Terri Ross dives deep into the importance of sales, and how “selling” education is truly the lifeblood of any successful practice.
The Key to Success is in the Sale
We’ve been talking about the vital importance of knowing your numbers and what to do with them to make data-driven decisions over the past several weeks. That’s why for this week’s blog, I wanted to talk about another area that is SO important to create massive success in your practice and that I’m extremely passionate about—SALES. We’re going to dive into what sales means to your business and why it matters so much, and I’m going to share some of my personal sales success stories with you.
Every aspect of the success of your business is based on selling. In fact, selling is nothing more than a transfer of emotion. It is the ability to inspire, move, and get people to do something. For some reason, “sales” is such a scary word. People tend to shy away from sales as they relate to it in a negative way like being pushy or aggressive, or conjuring up images of a used car salesman in a plaid suit.
I love this quote by Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” My goal is to get you to change your perspective and challenge you to shift your mindset around sales.
What Does Sales Really Mean?
Sales is about bringing value. It's understanding someone's needs. Ultimately, it is providing them with a solution to a problem, so there is nothing negative about sales. It’s nothing to shy away from. Most importantly, it’s nothing to avoid investing in. Training your team in mastering the art of sales is critical and necessary for running a successful practice. Sales is the lifeblood of any organization. Selling is really a part of your daily life—even if you do it unconsciously. Think about it. How do you inspire your kids to do their homework? How do you get your partner to go to a restaurant you want to go to or take a vacation to the destination you want? We are constantly inspiring, motivating, and leading people down a certain path.
When you shift “selling” to “educating” or “inspiring” or “motivating” or “leading,” the energy immediately shifts to a more positive connotation. When thinking about the team you hire to represent your practice as the first point of contact, put yourself in your patients’ shoes. What kind of culture are you trying to build? What type of image are you trying to project? Who is answering the phones and how are they answering the calls? What feeling does the copy on your website convey? What message and image are coming across in your videos? What tone are you using in the content you put out in newsletters, blogs or on social media?
All these factors influence people and affect your ability to get them to come to your practice. You are the leader of your practice, but ultimately you must create and sell your vision to your team, so that they have a greater understanding of the vision and mission for your company.
Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
The aesthetic industry is highly competitive. If I were to ask you why people should choose your practice; then ask you to sell me on the answer, what would you say?
I invite you to get out a piece of paper and write down 10 valuable reasons (your UVP) of why I should come to your practice versus your competition. I promise you that if you are struggling in any area of your business right now (whether it's the number of leads coming in the door, your patient consultation conversion ratio, or your patient retention rates, it is most likely directly correlated to your team’s ability (or lack thereof) to sell and differentiate your providers and practice.
Top 3 Qualities Needed for Being Successful at Sales
I know sales is not a skill you learned in school, but sales techniques CAN be learned. I am somebody who never says no, and I am always up for a challenge and willing to persevere--all important qualities for being successful at sales.
Even if these top three qualities don’t come to you naturally, you can embrace and commit to them:
Sales, like any other skill, requires training. When I worked in sales for Ethicon Endo, a division of Johnson & Johnson, I had to go away for six weeks to learn how to sell radioactive seeds for prostate cancer. I had to be able to educate surgeons in the operating room as to why my seeds were better than some other sales rep’s.
I want to share a story with you that really made me love sales. Most importantly, it shifted my perspective from “selling” to “helping others.” I was working for an endocrinology company called EMD Serono, and had just moved to Los Angeles from Michigan. This company was selling a device that delivered HgH (Human Growth Hormone) for children who were short in stature. This device was delivered by a high-pressure stream into the skin. It looked like an oversized pen. Instead of giving your child a shot in the stomach every day or every week, the delivery mechanism was a high pressure stream. EMD Serono was the fifth growth hormone product on the market. The molecules were identical in all of them. The only thing that differentiated our product was the delivery device called the Cool Click. I was up against Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Genentech—all heavy-hitter pharmaceutical companies. I was working with child endocrinologists, calling on all the children’s hospitals in Southern California and needed to convince them to want to use this device. I knew that insurance reimbursement factored in, and some devices are more expensive than others. But at the end of the day, I believed in my soul that our device was so much better. I knew that if parents could hear the UVP, realize they had an alternative option to giving their child a shot in the stomach every day, and knew that the molecules were the same with the same potency and outcome, why wouldn’t they choose this new device? Now, at the time we were ranked 5th in the market. Within that first year, I got us to number one and won the company’s President's Award. Later, I became a director at only 31 years old, and was managing $20 million in revenue across 15 states.
I am sharing that story not to pat myself on the back, but to show you that you can learn the skills needed to express what makes something so valuable. You must be persistent and practice. I was waiting outside of these doctor's offices, dropping off food or flowers to the gatekeeper. I was trying to learn as much as I possibly could about why these physicians were using the growth hormone and what mattered to them. Then I would carefully craft my message. I would explain why Cool Click was more valuable, and I was able to achieve great success.
When we talk about sales leading to massive success, you must get people to follow you, support you, listen to you, and trust you, so they’ll want to buy from you. But before you can do any of that, you must believe in yourself and what you offer. You must invest in your team and provide sales training for them, so that they can all effortlessly communicate your UVP. More importantly, they can all conduct a skilled phone call and consultation using the LAER (Listen Acknowledge Explore Respond) Communication Method and develop a long-term treatment plan.
The three topics that keep coming up in the most recent AmSpa and American Society of Plastic Surgery surveys that resonate the most are: culture, leadership, and training. That’s why when we launched APX in the beginning of 2021, the core foundation of our business intelligence training and growth platform focused on sales, finance, and operations training.
I get so many questions about the latest marketing tools, social media platforms or hear people investing in the newest equipment or new websites. You do need all those things; however, it is a moot point if you do not have a highly qualified, trained team. This is why we developed APX.
APX offers a repeatable system to help you understand that you are NOT selling anything. What you ARE doing is educating with your expertise and knowledge and solving a problem for your patients, so they will look and feel better and want to choose you as their provider. Our sales training course goes into learning communication methods, personality types, creating your UVP, increasing your conversion rate during consultations, developing long-term treatment plans, the art of following up, and so much more.
Years later when I was a sales director for Medicis (now Galderma) managing the Beverly Hills market--one of the most competitive cities in the country, the region was ranked #10/10 when I got there, I knew I needed to do something different to create a niche and get everyone on the team trained in the art of sales (including continuing my education). We went from #10 to #2 in a year because I was willing to embrace the three qualities I mentioned earlier. I was persistent. I studied the region and the clients, and we perfected our messaging and value proposition over the competition. I frequently went on ride-alongs to visit customers, reaching out on a consistent basis. I was deliberate in my actions. I didn’t settle for the status quo.
If you are ready to be a leader, elevate your skill set, invest in training your team, establish a positive business culture, learn how to communicate your UVP, shift your mindset around sales, and perfect your follow up process, I’d be honored to offer you the opportunity to learn more about APX and book a demo today by clicking here.