Sell This = Sell That: The Strength of Cross-Promotion in Retail Sales
As a follow-up to the earlier article, “Four Ways HME Providers Can Overcome Retail Goliaths”, here are some additional merchandising ideas to increase your retail sales. More importantly, these ideas can demonstrate to your customers that you know and understand their issues and have the right products to help them live at home.
One of the main complaints about large retailers is the lack of knowledge exhibited by many of the staff about the products they are selling. While this may be too broad a generalization, HOMECARE is in fact a specialized, service-oriented market that requires a comprehensive knowledge of products, a person’s physical limitations, and how a “system” of products can greatly enhance the safety, comfort and convenience of someone living at home.
Display Wisely for Retail Sales
A Safer Bathroom: Whenever possible, set up vignettes of how the products would look in at home — have an actual bathroom display in your showroom. Mount different sized Grab Bars on the walls with a Bathtub Safety Rail on the bathtub wall. This combined with a Bath Seat and Transfer Bench will allow your customer to visualize how their bathroom could look. They can clearly see how a system of bathroom safety products in and around their bathtub will enable them to bathe and move around the bathroom more safely.
Don’t neglect the toilet! While one of the most common bathroom safety products is a Raised Toilet Seat, sometimes all a customer requires is a set of Toilet Safety Rails installed on their existing toilet. Unless someone shows them what Toilet Safety Rails are and how easily they can be installed, they may never realize the benefits that such a simple product can bring them.
Many HME Providers have a Homecare Bed on display. Make sure your display features:
A Full Electric Homecare Bed. While Medicare will only reimburse for a Semi-Electric Homecare Bed, your bedroom display should also feature cash sale / rental products. This means showing your customers the most versatile and comfortable Homecare Bed available.
An upgraded Foam Mattress that is more comfortable and provides better pressure management capabilities than a standard innerspring mattress.
Install Half Rails. Half Rails are less institutional-looking and are easier for a caregiver to raise and lower than full-length bed rails.
lace a colorful comforter and pillow on the bed. You want to make the products look as home-like as possible.
Let’s Go Out
Getting out and about is critical to your customer’s well-being. While it may be more difficult now that they have a physical limitation, YOU are the mobility expert. First, move standard walkers away from the front of your showroom and instead feature a variety of colorful Rollators and Transport Chairs that customers see first in the Mobility area.
Encourage customers to try the products not only inside the showroom but outside as well. They need to get a feel for the products on different surfaces.
Address the needs of both the caregiver and the user by demonstrating how light the products are and how easy they are to fold and transport.
While a Wheelchair Cushion is the most popular add-on product when selling a wheelchair, seat belts, storage pouches, and even Reachers can make using a mobility product more convenient and safer. Unless you show these products to your customers, they will never buy them because they simply don’t know they exist.
All Canes and Quad Canes should feature a soft grip or a specialized grip like the Lumex Ortho Ease Handgrip. These differences enhance your expertise.
Take it Easy
You want to show your customers that living at home and being mobile is as easy and safe as possible. Some key ADL products can enhance the use and safety of other homecare products:
- A Hand Held Shower Head reduces the amount of reaching and bending while bathing.
- Lumex Mobility Lights make any Rollator, Walker or Transport Wheelchair more visible at night.
- A Walker Basket makes even a standard folding walker more useful
Graham-Field Patient Safety Alarms also can help your customers feel more comfortable and safer while living at home independently.
While simple ideas, all of the above take the products “out of the box” and allow your customer to see and try multiple products in their actual setting. These ideas will also allow you to sell a much broader product portfolio.
Keys to Success: Sell This = Sell That
- Make sure your showroom has the “Add-On Products” at hand to demonstrate to customers:
- Have several types of Reachers in your Mobility Area
- A Wheelchair Cushion should be on every Wheelchair and Transport Chair on display
- All Rollators should have Lumex Mobility Lights installed as well as any other available options
- A Bath Seat should always be sold with a Grab Bar or Tub Rail
- Train and incentivize your Team to sell a “system”, not a product. All individuals who come in contact with customers need to be familiar with all of the products on display. A monthly incentive based on a selection of pre-defined “Add-On Products” will help ensure they are mentioned to every customer.
- Keep it Simple. Don’t overwhelm your customer with a cluttered showroom. In many cases, this is their first encounter with homecare products. Focus on the most popular items and have them out of the box and on display whenever possible. Inventory should be kept off of the showroom floor.
Lawrence de la Haba is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare, and primary care markets. Graham-Field product brands include Basic American Medical Products™, Everest & Jennings®, Gendron®, Grafco®, Hausted®, Intensa®, John Bunn®, Labtron®, Lumex® and Lumiscope®. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 1.770.368.4700.