a sonographer's guide to entrepreneurship

Talking tech

Episode 24: Top 3 Questions of the Month

Chatting with clients and techs regularly, I have been hearing these questions over and over. What does a “lunch & learn look like and what are some best practices when providing them?”, “how can I get my business going during these times of restriction?”, and “I’m SO nervous for the sales part of owning my own business! How can I help get over the nerves?”  Come hang out with me on this episode, as I address these questions and give you some insight into each.



Grab a seat and a cup of coffee because you just enrolled in Ultrasound Business School. We are obsessed with all things ultrasound and are here to take you on a journey through the messy and the magical side of business ownership. Think marketing, contracts, vendors, admin, growth mindset, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is the Talking Tech Podcast, a sonographer’s guide to entrepreneurship. Here’s your host, Jennifer Lindsey.


Hey there, my friends. I am so excited to dive into three of the most asked questions over the last month because it can give some detailed insights. So on this episode of the Talking Tech Podcast, I am going to discuss some best practices for physician office lunch and learns. We’re going to talk about starting up your business during this crazy time of COVID restrictions and getting past the nerves when it comes to sales and marketing. So let’s dive in. Let’s first talk a little bit about lunch and learns. So most of you know what these are. Most offices have a set vendor calendar where they will set up appointments for pharmaceutical reps, medical reps, and individuals of that nature. You would fall within that as a mobile ultrasound business owner. And so they usually have their own schedule for this.

They may have appointment times throughout the day. They may have different things set up. Sometimes they’ll even have things like the first five reps that are here at 8:00 AM get to chat with a physician, but a lot of them have lunch appointments where you bring in lunch to the office, and the staff gets lunch as well. So you’re buying it for the entire office, but it allows you some really good time with the actual physicians. And I have some best practices for this and some things to chat about because I have so many clients who are so nervous about the lunch appointment, and they have something in their head of what it looks like. And so I want to explain a little bit better what it actually is and what you can expect. And, like I mentioned, you’ll usually order lunch for the entire office.

I like to tell people to think of this as your marketing budget, right? We don’t have radio advertising; we don’t have TV advertising. You’re usually not spending a ton on Facebook and Instagram ads and those types of things because boots on the ground is really the best way to get in and actually speak with a physician and have some time to discuss your services. And so when you do these lunch and learns, think of that as your marketing budget because some people say, gosh, I have to buy lunch for the entire office; I’m only speaking with a physician. So if you think of it more as your marketing budget, rather than why am I buying stuff for people who aren’t going to be the ones that signed my contract, it sits better with a lot of people’s brains.

So you would need to decide where the lunch is from. I always tell people instead of just calling and saying, where would you guys like me to order from? If you have three or four local places that you usually get catering to choose from that way, when you confirm the appointment, you can say, Hey, I’ve got some great options for Italian or Mexican food or sandwiches or those types of things where they can say, oh, you know, Italian sounds great today. That way, you can say, I usually order Italian from Olive Garden because I know they’ve got great prices. I know their food goes a long way. Then, you can stay within a budget when you are ordering these different lunches.

Always ensure that you identify and verify any food allergies or aversions, those types of things, so you can make sure that everybody there can actually eat the lunch you’re bringing. Another great suggestion is to have it delivered if you can. It is so much easier if it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get it delivered. Trust me, I have gone to lunches with 30 people and had to pick the lunch up myself, and that is no fun. It’s you by yourself trying to carry in 18 bags of food. So if you can get it delivered, great; if you can’t get it delivered, it’s not that big of a deal; just know that it is so much easier if you can set up a delivery. When you bring in the lunch, they will have some designated space.

Usually, it’s obviously their break room or lunchroom. I always ask where they would like me to set it up because they usually have a routine. They have the lunch set up in a certain spot, and people come in a certain way and grab their food. So I always make sure it’s set up buffet style where they would start on one end with like plates and napkins and any of the utensils they would need, and then move through any of the food I have. If it’s hot, I always open things up but leave the top on just so when people start to come in; they spend less time looking for stuff or trying to open containers. It’s all just there and ready for them so that it’s easy and convenient.

Usually, the staff will come in and either take the lunch back to their desk or their station or, there are chairs and tables in there, usually in their lunch rooms, depending on how big it is, they’ll sit and chat with their colleagues. And so usually, if they’re in kind of a conversation unless they’re sitting at the same table as me, I try not to get into it too much. You want to have that happy medium between being friendly and kind and chatting a little bit. Sometimes I’ll even introduce the services if they ask or if it makes sense to do that. If they’re sitting with me, I usually always do that, but if I can tell they kind of want to be left alone and just talk with their buddies from work, then I will do that too.

