Showroom lets users 'see, touch, feel' complex rehab

Friday, July 27, 2012

DENVER, Colo. – Provider Patrick Mahncke doubled his square footage in June to add something he’d never seen before: a complex rehab showroom. 

“We wanted to foster an environment where someone who needed complex rehab, whether a custom manual or power wheelchair, could come in and touch and feel and see,” said Mahncke, owner of Denver-based USA Mobility. “We want them to make informed decisions based on their preferences, not only cosmetically but functionally.”

Mahncke partnered with manufacturers like Spinergy to create the displays in a new 1,500-square-foot showroom devoted exclusively to complex rehab. USA Mobility showcases different positioning components, wheels and cushions from a variety of manufacturers. 

Rather than offering a couple of wheelchairs to try at a seating clinic, Mahncke is letting referral sources know clients can come in at any time to see and try out different complex rehab options.

“There’s a lot more informed decision-making, especially when it’s their second or third wheelchair,” he said. “They look online and talk to each other.”

Ryan Webb, director of sales/marketing for Spinergy, said complex rehab providers haven’t created showrooms in the past because the products are so patient-specific and costly. 

“It’s an investment—Patrick’s going out on a limb,” said Webb. 

Still, samples help Webb sell products at trade shows, so it should work for providers as well, he said. 

“It’s hard to convince people to buy a $600 wheel without trying it first,” said Webb.