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The Top 5 Tools for Medical Device Salespeople

No sales rep – medical device or otherwise – can live without their gadgets and tools. From your Android or Apple smartphone to the LinkedIn app, we all have things we use on a daily basis for our life and for work. Of course some of you may still be working using spreadsheets or worse: pen and paper. It’s time to step up your game with these top 5 tools for medical device sales reps.

1. Expense Tracking Tools

Tracking your expenses is a time honored sales rep tradition that, if you let it, can get out of hand very quickly. Instead of stockpiling receipts or tracking it all in your head, consider apps like Expensify.

These not only allow for digital receipt storage, they let you keep track of all of your business expenditures or otherwise. Expensify is free, but it’s pretty bare bones unless you splurge for the $5 or $9/month versions. Zoho Expense also offers a free option that supports multi-currency and features the added safety net of two-factor authentication.

For sales reps working for a small company or large corporation, you might consider Abacus or Freshbooks. But….that’ll cost you anywhere from $9 to $50/month per user for their host of features.

 

Credit: https://www.iphonetricks.org/iphone-voice-dictation-commands-and-punctuation/

2. Voice Dictation Software

We’ve talked a great deal about the importance of maintaining and cultivating relationships with your clients. Communication is just as big a part of your job as knowing your product and selling techniques. That’s where voice dictation software comes in.

While you can use Apple, Windows, or Google dictation software, they can be limiting or frustrating in the long-term. For a simpler solution, consider Dragon Anywhere from Nuance. This isn’t your average dictation software and it can translate for as long as you can speak.

Not only will you be more hands-free, you will more accurately be able to communicate anywhere at any time.

 

3. Social Media – Of course!

It’s a fact that sales reps who use social media outperform those who don’t, so why wouldn’t you leverage these treasure troves of connections and information to gain momentum in your territory? LinkedIn is now the gold standard for connecting with prospects, peers and potential customers. Twitter is the way to put your company (or your brand’s)  voice out there quickly and seamlessly, with little effort – but you have to be proactive and consistent in order to benefit.  Get up to speed on these platforms and you’ll not only make your sales outreach more effective, you’ll be a champ in your organization.

 

 

4.Web Conferencing Tools

Giving presentations, product tours and tutorials remotely has gotten much easier over the years. GoToMeeting continues to rule here but upstarts like Join.Me have grabbed some attention.

Google Hangouts is sure to become a sales tool as it enables group video conferencing and robust online conversations that include photo and  document sharing.

Assemble a panel of thought leaders and stream the discussion for the world to see or conduct sales presentations one on one and share content right in the stream of the conversation.

 

5. The ONE tool EVERY Medical Device Sales Rep Needs is…..

The 5th and final tool that all medical device sales reps need is ProSellus. It’s not some dry, mechanical thing designed by people who have never lived the life of a sales rep before. It’s designed by people like me, Scott Walle, and others with more than 50 years of combined sales experience. You want this tool, I promise.

All of us wanted a way to better and more easily monitor and expand our territory, maintain and cultivate relationships, and use the latest sales techniques. Data management and manipulation, sales acceleration, and relationship management are integral parts of the sales process in the 21st century.

Are you getting left behind? Email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s catch you up.

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Relationship Management Basics for Sales Reps

As a sales rep, you know that your reputation revolves around your relationships with your clients, your industry contacts, your peers, and pretty much everyone you meet….ever. As a result, relationship management is one of the five keys to success as a medical device sales rep. So what are the basics?

ProSellus is on the case.

Keeping Up With the Ka-Social Platforms

No Kardashians this time around, but there’s plenty of Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. While some contacts are best left in your phonebook on your smart phone or in your Gmail account, others belong on the web, too.

You can work wonders on LinkedIn regarding networking and territory scouting/expansion. You can test out different pitch techniques with Facebook ads. Some of your clients might even be into Snapchat.

Use at your own risk kids.

Temperature Checks & Small Gestures

We’ve previously covered how establishing relationships can establish value. We even put together a handy list of the top 4 ways to establish value for clients. All of these revolve around relationship management.

Learning to pick up on nonverbal communication or incorporating small gestures into your routine with clients can instantly perk up any lackluster contact. Does one doctor really love Star Wars? Make a reference at your next meeting. See if you can parlay that into a discussion about that new medical device you just learned about. Even doctors are starting to do it with trust and transparency, changing ROI into IOR: “impact of relationships”.

