Shotgun vs Rifle Strategy for Medical Sales Professionals

As a medical sales professional, becoming an independent agent is exciting but also challenging. One of the top questions we are asked by newly independent reps is whether they should promote multiple programs or stick with just one.

While there is no single right answer to this question, we will try to shed some light on the arguments for and against each strategy:


A rifle approach is usually the most appealing to newly independent reps. Picking a single program to focus on shortens the learning curve, allowing you to spend more time in the field. Plus, you are likely to have quicker success and start earning a paycheck!

While there are obvious appeals to this strategy, it does come with some inherent risks. The medical industry is not only extremely competitive, but it is largely controlled by insurance companies. Talk with any industry veteran and they can tell you personal stories about making a great living with a product or service, only to have the bar moved arbitrarily, essentially wiping out their income.


  • Less training, can spend more time selling
  • Your proficiency on your product or service will be extremely high
  • You are more likely to have quicker success
  • Easier to accomplish if no existing relationships


  • You have all of your eggs in one basket
  • Harder to do consultative sales
  • Doctors will associate you with that program for better or worse
  • Risk of obsolescence or competition
  • Can become bored or complacent
  • Lots of cold calling



The highest earning independent medical sales professionals in the ancillary sector predominately use this strategy. This is by far the more difficult approach, not ideally suited for every rep. This takes a lot more time to fully understand the landscape, understand the programs and be able to illustrate how these programs fit together with whatever they may already be doing in their practice.

This approach is ideally suited for medical sales professionals with existing relationships who also have a real passion for medicine. There is quite a bit more time studying, which does not appeal to everyone.

However, for medical sales professionals who are adept at this strategy, they can earn high 6-figure incomes while stratifying their risk that comes with promoting something tied to a single billing code or piece of technology that can be usurped.


  • Diversified portfolio mitigates your risk
  • Allows you to do consultative sales, can tailor solutions based upon the customer’s needs
  • Always have something to pivot to
  • Less cold calling
  • Less practices to manage
  • Spend more time with key clients, strengthening your relationships
  • Ideally suited for professionals with a real passion for medicine who want to stay on the cutting edge


  • Much more time spent studying, which can mean less time in the field
  • Longer sales cycle
  • Harder to implement without existing relationships
  • More vendors to deal with
  • Increased administrative tasks



The Every Ancillary platform was originally developed to help elite sales professionals successfully implement a shotgun approach with their physician clients. However, we have seen a hybrid approach that many sales professionals employ with great success. This hybrid we refer to as the “grenade” approach.

With this strategy, medical sales professionals offer a full portfolio of programs, however they select 1-2 that they really believe in and lead with those. Once that program is implemented, then they show them other programs to complement the lead program.

This is also a great approach for sales professionals who have the desire to compete at the elite level but need a place to start.

If you are a medical sales professional looking to sell like the elite performers, register today