So kind of read the room, I guess, is my suggestion there. Usually, the physicians will come in between patients, and that’s when you’ll give that 30-second commercial and discuss your services. If you are unsure what a 30-second commercial is, check out my podcast on sales and marketing strategies. It is episode six, and I go through really specifically the five-step sales process that we teach our clients. It’s an amazing overview on kind of what that sales process looks like. Obviously, we dive super deep with our clients, but this is an amazing kind of specific overview of what that looks like, and we explain in there what that 30-second commercial is and what that looks like there. I was just talking to a client the other day, and in her mind, she was going to be like giving this huge presentation to multiple doctors.

I don’t know if like she was thinking she would need a projector, you know what I mean? It was one of those things where I thought poor thing, because she was really worried about this whole presentation at the lunches. And honestly, that rarely happens where, if it’s a five or six doctor practice where all of them are going to be there at the same time, usually they are popping in, in between their morning and afternoon patients when they’re finished. So you will likely talk with one or two physicians at a time. They’ll give you 10 minutes or so, maybe a little more or maybe a little less, depending on their schedule. But it’s a great time to be able to discuss your services with them and go through all of that.

At the end of lunch, I always try to make sure I’ve asked someone what they want me to do with the leftovers. Most of the time, someone else will come in and put all that stuff away. But I always like to ask because I don’t want to leave a messy lunchroom if they want me to put stuff in the fridge or throw things away. So I like to ask and make sure I know how that works. So all this to say, there are certain kinds of best practices that I’ve gone over here with you. Don’t worry about it being some big professional presentation that you’ve got to be worried about. It really is more relational selling, which I’m going to talk about here in a moment where you are meeting these people for the first time, learning more about their practice, and explaining more about your service.

And the whole point of this is to get some face time with the physicians and find out if it even makes sense to move further through the sales process. You may find that it’s not a good fit, and that’s okay. Maybe it’s a really small practice, and they just don’t order very many ultrasounds; there’s a multitude of reasons why it may not be a good fit. But you’ll know at that lunch appointment what the next step should be. And usually, it makes sense to move them through to that next step in the sales process, which is learning more about the types of scans and the number of scans that they’re doing so you can put together a revenue analysis for their practice. And again, if you want more information on that five-step sales process that we teach our clients, go over to episode six; we’ve got some great information in there.

All right, let’s talk a little bit; these kind of all meld together a bit because I’ve had a lot of questions lately. What is your suggestion with all of the COVID restrictions? For starting my business, or if I already have a business, what should I be thinking about with the COVID restrictions that are in my area? So, at this point, we’re seeing some states start to open back up. Some of them are scaling back on their mandates, but every state is different, and every business and physician’s practice will be different; some may still continue to have some self-imposed restrictions. So I think it’s great to think about and have some ideas for alternatives and how to work around our situations. I’ve actually, to be honest with you, seen a huge rise in techs starting their own business because these times, as solemn and upsetting as they’ve been, really have created new opportunities to help our communities.

You know, people are seeing the rise in home health options or options for coming into their smaller physician’s practice or smaller imaging centers as opposed to going to the hospital for imaging. I know we saw that in our own mobile business. We have our admin office; we have a waiting room and a scanning room. So we actually see patients in our facility as well. Most of our business is out of physician practices, but we do have that option for patients local to us. And we really saw a huge rise there. I’ve talked about this in another podcast where, as business owners, this was a scary time for us. We had no idea what would happen, but we had the opportunity to decide what we would do to make sure our business could pivot in these times.

And I know a lot of techs who were laid off because of what’s going on. Some lost their jobs because of what was going on. And so, as a business owner, it is scary because you are the one who is responsible for all of it. But it’s also great because you are the one responsible for all of it. We were able to say, okay, we are seeing that hospitals are not seeing any patients unless it’s an emergency. And their definition of an emergency and a patient’s definition of an emergency are two different things. We had a ton of people who were pregnant, and the hospital was saying, well, we’re not going to see you right now because it’s not an urgent matter, but it was an urgent matter for them. They wanted to make sure that they got their 20-week scan right around 20 weeks.

