A few months ago, I delivered an In House Ethical Sales & Communication Programme for the whole team of a Dental Practice.
One of the areas that they wanted help with was selling some of the dental products they displayed on reception, for example tepees, electric brushes, and other related products. They had a beautiful display next to the reception desk.
At the end of the two days, I started to discuss this with the whole team and asked them if they could do better. I was shocked when I heard one of the hygienists excuses for poor sales of tepees. She said “I do not sell many tepees, if any at all, because they are cheaper in Asda”.
She then went onto say that she would offer the products to the patient but stopped when a patient commented about the price and that she could get them cheaper in her supermarket.
I am going to be honest; I was taken aback by her response and that she would let one patient impact her behaviour with the hundreds of other patients that she treats every month.
Let me share with you what I told her and the whole group, and I hope it will be useful for the readers of my newsletter. If they felt the patient would really benefit from using tepees, then if they are not offered to the patient, they are being done a disservice. You all know the benefits of using tepees. The chance of them remembering to buy them from Asda would be very slim. Have you ever seen a shopping list which says, bread, milk, egg, cheese, wine and tepees? The chances are, they will not remember to buy them. So, what if they are cheaper, I would put a sign up in the dental practice informing them that are slightly more expensive, but at least they are supporting a local business and not a supermarket or Amazon.
My last piece of advice to her and her colleagues, was that we should not let one person from the past sabotage the future. I see this all the time on my courses where one patient’s sarcastic comment can have a negative impact on the behaviour of a team member or a dentist. In past newsletters, I have written about how some dentists reduce their fees in their head, because of some sarcastic inappropriate comment from a patient.
Be very careful who you listen to.
There are probably thousands of pounds worth of missed sales by not discussing with your patients the products that you provide, I would definitely look at this and discuss in a team meeting how to increase these sales, a team bonus would definitely help.