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Stepwise Success

Sell Your Lab

Published October 26, 2012 6:14 AM by Scott Warner

Physician demands can be infuriating sometimes. Physicians can order testing that is obsolete, not indicated, or in a grape shot of requests. As I pointed out in my last blog, we should be happy to perform whatever they need to make treatment decisions.

But I also pointed out our obligation as laboratory experts to sell our services. Here are a few ideas, in no particular order:

Create a Newsletter. A newsletter or flyer in any form is targeted marketing. It can include anything you want: new tests, changes, hours of operations, specimen collection guidelines, tables, flowcharts, opinion. When I asked our physicians what they wanted to see in a newsletter, they responded, “Tests we do here.”

Pick the Right Time. Timing is everything, sometimes. Any question or suggestion of what to order can be seen as defiant if done at the wrong time. A physician who calls for a STAT test, for example, doesn’t want to hear, “We don’t perform that test STAT.” Say when the test can be done instead.

Send a Helpful Message. Presentation is critical. Beginning with, “I want to be sure to give you the test you need” or “Tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll call a pathologist” makes you sound helpful. While you encounter those physicians who want what they want when they want it, those individuals are rare. (You need to help them, too.)

Be Agreeable. Saying, “Sure, we can do that,” or “We can help you” is not just what a physician wants to hear. It promotes a positive, professional image. If a test is no longer offered, you can say, “I think we can help you with that. We perform a newer test that gives you a better result.”

Telephoning the physician first instead of waiting for that dreaded complaint is proactive. Physicians need to have the best knowledge to make the best decisions, and we are in that loop. Every interaction with a physician is a chance to sell your lab and yourself.

NEXT: What Not To Wear (To An Interview)

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About this Blog


    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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