10 Product Points to Know
Byline: Louis Feuer, MA, MSW
When selling home medical equipment, the consumer/patient is counting on you to be his medical product adviser, so it is important to become an educated and informed salesperson. The more you know about the following 10 key points, the greater is the likelihood that you will make the sale.
* Product cost
You need to know not only what the product costs but whether it can be rented and what additional costs there may be to the customer above what is paid by his insurance. The customer often looks first at the product and then immediately at the price tag. If you do not immediately know the cost of the products you sell, then you should be able to access this information quickly.
* Reimbursement issues and documentation
Some products are covered by insurance, but many others are quality-of-life enhancement products and not covered by insurance. Does insurance cover the cost of this product if the payer is provided with appropriate documentation?
You should also learn about the reimbursement guidelines and requirements for the key products you sell. What documentation will the billing department need to process an insurance claim?
* Product features
Take time to read all materials provided by the manufacturer. You should definitely understand how each product works and what all the buttons mean – before the customer begins to ask questions. You should also know, for example, how the product can be used for traveling.
* Product benefits
While it is important to understand the features of the product you are selling, it is more important to understand its benefits. The benefits relate to why this particular product will be valuable for this particular client. How will the product improve the quality of his or her life?
* Profit margin
Know where your company makes the most profit. Often the products with the smallest profit margins can more easily sell themselves. You will find those products with the largest profit margin may require you to learn more about them and to become an expert in what, how and why the product does what it does. You need to know where and how your company makes the money that pays your salary.
* Competitive products
What products are similar to the one you are now selling? If the customer does not like the product you are offering, do you have something else to show him? Often, customers like to see a selection of products, if only to help them avoid going to several stores to see all that is available.
* Competitive pricing
Stay informed about the prices on products being sold by your competitors. Know what you will be facing when dealing with a customer who says he can get the same product somewhere else. What is it that warrants customers buying from you: your service, your maintenance program, your reputation in standing by your products?
When talking to both referral sources and customers and you hear them mention a diagnosis, become familiar with any products that may be helpful and important to patients with that particular medical problem. Learning about the diagnosis will help you become a more educated and valuable medical supply consultant.
* Product accessibility
Is the product an item that is usually in your warehouse or one that will need to be a special order? If it is not something that is ordinarily kept in stock, determine how long it will take to get this product for your customer. Remember that you do not want to make a promise you cannot keep.
* Product maintenance
Most products require some type of maintenance. Identify what might need to be tightened, cleaned or replaced. Inform the customer about how he can take care of the product and what role you will play in assisting him. Help him understand what problems need immediate attention and what you will do when he calls about a product – such as a wheelchair or oxygen – that is used every day.
How many of these questions can you answer about the top five products you sell? Remember, an informed salesperson makes for an informed consumer and, in time, the development of a positive business relationship.
Louis Feuer is president of Dynamic Seminars & Consulting Inc. and the founder and director of the DSC Teleconference Series, a teleconference training program. He can be reached at www.DynamicSeminars.com or by phone at 954/435-8182.
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