Retail sales in Physical Therapy: Is it ethical to recommend products AND “sell” them to your patients?
The short answer… yes.
When it comes to product recommendations, therapists should make it as easy as possible for patients to obtain desirable results and this includes making products available for patients to obtain quickly. When you recommend an item such as a heating pad or wrist brace, it is appropriate, and heavily encouraged, to offer the product in-house if it will provide an adequate solution for the patient. In addition, having recommended items immediately available ensures the patient obtains a quality product that fits, which gives you more control over the patient’s outcome while creating additional revenue for your practice.
One-Stop Shopping is Convenient for Physical Therapy Patients
With technological advancements today, your patients have a breadth of options when it comes to purchasing products you recommend. Online shopping can be a daunting task with such a wide range of options, conflicting product reviews, and brand comparisons that take you down an endless rabbit hole with every click. This swirling sea of information can be overwhelming for your patients, and may even discourage them from buying the products they need to recover.
Providing the right products directly in your office gives patients peace of mind so they can focus on getting better. While it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to sell, your patients see you as an authority on the products that will help them make the best progress. You have to realize, you aren’t selling these products to your patients. You are offering them a product that meets their needs for getting better under your care. Nothing more… nothing less. Offer quality products from trusted brands, consider carrying two different price points so you can offer a range of costs in the same product category.
You are the Authority on the Product's Best Fit
For the majority of therapy products, many come in different shapes and sizes. To get the maximum benefit of your recommendation, your patient must obtain a quality product that adequately fits, in a reasonable amount of time. Online shopping does not provide an opportunity for actual sizing. Help your patient understand that fit matters!
If the product does not fit, its use is further delayed while the patient waits to receive a replacement. This delay has a ripple effect causing the patient to fall behind in their progress. Having products available to try with your interpretation of fit ensures the patient leaves the office with exactly what they need, and that they have had a demonstration of how to use the product. One-stop services make a direct impact on recovery time - share this with your patient to help them understand that every day in their care plan has an impact on their outcomes.
The Right Products Lead to Ideal Outcomes
Having the products you recommend readily available indicates a sense of urgency. After all, you are the expert recommending the product because you know it will significantly contribute to your patients’ treatment. Making sure your patient has access to the right tools in a timely manner shows that you have carefully thought about which products will benefit them, and you are significantly vested in their recovery. This gives you more control over their treatment outcome, creating a win-win situation for your patients and your business by improving patient outcomes in conjunction with retail sales.
Retail offerings give physical therapy practice owners a huge advantage when it comes to patient care and there are other business advantages to providing one stop services. One FYZICAL practice owner, Tony Macalouso, has grown his business by 28% since joining FYZICAL and credits a significant percentage to his cash-based sales. Hear more success stories here.
Do you want to improve your business operations or begin offering retail services? Let us help! If you're a current physical therapy private practice owner, and you'd like more information on partnering with FYZICAL - click here.