How to Sell More Hearing Aids (When Nobody Wants to Buy)

Part 2 of our series: “Secrets of a Successful Hearing Care Practice”

Also see Part 1: Likability

Fact: Most Audiologists do not WANT to “SELL”.

After all, you went to school to help people hear and live better. Not to SELL people. Right?

Fact: Many hearing impaired people do not WANT to BUY a hearing aid.

Patients do not want to bother with the inconvenience, feel older, OR spend the money.

The conundrum of our industry.

What to do…

In order to stay in business, we have to consider the sales process. It is an essential factor of a healthy, successful, hearing care practice. (Of course we also want to do it in an ethical manner).

If you are a Beeman Marketing client, you know it is essential to us that you have every tool possible to succeed (after all, we only succeed if our clients succeed!)

So… we are continuing our series on the 6 Steps of Persuasion, from the book Influence by Dr. Cialdini– and how to apply one of the most popular sales books {ever} to your practice…
and ultimately sell more hearing aids.

Connect with Your Patients & You’ll Sell More Hearing Aids

This time our topic is Consistency -a powerful trait of behavior.

Understanding Consistency, and the role that it plays in the buying decision, will help you effectively connect with your patients and ultimately sell more hearing aids.

Personally, it bugs me when people do not follow through on a commitment. In fact, I’d say inconsistency is really high on my list of pet peeves, right up there with slow drivers in the left lane and a cold, rainy, summer!

Conversely, I think people who are consistent (make a commitment and follow through with it) are generally more rational, assured, and overall trustworthy.  I tend to immediately judge people who don’t put action behind their word as fickle, scatterbrained, and even unstable. Of course this generality NEVER applies to Beeman customers!

Why Does Consistency Work?

Most people want to be perceived as consistent. It is a highly valued trait in our society. (Most) people in our society desire to “make good on a promise.”

We use consistency to cut through the daily barrage of clutter and decisions that we face on a day to day basis. If we had to stop and weigh our decisions every time we perform a routine task it would drive us crazy and nothing would be accomplished.

Do I use the toilet paper or the Kleenex to blow my nose? Should I use a bar of soap in the shower to wash my hands or the soap dispenser next to the sink? Is one better than the other? Hmmm… …..
(Dr Cialdini goes into this in more detail in his book including really interesting studies… more interesting than blowing your nose.)

Instead of over thinking every detail of every decision in our lives, our brains use consistency to cut through the clutter.

Consistency is a coping mechanism that helps us navigate through our busy lives and make better decisions.

4 Ways To Use Consistency To Sell More Hearing Aids

(And yes, it can be done ethically)

It is important to methodically lead a new patient down a path to commitment.

“Making Good” on a Commitment = Being Consistent

Not only does consistency make your patient look & feel good socially, but it makes life easier on your patient.

When you get a commitment, your patient’s brain says:

“You said yes. I’m going to do what I am trained to do – keep it simple, go along with the decision.”

Consistency is a powerful tool. You are using the power of consistency for good – influencing your patients – who badly need a hearing aid – to take that next step to a better life.

You just need to take the proven steps of consistency to get your patients to “make good on a promise” towards better hearing health.

Here’s how:

1.      Say it Out Loud

Most people do not like to “go back on their word”.  Nobody wants to be labeled fickle or unstable. Asking someone to speak the words – that they are ready to take a step towards hearing wellness (and a happier social / family life) – is one step closer to closing the sale. You are going to see much less “tire kicking” later on in the sales cycle.

Keeping in mind our last blog (Likability) – start with Listening to Mr. Jones and build rapport with him. Ask him to describe his problems to you. Try saying something like this:

What to say:
“Ok Mr. Jones, you have told me some of the issues you are having with your hearing. If we find today that you truly have a hearing impairment – and I am able to offer a solution that will give you a healthier lifestyle AND work within your budget – are you ready to commit to solving your problem?”

2.      Write it Down

There is something almost magical that links a commitment to a good name – a written signature. Mr. Jones wants to keep his word and maintain a positive self-image, especially if he has gone on the record with his written word.

What to do:
After you have received a verbal “yes” – give Mr. Jones a document that states – as long as the recommendations fit within his budget – Mr. Jones is committed to working towards a solution to his hearing problem. Have Mr. Jones sign the document before you proceed with the hearing test.

You should also sign it yourself, stating that you understand his complaints and that you will provide Mr. Jones with your best solution to his problems.

3.      Share the Commitment Publicly

As part of our call coaching service at Beeman Marketing, we tell our clients to always ask for a Third Party. One reason a Third Party is essential – it is basically peer pressure 101. Stating a commitment in front of a loved one is a huge step and one that we know is critical for closing sales.

What to do:
When Mr. Jones commits in writing to you, he is now making a public statement (in front of his wife) that he is committed to get help. If Mrs. Jones has come to the appointment, most likely she knows that Mr. Jones has a problem and wants him to get help.  Mr. Jones does not want to hear the repercussions when he gets home if he commits to getting help and then walks out of your office without a hearing instrument.

4.     Achieve Fewer Returns & More Referrals

How can consistency do this?  People have an inherit desire to align actions with beliefs.

After you have received verbal and written commitment, found a loss, persuaded the customer that they do indeed need to buy hearing aids (more on persuasion best practices in our next blog!) and closed the sale – your next step is to re-enforce that great decision.

The company LifeSource knows how to do this.

LifeSource uses little stickers that say “I Donated Blood Today!” Each and every person who has taken action to donate blood, now has a badge to wear on his or her shirt to publicly proclaim consistency in helping others. The customer feels good about it… and others see it and think “I want to do that and feel good about myself too!”

And how about the “I voted” sticker during election time? Same idea.  The voters feels good about voting. She wants to share this great decision and come back next election. Others see her sticker, praise her for voting, and feel the peer pressure to vote themselves.
Pure consistency genius!

How to Do It:
Help a person associate their own self-image with promoting better hearing.  Use promotional products to promote the great decision to achieve better hearing health. Use stickers, tote bags, auto decals, etc. promoting the decision stating: “I had my hearing checked today” or “I have Healthy Hearing”

Get creative. Find ideas on Pinterest.

Here are a few that would be great on a tote, coffee mug or bumper sticker together with your logo:

“I hear, therefore I am.”
“The more I LISTEN the more I HEAR”.
“Yes. I Can Hear You Now”
“2 Ears are Better Than 1”
“Life is Calling. Now I Can Hear It”

Using the principles of consistency will help your practice sell more hearing aids, avoid returns, and have happier patients that will refer.

Remember, you are using a proven sales tool to spread hearing wellness and make a difference in someone’s life.

You are helping Mr. Jones accept that fact that he needs help... and influencing him to take action towards a better life.

Stay tuned next time for the third step of “Persuasion” (or as we like to call it, “Staying Alive”)