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Once Bitten, Twice Shy

ResistAnce not resistEnce. D'oh!

Hello everyone,


As I mentioned in my introduction, I am a medical transcriptionist. I am in the process of starting my own business and looking for my first client. I have been answering employment ads because, hey, they're definitely in the market for my services! People seem to like me and are impressed with my qualifications, but as soon as I suggest the work be done offsite, I get the same big objection every time, "We tried that once; it didn't work out."

Ouch! All of a sudden I've done a lousy job establishing trust and credibility and differentiating myself from the pack of "transcription hobbyists." Once the objection has been stated, I haven't been able to overcome it.

This is terrible because if they considered outsourcing their transcription before, they obviously saw some value in it at the time. It's also a very emotional objection, for obvious reasons, because they are willing to take a chance on hiring me as an employee which takes time, money, and loads of paperwork, not to mention training, all with the possibility it might not work out rather than send me a few dictation files and quickly eliminate me from the candidate pool if I don't measure up. Can any of you fine professionals help?

My sincere thanks,

Tanya Armstrong

PS: These are a few of the things I think differentiate me from my fellow transcriptionists (if it helps):
- Both transcription and quality assurance experience (quality assurance is similar to a management position)
- 10+ years in business management
- I am a single professional, NOT a stay-at-home mom
- I offer a free trial to demonstrate my abilities
- Now I am considering leasing office space to avoid the "at-home stigma"

And I do apologize for the length of this post. :o
- by RushmoreMT
How many potential clients have you contact? Did you say the exact thing in your leading introduction and question each time? When were the other responses and how do you feel about them?

Some questins to consider. - by MitchM
People seem to like me and are impressed with my qualifications, but as soon as I suggest the work be done offsite, I get the same big objection every time, "We tried that once; it didn't work out."
What is your reponse to this concern? - by Jackie
I'll address both previous posts in this one. Yes, my inital steps are virtually the same. Since I am answering employment ads, I normally send out a cover letter/resume first, as most ads don't include a phone number. If there is a phone number or I can find one out, however, I do call first. My voice mail message is essentially a shortened version of my cover letter. I tell them I am interested and ask that before they make a final decision to consider the benefits (A,B,C) of hiring me. I do feel my cover letter/resume and voice mail are fairly good because I am getting a good response to them.

When I do finally speak to a live person, I always ask about the position and about the clinic or practice itself. I also ask what they are looking for in a transcriptionist, and in an attempt to head off this objection I am dealing with, I have started to ask why they are looking for a new transcriptionist (if they admit their last in-house transcriptionist didn't work out, but they are obviously willing to give it a try again, perhaps I can use that later?) Well, so far, nobody has admitted to that. I am also considering on my next round asking why they chose, out of all of the applicants, to call me or why they are considering me, again to hopefully help address this trust concern before it is even brought up.

As for how I am handling the concern. Not very well, obviously! I do ask them what happened and to tell me a little bit more about the experience if they are willing. Aside from that, I have been varying my response as I try out new things. First of all, am I making a mistake by trying to handle it immediately rather than going back and attempting again to establish a relationship or my qualifications, etc.? Once the objection is brought up, the call ends almost immediately. At any rate, I normally start with:

So, understandably, what you are saying is trust is your biggest concern? (They usually agree.)

And I follow with any number of solutions to their concern. Again, I am not sure if offering answers right now is my problem or I am not giving the right answers. I have offered free trials and given assurances to my quality and TAT (turn-around times). I have offered to come in (if they are local), look at their system, and see if using an independent contractor is even the right solution for them. I've reiterated that I am only looking for the same opportunity as my peers to demonstrate my belief that I am the best candidate for the job. All have been met with the same, "We're sorry, we would really just prefer to keep everything inhouse from now on."

Thoughts?

Tanya - by RushmoreMT
Just curious, isn't offsite transcription pretty common? In my travels I've met with many Radiologists and not one used "onsite" transcription for their private practice. - by SalesGuy
Just curious, isn't offsite transcription pretty common? In my travels I've met with many Radiologists and not one used "onsite" transcription for their private practice.
Yeah, it really depends. I just spoke to a radiologist in Wyoming on Friday, and they do not outsource. Boy, I hope I'm not talking with competition here...:D

Tanya - by RushmoreMT
Yeah, it really depends. I just spoke to a radiologist in Wyoming on Friday, and they do not outsource. Boy, I hope I'm not talking with competition here...:D
No competition here. ;)

I can think of two choices off the top of my head. First, keep on keeping on until you identify those prospects who "are" currently wanting outsourced transcription services.