Checking the temperature of your relationships seems like a pain, but it’s like tending a garden or doing the dishes. In order to set yourself up for success (i.e. a good harvest or a clean sink), you have to put in the work.

Some of you might have noticed that I said this is just one of five keys to success. Want to know more? Email me Scottwalle@prosellus.com.

Otherwise you’ll have to wait until we publish the second key next month.

 

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What to do if you get hacked on LinkedIn

As of August 30, 2017, our LinkedIn page was hacked.  Luckily, after 24 hours, we got it back. As you can imagine, most of us here in Houston, TX, were not too happy. On top of this, there’s the obvious disaster at hand: Hurricane Harvey.

Considering the tremendous losses others have incurred from belongings to homes and even lives, losing access for 24 hours to a social media platform seems like a walk in the park. But it got me thinking….whether you’re an individual sales rep or an enterprise level med-tech company, you need ways to protect yourself, your data, and your intellectual property. Specifically, with LinkedIn, there isn’t much recourse for users to take if a data breach such as this occurs.

Start With LinkedIn Customer Service Recommendations

Though this seems obvious, it’s a necessary step — especially reviewing your currently active sessions. If you see anything unfamiliar or suspicious, investigate it right away! The follow up check of your personal and work emails is also a must. You can avoid further compromises in one simple check.

TIP: I run a company and as CEO I can be a bit impatient – like I want results now – so when I have to fill out a bunch of online forms and wait…and wait…well – that doesn’t quite sit well with me. So after much digging I found this email: linkedin_support@cs.linkedin.com – and they responded rather quickly. You just have to be proactive! Also make sure that you have back up emails loaded on your account in case someone does try to change your primary email – they will notify your secondary email that there was a change.

But WHY Did I get Hacked In the First Place?

Great question! No idea. Apparently, hackers like to target LinkedIn accounts for the greater access to network information. Think about it: you can get to know A LOT about a person by looking at their LinkedIn profile. You can even identify more targets by looking at people’s connections. Gaining access to login credentials enables hackers to potentially crack greater codes than just a few LinkedIn profiles.

They target people in many ways, but an old favorite is the classically threatening security themed farce. You can see in the image below that this is a fairly well reasoned email, but it doesn’t look as official as one from LinkedIn should look.  It is a phishing email aimed to capture all your details.

By falling for this email scam and filling out the attached HTML file, you unwittingly hand the hackers your login information on a silver platter. While you might not fall for this, a coworker might. Your parents or your kids might. Who knows? Two-factor authentication is a great way to thwart these kinds of schemes if you have been compromised.

Simple Steps to Security

As we’ve mentioned, getting hacked is no picnic. But there are ways to mitigate the effects of being hacked. The following list is a great way to start:

  • Anti-virus software like Avast, Malware Bytes, and Webroot
  • Changing passwords every 3 – 6 months
  • Encryption or scrambling software
  • Proxies or VPNs
  • Keeping up with data breaches by following Twitter accounts such as haveibeenpwned as operated by Troy Hunt
  • Request a data archive of your profile
  • Add a second backup email to your profile
  • Download all of your contacts in case you lose your account

Why Do Some People Not Know That They’ve Been Hacked?

Though LinkedIn is great for many things like networking and thought leadership, the communication about security breaches leaves something to be desired. Though there was a ton of coverage on the 2012 LinkedIn data breach that affected nearly 6.5 million users, other breaches were swept under the rug. The reason why: its data from the initial 2012 breach either being released or used years later. That explains why the 2012 data breach gets listed among the worst data breaches of all time regularly.

What Else Can I Do to Protect Myself?

TIP: Go to a website called haveibeenpwned.com. I know — it looks like a spam website, but it’s actually one of your greatest tools in protecting your login information and email security. It automatically checks any email you put in for security breaches or compromises. The person who operates it, Troy Hunt, is a known specialist in this area and regularly writes about data breaches.

Avoid our mistakes: get a data archive, download your connections, and enable that two-factor authentication. Data matters more and more every day. The ProSellus Growth Engineers still have a little growing to do in some departments, but then again, shouldn’t you always be growing?

We’ll let you think on it a bit.

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5 Ways to Succeed as a Medical Device Sales Rep

Medical device sales is the Wild West and Game of Thrones combined. The competition is fierce even for the most well-equipped and savvy of reps.  The best of the best are always on the lookout for tips, tricks and new strategies to help them up their game and stay on top. ProSellus is dedicated to providing accessible resources for medical device sales reps and improving their sales business. If you are one, let’s see if one of your go-to techniques makes our list of 5 ways to succeed as a medical device sales rep.

