Shutting down the big fat healthcare sales excuse factory!

In our healthcare sales training and coaching work with our clients‘ staff all over the UK, I hear a plethora of excuses from people as to why they aren’t selling or practicing what they’ve been taught (and what they know works!).

If your healthcare sales people are not converting enough calls in to appointments, or not converting enough appointments in to patients, or not converting enough patients into referrals – you need to ask your them: WHY?

When I do, I can often see the excuses coming, especially when I expect someone to “own” their mediocre results.

We can only take the glory for being great, if we take the responsibility when we are not.

Excuse makers. These are the gonna-doers and the half-a-minders. You know the ones. The ones that are gonna do this or have half a mind to do that? Unfortunately, these half-a-minders and gonna-doers invariably end up to being the never-doers.

I’m sure the following quote from Zig Ziglar Audio CD: Goals, will remind you of someone….

Ever see the individual who says: “I’d really want to get involved in this project… but it’s really almost time for the kids to get out of school, wait till the kids get out of school, because I’m having to take them to so many parties now, and when school gets out then I’ll really get busy…” And, when school gets out they say: “Well, you know I didn’t really realise it but now I have to take them somewhere it seems, like all the time, and I have to do it more now than I did when they were in school. Wait till the kids get back in school and then I’ll really get busy…” Then the kids get back in school and they say: “Well, for the first time in 23 years dear old central high has finally got a winning football season, and you’ve got to support the kids, you know. Wait till after football season, and then I’ll really get involved.” Then football season ends and they say, “Well, you know, here it is Thanksgiving, and Christmas and New Years, and people just don’t want to be bothered at this time of the year, wait till after the holidays, and then we can all get a fresh start.” And then after the holidays they say, “Well, you know, it’s the weather… have you ever seen weather like this around London or Birmingham, or Leeds or Newcastle, or wherever? You know, you just don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, let’s just wait until the weather settles down… Now wait a minute, wait a minute, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking I’ve lost interest. But just a minute, let me tell you the way I am see, now here’s the way I do things: I get everything all lined up in the proper order, and get all of my ducks in a row, I get all my plans made, and then, when I do get started, Man! I really get after it! I mean, I just find that works better for me. Now some of these other people, they might be ahead of me right now, but this is what works best for me. Wait till after the weather settles down, and then I’ll really get after it.” Then, the weather settles down, and they say: “Well, here it is, Easter time, and you know, Easter time is family time, and we all know, family is most important. Wait till I’ve had some family time…” And then they have some family time, and they say “Well, at long long last we’ve got some decent weather, and I haven’t hit a golf ball in… I don’t know when? And you know, you can’t work all the time! A fellow has to have some time off, wait till I hit a few golf balls, and then I’ll really get at it.” Then they hit a few golf balls and you know what they say? “Well, it’s time for the kids to get back out of school…”

It’s enough sometimes to make you feel like you’re taking part in a perverse game of whack-a-mole, as you bat these lame excuses down with your anti-cop-out mallet.

We hear them so often in fact, that I’ve started to amass a small collection of the most common excuses we hear. We call it our “50 excuses for not selling”. We now hand this list as part of every training workshop manual before training begins, so that we all know where we stand. If we’re getting excuses during the session, we’ll take the 5 minutes we need to go over this list and shut down the excuse factory.

Feel free to print and post this handy list of excuses in your staff room or wherever your healthcare sales people congregate.

If you hear your staff (or indeed, yourself) thinking or saying these excuses, open-mind surgery may be needed!

50 excuses for not selling:

1. I tried that before and it didn’t work…
2. My product is different…
3. I’m not a born sales person…
4. The economy is down…
5. That’s not my job…
6. I’m too busy to do that…
7. It’s too radical a change…
8. I don’t have the time…
9. I want to maintain my originality / creativity…
10. We’ve spent so much time learning to do it the old way…
11. I don’t want to sound too pushy…
12. Our clinic is too small for it…
13. This isn’t practical for non-sales people…
14. The other staff will never buy it…
15. The surgeons will scream…
16. We’ve never done it before…
17. Our marketing isn’t doing a very good job…
18. My leads are unqualified…
19. I prefer to let people make up their own mind…
20. There’s been bad news in the press lately…
21. That’s not my problem…
22. Why change it, it’s working okay…
23. I don’t like the idea of it…
24. You’re right, but…
25. You’re two years ahead of your time…
26. I’m not ready for that…
27. We don’t have the money / equipment / room, or staff…
28. It isn’t in the budget…
29. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…
30. Good thought, but impractical…
31. Let’s think about it and come back to it later…
32. Let’s give it more thought…
33. We’ll be the laughing stock…
34. Let’s put it in writing…
35. Not that again…
36. We’d lose money in the long run…
37. Every patient is different so I couldn’t use a process…
38. We did all right without it…
39. Joanne is a good seller and she doesn’t want to do it…
40. It’s never been tried before…
41. That won’t work in a medical environment…
42. Let’s shelve it for the time being…
43. Has anyone ever tried it?
44. The patients won’t like it…
45. I’m just not a natural salesperson…
46. It won’t work in our clinic…
47. What you are really saying is…
48. We’ve always done it this way…
49. When you say it, it sounds fine, but I couldn’t say that…
50. That sounds too American / cheesy / salesey for our us Brits…

We’ve said it before and it bears repeating: We can only take the glory for being great, if we take the responsibility when we are not.

How come it’s sometimes someone or something else’s fault when we’re not succeeding, yet we’re so quick to accept accolades when we are successful? We can’t have it both ways. We must take responsibility for the bad so we can revel in the glory of a job well done.

Need someone to come in and shut down your big fat excuse factory? Contact us to see how we can help

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Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

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Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK