Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dermatology and eBay Selling

If anyone tells you that doctors aren’t salespeople, consider dismissing what that someone has to say from then on.

I know, most doctors get into the profession to save lives and comfort the sick, but part of that process involves persuasion. And today’s system of drug and treatment development has placed heavy sales pressure on doctors. Some resist it, but many improve the revenues of their practice by playing the game.

Case in point: I went to the dermatologist to have a mole looked at, and I went home with a hole in my head and a tube of lotion unrelated to the hole in my head.

The mole was “suspicious looking,” and the lotion is used to treat something called rosacea – redness of the face brought on by all kinds of things including avocados, chocolate, alcohol, stress, and hot weather. All things that I’m fond of. Maybe not stress.

Anyway, the lotion was a classic cross-sell – the kind you should be proposing to your eBay customers. When someone’s is getting ready to check out, offer them additional items related to their initial purchase. In my case I came in for potential skin cancer removal. They cross-sold me some cream to deal with something else skin related.

A need was filled (I guess – I didn’t think my face looked red), and I was sent home with some free samples of the lotion. This is another good marketing tactic – send them home with a sample. Works great in the medical field, with food, beverages and puppy dogs. The classic example is called “the puppy dog sale,” where the pet store says you can take the puppy home for a day or two to see if you’re ready for the challenge. Invariably you become attached and keep the puppy.

Try some puppy dog sales and cross-sells with your own business. Throw in some free samples in a shipped package, suggest complementary items before checkout. You’ll boost sales in the process.

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