Time Management & Value Propositions

The first key to succeeding as a sales rep is crucial: time management. You cannot bounce from meeting to meeting, keep up with emails, read news about medical technology and thought leadership, and look like a boss without it. Pro-tip: watches are great. Setting them to be fast is better. Bonus — remember that old proverb about what “being on time” actually means? Time to redefine your understanding of what “being early” is.

Our second tip is to be completely versed in what a value proposition is and how to implement one. Establishing value for a client is a main part of being a sales rep. If you flounder at this step, you’ll probably (definitely) struggle to become a successful sales rep regardless of industry. For more info on establishing value, check out some of our other blog posts.

Measured Expectations & Balance

You always want to close the deal and convert that competitive customer when you make even the shortest of pitches, but…sometimes even the best sales reps fail. In an industry so heavily focused on profits and numbers, it can be disheartening sometimes to see yourself as just a percentage. Prepare yourself mentally for the negatives or the “no’s”. Another old adage about “missing all the shots you never take” applies here, but you probably already knew that.

Another thing many sales reps forget about is establishing work/life balance. In order to be at your utmost successful level, you need to recharge. You’re no good in a business meeting if you’re running on two hours of sleep in a wrinkled suit (or scrubs) and a far-off look on your face. Whether you miss out on those critical 6 – 8 hours of sleep because of work or “recreation”, you’re setting yourself up for lackluster performance in your chosen career. Be flexible with regards to your clients and schedule, but also with yourself. (Folks, I was guilty of this 100% of the time.  I remember burning the candle at both ends with a blowtorch!  I would literally end a Friday forgetting that it was Friday.  When you’re young in this business you’re expected to hustle in order to make an impact.  And don’t kid yourself, you’ll always hustle, but you need to have some sort of balance.  I know, I know, sometimes it seems impossible, but no surgeon or physician wants a rep who makes errors because they’ve only slept 10 hours all week!  That would be the quickest way to lose business!!!!!)

The Final Way to Succeed in Sales (With or Without Really Trying)

Make good on your word. That’s it. No, really — it is that simple. As a sales representative, your reputation is an integral part of your brand and your business. The minute someone drags your good name through the mud, you could be toast (and not avocado or butter; just burnt). Tired of the crispiness in your life?

Email me at Scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s see if ProSellus can transform your fire hazard into the ability to control fire.

 

 

 

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Does Marketing Matter In Sales?

For Sales Reps…Does Marketing REALLY Matter?

Many people, including ProSellus Growth Engineers, place importance on the differences between marketing and sales. We have also talked about the relationship between the two. But…does marketing really matter for medical device sales reps? The short answer: you bet it does.

Enterprise Sales Teams and Mavericks…Listen Up

Regardless of the size of your sales business, marketing means more than pamphlets or social media ads. It means your entire brand identity and even how you interact with clients. In today’s modern age of 140 character interactions and algorithms that track mouse movements on websites, not only do you have to monitor your tone and diction, you have to be transparent, too. Whether you have a marketing team to support you or you’re flying solo and clocking in extra hours wearing a dozen hats, you’ve got to adapt and adapt fast.

 

Increasingly, sales and marketing tricks of the past like fear of loss, the “Jones effect”, or the impulse factor aren’t trade secrets anymore. To top it off, many consumers are more proactive than even five years ago. The immediacy of “Googling” something on their phones means that your clients could be 12 steps ahead of you in 30 seconds or less.

This also works in the reverse fashion: not only are consumers being proactive, but so should the salesperson. What does that mean exactly? How can you be more proactive as a salesperson? How about by being smarter? How about utilizing technology available to help understand who your customers really are (or should be!) and what THEY are searching for before they even know it.  Its called “behavior analytics” and there are many types (listed below) which is created from data all around you!  It is collected every time you do ANYTHING as a consumer, professional or business.

Wait…So How does Marketing Affect Sales?

You’re a discerning sales rep, so quick quips and industry jargon aren’t going to distract you from your objective. How does marketing affect your sales business? For individual sales reps operating their own LLCs or businesses, it can be the difference between a deal and a flop. Your personality is your brand and your brand is your business. Consider consulting several of our blog posts about developing a brand identity and voice. You can parlay this identity into your social media platforms, your web copy, and every other facet of your sales business.

