My Medical Device Sales Career
Kill the snake of doubt in your soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart, and mountains will move out of your way.
- Kate Seredy
We’ve all been there. You get ready to walk into a call and you realize your palms are sweaty… and your eye is twitching. That little voice in your head starts to whisper: “maybe this is not the best time. I’ll just swing back through another afternoon.”
What? You’ve never been there? Come on, you know what makes you nervous. You’ve been trying to get that appointment for months. BIG dollars are on the line. You’ve got a whale in your sights and you NEED TO CLOSE this sale! It could be the difference between making your number, or not. You know it… and you made the mistake of telling your manager about the opportunity. Now that dude is checking in every other day asking for an update. The stakes are elevated. It gets that pesky twitch started. Yikes!
Fear can be the number one detriment to success in selling. Fear creates issues for both the seller and the customer. For the sales professional, fear of failure is the enemy. For all of our sanity, it is up to you and me to put an end to this tyrant once and for all!
Hey, we’ve all felt butterflies before “big calls.” That’s ok as long as you control it and it does not affect your presentation. How do you do that? You prepare and prepare… and prepare some more. You do your homework and plan your call strategy. And then, you practice. Practice not only makes perfect, it builds confidence.
Now I know that many sales people may not plan their calls and practice their presentations routinely. That’s perfectly fine, because you will need someone in the audience clapping and hollering for you when you get called up on stage for your award at the National Meeting.
You, on the other hand, are willing to go beyond the “Joe Average Sales Rep” approach because you are a professional. You are playing the game to win and you don’t leave the details to chance. That means you are doing all the little things that add up to big success.
As you’re preparing and doing your homework, consider all the great tools at your disposal. Your sales reports offer a wealth of information. Do you routinely Google your accounts or physicians? You should! Have you spoken to their colleagues, staff and friends? What did you learn about them? Knowledge is power, remember? The more you know, the more you can tailor your information, probes and build a terrific presentation.
Also, be sure to utilize all your internal resources. Remember that Sales Manager? Get them involved in the planning. Use his or her knowledge and experience. Call other top reps in your company and learn from them. Draw on others in your organization such as Marketing , Sales Training, Professional Services, etc. In fact, take a team to the meeting if it’s appropriate. Others can add to the conversation AND your customer will be impressed that you felt they were important enough to bring the “A” team. Besides that, there is strength in numbers and you’ll automatically feel more comfortable knowing you have allies at your side.
Whatever you do and however you approach it, the key lies in being prepared. When you know you’re fully prepared and ready for the call you won’t be fearful. Instead, you’ll be excited. You’ll be ready to sell, and sell effectively. Your PASSION will shine through and you’ll radiate confidence. People buy from sales professionals like that!
That’s all great you say, but what about the other side of fear in selling? Didn’t I mention something about the customer’s fear? Yes I did, and we’ll touch on that in Part Two. So hang tight and watch for the next update.
Until then, be prepared, do your homework and enjoy the success that comes from conquering Salesophobia!
By Kevin Onarecker