How To Handle Losing An Account In Medical Sales
If you’re a medical sales professional who has worked a territory for more than just a few months, you’ll eventually lose an account to a competitor. You probably don’t want to think about it any more than you want to think about having a car accident or needing a root canal, but it literally comes with the territory.
While losing an account can feel like getting punched in the gut (especially after bending over backward for the account), it is essential to handle the situation with grace and professionalism. The purpose of this article is to help you realize that it’s not the end of the world if it ever happens to you.
Again, if it hasn’t happened yet, don’t get cocky; it will. So, to help you sleep better at night, here are some tips to help you move forward when you lose an account.
1. Understand why you lost the account
The first step is to understand why you lost the account. Analyze the situation and identify the reasons for the loss. Was it due to pricing, losing a contract, a competitor landing a contract, product quality, customer service, or something else? Talk to any relevant stakeholders in the account and try to learn why they chose the competitor over you. This information will help you improve your sales strategy, and if it was something you did, avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
2. Don’t take it personally
It’s important to remember that in medical sales, losing an account is not often a personal failure. If you feel that you did your job well, then it’s not about you. There may be several reasons why the customer chose your competitor over you, and some of them may be out of your control. Don’t beat yourself up or dwell on the loss. Instead, focus on what you can do differently in the future to win back the customer’s business. Think of it as a reset!
3. Maintain a positive attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial when you lose an account. I know this may be easier said than done (especially when the loss means a big hit to your paycheck!), but you don’t want to come across as bitter or resentful, as this will only damage your reputation and make it harder to win back the customer’s business in the future. Stay professional, positive, and polite when interacting with the customer. Let them know that you value their business and would welcome any oppo0rtunity to work with them again in the future.
4. Don’t fade away—Keep an ongoing presence in the account
After losing an account, it’s important to follow up with the customer. Reach out to them and ask for feedback on your sales process and how you can improve. This shows that you value their opinion. Additionally, if the account is less than satisfied with their new vendor, your continued presence is a reminder of how easily they can go back to doing business with someone who cares and is already there—you. And if you struggle to get access to stakeholders, there are ways around that.
5. Keep in touch through multiple channels
Remain omnipresent in your former customer’s life. Send them periodic emails, newsletters, or links to relevant articles so they know you’re looking out for them. Connect with them on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. This keeps you top of mind and helps to build trust in a highly personal way. Additionally, it gives you an opportunity to provide value and showcase your expertise.
6. Learn from the experience
Losing an account can be a painful, but valuable learning experience. Use this opportunity to reflect on your sales and service processes and identify areas for improvement. Look for patterns in the reasons why you lost the account and develop strategies to address those issues in the future. Remember, every loss is an opportunity to learn and grow.
7. Move on—immediately!
Don’t waste time throwing yourself a pity party. Use the freed-up time to create new customers. Simply put, move on. Don’t dwell on the loss or let it affect your confidence. Instead, use it as motivation to bring your sales game to a higher level and win back the customer’s business in the future. Stay focused on your goals. Remember, there are always new opportunities out there, even with existing customers through cross-selling. You will lose accounts. Keep moving forward by diversifying your customer base and product mix, and you’ll be fine. Don’t ever let the loss of one account or customer define you.
Losing an account can be painful and challenging, but it would be unrealistic to act like it won’t happen to you. It will. By understanding why you lost the account, maintaining a positive attitude, following up with the customer, learning from the experience, and moving on, you can turn a loss into a valuable learning opportunity and ultimately more business than you lost in the first place.