In an increasingly global economy bound by healthcare, medicine has been given the sacrilegious honour of being able to change the lives of so many people than ever before. A simple vaccine means allowing your kid to go outside and play on the playground again, or for you and your partner to have weekly date nights once more. It’s a testament to the evolution of healthcare, from a manmade bandage made out of banana leaves to a digital stethoscope made of steel, that we get to experience life a little bit longer than most of history is accustomed to.
Not only do advancements in medicine mean better options for care for potential patients, but it also means greater revenue streams for developers and producers of medical devices in the industry. The concept of selling medical devices is a versatile line, and you need to be constantly proactive if you want to seal the deal.
The sales strategy behind selling these pieces of machinery have gone through massive changes, even though the basic principles remain the same. The confluence of competition and buyer influence, coupled with an increase in regulatory pressure, means that people nowadays are demanding a higher quality of healthcare at much too lower costs. This small predicament then creates tension between entrepreneurs and salespeople who struggle to find balance.
When most only see challenges, entrepreneurs and investors see opportunities; these people are the risk takers, go getters, and overachievers. They instead see opportunities to improve service, offer competitive pricing, enhance marketing efforts, and streamline research and development of new products.
Here’s how to do it properly:
1. Know your target audience’s pain points
The very first thing you and your team must do is explicitly outline what pains, symptoms, or conditions your proprietary medical device can treat. When you identify your audience’s pain points, you can look at the demographics for the people who would most likely suffer from them, and then proceed to contact medical specialists most likely to treat these ailments.
This is what you would call a target audience. Once you have defined your target audience, you need to construct a language that will let them know how your product can help them in a manner that will make them understand easily.
2. Reward customers
Aside from the quality products you provide customers with, its always good to offer them a little something else on the side to ensure your relationship holds. These little freebies can be and range from anything, be it a free ticket to your next presentation of the latest medical device or an invitation to be a member of your elite customer base newsletter.
The what of the complimentary item seldom matters, the end goal is really just to make the customer feel like your relationship with them is rewarding and mutually beneficial. For every interaction you have with them, they should come away from the conversation not empty-handed. Your customers are the reason you are in business; they deserve a reward for that!
3. Consider all demographics
While we do live in a global economy, the barriers surrounding countries are breaking down more and more each year. There are people from America eating Asian food, people in Russia conversing in German. We live in a world that’s been accepting of all cultures, races, ethnicities and sociopolitical beliefs more than ever; and healthcare, arguably, is one of the most universal concepts there is. So why limit yourself to an English-speaking population? There is untapped potential everywhere. Hiring a certified translation agency that specialises in medical device translation can do wonders for the business you had not yet deemed possible.
4. Adopt the storytelling method
Only 5% of people remember the statistics after a presentation. However, 63% of people retain the stories told. What do these statistics tell us? It has been well-known that sales representatives who adopt a storytelling approach to selling their goods have gotten them in good favour as opposed to those who go the traditional, bureaucratic route. Statistics are obviously important given the context of the medicine, but you need to weave them with benefits in a way that is just as creative as it is informative.
5. Ask for referrals
Did you know that 91% of customers are more than willing to give referrals? And what’s more shocking – only 11% of medical sales representatives ask for one! It can be quite daunting asking for a referral, but all that fear is really just in your head. If you do good work and it shows in your rapport with the client, chances are they want to pass that goodwill forward to their friends and colleagues who may be in the market for what you offer. It pays to be direct when you ask for referrals. The worst you can face is a single, “no.” So there’s no harm in being direct. Even if they didn’t find your product useful, they might know someone who may!
6. Be ready for complex conversations
It goes without saying that medical device sales is a complex field. Especially with curious customers, you may find yourself in a situation where they’re throwing questions at you left and right and you’re paralysed with ignorance, or intimidation, or both. You should always be ready for difficult conversations, and do your homework to prove your knowledge.
One of the basics of being a sales rep is knowing your product inside and out, but that’s not the only requirement. You also need to know and understand your buyer. This means that aside from studying the product manual, you also need to know the intricacies of your target hospital or clinique to discover unique points that can carry them to your favour once you do your pitch.
7. Be remarkable
What can you share that educates your audience? What is it that you have that they don’t already know, or haven’t heard yet? If you can make your company stand out amidst the oversaturated market bubbling with people who talk and sound like you, then your customer is sold.
More often than not, it’s this peer-to-peer sharing that causes companies to see the largest jumps in their sales traffic. By building authentic relationships with clients and having the quality of your work passed on by word of mouth is one of the greatest arsenals you can have in marketing. As long as you are remarkable and interesting, customers will be quickly spreading the word for you!