Some find it challenging to utilize supplements in their practice. Why are some practitioners extremely successful at this while other aren’t? There are many variables, but in this article we will discuss some of the foundational aspects…
In our many years of experience in working with practitioners, we have come to see some basic best practices employed by those that are successful at utilizing supplements with their patients. More often than not, the “successful” practitioner will employ anywhere from 2-3 of these principles. Before we start though, we have to list a couple of issues that have to be there to even start; (1) conviction/confidence by the practitioner in what supplements they are offering, and (2) adequate knowledge about the products and what role/benefits they will play in patient health. Assuming those two are in place, let’s proceed now with some of the best practices.
Sound simple. Funny though, many a practitioner puts products on their shelf and then fail to talk about them. It’s not conducive to patient utilization. You don’t typically have the advantages in merchandizing that stores do. What you do have is the advantage of being the person that the patient is entrusting their health to (at least in part). If you have conviction, and the knowledge of how the supplements will benefit your patient, then you have to prescribe.
Utilize a Construct
Utilizing a construct means to employ a system in which to tangibly show the patient they need nutritional support. This has been done effectively with questionnaires, published protocols, web apps, etc. In short, find a simple way to educate the patient on the gaps in their health and how nutrition and other therapies can help fill them.
Make it easy to get
It can be tough enough to get the patient to start on a supplement regimen, but it’s way harder to keep them on it. One way is to incorporate ways for them to comply easily. The type of inventory can come into play with different delivery forms, etc. But, more importantly is ease of ordering. Utilizing simple web sites, customer engagement models such as e-mail, texting, or simply allowing them to call to order, can make a difference. We have seen practitioners who think that if they make it too easy to order, they won’t get their office visits. Guess what? For the most part, the office visits will or will not happen, but for sure you will lose the supplement sales if you make it contingent on them seeing you.
It all adds up, to adding value
Like with all customers, practitioners need to add value. There has to be a reason they would buy supplements from you versus the store (or otherwise):
- Higher quality
- Part of a system to address their health
- Your expertise
- Continuing education
These are some of the ways you can add value to your patients, which will get them to incorporate more of your suggestions, including supplements, which will add value to your practice.
Let us know if you are interested in the above, as we at 3Care are in development of some of these types of support materials. There, of course, are many complicated systems out there, but in our experience substantive but simple works best. We will be working along those lines and will be writing about some of these in future articles.