Second, attempt to convert the prospects from the "in-house" camp to the "outsourced" camp. Based on your post this "might" require nothing more than resolving the prospect's question/concerns about outsourcing. But then again, it might take more time, energy and resources than your willing to spend. ;) - by SalesGuy
Tanya, it's not working.

Worse--you're trying to remedy the problem by compounding what you're doing that is not working.

When something is not working, the first thing that you have to do is find your biggest assumption about it. Then isolate it--then challenge it.

Your assumption is obvious. It goes something like this: My best market consists of people who are advertising to employ a medical transcriptionist.

You are finding out that it isn't.

You offer a service for people who want to outsource. Not a service for people who don't want to outsource. So--your idea seems to be to overcome that obstacle with your second biggest assumption which is that you can persuade them to consider you, a person who contacted them in response to an employment ad and doesn't offer what they are looking for.

How's that for building trust?

I read your posts. I could not find in them any USP (unique selling proposition). Create a short prospecting offer that includes a reason that they should use your services. That's what you should do first. Then call your market--not in response--but proactively. You will find people who want your services.

Quit shooting yourself in the foot. Work smart--not clever. - by Gary Boye
Yes, you are right, of course. I'll admit that I chose to answer ads in the hopes I could make my initial contact a warm call instead of a cold one. As you can probably tell, I am not entirely comfortable with sales. I did, for the very reasons you stated, avoid any ads that specifically requested in-house, thinking if they didn't specifiy, they may be open to what I had to offer if I made the right impression. I have been doing this for a couple months now, however, and have found that, yes, if they did not specifically state it was a contract position, it obviously wasn't in the cards.

I know I need to cold call. I know I need to do it, and yet again, you're right. I don't have a USP. I have been struggling with it. I don't have any customers yet to tell me why I'm so fabulous :D or better yet tell everybody else why I am so fabulous through referrals or testimonials.

I haven't cold called because the best thing I could come up with on my own that didn't sound like a smarmy sales pitch was just stating who I was and telling them I was available to cover for holidays, vacations, or overflow. I thought it was pretty weak. I mean, it doesn't say why *they* would *benefit* from using me for their overflow work, does it? And if I don't know, who does, right?

Thanks for all of your wisdom guys. You have all been very open with your suggestions and ideas, and I appreciate it very much. :)

Tanya - by RushmoreMT
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I haven't cold called because the best thing I could come up with on my own that didn't sound like a smarmy sales pitch was just stating who I was and telling them I was available to cover for holidays, vacations, or overflow.
I wouldn't worry too much about being smarmy. In almost all cases, people who use smarmy sales pitches are people who are smarmy in other areas. I don't know you, but I assume that your transcription work is smarm-free, as well as other activities you engage in.

You've chosen to be in business for yourself rather than be an employee. Selling is the most important skill in any business. I get the impression you're starting to realize that. - by Gary Boye
Hi Rushmore,

A USP is developed by figuring out what value you bring to an organization. One way to do this is identify the most common problems and how can help a company avoid them. What EXACTLY can you help a compamy achieve (i.e. save money or time, improve accuracy, etc.)?

When you cold call companies, you need to address one or more of these problems and make sure you state the key benefits of your service in your voice mail. You may even give them an example of what they could do better (I don't know your business so I can't give you an example). Here's one of mine that may help:

"Mr. Prospect, one of the problems most retailers experience is increasing the number of items sold per transaction. A simple way to improve this is to teach your team how to become comfortable suggesting additional items to each customer."

I then tell them this is something I specialize in and give them my contact information. Every time I call I leave a different message but EVERY message identifies a potential problem and a solution. Instead of calling for sales, you call with the intent to leave helpful messages. This can help reduce your cold call reluctance.

Cheers!
Kelley
P.S. I agree with Gary - you're focusing on the wrong market. Call companies who are more likely to outsource this service. - by Kelley Robertson
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