Medical Sales: No Such Thing as a Competitive Account
Does your heart sink when you encounter a physician or hospital that has been buying
from the competition for years? Whenever you make a sales call, they tell you how
satisfied they are with Brand X, and that there is no reason for them to consider a change
at this time.
Many medical sales people make the mistake of labeling these prospects “competitive
accounts” or “competitive providers.” When you do this, you are taking yourself out of
the game, and in this business, the game is never over!
When you allow the “competitive” label as it relates to a prospect or customer into your
subconscious mind, you are reducing the possibility in your mind that they will ever do
business with you. This affects your overall approach to this account since every
attempt to make a sale feels like you are just spinning your wheels. And guess what –
if at some level you feel that the provider or account will never do business with you, by
virtue of how you approach this account, they probably never will.
By now you are asking, “If they aren’t competitive accounts and customers, then what
are they?” They are prospects, customers, and accounts in your territory who are not
buying from you yet. That’s all.
It’s time to start treating the prospects and accounts that you have not yet developed a
fruitful business relationship with, the same as the customers and accounts that you
have. That’s right – treat them like you have already earned their business and have
established a business relationship with them. When you make a sales presentation,
expect the same results as you do with your current customers. You expect your
existing customers to buy if you present something that will improve how they care for
their patients, right? Why expect the other potential customers in your territory to
respond any differently? Don’t make up their minds for them, after all you are offering
them the same product that your current customers are buying, correct?
There is some sage advice in the sales world: “Expect the sale.” It holds true today and
it always will. Think about it for a second – if you don’t expect the sale, then why are
you getting out of bed every morning and going to work as a sales professional?
Certainly not to achieve what you don’t expect!
The accounts in your territory are every bit as much yours as they are anyone elses.
Sell to all of your customers and prospects with the same expectations! When a
customer tells you, “No, I’m not ready to change at this time,” just relax and tell them in
an empathetic way, “I understand. When you are ready, whether it’s tomorrow, or next
year, I’ll be here.” And then try to sell them tomorrow (i.e., don’t wait until next year!)!
Opportunities for change occur by the minute in this business. Your job is to stay in
your accounts’ target radar zone at all times so that the moment there is the slightest
doubt with their current provider – there you are!
There are no competitive accounts – just accounts that are yours, and those that will
eventually be yours. Approach them with the same expectations, and in time watch
what happens. Your competitors will be describing your new accounts as “competitive