Some doctors do not like medical device sales reps. This should come as no surprise. Some people in general do not like sales reps. Sales reps can be annoying. Have you ever had someone knock on your door trying to sale you roof cleaning or insect extermination service? If you are right in the middle of something this can come as a huge annoyance. The same applies for healthcare providers. Most of them are busy, stressed, and crunched for time. Sales reps can be an additional stressor. In this article we highlight what doctors want from sales reps.
What Do Doctors Think Of Sales Reps?
There is a right way to engage and work with physicians. In the list below we provide insight on which things you should do and which things you should avoid to build strong relationships with customers in medical sales.
Do Doctors Like Sales Reps?
1. Do Not Try To Be My Fake Friend
This seems to be the number one thing that irritates doctors. Sales is about building relationships. We get that. But relationships can’t be completely forced. Just because you talk with a customer once don’t assume that you are now friends. This is annoying! It takes time to build that type of relationship.
If you have just met a customer for the first time approach the interaction with professionalism. As a sales rep you are a vendor. The doctor and medical team are your customers. You are not friends or even colleagues for that matter. Respect these boundaries until the relationship develops.
2. Learn To Respect My Time
Time is everything is the hospital and clinic. If you go track someone down at your convenience you should never assume that will have time to meet with you. Yes, part of a sales job is making sure people talk with you. This can be accomplished while still showing respect for a customer’s time. A simple way to start is by asking if they have a minute. Or if there is a time later in day that would be better. This establishes that while you are a sales rep and have an agenda, you are professional and respect their time.
3. Do Not Lose Sight Of The Patient
Amateur sales reps get so caught up in selling they forget healthcare is all about the patient. Everything that is occurring at the hospital is with the objective of improving someone’s health. Yes, healthcare is a also a business and needs to be profitable. But most importantly it is about patient’s health. Never lose sight of this.
It is important that a sales rep demonstrates that they understand the number one priority is the patient. If a reps gets tunnel vision and does not read the context of the situation this can be a bad look. Again, your long term professional reputation matters.
4. Do Not Question A Current Treatment
Yes, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies all about innovation. These companies exist to bring healthcare new emerging technologies that provide a better way of doing things. Sometimes it can be frustrating when a healthcare provider is slow to adopt a technology or treatment that is objectively better than the existing way of doing things. This happens all the time. New technologies are slow to become the gold standard.
You have to remember that physicians spend a long time training on a certain way of doing things. This includes years and years mastering how to do a procedure a certain way. Things do not change over night. While it is valuable to push the benefits of a new treatment or product it is not acceptable to boldly question the current treatment.
Sales reps are not doctors after all. Reps do not get to have a professional medical opinion on a physician’s course of treatment. Plus, you will rub your customer the wrong way and hinder them from engaging with you in the future.
5. Do Not Use Corporate And Sales Lingo
Nothing makes you seem more like a sales rep than regularly using generic corporate buzzwords and sales lingo. It is one thing to speak like this internally at your company. It is another thing to speak like this in front of a customer. Generic corporate buzz words include things like:
- Deep dive
- New normal
- Take this offline
- Think outside box
- Move the needle
Some sales reps think talking like this makes them seem intelligent and sophisticated. It does not. It makes a rep sound like they are regurgitating useless information. Learn to speak the language of science and medicine. This is how physicians want to converse with reps.
Related: Medical Device Sales Pitch