And so for us to have a small location where we could easily say, okay, we’re going to spread the appointments out, you know, at every hour instead of every half hour so that nobody was in there at the same time, it made everyone feel a lot more comfortable as far as the patients go. To be able to do that and be able to allow them to actually get their scan done was so wonderful for us, and it made us feel so good that we could help our community in a time like this. And so I think it’s one of those things where we have to look at the opportunities that things bring our way, even when there’s a tragic side on the other end, you know? And so to be able to help our communities in this time, I think, has been one of the greatest things that we have noticed.

Patients don’t really want to go out much of anywhere, especially to places with a lot of people, as you guys know. And so locations where people are inevitably going to be ill, like a hospital, it’s just not attractive to patients, especially now. So offering services that are more niche and more kind of a boutique style really, for lack of a better word, where they are in a smaller location, a smaller waiting room without a lot of people, it’s just going to be definitely something patients want right now. And if you can help your local physicians give that to them, it’s a great opportunity all the way around. So let’s talk about some options. Again, if you have yet to listen to my sales and marketing podcast, episode six, go over there and check that out because our first step in the sales process that we teach our clients is the prospecting call.

So this call is geared to learn more about the practice and find out how they provide ultrasound imaging. Okay? So those that don’t have equipment and techs in their office already and those that are self-employed, as opposed to a hospital employee, those are prospects that are technically qualified to use your service and that you should be moving forward into the next stage of the sales process with. Okay, so a great question to ask on these calls, especially now; I would’ve suggested it before anyway, but especially now is how they are doing their vendor appointments. Now they should have something set up because I guarantee most of them somehow need to see their medical and pharmaceutical reps even remotely during this time. So there are a thousand things. I mean, we all know 2020 is like the year of working from home, right?

So there are so many ways to virtually meet with people now, and if you can find out what they’re doing, don’t feel bad about making suggestions, right? So let them know you’re focusing on providing one-on-one care because that’s what patients are looking for, especially now, and you can help them provide that in their office. And that’s what you want, to meet to discuss is, I think, a good trigger for those people to say, okay, yeah, this is something that my patients are wanting. They don’t want to go to the hospital; they don’t want to go to the huge imaging center down the street. They really would love another opportunity, but we don’t have that. So being able to provide that in their office, I think, is a good kind of hook when you’re on the phone with them to be able to set up something remotely as opposed to if they’re not seeing reps in their office right now, so can you Zoom, can you have lunch delivered?

Can you do a virtual lunch and learn like what their offices are doing and how you can be a part of it? And if they don’t know what they’re doing, you can make these different suggestions to get in there and be able to talk with them about these opportunities for their patients. Really providing more, like I mentioned, specialized and intimate patient care where they are in a much smaller location and not around a ton of other people. It’s something patients are craving right now, and we can really help our local physicians accomplish that. It’s just finding the right way to get in there and talk with them, whether in person or virtually. Now I want to pivot into relational selling because I talked about that a little bit at the beginning of the podcast.

I cannot tell you how often I hear from techs that the sales and marketing part of owning their own business is what scares them the most. And I’m going to be real honest with you. When I first started doing this, I was the salesperson for our company, okay? I was scared to absolute death. Like, I literally had to pump myself up in the car before I would get out. Do you guys watch The Office? Anybody who follows me on Instagram knows that’s like my favorite show. I binge-watch it. Like that’s what I fall asleep to. If you guys watch The Office or you don’t, there’s a character on there named Dwight, and he has to pump himself up with like heavy metal, like headbanging, in his car before he goes out and sells paper. So, I always picture myself like that; I didn’t have heavy metal music and was not headbanging.

I was in there like sweating profusely, like trying to pump myself up. But every time I tell this story, I always think of The Office because it reminds me so much of how Dwight had to pump himself up. But it’s true; it is scary. I have been there, I understand, but you know what? Now all this time later, it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’ll talk to any doctor at any time about our service, and it doesn’t make me nervous because, over the years, A. practice, of course, and B. realizing that what I’m doing is not “selling,” okay? If you can get the word selling out of your brain, it is going to serve you so well. You know, selling, sales, and marketing are just not in your wheelhouse as a tech. And so it’s not your area of expertise. And anytime we do something brand new, it’s completely nerve-wracking.

So I want to share a few things that have worked for me and why I’m at the place I’m at today and that I share and discuss with my clients all the time. And if you think of it as building a relationship with people instead of selling, like I said, it’s going to serve you so much better. This does tie into talking about the lunches earlier because you rarely present in front of a big audience. Most of the time, it’s one or two docs, with maybe a couple of staff members if they’re also in there. And if we really think of it, as I said, as building a relationship with people to see if what we have will work for them, it takes so much of the pressure off. So I think when we think of selling, and especially in our own business if your mindset is that everyone has to say yes or you did something wrong, or that you failed, it’s a completely wrong way of looking at things.