For enterprise sales team that have marketing support teams beside them, the process is a bit different, but the variables are the same. You need the tools of brand development in order to implement them in your sales approach and process. Something as simple as a company logo can impact your ability to close a deal with prospective clients no matter how clever or charismatic you may be. Hey — the truth isn’t always pretty in the world of sales.

While branding, voice, personality and technique are all vital to help seal the deal, I cannot emphasize enough the crucial impact that data and analytics have to the success of both types of sales teams (Small LLC’s and Enterprise). Where does the data come from? Well, most marketing professionals should know where to access it. In fact, there are stacks and stacks of technology tools that offer data analytics (diagnostic, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive) available to both the marketing and sales professional. It’s all the rage and guess what, your competitor, you know the one that just poached your customer? They are taking advantage of these tools. This is indeed where the rubber meets the road with regards to marketing helping sales achieve quota. Marketing obtains the analytics and supplies the sales team with the data intelligence to help point them to the warmer leads and low hanging fruit. It’s a cyclical relationship. Boom – the family has finally found a way to work together.

Still feeling stumped?

ProSellus Growth Engineers is a company dedicated to growing your sales business using these revolutionary techniques – in a simplified way built for the sales rep in the field and the marketing professional in desperate need of some REAL leads. The future is already here, so you might already be old news. Email me at Scottwalle@prosellus.com and let’s get to the bottom of your sales and marketing questions

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How to Make a Sale 2.0 (for the new age)

For medical device sales reps, the process might get a little stale. Establish contact, build rapport, make your pitch and close the deal. Rinse. Repeat. Pro-tip: if you aren’t closing every time, don’t sweat it (but you should be able to close 95% of the time – this is where proper targeting is key). ProSellus Growth Engineers are always searching for ways to improve and streamline the sales process, so what is the latest news? As it turns out, one of the biggest changes to the sales process has been the shift from selling a product or service based solely on its value in the operating room or patient room. Want to know more? Keep reading.

Bye Bye Broseph…Hello Data

About prosellusA long time ago, you used to be able to “schmooze” your way to victory. Of course, you still have to schmooze, but today, it’s known as “networking” and “resource management.” Despite the fact that establishing value means establishing a relationship, you cannot close a deal on pure charisma and physician wooing anymore. You have to incorporate something else into the sales process: everyone else.

Extending the sales process and your mentality beyond the operating room requires a stamina not many sales reps can develop. You have to engage beyond the physician and establish a connection with administration of the hospital or ASC, or Operating Room Coordinator. So while you may only give your elevator pitch to a physician or small group of physicians, those unfamiliar with general medical processes or devices may require a more thorough education….which means that you may have to educate yourself a bit more. Either way, it’s your product or service. You SHOULD know that thing inside and out.

Also – if you haven’t caught up with the latest and greatest on sales & marketing tools and tactics today – it would be helpful for you to understand how DATA can help drive you towards better decisions that you can THEN turn into deeper networking relationships. Folks, data is power and it’s all around us now. If you don’t know how to harness it – then you might as well go get a job at Starbucks.

Build Trust to Build Your Business

One of the biggest mistakes sales reps make is focusing too narrowly on one aspect of a product or service instead of the broader meaning of the product or service in the context of the market. If you are selling a new piece of equipment for the OR, how does it affect the patient? The nurses? The Chief of Medicine? The EMTs or the administrative staff? By showcasing the fact that you have taken the time to consider the perspectives of people other than YOURSELF and the PHYSICIAN, you will not only establish value for the product or service you are selling, you will establish yourself as an effective and trustworthy sales rep, thus increasing your potential sales market.

Data can also help you achieve this trust. I am not just talking “statistics” – I am talking using raw data to UNDERSTAND your customer BEFORE heading into the practice to make that pitch. Data would help you understand what the customer’s perspective actually IS. What if you knew who your top 5 pain physicians to call on in a day were? Think of how much more effective and efficient you would be if you knew and could plan it out. Think of how much less time would be wasted schmoozing the wrong prospects for your device. Making sense? Read on…

The One Thing You Need Most

If you follow the steps in some of our previous blogs about the sales process, you will achieve success (we practically guarantee it). Of course, increasingly, you may encounter THAT client: the one who asks for extreme discounts, preferential treatment or things you simply can’t provide – even if that just means your time…which is arguably more valuable than your knowledge of all things medical device related. Rather than 100% blowing them off, consider that word we mentioned earlier…you know….perspective”. Educate yourself with the data then try a different approach first.

