My Medical Device Sales Career
We’re very familiar with Evidence Based Medicine. Everyone we sell to talks about using outcomes and evidence as a major criteria in their decision making process. How many of us in sales are using Evidence Based Selling?
Are you familiar with the type? You know the ones I’m referring to. They are the healthcare professionals who are very pleasant and knowledgeable. They listen attentively when you present to them and they have insightful questions about your product. You can read the buying signals and you know you’re about to close the deal. But… nothing ever happens. In the end, after several calls the trail grows cold and it all ends up being a mirage. What happened? What went wrong? What can you do?
In our business we have to weed through all the misinformation and disinformation and find the truth. Although we would like to be able to believe everything that our customers say to us, often we cannot. Believe it or not, our customers don’t always tell us the truth!
What can help us discern the truth – or lack thereof? First of all, watch what they do. Remember the old saying “Actions speak louder than words?” Or, “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you’re saying?” Hmm, someone walked our path before us it seems. And, they’ve left us some good direction in the form of some clever quotes.
The way to discern the truth is to observe your customers closely to ensure their actions are truly in line with what they are saying. This is the evidence you are looking for! Are they doing the things that support what they are saying? If so, you’re on the right path – if not, then you better put on the brakes and start probing where you see discrepancies.
Let’s say you’re presenting your product and the physician seems to be interested. She says “This looks great! I’m sure this will do exactly what I am looking for.” You think to yourself “Alright!” The Magic 8 Ball indicates “Things are looking up!”
Instead of shaking hands and walking out, how about probing a little to ensure you are reading things correctly. “So if I understand you correctly, this seems to be a good solution for you and you’re ready to move forward. How will you begin incorporating this into your protocol?” Or, “What will be our next steps in the process?”
You may well know what the next step(s) should be. If a product trial is appropriate you may suggest “Since we seem to be in agreement, when should we schedule the trial?” Or, “Who will be cutting the PO?”
Whatever the case, the key is that the actions that your customer takes are critical to your success. The words are nice but you get paid according to their actions.
As you set out to impact your territory this week, make sure words and actions are a matched set. Listen to their words, but watch for the evidence of their actions for confirmation.
By Kevin Onarecker