From: The Background Buzz Article: Inside Drug Testing December 2020 by Tom Fulmer
Looking back on 2020, several words come to mind such as uncertainty, volatility, pivot, virtual, consolidation, and yes, opportunity. It is easy to watch the news and conclude that this year has been bad for all businesses, but that is not the case. While it has been bad for some and devastating for others, some had the vision, leadership, and focus to pivot and take advantage of the opportunities in the changing marketplace.
As a background screening and drug testing provider, you have a decision to make. Do you continue with business as usual and hope that business gets “back to normal” or will you be proactive and do what is necessary to maximize your chances of success? In this month’s column, I will share some ideas to help you stand out from your competitors and some opportunities to help you grow your drug testing business in 2021.
Marketing and positively positioning your business in the minds of your customers will be a key to success in 2021. Determine not just what your customers want from you which includes both background screening and drug testing but also the level of service they desire.
- Do they want someone to answer the phone instead of automated voice prompts?
- Are they looking for order takers?
- Lowest cost no matter the level of service?
- Do they want a trusted advisor to make recommendations and keep them updated on issues that may affect their business?
- How important are turnaround times for screening and testing services?
There are many more questions you could ask to better understand your customers. Once you have the answers, analyze the current expectations your customers have of your services and determine if you are exceeding those expectations or at a minimum, meeting those expectations? If not, you will need to take steps to draw the attention of your customers to your improved services and offerings.
This can be done through your website, videos, emails, social media, phone calls, and how your team interacts with customers. You should work to ensure consistent messaging and regularly analyze the effectiveness of your efforts. Some specific areas to target to increase drug testing sales include the following:
- Focus on being viewed as a knowledgeable and trusted advisor. This means properly training your team about all aspects of drug testing such as test panels, alternate specimen types like hair or oral fluid, and legal changes that may affect your client’s drug testing needs. An example is the 2020 election where several states legalized or decriminalized certain drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and others.
- Training your team to communicate more effectively is one of the most profitable changes you can make going into 2021. According to many employers, this is one of the biggest factors in making the selection of vendors even though price discussions may initially lead the interaction.
- With the “pivot” most companies have been forced to make to virtual, you have the opportunity to really stand out in online spaces with quality informational and service-related videos. Remember that those buying your services are not companies or executives but people. And people look for trust and relationships with those with whom they conduct business. Done well they can set you apart in a very positive way.
Every Company has their strengths and areas of opportunity for improvement. Sales are essential to growth and come not from “learning to close” or gimmicks but is the natural result of being viewed by prospective and current clients as the go-to company to meet the client’s needs. This means you must be visible, accessible, and knowledgeable. This is something we have helped many companies to do and if you want to increase your drug testing sales in 2021, take positive and ongoing action to make that happen. Wishing you all the best for success in the coming year.