“The key here is to understand the reasons behind the request. Is the materials manager asking for a discount because they are concerned about the impact of reduced reimbursement for the procedure? Or, is the materials manager primarily concerned about meeting their cost reduction goals? How would you know what their motivation is? The simple solution to this problem is to ask.” – PM 360

Remember all those blogs about establishing value through establishing relationships? Guess what: the biggest part of any relationship is communication. If you try to understand why this person feels entitled to or is asking for what you think is preferential treatment, don’t try to guess. Don’t try to “fill in the blanks.” ASK (relationship) and LEARN (data). You can improve your trustworthiness and potentially sell them on another product or service in one fell swoop. Boom.

Another big mistake many sales reps make? Not knowing what the heck ProSellus Growth Engineers does for their sales & marketing business. If you don’t know what actionable intelligence or sales acceleration are, you are in the weeds and behind the times. Email me at Scottwalle@prosellus.com . Let’s talk shop, sales, and growth hacking. Show me your perspective.

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Sales Vs. Marketing: What You Need to Know

Many people, regardless of industry, often combine two vastly different concepts: sales and marketing. While these two often work hand-in-hand to achieve great things and impossible tasks, they are incredibly different. I’ve heard all of the analogies – from salespeople being the talkers and the marketing people being “the brains” to both of them being written off as swindlers. Guess what: everything you have heard is probably 100% wrong.

So let’s set the record straight. What is marketing? What is sales? How does understanding sales and marketing help the business of a medical device sales rep? You know the drill. Let’s get started.

Sales: More Than Just Closing Deals

We have all seen Glengarry Glen Ross and that infamous scene where Alec Baldwin’s tells everyone to “Always Be Closing”. But the sales techniques of the past (even from the middle 2000s and early 2010s) aren’t going to cut it in today’s world of big data and transparency.

Sales reps today have to work even smarter to maintain and expand their territory. By utilizing groundbreaking and growth hacking strategies like sales acceleration, you can use actionable intelligence to grow your business. So, what is sales in the modern age? Is it just a series of numbers on a spreadsheet or a signature on a dotted line? Kind of, but it’s more about data interpretation and synthesis than it is meeting quotas. It’s also about utilizing the latest technology available to the masses and keeping up with the “Joneses”. If your career is in sales, and you do not stay up to speed with mobile tech – you are losing out.

The best way to look at sales vs. marketing is to consider sales the “Brick and Mortar” or “Practical” aspect of this relationship. You’re focused on hard statistics and timelines like sales numbers and fiscal quarters. Even moreso today, with big data playing an increasingly large role in how we conduct business, salespeople and medical sales reps are focused on numbers. The closest and simplest analogy would be the STEM department in your average university.

Marketing: Not Just Facebook Ads & Commercials

Let’s piggyback on that last paragraph. If your sales team is like the STEM department, what would that make the marketing team? If you guessed the social sciences and arts, you nailed it. In the same way that a society can’t function without its engineers and doctors, you need artists, writers, designers, and researchers to come full circle in the world.

The marketing team crafts the message that the sales team represents. Whether you are offering a service or a product, you don’t just have a Powerpoint of bulleted lists of why someone should be interested. You have engaging copy on marketing materials, online web ads, LinkedIn blog posts, or even in-person campaigns. Of course, individual sales reps have to pull double duty on this one; there is no “marketing department” to bounce ideas off or “HR department” to depend on for administrative help.

Regardless of the scope of your business, you need to always be ahead of the trends while still employing current strategies. One of the most popular marketing techniques today is selling a mindset or lifestyle instead of products or services. Brand loyalty hinges upon transparency and relatability of a company significantly more brand legacies. This is the point where sales and marketing come together.

Want to be a Great Sales Rep? Master Sales AND Marketing

Combine concrete numbers with creative problem solving solutions and you have a recipe for success. Your next question might be, so which came first – chicken or egg? Truth be told, that doesn’t matter. What matters is how your sales and marketing strategies work with each other toward the ultimate goal of success. You can’t make sales if your marketing doesn’t produce leads and you can’t turn leads into sales if your sales reps aren’t taking those leads successfully down the pipeline to close. Some have tossed around the term “smarketing”….but I have a better suggestion: sales acceleration.

