If we all knew the error in our ways, we would all be much more successful as sales professionals. Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that we can make when calling on our prospects.
Below are 8 common mistakes made by medical sales professionals:
- Being fooled by a sure thing!
You’ve been there. The doctor has said lots of great positive things and all you need to do is come back tomorrow with the contract. You know that deal is in the bag and as you drive away from the office, you are already spending your commission check in your mind.
You roll up the next day, suddenly the doctor doesn’t want to see you, they bump you to next week or they get cagey about signing any paperwork. You are left scratching your head wondering what changed since yesterday. What did change?
Perhaps nothing. It could be that your physician is just too busy and hasn’t made you a priority.
To avoid this, it’s always best to establish the practice’s goals then develop a game plan on how to make that a reality. “Doctor, the earliest we could launch this program would be 1 week. When would you ideally like to offer this? For us to meet that goal, I will need your signed agreement by tomorrow. Does that give you enough time? What time should I plan to stop by to pick it up?”
- Not having a follow-up strategy.
Every time you leave a practice you must have a reason to go back. You will often have leads at different stages from a green lead to one that is close to closing. The follow-up strategy may be to bring more information, a demo or webinar or a strategic sales call.
No matter which stage of the sale you are in, creating a strategy for each prospect will lead you to success.
- Focusing on the negatives.
There are pros and cons with most things and plenty of sales reps are willing to run away as soon as their prospect pokes the first hole into the reasons why the product or service won’t work. If you are convinced yourself of the benefits and reputation of the product then you don’t need to run. Often objections can be buying signs, they just need you to validate the reasons for the practice to get involved. Ask more questions and problem solve with the practice by being a true practice consultant.
- Not planning.
Planning allows you to be more efficient. Sales is a game of numbers so the more calls you can make, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Plan your day by working out the best prospects and then doing your rounds logistically to hit as many call points as possible in the time you have. That means working one side of the street before working the other.
- Not prospecting.
The ancillary space means that not every doctor is a ‘sweet spot’ client. Most practice consultants are looking for independently owned practices. With as much as 65% of practices owned by large groups or hospitals, that means getting to the right decision-maker is tricky. Do your homework on finding the right practices, before you get in your car. This will save you a lot of time. You can also find most practices on the internet. Look them up and see what services they are currently providing. Make some notes so you can ask some great questions when you call on them.
- Not looking the part.
Doctors expect sales reps to look professional. You are working in a professional industry, so you need to look and feel professional. How you look creates a first impression with the practice and could determine if they will even listen to you. This is especially important as a Practice Development Manager. You want to look like someone they can trust and depend on.
Have your brochures and materials well organized so that you aren’t fumbling for things in the short amount of time you get in front of the doctor.
- Not keeping in contact.
As a Practice Development Manager, there is never going to be a time when you don’t have something of value to share with a practice. Often sales can be made and that was the last time the rep called on the practice. Staying in routine contact with the practice means that you will stay front of mind when the practice needs something. It harbors trust with the practice, and they see you as reliable and dependable. When you keep enough contact, don’t be surprised if the practice calls you!
- Not having a fallback position.
If you lead with a small sale, it is hard to fall back to a bigger sale. Strategize what your fallback position is if the doctor says no. Use some good questions to find out what they do need. As a consultant, you know you have something that can help them! Lead with the bigger sale, it is easier to fall back to a smaller sale. When they say no, find out what the objection is – no time or money? You can help!
Being successful in sales is not a sprint. Being aware of the pitfalls and being prepared make ready for the long-distance. The Medical Ancillary space is an evolving field and one that doctors often don’t have time to vet on their own. As a Practice Development Manager, you can become a trusted partner with the practice and make a difference in the life of a business and a patient.