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How to sell more consumables

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Posted on: 13-Oct-2016

When I visit dental practices in the UK, I am often surprised that many of these practices don't make a better effort in selling their consumables and oral health products. I regularly see half hearted, shabby displays, with empty shelves, often very dusty. When I ask at reception how are the consumable sales going, I get an unenthusiastic answer and the classic line, "We cannot compete with Tesco and Asda". Let's be honest who can? But if that is the mind-set of the practice, then we might as well give up now.
Did you know though that you could actually be sitting on a potential gold mine?

Only last year, when I was visiting a practice in Ireland, I was talking to the owner who informed me that his practice grossed over 70,000 euro from these sales. I think the practice had three dentists and maybe 9 other staff, so I would not say it was a particularly big practice.

While coaching a hygienist recently, she told me it was very difficult to get her clients to buy her teepees as they are cheaper at the supermarkets. If she starts off with this mindset then the likelihood of her making any sales will be zero. 

To be able to present your products and services to your clients, you have got to have a very positive mindset and you need to have 100% belief in your products and services.  If you don't believe in them yourself you may as well give up and find another job. You need to believe that you are not trying to sell to the patient but you are offering them the significant benefits of the products and they would be foolish not to buy them.  

Yes, you are going to get the odd patient who says they will buy it in the supermarket because it is cheaper. The chances of them actually putting that on their shopping list are not great and you know as well as I do, they will not be buying the product. Have you ever seen a shopping list which reads..

The successful practice in Ireland I talked about had a beautiful display and they marketed and sold their products well. The dentist told me that when the team presented the products to their patients they would often say even though they were a few cents more expensive, it was more convenient to buy from them, that they had them in stock there and then and they most importantly sold the benefits of the convenience and better products that they had.

Don't take rejection personally. When you present your products to the patient, please accept that not everyone will be jumping for joy and buy them, some patients will say no. That's fine, but please do not let a "no" affect your confidence, and therefore take rejection personally. Some will, some won't, so what, next. Feedback I often get from clients is that when they hear a "no", they take it personally, lose confidence and stop offering these essential products to their patients. My view is move on to the next one and never dwell on the previous one.  These "no's" can, if anything make you stronger especially if the next one is a "yes".

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