My son does not like ketchup. There was a brief “trial period” during which he tried it, hated it and refused to try it again. It’s not a problem; most people have at least one food they don’t like. How do we know what we do and do not like regarding food? Typically, we try something, and for whatever reason don’t like it, maybe it was the texture or the flavor or the heat level (too spicy). However, my son will eat crawfish, whole fried fish, calamari and conch. Clearly, he’s not a picky eater he just does not like ketchup. However (and this is important), he did not give up on the entire concept of food based on his one experience with ketchup.
Which brings me to the point of this article, why do hearing healthcare providers at the conclusion of their sales pitch, and particularly if it’s not going well state the following,
“We offer a trial period. You can take them home and try them (hearing aids) for 30 days.”
The implication places the proposition in the all or none category. This is not true. The patient has a hearing loss and they need help. They and their family need to understand that the decision to pursue better hearing is a foregone conclusion. The patient simply cannot continue to walk around with a hearing loss and potentially incur a multitude of comorbidities linked to hearing loss. The following abbreviated list is from The Hearing Review.
Hearing Loss and Comorbidities
- Social isolation and loneliness
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment and dementia
Instead you, the professional should be viewing the trial period as the time to determine which product best suits their needs. You should never be selling the “trial period” as a period of time in which the patient can decide if hearing aids help. If talking louder to them or turning up the volume on the TV allows them to hear better, then hearing aids will help. Instead, make it abundantly clear that this period of time is to determine which product (style, price point, technology) best suits their needs.
You are doing yourself and your patient a huge disservice if you don’t understand the purpose of a trial period.