It consistently amazes me that patients will come in for regular appointments and assure me that they are happy and have no interest in new technology and then they will surprise me by returning for a “special event” a month or two later and then despite what they told me two months earlier, they decide to purchase new hearing aids. What happens in that short period of time to change their minds? Perhaps it’s the “One Day Only” event or being enticed by the lure of “Special Pricing” that is available during the event or possibly it’s the allure of feeling special because not everyone is invited. Whatever the reason, I have found that patients are always looking for ways to hear better and if I’m not sharing the benefits of new technology every one of my competitors is.
I have had great success inviting patients to Upgrade Events which we hold quarterly. Invitations to these events are sent in the way of a letter and we send these to patients that have hearing aids three to five years old and we also send to patients who were tested within the past six months and chose not to purchase aids. Great care is taken to ensure the letter arrives on a Monday ten days before the event. Surprisingly enough, patients with aids three to four years old are the most likely to respond to the letter. Our Upgrade Events have consistently shown that patients want to hear better and will replace their current technology if the benefits are significant enough to improve the quality of their lives.
Communication is key to make this type of program a success. We have never found that it has been necessary to become a loud pushy salesperson to convince patients to upgrade. Our protocol includes asking questions to get patients talking about their lifestyles, their desire to hear better and their expectations for possible improvement. Then armed with this information we relate the potential benefits in such a way to address all of the patients concerns. Our first step is to demonstrate the new technology and then to simulate environments that the patient encounters daily. It’s not enough to simply tell a patient how good the new and improved hearing aids are. Patients need to listen for themselves while they are in the office. You may want to include some of the more advanced features like compatibility with Apple products but I have found that the simpler the demonstration, the better and if you focus on too many advanced features, patients may become overwhelmed and want to go home and “think about it”. While we don’t want to be pushy, the fact is that most patients that delay the decision won’t purchase after they think about it. It’s best to try to give patients an incentive to do something while they are in the office. Patients that want to upgrade pay for the aids up front before leaving the office and we explain that while every sale comes with return privileges, this is not just a trial of new technology. It’s a step towards a better level of hearing that we will both work together to achieve.
We have discovered that patients appreciate our Upgrade Events and appreciate that we keep them informed of the latest technology. These events are also great for business.
Members of the DrGyl Sapphire Society have access to Our Upgrade Letters. Why don’t you join and you can have access to all these resources for only $99 a year! Join DrGyl Sapphire Society