The number one goal of every medical sales representative is to make those sales. After all, there are quotas to fill and commissions to earn. One thing that often stands in the way is personal skills. The best salespeople are able to find ways to relate to their clients, without coming off as intimidating. Scaring hospital and medical clinic employees into complying and making those purchases isn’t the way to do it. Instead, you need to be personable.
Worried that you might be intimidating your clients and harming your sales numbers? Here are some useful steps that you can take in order to improve your relationship with them and stop any accidental intimidation.
How Can You Tell if Someone is Intimidated by You?
Before you can change your habits in order to stop intimidating the physicians and medical practitioners that you contact, you first need to know how to tell if people are, in fact, intimidated by you. Some of the most common signs to look for include:
- Lack of Eye Contact – If someone is slightly afraid of you, they’ll refuse to make eye contact. They may lower their eyes to the floor or focus on your shirt instead of your face. They say that the eyes are the soul of the face, so if you never see theirs directly, then something is wrong.
- Physically Turning Away from You – Body language is important. People who physically turn away from you, such as placing their legs and lower body to the side away from where you’re located, are trying to shield themselves from you.
- Never Initializing Conversation – While someone who’s intimidated by you may say “hi” or give some other basic greeting, they’ll wait for you to make the first move, conversationally. They won’t ask questions, won’t provide constructive feedback (even if you request it), and will do everything they can to let you lead the meeting.
- Making Fidgeting Movements – People who are anxious or scared tend to fidget. When someone does this around you, then it usually means you make them nervous. Look for them twiddling their fingers, shaking their legs, or playing with their hair.
- Giving You Plenty of Space – Personal space is one thing. People tend to need a bubble of protection around them. However, if that “bubble” is huge, and it only seems to be in place when that person is around you, then you’re intimidating them, even if you don’t mean to.
- Speaking in a Quiet Voice – A high, quiet voice is a sign of fear. Those who are intimidated by you may speak this way without even realizing it. You may notice that they speak in a normal voice around others and only get quiet when you’re around. This is a sign that you scare them slightly.
These are some of the clearest signs that you intimidate those around you, particularly your clients. If you notice any of them, then it’s time to take the next steps and find ways to overcome that intimidation.
Overcoming Client Intimidation
Intimidation is not the way to get sales. You need to build relationships with your clients that are lasting, so they know they can trust you when your company releases new products. You also want to feel that you can reach out to them again and again.
Now that you know the many signs of intimidation, it’s time to find ways to get your clients to trust and feel relaxed around you.
Be as Human (and Approachable) as Possible
Your clients may see you as someone who wields authority. Therefore, you need to show them that you don’t have as much power as they think – or that they can relate to you on a deeper level. Go out of your way to admit your mistakes and foibles. If you don’t know something, be honest about it. The more you seem like a standard, fallible human being, the less likely people are to be scared of you.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Initiating a conversation is always a good thing. If you ask open-ended questions, those that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, you’ll be able to learn more about them. This will force the other person in the room to speak to you. Once they do, it’s time for you to work on your listening skills. Pay attention to what they’re saying and ask additional questions. Feel free to relate to what they’re saying with a story of your own. This is the key to building that relationship.
Relax Your Body Language
Pay attention to your body language. Are you standing while the other person in the room is sitting? This can make you seem intimidating since you tower over them. What about how you hold your arms? Are your hands clenched? Are your arms wrapped over the front of your body? Just as their body language can show how intimidated they feel, yours can make you seem as though you’re the toughest person in the room. Relax. Sit with good posture and leave your arms and hands relaxed and open.
Don’t Forget to Smile
Your facial expressions are just as important as your overall body language. If you’re worried about seeming intimidating, the last thing that you want is to have a frown or a furrowed brow. Instead, relax your facial muscles, including your tense jaw, and smile. You’d be surprised at just how welcoming a warm and honest smile can be! It makes a huge difference.
Remember Your Goal
The goal of every medical sales representative is to make those sales. After all, you have a quota to fill and want to earn that commission. To do this, you’ll need to make your clients feel as comfortable as possible around you. Making clients comfortable while retaining that professional aura is the best way to develop long-lasting client relationships. And remember, when they seem intimidated by you, do everything in your power to help them relax. You’re as human as they are. So, just relate, and make those sales!