Not everything is for everybody, okay? So like, I don’t drink pop, but I love sparkling water. Now my mother-in-law comes over; she wants to try my sparkling water one day because I rave about it all the time. She thinks it’s the grossest thing she’s ever tried. So I will say no to a Coke, and she will say no to a sparkling water. Now does that mean that Coke is a failure because I don’t want it? No, obviously not. And does that mean sparkling water is a failure because she doesn’t want it? Of course not. So see where I’m going with this? Everyone has different things that are going to be right for them and different preferences and all of that. Your job as the business owner is to find your Coke people, right? Or your sparkling water people. Your job is to build that relationship and provide great information on what you can do for the office.

Be ready to answer questions and obstacles and objections from them. And if your goal is to build the relationship and find out if what you’re offering works for them. And also, I will make a note to find out if this practice is going to work for you. Okay? I have been in, not often, but meetings where just the jive of the office; I’m like, oh, this would be a pretty terrible relationship to have over the long haul, right? Like, some people just don’t mesh well. And so I think it’s good to think of it that way. Like I want to make sure that we are the right fit for the office and then the office is the right fit for us. Because when I sign a contract with a group, I want it to be for the long term. So really, realizing that your job is to build that relationship.

And if their answer is yes, then great. Get the contract signed, get moving, get a start date, and get your implementation meeting done. If the answer is no, it’s not a good fit; that’s great too. Now, you can move on to the next group. Now the other thing to remember, because we as new business owners really get into this mindset, especially when sales and marketing is a nerve-wracking point for us, is that we’re always going to be in perpetual sales mode. We think that’s going to be something we’ll be doing all the time forever and ever in a day. You’ve got to remember that you don’t need a ton of clients to build your business. If you are, if your goal is to fill up five days a week, right?

During the week, and you find physicians with the patient load to book you one half-day a week for that particular account, you only need ten clients, and you’re done. You’ve filled up your five days. If you find physicians with the patient load to fill up a full day a week, then you only need five of those clients, and you’re done. Now, obviously, it’s going to be a mix-and-match. You’re going to have really tiny clients that maybe you only go a couple of half days a month, right? So it’s going to be a mix-and-match, but you see that you don’t need a million doctors; you only need a few clients to make this work. And you definitely don’t need to always be selling. Either you’re going to be in that sales mode until you’ve filled up the number of days that you want to fill up, and then you’re going to be in, you know, client happiness mode, right?

Keeping your current clients happy, and then when one falls off for whatever reason, you know, they retire, or somehow they get bought out by the hospital, or whatever it might be, then you go back in sales mode to fill up that portion of the day during the week that you lost. Then you’re not in sales mode again, right? So I think the best way, just to reiterate here, to think of sales is really just to think of it as building relationships to see what groups are a good fit for you and what groups you are a good fit for. So I hope that gives you some insight and helps you further drill down details into your business or your potential business. And you guys know it. Until next time, I will be over here cheering you on.


Ready to see what it takes to start your own mobile ultrasound business? Grab our completely free startup guide and learn how you can make a thousand dollars a day with your own business. Head to our website, www.aic-ultrasound.com, to check it out.

your strategy-obsessed ultrasound business coach.

I'm Jennifer -

Welcome to the Talking Tech podcast, where we answer your questions about legal, marketing, admin, sales, and so much more. After nearly 20 years in the industry running our own mobile ultrasound business and helping techs across the country do the same, I'm so excited to bring you industry insight, mindset, productivity, business tips, and inspiration to help you design the business of your dreams.

more about me >

meet your host




years coaching



grab the free guide

Stop trying to research it all on your own - grab my free startup guide: "How to Make $1000/Day in your Mobile Ultrasound Business"

I've got a gift for you...



I've pioneered a framework using our nearly two decades of experience in the mobile ultrasound industry and our 4-Pillar model of success to create a specific, strategic plan for ultrasound techs to start, operate, and grow their mobile ultrasound business. Apply today to learn how we can help you achieve your dreams and goals.

Ready to Uplevel your Business?

courses & Coaching

© advanced imaging 2020

come hang with me on instagram


ultrasound business consulting

carmel, indiana

advanced imaging