Thriving in medical sales requires a great number of skills and knowledge. You need to stay in the loop of any big changes in your industry while prospecting and honing your sales strategies.
One skill, in particular, takes your medical sales career to the next level. According to our 2018 8th Annual Medical Sales Salary Report, your ability to build relationships can lead to higher earnings in several ways.
Here’s how to build better relationships in medical sales:
Set Clear Expectations
You don’t want to oversell yourself to customers only to underwhelm them down the road. This will hurt your relationship and can even give you a bad reputation.
Instead, be upfront and honest about how you will be serving them. Walk your talk. This way, they feel satisfied when you deliver on your promises.
After setting realistic expectations, look for ways to go above and beyond to wow them. In every customer experience, you can add more value.
This might be something as simple as following up regularly. Those little actions yield big results in the customer-sales rep relationship.
Get Up Close and Personal
Medical sales is so much more than simply closing deals and prospecting. It also requires a lot of one-on-one time and ongoing support.
For example, as our survey found, 33 percent of medical sales respondents say they regularly spend time in the OR. These professionals go into the OR to both instruct clients and ensure their products are working properly.
This shows that the role of a medical sales professional goes far beyond the sale. You need to ensure your customers are satisfied with their products, that they’re using them properly, and that they’re seeing the results they want.
The benefits of continually educating your customers go beyond just building a strong relationship. You can also earn more.
Our 2018 survey found that medical sales professionals in the surgery/OR market segment take home the highest salary compared to other market segments, with an average total compensation of $166,819.
Traveling also leads to higher earnings. Our survey found that those who travel 50 percent of the time earn the most, taking home an average total compensation of $177,662.
Those who travel to work with their customers one-on-one build more lasting relationships. No matter the product you’re selling, customers appreciate when you help them with hands-on education and continual support.
Customers want to feel like you’re on their team. If you just close a deal and disappear, they will feel ignored and unappreciated.
Always check in with your customers regularly. Simplify this by setting a schedule for touching base with ongoing communications.
But don’t automate your follow-ups or make it feel impersonal. Remember, your customers are people. Treat them like individuals.
Personalize your follow-ups with a human touch. For example, if you know your customer plays music as a hobby, ask how their band is doing. Whether it’s through email, phone call, or text message, always focus on the human connection.
Also, consider their interests. If you read an article about their favorite sports team, send them a link to show you’re thinking about them. Your customers love feeling valued as a person.
A common mistake medical sales professionals make is focusing too much on trying to be well-liked. Agreeableness is not the best strategy. It’s tempting to simply avoid confrontation and tell customers what they want to hear, but your honesty is what wins in the long run.
After all, customers need to trust you and your expertise. If you’re simply putting your best interests first by withholding information, you’ll sour your relationship and earn a reputation for being dishonest.
Instead, exhibit conviction and keep your best interests centered on the customer and their experience. For example, if they want your honest opinion about a product, share what you know, not what they want to hear.
Share case studies and reviews to highlight some of the aspects of the product to be aware of. This further establishes your credibility and proves that you care most about the customer, not your numbers.
How do you go above and beyond to build better relationships with your clients? Let us know!