1980 Called…It wants it’s medical sales reps back!
Are you still selling in 1980? The information age has changed everything, including your ability to know important information about your customers before you ever make that first sales visit.
If you’re calling on a physician for example, you probably have an opportunity to know key things about her practice, as well as about the doctor as a person. Most physicians have a website, and the information provided likely includes the doctor’s practice goals and areas of interest. Are these things you should know before you set foot in her office?
Another invaluable technology is CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software. This is your own personal database about your customer. How does the customer feel when during a sales visit,l you ask how his son Tommy is doing in little league and how his daughter Alexa is doing in ballet…and what did he do to celebrate his wife Mary’s birthday last week? If your company doesn’t provide a CRM, get one…fast. There are several online that are low cost or free. I use Zoho.
Hopefully you understand the value of building relationships, which can be done as simply as by sharing information about something you have in common or with which you are familiar. Many physician profiles will have a section about where the doctor went to college and medical school. Could you include this in your conversation? Could you do a quick search to see what research is being done at the doctor’s alma mater and bring it up in the discussion?
Many physicians include information on their websites that can turn a cold call into a warm one. How do you think the customer feels when he meets you for the first time and you know that he is an avid golfer, how many children he has, or where he grew up. Might that make you seem more like someone who is interested in the customer as a person and not just as a potential sale?
Many employees in your hospital and clinic accounts will have a page on Facebook or LinkedIn. Are you checking these routinely before every sales call? If no, why not? Are you okay with your competition knowing more about your customers than you do?
What about connecting with your customers on LinkedIn. Did you know that once you’re connected, you can look at their connections and see who they know? What if there is a healthcare provider in their network that you would like to be introduced to–would there be some benefit in that?
The sales rep who prepares before a call will often outperform one who does not. Even if you’re lazy, and you don’t mind losing out to a competitor who prepares and practices more than you, at least look the info up before you walk in the customer’s door. If you don’t carry an iPhone, Android, or iPad, then you are still selling in 1980. That smart phone or tablet is a necessary tool for staying connected with your customers as well as the information that is online about them. The only excuses for not knowing that which is available online about your customers are complacency and laziness.
Do some online research on every one of your customers. What you learn might be very useful as you begin 2012…or you can just keep selling in 1980.