Confidence is the key to revenue growth in the hearing healthcare business
By Geoffrey Cooling
It is an interesting time in the hearing healthcare world, combined pressures both internal and external are driving change. Some businesses are under pressure, falling margins are not corrected by increase in volume. Other businesses are thriving, whilst they have seen some changes in their margins they are also seeing real growth in both unit volumes and revenue.
It is a common concern I hear in this market, people are busy enough, but margin is constantly squeezed. Sales are not up enough to make up for that squeeze in margin. Most customers also talk about the quiet times being quieter. Marketing is not really delivering and they obtain most of their sales through their existing customers. Either through re-sales or referral sales.
However for at least one of my customers in Ireland the story is very different. He has tripled his revenue over three years. He has increased both revenue and margin whilst profitability as a percentage has remained stable. In a growth phase profitability may remain stable or indeed slip, that is the nature of a growth phase. In purely figures terms profitability has increased, more unit sales more revenue bigger profit figure. The question is why?
The answer is complex, no one thing has brought him to here. It was a combination of myriad strategies that delivered the growth. I became involved with the business in 2010, the owner and the staff were willing and ready to accept advice and move forward with new ideas. They were a true pleasure to work with, every strategy that made sense they drove forward. Some of the changes involved were
Location change of branches
Installation of Practice management software
Well deployed online marketing strategy
Introduction of fixed processes and procedures
Introduction of a Patient communication strategy
Introduction of intelligent mail marketing
The use of multiple media channels for marketing
The list goes on and on, I hope at some stage to cover it in an in-depth manner. The one thing that was obvious was the effect of all of the combined changes. It affected his brand, it consolidated it and drove it, his brand, which is now visible to a wider market, speaks to caring professionalism. It drives confidence in Patients and prospective Patients.
Each experience with his brand confirms that perception. From the look of his website, through to how the staff handle customers and how his Practices look, to the ongoing experience each Patient has as a valued customer. It all confirms and consolidates that confidence in an ongoing manner. This confidence ensures Patients act in certain ways. They purchase the best they can afford, no question, no second guessing.
They refer people consistently which drives new Patient growth. Existing Patients are retained, they show quite amazing loyalty. This confidence has driven this business through a massive three year growth spiral. It has allowed the business to look towards new pastures, possible new branches in larger urban areas.
Confidence, it is quite an amazing thing, it is quite a powerful thing. Confidence allows us to leap forward in our endeavours. We are taught that confidence allows us to fulfil our potential. Confidence in our abilities allow us to achieve, let us be all that we can be. Confidence is a particularly powerful feeling.
Shouldn’t you think about engendering confidence in your prospective Customers?