Ah, yes… the never ending struggle of selling as an Audiologist. You have probably already figured out who is causing the decline in your hearing aid sales: big box retailers selling hearing aids at a fraction of the cost… And boy, the prices keep getting higher.
BUT—don’t place all the blame on big box retailers like Sam’s and Costco.
Focus on the main issue: patients want to find the best bargain price. Yes, even when it comes to health-related expenses often covered by insurance, patients still search for the best price out there.
Now, don’t go slashing your prices! The good news is, even though the cost of hearing aids is increasing, the sales of ancillary products/hearing aids is increasing as well. People still need hearing aids, so you just have to convince them to buy from you instead of bargain stores!
Here are some tips on how you can do just that:
Listen to your patients and their needs
Listening to your patients is more important than talking at your patients. Listen to their hearing loss story and show compassion. If your patients see you care, they will likely be loyal to you and even refer to you.
Selling hearing devices should never be pushy. Hearing aids should be offered when the patient can benefit from them. Find out what your patient likes to do or what is missing from his or her life due to hearing loss and offer the best hearing device for their needs.
Nurture your patients
Nurture your patients by following up with them periodically on appointments and follow up after appointments. Many patients receive little to no follow up from their audiologists. You will be able to hold on to your patients if you follow up with them to make sure they are satisfied with their devices and are experiencing progress. If they are, great! Ask them to tell their friends and leave you an online review. If not, then you have the opportunity to schedule them another appointment and assess the issues they may be having with their products or treatment.
Explain the value of your products and services
Whether insurance covers hearing devices for the patient or not, he will still shop around for the cheapest option. Make sure your patients understand the value of purchasing from you over the next guy.
After you have met with your patient and built rapport, you can “sell” on the value of sticking with you. Perhaps you offer a loyalty program, or maybe you can help with other hearing tips and tricks. Share additional tips that might help the patient hear better and help them see you as the hearing expert that you are.
Focus on the benefits your patients will receive by purchasing hearing aids and treatment from you. People don’t buy for the product itself, but for the expectation of what the purchased item will do for them. People also buy from people they like and trust. Make sure they know what benefits to expect with the hearing products you offer.
Offer financing options
Rather than offering discounts on an expensive device or offering a patient a less expensive device, use financing options that make it easier for the patient to get the best device.
No matter what, make sure you thoroughly explain your pricing options and patients can easily understand. If a patient calls your practice and the receptionist isn’t clear on the pricing options for hearing aids, the patient may hang up and look elsewhere. Confusion or uncertainty will hurt you so your whole team should be upfront and transparent about pricing and financing options with all of your patients.
Expand your outreach
Expand your outreach in your community to reach more hearing loss patients. You can do this in a variety of ways: social media, direct mail, etc.
You can use targeted advertising to reach people directly online, or you can host an educational seminar or luncheon so that potential patients really understand hearing loss and how it can impact their lives. Offer helpful information to your target audience so they will trust and like you. If they are considering hearing aids, they will appreciate your help during their decision-making process... Leading them straight to your appointment book. Education builds trust.
Sometimes it may seem like your entire existence relies on hearing aid sales. Although hearing aid sales will always be a big part of what you do, it isn’t everything. The future of audiology lies elsewhere…
Private practice audiologists have the opportunity to be a dominant player in the healthcare industry right now.
Learn how audiologists are implementing the newest business model to increase their hearing aid sales by clicking here.
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