By Mike Scher
We know that competition is fierce for medical and healthcare sales professionals. Whether selling medical devices, pharmaceuticals or lab products to physicians, hospitals or research centers, we have to convincingly communicate that our product and service is better quality, better price, and an overall better opportunity.
One way to soften the sharper edges of the competitive landscape is by getting to the buyer first. When you are the first one to connect and communicate who you are and why you matter, you beat the fatigue-factor after the prospect has been relentlessly inundated by others.
Here are the top Do’s & Don’ts to accelerate the prospecting phase of the sale:
Do hold back on selling.
The first call shouldn’t be to sell but rather communicate how you can solve. Introduce yourself and acknowledge the interruption to their day — because surely they weren’t just waiting for your call.
Intrigue your prospect with your value proposition but resist the urge to pitch. A pitch is about a product; a value proposition is about solving their problem.
Try to schedule a brief conversation at another time when you’ll have their full attention. When they resist (which they most often will), calmly reiterate the value proposition and how you have helped other similar clients and again, ask for the meeting. Consistency and patience are the keys!
Don’t give up too quickly.
Nine. That is the average number of attempts it usually takes to reach the right person.
Don’t stop after only two attempts because you could be leaving potential deals on the table. Persistence is not the same as relentlessness. Waterboarding someone with calls and emails can drive them away.
Instead, take a multi-touch approach using phone, social, and email, with a strategic cadence of follow-up, like every 3 business days. Planned and well-paced persistence alone could impress the prospect, moving them to the first appointment and soon after, converting this lead to a sale.
Don’t contact only one prospect.
Studies show B2B sales have an average of 6.8 people involved in buying decisions so don’t waste time excessively targeting only one person in medical sales. Reach out to multiple execs and managers whose titles fit your sales process.
It will help build familiarity and strengthen name recognition and awareness. And, it will provide a route for individuals to forward your messages to others who are also responsible for this purchase. More people in the loop creates an “implied” referral that leads to a much higher conversion rate.
Do provide clear context with all follow-up.
If you were successful in the all-important first call, don’t cancel out your progress with a generic email that could confuse, or worse, insult them because of a lack of effort on your part.
Customize every email and attachment so it is applicable to their very specific needs, from volume and price to delivery schedules and same-day service. Don’t put a dent in the confidence you have built up by requiring them to recalculate their costs or question your level of service because you didn’t 100% personalize your medical sales follow-up.
Prospecting creates the necessary pathway to reach the final phase of the sale. Identifying and reaching the right decision-makers, without fatiguing your brand along the way, is essential but requires skill and technique — which can be acquired through training.
Ensure that your medical sales reps and sales teams are crystal clear on your value proposition, demonstrate patience and persistence in follow-up, and leverage social selling to warm up the prospect. That is the fastest, and most effective route to the close.
Bio: Mike Scher is Co-Founder & Chief Sales Architect at FRONTLINE Selling, a B2B sales prospecting platform used by healthcare and medical industry sales reps to drive more sales and revenue. He can be reached at Mike_Scher@FRONTLINESelling.com and Twitter @sellmoreperiod