Plan Tomorrow Today!
You know the old adage “Why leave for tomorrow what you can do today?” That goes double in the world of healthcare sales. No matter who your client may be, it’s important to plan ahead. These conversations are critical, but can be difficult to negotiate or initiate. As the sales rep, it is YOUR job to think 5 steps ahead for your physician customer. In my device days we were preached to in training: In surgery you have to be several steps ahead of the physician! You have to anticipate his/her every move and be prepared whatever that move was.
So, my question to you is this: Is surgery the only place we (I) work?
Of course not! Today’s healthcare sales reps are asked to do more than ever!
Don’t Be In Trend; Predict The Trend
“The changes in healthcare are accelerating. The penalty for falling behind the change curve is irrelevance, that is, customers will replace you with competitors who anticipated and integrated change sooner and faster than you did. The take-home message, “You must remain relevant and to do that you must stay ahead of the change curve.”
This advice from author Jason Baker hits home for me in many ways. I have been the Sales Rep in his article – the top player in the medical device game, the heavy hitter….the king. That false sense of security can easily overcome reality because it is powerful and intoxicating. (A lot of us have been there) You begin to think you cannot lose, but Baker speaks the truth – if you snooze, you lose. It’s as simple as the Tortoise and the Hare. Small changes set the stage for a giant shift in the market and you aren’t invincible. None of us are…
Heed Warning Signs
In the healthcare sales industry, it is vital that you pay attention to the signs around you (especially these days). You must have the will to keep getting up after every failure. I, myself, did this time and time again. I didn’t think there was any other way to work, but I finally figured out how to break away from the status quo. I cultivated my own path to success when I learned how to TRULY listen to my physician customers. I would hear them talk about this or that which was impacting their business, but I thought, “Well, glad that isn’t me.” OR “That kind of stinks, I’m glad it’s not my job to do that.” Then I said, “Well, what if I could impact that? I would be fixing one of their biggest problems or concerns.”
I found myself asking these questions:
- What are they searching for?
- What worries and concerns kept them up at night?
- What can I do to address their concerns?
And when I did… the results are were nothing short of astounding.
Listen and Respond
If I could find a way to connect with my customer in a way which greatly differentiated me from the rest of the herd, I would be successful and so would the customer. After realizing what I had to do, I still needed to see the path before arriving at it. I needed to do my research and understand what the factors were that might affect my customer’s practice and, ultimately, my own business. My advice to the other reps out there is to listen to your customers, monitor current trends in the market, predict future trends, stay informed, and challenge the norms. The worst thing you can do is get complacent. The second you fall asleep at the wheel, you fall behind. If you have questions like I did, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I’d love to swap stories some time.