What if there was a way you could marry sales and marketing into one software tool? Meaning, what if there was a tool that both generated qualified leads and then helped sales close the deal AND maintain the account? It is possible. Right now – sales lives in CRMs, and to a certain extent, marketing does too, however marketing also lives in marketing automation platforms and a million other types of platforms that cost thousands of dollars and turn your “tech stacks” to high-rises with confusing ROI’s.  There is no reason why sales and marketing should work within different technology platforms when they can work hand in hand.  

Sales acceleration strategies can streamline sales and marketing team processes for startups and enterprise level businesses alike. You don’t need tons of different specialists or software and programs anymore. Your all-in-one-tool for growing your business is right here with ProSellus Growth Engineers. Email me Scottwalle@prosellus.com to discuss the future of your business and be sure to read more about sales acceleration, growth hacking, and other medical sales reps tips on our blog.

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10 Things All Medical Devices Reps Should Learn in Training

Training sessions are often rehashes of what we already know, but, improving sales strategies should always be on your goals list. You don’t need to spice up training or even make it more complex; you need to focus the message and distill key elements from it. Basically – trim the fat. Here are 10 things all medical device sales training programs need in an easy to access list from ProSellus!

Start With The Basics

#1 and #2: Client Schedules & Mobility

Your first concern when crafting a new training program for medical device sales reps: respect for client schedule. After all, without your client base, your business wouldn’t exist! Listen to your clients’ needs, understand their needs, and be firm, but flexible. Next….you have to consider something mostly everyone takes for granted: mobility. The best part about smartphones is that you literally have a computer with you everywhere you go. You can access email, send texts, Skype people, and even access documents on your phone (and locate the nearest Starbucks). Can your training program work anywhere at any time for anyone – including you?

#3 and #4: Transparency & Snackable Information

Third up on the list is something many companies from “Mom and Pop” shops to massive corporations practice: honesty and transparency. Forbes argues that both of these factors are increasingly important in conducting any client based business. If you want to make sales acceleration techniques work best for you, ProSellus Growth Engineers recommend this path, too. Fourth on the list? Digestibility. And yes – information works just like food. Have you broken information in your training program into bite-sized pieces? Pro-tip: doing so allows trainees to more easily and effectively process information. It also gives you breathing room.

Protocols? Specialties? Vernacu-what?

#5 and #6: Documentation & Word Choice

HR (or human resources) gets the fun job of parsing things like employee handbooks along with administrative duties such as hiring and firing. Of course, if you’re a self-employed sales rep, you are your own HR department, accountant, chauffeur, etc. Adhering to documentation protocols might seem like it comes second fiddle to closing deals, but if you don’t practice good documentation, it could come back to bite you in uncomfortable places. Notice that I didn’t say a more common phrase that starts with “bite you in the…” there. That brings us to our next point: vernacular. That’s just a fancy word for the types of words you use, but it can drastically affect how clients interact with you. Consider the connotations of words and not just the dictionary meanings. Can you tell me the difference between “plot” and “plan”? The difference is probably a sale versus. a fail.

#7 and #8: Strong Sells & Specialization Knowledge

Our seventh piece of advice might seem counter-intuitive, but trust us – it makes sense. You need to avoid strong sells. It’s the 21st century. Everyone has internet access, curiosity, and common sense….or all of the above. No matter how much of a smooth talker you think you are, there will be clients who disagree. Read the room and have your facts handy. Speaking of facts, knowledge of adjacent specialties to a client’s industry and where patient populations come from will impress current and potential clients. It also works hand-in-hand with sales acceleration techniques. If you’re drawing blanks when we say “sales acceleration techniques”, keep reading.

Make Sure The Bow Looks Nice

#9 and #10: Repeat-ability & A Secret Weapon

What’s the last part of any gift you give? The bow! The ninth step to complete any medical device sales reps training package includes a key step: repeat-ability of training. You want complete strangers to be able to understand 100% of your training, but you also don’t want to expend every ounce of energy you have during training all the time, every time. All medical device sales training programs need to be easily repeatable, portable, and wrapped up in an attractive package that has evergreen information. Hint: “evergreen information” is information that never gets old and is always useful – like this list!

