How does the Healthcare Sales Rep create a win/win relationship when trying to educate the Primary Care Physician in the community?
The Primary Care Physician (PCP) is the real “driver” when it comes to distribution of patients in the healthcare marketplace. These physicians are overlooked in many cases, however, they truly are the HUB of the “Hub & Spoke” model of patient distribution in healthcare. Also, think about the way healthcare insurance coverage is changing; more and more often we see PPO insurance plans disappearing with the entrance of more HMO type plans. In HMO plans it is very commonplace that a patient HAS to have a referral from their PCP in order to see a specialist. These docs really are the “Gatekeepers” of patients…
Power of the Gatekeepers
The majority of patients see a PCP when an issue of some kind occurs. Those PCP’s then distribute the patients to specialists based on the issue. Of course, there are variations of the example I just described; however, this example seems to be the most overwhelmingly common example of the Primary Care referral. So, what does this mean for you? How does this, or can this, impact you?
Not Obstacles – Opportunities
There are a few problematic aspects of this process. Outside of making sure the patient gets the best care, there’s little to gain for the PCP by referring the patient. They simply lose a patient, potentially, by referring them out (or that’s the fear at least). Joe Hage of medicalmarcom.com considers himself a pioneer in the field of medical device marketing. A bonafide medical device sales person informed him of the challenges associated with establishing a win/win relationship with PCP’s. Creating referrals from Primary Care for the specialty product reps sell can often be seen as an obstacle. Any sales rep worth their salt knows that there are no obstacles: only opportunities. Two statements from the blog post highlight key facets of developing a PCP win/win relationship:
Joe Hage (to the device rep): So, if you are calling on interventionalists, who is creating primary demand for consults among primary care physicians?
Med Device Rep: Me. That’s a large part of what I do. Help create awareness within the referring community for my interventionalists.
This is a solid strategy and one attempted by many, just… without a solid strategy in place. There are many questions unanswered.
So, what motivates the PCP? The specialist potentially gets a new referral, but what about the PCP? All they did was lose a patient to another specialist right? Or no?
Game changer: what if they DID have something to gain? Better yet, what if it made complete sense for the PCP to refer? What if it was actually BETTER for the PCP to refer the patient out? What if they never realized it, until of course, you taught them…? How would you be perceived then?
More Questions? Get Answers
Your head must be swirling with questions.
- If healthcare sales reps are actually doing this, how do they make sure they’re talking to the right PCP’s? There are quite literally thousands; how could you possibly know which ones to call on?
- And if you did, do you know how to create the win/win?
- What is the win/win in this scenario?
- How do you which doctor can influence your business the most?
- What is that “solid strategy,” we mentioned earlier? Do you have one?
There are many unanswered questions. What would the referral community be like if you had the answers to all of these questions and more? ProSellus is the key to all these questions. Email me at email@example.com to get answers to all of your Win/Win relationship queries.