Miriam Lieber

Byline: Miriam Lieber

But I see our country starting to divide, almost evenly, into two diverse factions. One-half of our population is “favorable to progress or reform,” and the other half “disposed to saving existing conditions.” The definitions I have just used are from the Webster College Dictionary. They identify the terms “liberal” and “conservative.”

A nation divided cannot properly service our country. The terms “liberal” and “conservative” appear to have become terms of disapproval and are being used almost as if they are curse words. This great divide is affecting our economy, and it is also driving our industry into a major debate.

The United States needs both Medicare and Medicaid. These are two vital services. However, differing views from conservatives and liberals about these government programs are worlds apart. We must help guide them to develop a program that will benefit all recipients and that will not bankrupt the country.

The Civil War came about because the nation at that time was no longer “indivisible.” The United States had both an agrarian and a manufacturing economy, one in the South and the other in the North. Neither side wished to recognize the other or to sort out their differences. I am not a historian, but we all know the agonizing results that came from this lack of negotiation.

So please, work with your senators and representatives in Washington. Help in the battle to protect our industry and to protect all of your customers, because American citizens deserve only the very best. Let’s not allow things to deteriorate into name-calling and “only-I-am-right” attitudes. Let’s all sit down together and address our differences.

Show and Sell

I am always chagrined when I visit an HME/DME showroom and walk through to find that it is neat and orderly, with every item dusted and every price marked- BUT, there are no traffic stoppers.

There should be some product on display in your showroom that will make your customer stop and look. It has to be appropriate, price-marked and displayed prominently. Look through your inventory and cull out some of these interesting products to use as traffic stoppers. Display them in the correct setting, and see your volume grow.

I visited a provider in a mid-sized town in Vermont. He had a very nice bedroom display area spotlighting a hospital bed with every possible accessory on view. There was one other item that caught my eye. Smack in the middle of this display “room,” the owner had hung a bedpan with a simple sign attached: “This will only cost you $5.99.”

When I asked how the bedpans moved, this smart businessperson said he has been selling an average of 10 a day. He also told me he changes this display every week or ten days so that people will come back in just to see what he may be offering. Simple, but effective! All it takes is a little imagination.

One company I know in Florida has a rather large showroom with two people that normally are in charge of the displays and sales. The owner is always running a little competition between the two of them, challenging and rewarding each for effective sales promotions. His team loves the perks they receive, such as tickets to a show, or for a dinner, and the owner keeps them as close to par as possible. Is this simple plan working? This owner is so pleased with the results that he has made it a permanent part of his company’s operation.

As I have been saying for years, “show and sell.” It doesn’t matter what you show; it matters that you do show, and then, of course, you will sell.

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Miriam Lieber is president of Lieber Consulting, specializing in operations management and reimbursement for the HME industry. She can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 818/789-0670.

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