Sales in any field is a career that requires dedication, great communication skills, and persistence. In the medical field, however, there are many additional factors that require special consideration for the sales representative. With technology constantly creating new software, devices, and systems that can improve the quality of care that physicians and facilities provide for their patients, medical sales is an incredibly exciting field for an entrepreneur today. With attention to a few key medical sales tips and techniques from Zachari Cargnino, CFO and business executive, a sales representative can hope to enjoy a successful career making products and equipment available to doctors, their staff, and facility managers.
Sell a Great Product
Obviously, success in sales begins with the product that you sell. If the item you are selling offers little to no real value to the customer—in this case, a doctor or facility administrator—no amount of salesmanship or communication skill will lead to success. Physicians and their staff members are extremely busy and laser-focused on caring for their patients to the best of their ability. That means that they will have no time to spend on a sales representative who presents a product that would “be nice to have” or that they suspect will provide no utility at all.
As you consider your medical sales options, take the time to carefully analyze the products that you plan to sell. If you were a doctor, would you view the product as something that is worth the investment of your limited resources? If you were a patient, would you see the product as an important addition to your doctor’s practice? Can you feel confident in honestly telling a potential customer that the product will greatly benefit their patients and customers? If you can positively answer those questions, you are ready to start selling.
Know the Customer’s Priorities
As we have already mentioned, the priority of the physician and of the medical facility as a whole, whether it’s a private practice or a large hospital, is to serve the patient with the best care possible. As a medical sales representative, your conversation with those decision makers should focus on that priority. But there are other priorities to be aware of as well. Particularly with private practices, there is an element of competition that patients are not always aware of. A doctor who offers the most advanced systems for caring for his patients will enjoy an advantage over the competition, attracting more patients as he publicizes his use of those systems online and in other marketing efforts.
Offering a private practice the opportunity to be the first in their geographical area to provide a revolutionary treatment can be a great sales technique. Alternatively, if a product or service is already quickly growing in popularity in the region, a private practice will not want to get left behind the competition by neglecting to add it to its list of patient care options.
Know Privacy and Security Issues
A huge part of caring for patients is keeping their personal information private and secure. Doctors and medical facilities are constantly evaluating their own processes for protecting patient data and ensuring that their use of it complies with federal HIPAA regulations. The more you, as a sales representative, know about what these regulations mean for the healthcare field, the better you can communicate with the potential customer on that level and explain how your product or service helps with compliance and data security. Fortunately, many new medical products and equipment offer practices and facilities higher levels of security than their current systems, such as converting processes from pen-and-paper to digital data entry. From signing in at the front desk to taking electronic mental health screenings on a tablet device in the exam room, patients are becoming more and more confident in the ability of their doctors to protect their information when it is stored digitally rather than in a paper file behind the desk.
As a medical sales representative, your mission is to show the customer that you are on their side and that you share his priorities: giving his patients the best, most secure treatment options possible and giving his own practice a welcome boost over the competition at the same time.