Tap into cash sales

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pat O’Brien recalls an old episode of The Cosby Show in which Dr. Huxtable goes to buy a car in a sloppy sweatshirt and jeans so the salesperson wouldn’t know he has money and would give him a better price. “That’s what people do,” says O’Brien. “There are 77 million baby boomers and they control a ridiculous amount of money.” Here’s a look at the tips O’Brien will offer Medtrade Spring attendees to tap into that potential for cash sales.

HME News: What’s an example of advice you’ll give about successful retailing?

Pat O’Brien: For instance, location. Some providers can’t change their location, but others have to. It’s the basic concepts of storefront design—like accessible parking. If people have to walk two blocks to your store, they won’t come.

HME: How should staff be trained for a retail environment?

O’Brien: When someone walks in, you should welcome them, introduce yourself, extend your hand and ask for their name. It takes you from a sales position to a relationship position. Ask, “What can I help you find?” That makes it harder for them to say, “I’m just looking.” Ask open-ended questions.

HME: What about providers who have to compete with big-box stores?

O’Brien: That’s where personal attention and service come in. Can you buy a scooter at Wal-Mart? Sure. But they don’t have trained sales people. Your local DME knows you and can provide that personal, friendly attention. You’ll get a cheaper price at Wal-Mart, but that’s all you’ll get. 

HME: What’s the one thing you hope providers take away from your session?

O’Brien: Be properly educated on all of your products so you are a reliable resource for your customer. If you steer them wrong once, they may come back, but if you steer them wrong twice, they’re gone.