That brings us to number 10: ProSellus. Email me at Scottwalle@prosellus.com for more information on how our tool can enhance your business, improve efficiency, and put all that big data to work for you. In the meantime, check out our other blogs like Improving Your Bottom Line in 3 Steps or Learning the Market: A Beginner’s Guide

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A Word of Advice for Creating YOUR brand

A Brand is Way More than the Logo and Packaging

In our last post we talked about changing your mindset to sell your product, or at the very least the mindset of your customer. We talked about how current marketing techniques are targeting specific things to make you think differently about products. For example, we spoke about Fitbit and how it not only sells an activity tracker, but it sells a “healthy lifestyle”, which obviously isn’t in their product. Fitbit is, in fact, building an image and inciting an emotional response that buyers associate with when they see the Fitbit brand.

So, when it comes to you, the medical sales rep (or quite frankly, the marketing team who work with the reps and are trying to determine a way to help your reps sell more) what “lifestyle” or “brand” are you trying to create? Is it the brand of, “My company ‘XYZ’ produces the best, safest, most effective widget?” Is it the brand of, “Our company created this market and we built the device to treat this market, therefore WE are the best, period?” As a medical rep or the marketing professional trying to put your reps in the position to win EVERY time, what brand are you creating or influencing?

I want you to take a hard look at what you sell, what products you support and deep down evaluate the following questions:

  1. Do your customers actually care what “brand” you’re currently trying to sell them?
  2. Do your competitors walk into your customer’s’ office after you leave and spin a similar story?
  3. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, your customers are tired of the same old thing?

Then, why don’t we try and actually sell a brand that transcends competition? A brand that stands out among the rest – truly.

Bringing Value and Creating a Brand go Hand in Hand

At ProSellus, not only have we created an intuitive, dynamic tool which helps reps crush their number, but we also work with sales teams in helping them incorporate a new way of selling. I ask all of the reps we work with a very straight forward question:  How do you bring value?  Interestingly enough, the answers I typically receive are similar to these:

  1. I’m on time…
  2. I have all of my equipment…
  3. I’m prepared for the case…
  4. I’m an “expert” in the OR…

Now, are all of these answers important? Of course they are.  You can’t even do this job if you don’t or can’t do the things listed above, however I’d say bringing value is much bigger than that.

These answers are nothing more than the price of admission to the game. As a rep in this industry you HAVE to do these things. They are the bare minimum!  If you think your competitors don’t do AT LEAST the same thing, you’re absolutely wrong!

So, if all this time you thought you were bringing a ton of value to your customers and they just couldn’t live without you – you are wrong. You’re doing the minimum, and your business is only a knock on the door away from being snatched from underneath you. So, how do we create a brand around bringing value?

I mean, if YOUR brand was that you bring value, and that value is often times unachievable without you, what have you actually created? You’ve created a brand that is irreplaceable – that’s what you’ve done. (This is where we all want to be… irreplaceable!)

Creating the Brand, Selling the Mindset, Changing the Game

Maya Angelou, a famous poet, memoirist and civil rights leader has a quote that I think exemplifies what we are trying to do with creating our brand, selling the mindset and changing the game: 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou 

People will never forget how you made them feel… THAT my friends is what we are trying to create! Your customers are begging for someone to come into their office and talk about something that actually matters to them!  And it’s NOT your product, I don’t care how revolutionary it is! They want you to paint a picture for them about how THEY can achieve THEIR goals.  They don’t want to hear about YOUR goals, or YOUR product or how YOUR company wants you to sell their product. They hear that all day, every day!

So, instead of selling them something they hear about all day long, what if you sold them something they craved? And what if you were the only person selling it? Could you possibly change the game? Would you possibly change the mindset? Would you now have created such a brand that you (and your company) were known as: The Problem Solver, Different than Everyone Else, Understands the Need, Understands the Market or Totally Gets It?

All of these are better than, oh, the “xyz” rep is here. He/She is in the lounge waiting to see you. And your customer says in their head: “I wonder what line I’ll be told today about how this product is in some way different than it was the last time the rep was here?” Or instead, “what lunch did they bring me today to stand out?”

Wouldn’t you rather the customer to say in their head: “Great! I’ve got several questions to ask ‘John’. I hope he doesn’t have another case after lunch, I may want him to stay for a bit while we talk…”

There IS a way you can stop the madness of this hamster wheel and break free to WIN. I did it myself, and we have built the tool needed by the very folks I sold both side by side with and against. If you would like to chat about how to start creating your value and brand meaningful enough to break away from the herd, email me at scottwalle@prosellus.com.

