I am a physical therapist trained in office based ergonomics. I cold calling and doing mailings to call centers and larger companies with significant “desk based” employees. I have received some interest and little business. I have targeted employee health and safety committees. Has anyone had good success getting the ergo message to the right person/people. I have been surprising pleased to see how many businesses understand the role of ergonomics in their worksite wellness initiatives, but finding it hard to get them to seek additional info and get in front of the decision makers.
Any advice or sharing of experiences would be greatly appreciated.
I doubt if this reply will constitute a consolation, but your experience sounds so familiar! We offer programs for people suffering from RSI and for orginization needing to protect their employees against computer injuries. The feedbacks we get are great, people , spoil us with compliments, but very little business. Working our way into the corporate is also a long process. At times we get to think that people would rather pay a costly visit to their physician than pay a USD to avoid the pain and the need for such a visit.
I have been invited to an ergonomic meeting at the investment center of a large Bank that decided to . At the beginning of the presentation by their ergonomic specialist he projected a slide listing the many pains resulting from RSI and asked the 150 people present: “how many have experienced one or more of these complaints?” No more than 20% of the hand were lifted. One of the investment bankers stood up (a young woman, its always women who stand up in front of the crowd where courage is needed) and said to the lecturer: “this is not the right way to phrase this question”, she turned round to face her colleagues and asked: “is there anyone here who did NOT suffer from one or more of these complaints?” Not even one hand came up. For me this was the essence of our problem: we have a potential of 100% and the marketing risk is that we are left with the shy minority.
Breaking through that is what all our marketing effort is all about.
Don’t give up,
I am a CHT and OTR and have spent several years in the consultative field and to date the best foot in the door is to present at a safety meeting and then volunteer to sit on the safety committee. I believe we can give up an hour or so to offer services. I have also found that from start to finish, the time it takes to actually get in the door is a little under one year. Good luck and perservere.
I to find the circumstances you described, unfortunatley we sometimes end up spending too much time preaching to the converted, who also have little budgetary consideration for their department. I sometimes wonder why companies even hired them, appearance of due dilligence perhaps?
Regardless of why they are there and if they have any meaningful input, my best successes to date are based on “Turn Key Solutions”. Nobody and I mean NOBODY, wants more work on their desk. In order for our services to be truly appreciated it seems to work on a win/win/win basis. Find the problem, find the solution, find the payoff for the company. Then develop a workable plan so they don’t take all your hard work and delegate the job to somebody in the company who is already too busy to deal with it.
I have found the target in larger companies to be one of a combination of the following:
1. Legal/Risk Management Department
3. Training (if you offer training)
Are you targeting the right groups? Also, you probably know this but making personal connections with your target as well as colleagues gets your name out there. Ever used LinkedIn.com?
The corporate market is difficult to tap with cold calling and mailings. You have to keep being patiently persistent. Roles and objectives change. Stay with people you know, even when they switch companies. Be aware of budgets in this economy and be prepared to show how you can reduce expenses with your work, not add to them.
Hope some of this helps.
Another thought . . . maybe offer something unusal like free 10 min in-office massages for your target, leading to ergo work. I’m not sure if this would work or be appropriate, but the idea is to stand out from the crowd.
I have to agree with Sheldon here. In business there is the common "law": people do business with people they know. My consultative and speaking business comes from referrals. The referrals can be from other therapists or doctors, clients or even people that I have gotten to know from the various chambers and business organizations I belong to.
There is a lot of trust involved in bringing in someone who is going to end up pointing out all the things you have been doing wrong for a long time. Realize that when we approach people with our wonderful "ergonomics" there first thought is: who is this guy, and their second thought is: s/he may very well make me look stupid/at fault/find all the bad things.
It may not be logical and people may realize that we bring a great service to their company, but we are seen as people who may very well cost big bucks. The point is, when you are referred by someone the person already knows, you have broken through the first thought barrier. Also, they are more likely to trust you and give you a chance.
Keep doing what you are doing but add community involvement. And give yourself away. I don’t think I want to offer free massages with what I do, but I may agree to come in to the company’s health fair for free and lecture. I give away lunch and learns. I may invite the safety officers or their staff to a free lecture I’m giving somewhere else. If you are giving a lecture somewhere for a paying client you can ask that client’s permission to bring in someone who wants to see what you do (a potential client). That way (if you do a good job) the current client can gush your praise to a potential client and the potential client can see how much you are trusted by this fellow business.
Keep on trucking,
Owner, Worksite Health & Safety Consultants
The forum ‘Medical Management’ is closed to new topics and replies.