How to Use Persuasion to Increase Patient Buy-In
Are you looking to increase your number of patient transactions? How about getting patients to take advantage of your unique products and services? The most straightforward and practical answer is to use the subtle art of sales.
There is often a negative association with the word ‘sales.’ Hearing the word ‘salesperson’ likely conjures up some particular images and ideas for most people. In the best light, they are of a typical salesperson, aggressive, pushy at one end, and ‘con-artist’ or manipulative at the other.
If you’re thinking that you’re ‘selling’ to your patients, frame it another way. The fact is that you’re doing a very important job in the community by helping them solve their health and wellness problems.
Imagine if your best friend tells you he’s struggling with a problem, and you have a solution, wouldn’t you speak up and say something about it?
If you have a product or service that can help others, it is your moral obligation as a healthcare provider to share it with them.
The rest of this post will cover how you can use Dr. Cialdini’s principles of persuasion to communicate new treatment options to your patients and increase sales.
Scarcity: Patients Love Limited-Time Deals (And Things They Have Less Of)
Leverage the emotional impact of FOMO (or the fear of missing out) to increase sales.
To apply this principle to your pharmacy business, offer limited-time deals for different audiences.
Scarce products and offers feel exclusive and valuable to consumers.
One way to showcase a limited time product is by placing it in a smaller end-cap area with signage that conveys urgency and scarcity.
When you’re discussing the product, highlight what they stand to lose by not taking action and speak to the specific issues the patient might be experiencing.
You can also experiment with offering exclusive perks reserved only for top customers. Once people realize that being a repeat customer comes with rewards, they’ll be more ready to act on purchases. In turn, you’ll increase revenue and often, your average transaction value as well.
Assure Your Patients You’re An Expert
Make sure you establish your credibility to your customers.
Why? Although we’ll never admit it, we want others to tell us exactly what to do. Especially by experts that we trust. You can do this by making recommendations, displaying your certifications where your patients can see them, and answering any questions your patients might have.
If you show that you and your team are trained experts, your patients will also be more willing to try new products or services that you recommend.
Offer events and classes that educate your patients, if you continually provide value around healthcare and wellness, your pharmacy will soon be known as a healthcare destination for the community.
People discuss excellent and awful experiences. If you’re providing great customer service, you can bet that you’ll start seeing the referrals come through the door. High patient satisfaction and experiences will ultimately drive more sales.
Consistency Is Key: Start With Small Commitments for Big Sales
When you’re selling something (especially if it’s a high-ticket item that people don’t buy on impulse), try to get your patient to commit to something small first.
As a pharmacy owner, this could be a free trial or samples of new products.
After they agree or “say yes” to you once, they’ll be more willing to “say yes” again to stay consistent with their previous action.
If you use this principle, you can break down many of the barriers your patients have when shopping, and over time, your patients will agree to bigger and more expensive recommendations.
The important thing to remember is to nurture your relationship with them and get several “yeses” first.
Influence at Work: Building a Better Pharmacy
Remember, using these principles to influence your patients isn’t wrong if you’re applying them ethically. Your mission as a healthcare professional is to help people who come to you with health and wellness challenges.
In fact, if you master ethical persuasion, you’ll be able to improve the lives of patients you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
PDS is proud to bring you the 2019 Super-Conference with three days of actionable content that’s never been covered in our industry until NOW. We are bringing in the experts to help you master the critical communication skills that will help you ethically and effectively influence your three critical audiences, prescribers, patients, and your pharmacy team. Join us February 21-23, 2019 in Orlando, Florida for the most important pharmacy conference of the year.