Rehab sales: Identify your customer

Q. I am an ATP. Who is my customer?
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

A. The past several years have seen the rehab industry shift and change due to, among other things, provider and supplier consolidation. Along with this consolidation comes an institutional focus on margin that places a relatively new pressure on individual ATPs.

ATPs typically do not consider themselves, first and foremost, to be salespeople, nor do most relate nor care to understand the business jargon commonly thrown about by business managers. They are rehab professionals who have dedicated their lives to the clinical aspiration of providing mobility to the people who need it.

I want to help bridge the chasms between sales and clinical delivery; customers and clients or patients; excellence and mediocrity; process and outcomes.

Let’s start by talking about customers. ATPs have several different customers all at the same time and all for the same orders: the client or patient, the therapist, the funding source, and the employer. Always consider your employer a customer.

You have a responsibility to all these customers to provide satisfactory outcomes all at the same time. Sound difficult? It can be but there are a few simple things you can do to make it easier.

Important stuff coming up: Deliver satisfaction by knowing what your customers expect. Sometimes the customer’s expectations are unreasonable or simply not possible. That’s when you need to be persuasive. Make certain that you and your customer are in close agreement about their expectations. Know your customers. Understand their problems and their expectations. Increase awareness of your ability to solve their problems and meet their expectations.

I'll next talk about how to be persuasive and how to lead a skeptical customer to your point of view and your set of solutions.

Bill Noelting is principal at Noelting Creative Productions. Reach him at bill@noelting.com.