Fostering strong medical sales relationships is work that needs to be done year-round. At MedReps, we know that building solid connections is about more than giving the biggest, shiniest gift, and that the relationships you share with both your clients and your colleagues are what define a successful career.
The common practice of showering clients with gifts to try to influence decision-making is being banned in many states, impacting age-old ideas of the quickest go-to strategy for relationship building. As the holiday season approaches and gift-giving season comes into full swing, reps need to refocus their efforts on the best gift they CAN give – their dedicated, undivided, genuine presence.
Here are four reasons why giving time will mean more than giving a gift:
You expose an element of healthy vulnerability
Spending dedicated time giving your undivided attention to another individual provides opportunity for deeper connection. Personal stories allow you to find common ground for conversation and expose a level of vulnerability that will help to build trust both ways. Don’t push or over share, but rather find ways to naturally relate.
With clients, instead of being so focused on closing the sale and running to your next call, let your walls down and dig a little deeper to show them you care about them as a human.
Through your meaningful connection, you’ll be able to offer a personal moment at your next encounter. Asking about their child’s activities, remembering a trip they were planning, or updating them on a weekend project you’re working on may not feel like work-talk, but it will go a long way in building a deeper connection.
You create a welcomed break from the ‘hustle’
You’re probably not the first rep your client will see in any given week — and you surely won’t be the last. And in the office, your fellow team members are constantly surrounded by the buzz. With ever-present hustle in their face, the never-ending “buy, buy, buy, go, go, go” everyone tends to wear out and disengage pretty quickly.
When you slow down a bit and remove the energy of the sale from your conversations, you’re making space for a much-needed break from the chaos.
When you approach a sales conversation, be mindful of the energy and attitude given off by your counterpart. Watch for physical shifts in their posture, sighs, or wandering eyes. If they seem high strung or distracted, chances are you’re not going to get very far with them. Shift the conversation to a non-work-related topic and revisit your need once their energy has improved.
You’re able to appreciate more of the environment
With the fast-paced nature of the medical field, we don’t often look around to notice how our environment is affecting the energy we both omit and consume. When sales is our focus, paying attention to what’s happening in our client’s or colleague’s workspace can take a back seat to our goals.
But the things that are happening in the workplace matter A LOT. Sometimes, conversations have to end abruptly or tensions run high, causing short responses and limited patience. When you build an awareness of how external factors are affecting others, you’ll be more capable of offering empathy and meeting them where they are.
Say hello to other people in the office and take note of how they’re interacting with those around them. You’ll quickly be able to gather information on the vibe by noticing conversations and expressions, and even by taking time to note things like decor, music, and the personal effects of others.
You show that you put others’ needs first
As a medical sales rep, you know that putting others’ needs first is critical to your success, but it’s also part of who you are. You constantly prove how what you do is providing value for others, and you take a lot of care to show the relevance of the products and information you believe in and sell.
When you take the time to stop, listen, and be truly present, you’re able to more closely define the motivations and needs of those around you.
Sharpen your listening and observation skills, and approach each conversation with the intention of identifying and meeting your client or colleague’s needs. Focus on intentional responses — from quiet nods to thoughtful comments — and don’t try to think in terms of what to say next. Slow down and hear what your counterpart is saying. Be present and connect.