Eric Kline: Signs point to sales success

Monday, April 30, 2007

Using the clinical comparison of signs and symptoms, HME sales consultant Eric Kline shows his clients the importance of asking questions in the sales process and laying the groundwork for regular sales calls. In his session "Signs and Symptoms" at Medtrade Spring, he'll show even the most sales-phobic providers how to be more effective and confident in their sales tactics. He gave us this preview of those tips:
HME News: Explain the difference between signs and symptoms and how this distinction is relevant to providers.
Eric Kline: A sign is what the clinician notices and the symptom is what the patient experiences. In sales, signs are to observations as symptoms are to questions. We have to make critical observations and ask appropriate questions in order to find out what referral sources need so we can help them and further the sales cycle. We can't just tell them what they need.
HME: On a scale of 1 to 10, how are providers doing when it comes to their sales skills?
Kline: They all need help. They're not asking enough questions and not asking the right questions. Everyone wants to dump all the information they have on a referral source, but then there's no reason to come back for another sales call. My program gives them reasons to go back to the referral source every week to talk about something new.
HME: In what areas are providers most deficient?
Kline: I would say they're struggling most with organizational skills, execution, planning and coming up with new information for follow-up sales calls. They often lack the confidence to go out and make the calls. They'll drive by or make a visit instead of scheduling a sales call. They don't realize everything they need is at their fingertips.
HME: Where do providers really excel in sales?
Kline: Where many providers are doing well is in recognizing the need for sales and appreciating its importance. All we have to do is get them focused and get them out there. Some providers don't even have salespeople. But the majority do recognize its importance.
HME: If you could give providers only one piece of advice on improving their sales techniques, what would it be?
Kline: That asking questions is the most important part of the sales call. And that the more questions they ask, the more information they'll have to tailor their presentation and offer products to match that customer's need.
Eric Kline
Title/company: CEO of Pensacola, Fla.-based HME SalesPro
Session: "Signs and Symptoms"
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 11:00 a.m.
Contact: (850) 433-2514 or