Today's post is from Dr Ganesh Rao, founder of TreatmentSaver.com a comparison website for medical and optical treatments. One side of the business is the online site for consumers. But the other side is very much a service business: Ganesh and his business partner provide a service to clinics to help them get more clients (via the site). And they have to market and sell that service just like any other service business.
Ganesh has written this article to share his experiences as a professional who'd never had to sell before, suddenly thrust into a world where if you don't sell, you don't last long. there's something to learn for all of us in his expeiences.
Building a successful website or any company for that matter requires a great deal of patience, a hell of a lot of perseverance and a hearty helping of good old fashioned luck!
I am a doctor and my business partner is an Optometrist and we both left our respective medical careers to start our own web company. With little experience and blind faith that we would be millionaires within 6 months we set about developing our idea.
As we were both from medical backgrounds and had an interest in technology, we figured the most likely route to success would involve combing the two. We had noticed an increasing number of comparison websites but realised there wasn’t anything similar for clinics.
This was where our idea came from to build a comparison website for clinics that allowed people to book laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery appointments online. This was how our website TreatmentSaver.com was born!
We soon realised that building a great product was only half the battle. If no one was going to pay us for our services then we weren’t going to be around for very long. We both had very little sales knowledge bearing in mind our professions and consequently had to learn on ‘the job’ so to speak.
Our customers are the clinics themselves as they pay us every time an appointment is booked through our website. For users our site is completely free and this was always our intention. When we set about selling to clinics there were number of key principles which we found worked well for our business.
It did however take us a while to refine our sales process and there was a great deal of rejection in the beginning. For seasoned sales experts the following information may perhaps be old news, but it certainly helped us “sales newbies” build our website up to decent turnover.