Occupational therapy products are the skills of the individual therapist in the roles of clinician, manager, consultant, educator and researcher. The products need to be of high quality and should meet the needs of customers in order to be successful marketing tools. For occupational therapy products to be credible, special training, education and experience are required.
Once you know that the product that you are offering is of a high standard you need to promote it. Promotion of occupational therapy uses three main strategies: personal selling mass selling and sales promotion.
Personal selling refers to one on one marketing between the occupational therapist and the customer. This is the most expensive but most effective of occupational therapy products used by all occupational therapists while building a private practice.
Occupational therapists need to educate their customers about the value of their services. This needs to be done in such a way that the products and services offered by the occupational therapist supplement the needs of the customers. The personal selling presentation made by the occupational therapist must be designed to specifically satisfy the target market.
While planning a personal selling presentation, you must decide what kind of information you want to highlight and what your goals are. Before actually giving the presentation, practice what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.
Put across our message clearly and briefly. Back up your statements using data from studies, AOTA literature etc. Through your presentation, bring out the value of occupational therapy services. AOTA has several resources like informative films and video tapes that you can use as reference material to enhance your presentations.
After the presentation, evaluate if your goals were met, how you could improve your presentation and your follow-up strategy.
Another effective personal selling tool is serving as a guest lecturer at health fairs, on the boards of health care committees, and participating in continuing education.
Whichever occupational therapy products you select, your focus should be on emphasizing the value of occupational therapy services and showing how you as an occupational therapist can meet the needs of your customers.