An estimated 28.8 million Americans age 20 to 69 could benefit from wearing hearing aids – yet fewer than 16% have ever used them.
Hearing aid sales drive practice success. However, it’s likely that the people encouraging patients to purchase hearing aids at your practice are audiologists and practitioners who aren’t trained to sell products or are uncomfortable doing so. After all, they got into this line of work to help people, not sell hearing aids. Additionally, patients may be hesitant to purchase hearing aids for several reasons:
An important metric to track hearing aid sales is your close rate.
Did you know?Less than 16% Americans have used hearing aids.
Your close rate is an important success indicator in small business administration that signifies how many patients who test with hearing loss purchase hearing aids from you. You can measure close rate for individual practitioners and your practice as a whole. The formula to determine your close rate is as follows:
Close Rate = Total Appointments with Sales / Total Number of Sales Opportunities
(Sales Opportunities: Patients tested for treatable loss and have not purchased hearing aids in 3+ years)
Not only does a higher close rate increase revenue for your practice, but it also ensures patients get the products and treatments they need to enhance their hearing health.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve close rates.
Always educate patients on the importance of hearing health for their overall physical, mental, and emotional health. However, rather than taking a general approach with patients, consider what brought each of them into your practice in the first place.
Every individual has their own personal and/or professional reasons for seeking hearing care – getting to know your patients, and understanding those reasons helps to form a relationship and connect treatments to their specific concerns. Guide patients through a journey that leads to successful hearing aid adoption and creates an empathy-driven experience that will bring them back.
For instance, perhaps a patient is struggling to comprehend instructions from their boss at work. Communicate to that patient how hearing aids will not only improve job efficiency and performance, but as a result will increase opportunities for promotions, salary increases, and bonuses.
Finally, if a patient remains hesitant, share success stories that resemble theirs. Learning about others’ experiences with hearing aids will further demonstrate the effects these treatments might have on their lives.
Selling a hearing aid is extremely difficult if you don’t successfully convey the benefit it will have on a patient’s quality of life. Patients – especially those new to hearing care – often look for the cheapest option, even if insurance will cover some of the cost. Skip the technical jargon and effectively demonstrate the qualitative value and why cheaper doesn’t always mean better. A patient who is skeptical due to price may change their mindset if they understand the positive impact improved hearing will have on their everyday life.
If possible, provide financing solutions and payment plans, as well as special discounts for new patients.
Whether a patient is in denial or doesn’t want to pay for hearing aids, they will see the value by trying them firsthand. Offer patients the opportunity to participate in a free product trial. Trials allow patients to experience the power of hearing aids and the impact they can have on work, relationships, and more. Just make sure to follow up with the patient throughout and after the trial period to address any questions, concerns, or issues they may have regarding the hearing aids – this will keep your practice top of mind while ensuring the patient is getting the most out of their treatment.
Another way to curb apprehension for patients is to walk them through all the parts of hearing aids, how they work and ways to troubleshoot any issues. Patients who are nervous or embarrassed to wear hearing aids will be reassured at how user-friendly and discreet they are.
Making hearing aid sales starts with understanding and empathizing with your patients and becoming a trusted healthcare partner rather than simply providing a service. Set a goal for each provider and your overall practice and track success over time, making adjustments as needed. If you are a multi-provider practice, have successful practitioners share their wins and failures for increasing their close rate so others can learn from what is and is not working. If you’re a solo practitioner looking for guidance, reach out to your peers in the Elite Hearing Network who can offer suggestions and advice.
Improving close rates is just one piece of the puzzle for small business management and running a successful practice. Discover additional KPIs to measure your practice’s performance against industry benchmarks.