Moving the HME Industry Forward


Getting to Know Mandy Chia – Featured Speaker at Medtrade’s HME Breakfast Club

October 5, 2015

ATLANTA – One of Medtrade’s newest conference experiences is the HME Breakfast Club, A great way to start your day, get inspired, and meet other like-minded HME professionals. Scheduled for the final day at Medtrade (Oct 29, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.), the HBC is the perfect opportunity for those of you who are eager to tackle the changing HME landscape with a positive attitude and collaborative spirit.

Your ticket includes breakfast, time to chat with other like-minded HME professionals, and keynote speaker Mandy Chia, who will share her perspective on “Romancing Your Customers.”

With three weeks to go until Medtrade, Medtrade Monday sat down with Mandy Chia, CEO of Calif-based KYMCO HealthCare USA Inc, DBA Stars N Stripes Scooters.

Medtrade Monday: Why did you decide to speak/accept the invitation to give a talk at Medtrade?
Mandy Chia, CEO of Calif-based Stars N Stripes Scooters: One reason is the opportunity to share perspectives from a customer’s point of view. I was an oral surgeon before I got my MBA, which was the beginning of my business career. I believe I can provide a perspective that differs from other veteran business experts.  

I remember sitting in a marketing class at Cornell, and the professor asked: What is your doctor thinking when you are sitting in his or her office? I said to myself, “I should know because I am a doctor.”

Before I could come up with my best response, the “correct answer” was announced as, “He/She is thinking about how much money to make.” I was dumbfounded and shocked, because it would not be the number one reason for most doctors. For some, maybe, but it was definitely not the first thing we doctors think about in front of a patient. Yet, it was the marketing professor’s answer from an Ivy League school.

I can share best practices from different industries, because I spent most of my career in two industries: 1) Consumer goods, where I learned and trained with companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Colgate, and in the pharmaceutical worlds working for Eli Lilly, Merck, and Sanofi Aventis.

Compared to most Medtrade attendees, I am a rookie in the HME industry. However, we serve similar target audiences and face similar challenges. Sharing best practices and practical tips I learned in other industries may stimulate better ideas for providers and attendees.   

Medtrade Monday: What main ideas do you hope to convey to HME Breakfast Club attendees?
Chia: My topic is “Romancing your customers.” I will illustrate the pitfalls of very common sales practices by using many “dating theme” analogies. I will take the usual “probing, presenting, handling objections and closing” to a higher level of salesmanship by providing a different point of view.

Medtrade Monday: What is your single biggest observation about how HME providers conduct business?
Chia: I have to say it is the indifferent attitude toward customers and the products they carry. I visited 120 DME stores in California in 2012 before we established our company.  

My standard question was: my mom would need a piece of equipment, what would you recommend? To my surprise, all but four of the stores advised me which brand(s) I should consider.

The standard answer was “Here is what I have, and if you don’t like any of these, I can order whatever you want.”  There was no enthusiasm or recommendation based on the customer’s needs. It is why I chose to focus my talk about how to woo your customers.

Medtrade Monday: What is your overall level of optimism these days?
Chia: I see a tremendous profit to be made because of the growth of the senior population. Optimism is created by identifying business opportunities, and by partnering with the right manufacturers to create new revenue streams.

Many would argue the internet has replaced retail. Pessimists say there is no future in retail and commercial real estate is worthless. However, I see it as a great opportunity for HME providers to move out from industrial parks and afford a much better location.  

We give a test to our sales people from time to time. One question I ask is: How do you explain to our callers that we do not sell online? One of our telesales had the best answer: Because your computer can’t provide any service to the scooters.

Online shopping has truly broken down many market boundaries and invited global competition to the highest level.  But as my staff said, a computer can’t provide service. How to continue to add value to customers over the product life span is a key. I look forward to sharing these ideas with attendees at the Breakfast Club.

Pride Mobility (Booth #1911) and Mediware Information Systems (Booth #1319) have signed on as sponsors for the HME Breakfast Club. Click Here for more information about the Breakfast Club.

Click Here for more information.