Customer-Centric Selling: Think Like The Doctor

There is a fundamental issue underlying most of the daily challenges faced by medical sales representatives. Here’s the core of it:

Medical sales representatives tend to focus on the sale rather than thinking like the doctor, nurse, materials manager, hospital CFO, or any other stakeholder they sell to.

For example, imagine approaching a doctor by thinking like a doctor instead of a sales rep. I’m not suggesting you should pretend to be a doctor. I’m referring to examining your sales approach from a doctor’s point of view.

If you were the doctor, would the focus of the sales call align with the overall mission of your practice? Is it detailed enough to capture your unique interests? Would it be hard to ignore? Does it address a common concern?

How Would You Feel If A Salesperson Approached You In The Same Way?

Consider how you would respond if a salesperson approached you in this manner.

Think about how you respond when you receive a call or email from a salesperson. If you’re anything like me, it’s usually along the lines of, “How did you get my number?” or “Why are you calling me?”

Take a moment to reflect on why you feel that way. Primarily, it’s because the contact interrupts your routine. Furthermore, the product or service being offered is typically not something you actively think about or believe you need. As a result, your immediate reaction is to brush it off with a quick “Thanks, but I’m not interested” or hit the delete button.

However, occasionally, you might feel a slight curiosity upon receiving a call or email. What triggers your curiosity? Usually, it’s because the topic at hand relates to something you care about, actively contemplate, or find interesting. In marketing terms, this attention-grabbing element is known as the hook. It’s what makes you pause and stop scrolling through your email or social media feeds.

Now, what happens after something hooks your curiosity? Typically, you make a split-second decision on whether to give it further attention. You might quickly compare the product being pitched with something you already have. If your existing product is satisfactory, you can easily dismiss the interruption and return to what you were doing, especially if it seems more important than exploring the solicited product.

Match Your Objectives With The Doctor’s

When would a doctor want to be interrupted? The only time is when the interruption pertains to something of utmost importance that cannot be delayed.

Usually, sales reps call on physicians during office hours or in-between procedures at the hospital. The sales rep’s objective is to present a product.

Now, think like a doctor. You’re tending to patients in the office or hospital, addressing significant concerns, needs, and medical conditions. Your goal is to navigate through the day as efficiently as possible, providing each patient with quality care. You’re notified that a sales rep wishes to meet with you. What would compel you to pause your work and grant them some of your valuable time?

The topic at hand would need to be relevant and urgent. If the rep is pitching a product similar to something you already possess or don’t require, it’s an automatic “no.”

You see, just like you, doctors are seldom interested in sacrificing their valuable time for someone trying to sell them something they aren’t in the market for.

Stop Selling What The Doctor Isn’t Buying…Yet

When considering your product and how you present it, take a moment to identify the problems, challenges, issues, mandates, or needs it effectively addresses. These focal points can generate genuine interest from physicians or other stakeholders involved in the sales process.

Dive deep into this exploration because there are often multiple benefits to a product that may not be immediately obvious (in my medical sales workshops, we consistently uncover 15 or more benefits for any given product). Put yourself in the shoes of a doctor: would you be intrigued by a discussion on how to attain these benefits?

Make it a habit to think from the prospect’s perspective before every sales call. Now, I understand that you don’t possess a crystal ball or mind-reading abilities. However, if you invest time in learning as much as you can about your prospect, you can gain insights into what truly matters to them. And that’s precisely what you should focus on.

It’s normal to think like a salesperson during the workday, but sales conversations should be viewed through the lens of the customer. You’ll benefit in more ways than you can imagine when you do. You’ll enjoy the sales process more, build trust, and distinguish yourself in a crowded marketplace where most medical reps sound alike. That’s a huge payoff for learning to think a bit differently.

Ready To Create Distinction In Your Territory That Converts To Dollars? Check Out My FREE Medical Sales Course: “Distinction To Dollars”