Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wheelchairs: Your Not-so-Silent Salesforce

Is every wheelchair on your showroom floor working for you? I have visited a great number of providers throughout the country and am too often appalled at what I call “naked” wheelchairs.

I am thinking about one provider in particular. He very proudly showed me that he displayed more than a dozen chairs on the showroom floor. He was very self-satisfied that each was different. There were many: various colors and styles, swing-away leg rests, removable arms, desk arms, hemi-chairs, travel and so forth. Impressive? No! I was disappointed. Although I did not mean to embarrass him, I tried to show him how to make each chair work for him.

We spoke about how he could make each chair a silent salesperson. It is so easy. Simply affix to each chair all the add-on sale items, comfort items and ADLs. Place a different cushion on each chair. There are several types of safety belts, cup holders, wallet holders, and many comfort and many safety items you can show. Don’t forget anti-tip devices, oxygen cylinder holders, brake extensions and backpacks.

I am aware that many providers are doing this. This dealer took my admonitions seriously. He and his staff sought out every possible item they could locate. His chairs were dressed up and every item had a price tag. Most people will not buy merchandise that isn’t prominently price marked.

He has reported that in more than 90% of his sales, whether for Medicaid, Medicare or other insurance, the patient usually bought one or two additional items. The number of discretionary dollars available today is large and most people are willing to pay a few dollars for extra comfort.

Put every wheelchair on display to work. Make them better sales sources!!!

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