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Lifestyle Brands Are Onto Something: Sell Mindsets, Not Products

You’re a medical sales rep. You know certain “tricks of the trade” when it comes to marketing, in fact, you might even think that “marketing” is simply a support group for your company that doesn’t really help you sell – I mean they don’t even know the customers like you do, right? And you certainly can’t put your marketing people in front of a customer to help “seal the deal” right? (If any of you know me personally, you know this is the way I’ve thought for years!)  If you think that, you definitely don’t know all there is to know. If you think a bit more critically about the current ads you see on social media, you’ll see that they are not only curated specifically for YOU, but also they aren’t just peddling products or services. In fact, they are hitting on a deeper psychological level for the consumer. Take a closer look at these brands. Notice things like Rapha, Hollister, Ray Ban, and others? What are they selling?

If you said “bike stuff, clothes, and sunglasses,” you’re wrong. Take an even closer look. They are selling lifestyles. Nike, Tesla, or any cosmetics company – all of them are lifestyle brands. Increasingly, brand loyalty isn’t built by just having great products; it is built by creating a mindset for market bases. It’s about tapping into that deeper psychological level for the consumer and selling a feeling that induces brand loyalty.  Now, as a medical device sales rep, are you doing the same thing these ads are doing? Are you creating brand loyalty? (Hint: A lot of the time, YOU are the brand.) Or are you just selling your products on the features and benefits that differentiate from the competition?

If you’re just selling features and benefits… you’re missing the boat…

Change Your Outlook… Improve Your Business

Aside from pressure to hit quota, lack of time, and increasing competition, one of the major problems with how many medical sales reps approach their business practices is their own mindsets.  Many reps focus on a commodity mindset thanks to all those outdated sales techniques and traditions drilled into us in training or trial by fire. We are intimately familiar with the benefits of whatever devices we represent and how we are better than the competition, but our clients are, at the end of the day, numbers to us – and most of the time we miss valuable sales opportunities due to our myopic view of selling.  (A lot of us are SO worried about making “the number” we miss opportunities to create “the brand” that can ensure you’ll never be worried about making the number again.)

Excusing the sales acceleration techniques we discuss often around here at ProSellus, medical device sales reps need to adapt their mindsets and approach their physician customers from a different angle with a different pitch. That “feeling” or “lifestyle” being conveyed through those marketing ads I discussed can also be communicated through you – and in such a way that those other factors I listed above (competition, quota pressure, etc..) won’t be a problem anymore. I know, sounds crazy right?

Okay….So How Do You Sell a Mindset Anyway?

Aside from pressure to hit quota, lack of time, and increasing competition, one of the major problems with how many medical sales reps approach their business practices is their own mindsets.  Many reps focus on a commodity mindset thanks to all those outdated sales techniques and traditions drilled into us in training or trial by fire. We are intimately familiar with the benefits of whatever devices we represent and how we are better than the competition, but our clients are, at the end of the day, numbers to us – and most of the time we miss valuable sales opportunities due to our myopic view of selling.  (A lot of us are SO worried about making “the number” we miss opportunities to create “the brand” that can ensure you’ll never be worried about making the number again.)

Forbes lists a few brands for you to study, but you don’t have to look much further than your own Instagram or Facebook feeds. Medical industry related brands include things like Fitbit or even Aflac. With a Fitbit, you are not only buying an activity tracker and gadget, you are buying your way to better health. With Aflac, you are literally paying for peace of mind or….a more peaceful mindset. Are you picking up what we’re putting down yet? So how can you adapt your own selling approach to build this advantage over the competition? It starts with understanding what it is your customer physician cares about and then curating that value specifically for them.

“Lifestyle brands implement a strategy that is the complete opposite of “A.B.C.” Their marketing doesn’t explicitly imply the selling of their product; rather, it’s about figuring out creative ways that their brand can enhance their consumers’ way of life.”
Forbes on Lifestyle Brands

By marketing mindsets instead of products, you are doing the opposite of the adage “Always Be Closing”. Your first question might be: “I’m a SALES rep. If I don’t make sales, am I doing my job?” Nope. This strategy should be an ADDITION to your arsenal, but not a substitute for any other tool. Your job requires tenacity, adaptation, and versatility. Rise to the occasion!

Don’t Fall Behind…

For more brand study, consult this Business Insider article or email me Scottwalle@prosellus.com. Let’s talk all things marketing, medical sales, and revenue. Or are you okay with staying in that same old mindset? If you are, better beef up that resume.

 

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