focused on them and what they really want so you can guide them properly as you prescribe their treatment. It is better to under promise and over deliver rather than the opposite which sets everyone up for failure and ultimately feeling ‘sold.’
- KNOW YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES INSIDE OUT & USE THEM IF POSSIBLE: Every team member needs to know what you offer and if possible, experience your services and products firsthand. It helps to have team members go through this entire process so that they can make suggested improvements from a patient’s perspective. For bariatric surgery, have your team members watch your webinar, view a surgery, and participate in support group. For medical weight loss, let them go through the program so they can help create that ‘wow’ patient experience. For products, let your team purchase at cost or at a discount. If they love using your products, they will not hesitate to share how great they are with your patients.
- FOCUS ON THE TRANSFORMATION INSTEAD OF DETAILS: Have an easy to understand sales sheet that outlines the details of what you offer. Make sure your team feels as if your options are truly a ‘no brainer’ for purchase. Keep it simple – confused people tend to walk away without purchasing. In your conversation, discuss how you can help them attain the transformation they desire and let your sales sheet outline the details. It is the same with products. Discuss the benefits such as complete nutrition, convenience and satiety instead of specific details like available flavors — that comes after they decide to purchase.
- PRESCRIBE YOUR RECOMMENDATION: Once you know what your prospective patients desire, recommend which of your programs are best and why. They need this clarity from you as the trusted expert.
- REALIZE NOT EVERYONE IS A GOOD FIT: Serving everyone seems great but in reality, it doesn’t work well. Someone may not have a genuine interest in what you offer which generally comes up through many objections as to why what you offer won’t work for them. It is okay to move on. You don’t need to sell to everyone and in fact, this may be refreshing to them resulting in a referral down the road.
- AVOID THESE WORDS: Your patients trust you and want to feel confident you can help them achieve their goals. If you use words that create uncertainty such as try, maybe, probably, should be, kind of, might be or pretty much as you talk about what you offer and the outcomes you facilitate, this can cause them to question if you really are the one that can help them achieve their goals.
These practices help minimize or eliminate feeling ‘salesy’ as you talk to prospective patients. You feel more confident, your level of excitement increases significantly and this is just what they need to experience in order to make a ‘yes’ decision.
For 45 years, Robard Corporation’s medical obesity treatment programs and products have been utilized by physicians, surgeons and hospitals across the United States to successfully treat patients living with obesity. To learn more about us and how we can help your practice and patients, visit us online at www.Robard.com.