Independent Medical Sales
15 Factors to Consider When Choosing Vendors to Sell For
If you have ever worked as an independent medical sales rep, you have likely contracted to sell for vendors that ended up being a waste of your time.
Sometimes the fault lies with the vendor, other times it’s the rep, and often it was doomed to fail from the start because it was a bad fit for both parties.
Doing a little due diligence up front can save you a lot of heartache down the road.
Here are 15 factors that you may want to consider the next time you are thinking about contracting to sell for a vendor.
1 – Do they have a track record?
How long have they been in business? Do they have references of doctors who are using their product/service successfully?
2 – Do they have other reps/distributors that are doing well with them?
Sometimes vendors will exaggerate claims about how well you will do selling their products. When in doubt, ask them for a few references for successful reps who are making the type of money they are promising you will make. If they hesitate, chances are it is unrealistic.
3 – How in-demand is their product/service?
How does their product/service fit with the trends that are predicted in healthcare in the next decade?
4 – What does the competition landscape look like?
Ask them who their main competitors are and how they stack up. Do a little research and make sure you are not offering an inferior product/service in a crowded marketplace.
5 – Have you researched the company and its principals?
The medical industry is highly regulated. Unfortunately, some companies and individuals have checkered pasts, which should be a red flag for you as a potential distributor.
6 – How solid is the distributor agreement?
Don’t blindly sign a distributor agreement without fully reading it. Make sure there are no loopholes that would allow them to take your leads or get out of paying you.
7 – Do they have good sales collateral?
While you shouldn’t depend on sales collateral to make your sale, not having professional looking materials can make a bad impression and hinder your ability to get doctors to take you seriously.
8 – What type of management support do they offer?
Some vendors will just give you a little training and marketing collateral and set you loose. Others are very hands on. Make sure their management style is going to mesh with how you like to work.
9 – Would this fit with your existing call points?
A product/service may sound great, but if it won’t work with your existing call points, it may be an uphill climb. Do your call points have the right patient demographics? Insurances? Specialty?
10 – How does their product/service fit within your existing sales portfolio?
Most independent reps carry a portfolio of products and services. Consider how each new item will complement the other items in your bag.
11 – Are there any potential compliance issues?
Certain sectors are highly regulated in what you can and cannot say. The consequences for violating the rules can be dire. If you are worried about the stress that comes along with that, you may want to consider avoiding those programs.
12 – Are you replacing a rep in your territory? Or are they expanding?
This is important to know because you could be following a rep who made a terrible impression, putting you behind the 8 ball.
13 – What are their expectations of you?
If they have a sales quota, make sure you are comfortable with whatever it is, otherwise it may lead to conflict down the road.
14 – Will they supply any leads?
Some vendors do trade shows or digital marketing. If so, they may have leads to provide you in your territory. If you show you can make good use of the leads they give you, it can create a symbiotic relationship that works well for both parties.
15 – What is realistic compensation?
Some vendors are great companies with great offerings, but if the item is too low-ticket, the commissions may be nominally small, and it may or may not be worth your while to take it on.