Healthcare Customers Buy Confidence

In healthcare, the sales rep is part of the product.  Customers depend on you to get it delivered, get the staff trained, and handle any problems that may arise.  They need to have confidence in you, as well as the product.  So you see, you’re not just selling a product or service, you’re also selling confidence.

Guess what is required to sell confidence?  Confidence!  You have to be confident in both your products and your ability to deliver the promised results.  It is likely that your product has been developed, refined, and tested by teams of professionals.  If it’s being sold, it’s ready to go.  What about you, the sales rep?

Do you know your product inside and out?  Do you know how it gets purchased and paid for?  Are you familiar with your competition and how you’re going to make a compelling case to buy your product instead?  Can you articulate your value proposition clearly, unhesitatingly and confidently? This seems like pretty basic sales stuff, but I didn’t bring it up for you think about how to sell you product.  I mention it because your mastery of the subject matter relates directly to your ability to sell YOU.

Confidence comes from knowledge, preparation, and experience.  Or you can fake it, although few sales reps can fake it well.  It’s not very convincing to assert the outcomes and benefits of doing business with you and your company when the sweat is dripping off of your forehead onto your shirt.

Sales reps are too comfortable with the “I think I can do it” mentality.  It’s as if there is little to lose—nothing but the sale if it doesn’t go well.  You need to remember that in healthcare, you’re not selling toasters.  If you blow the sale, the doctor is not going to want to discuss your widget again next week. Same with the director of every clinical department and purchasing—once you’ve called on them and blown it, they’re over you.  If you walk into a sales call and you’re nervous because you don’t feel like you’re prepared, you’re probably not.  You’re lacking confidence and your customers will smell it before you sit down.

Don’t confuse your familiarity with a subject with the ability to discuss it.  If you sat through product training, you’re nothing more than familiar.  If you did some role play, you’ve at least started to internalize the information and presentation.   But until you can do it at five in the morning when you’re still half asleep and it flows without stammering, without thinking, without hesitation, you’re probably not in possession of the confidence that sells confidence.

If you’re not feeling confident before a sales call, ask yourself why.  If it’s because you’re not prepared, then cancel the appointment.  Better that your customers don’t know about your product for another week than for you to convince them today not to use it.

Confidence is not optional.