I currently work in the medical industry. This is a very conservative field that requires a clean shave and a pressed suit. My typical day involves loading my company car with product material and samples to distribute throughout the day in the state of Nevada. One of my daily goals is to help educate doctors and staff about my products so they are used safely and effectively in treating the patient’s disease.
The samples I carry and distribute are one of the most important tools I have to get access to my customers. The samples I leave with providers are for patients to try the product before they purchase it to make sure it is safe and effective. The samples, if needed get me direct access to the provider. I usually wait in a hallway and see the provider between patients where I am able to have a quick clinical discussion and have the provider sign for the samples.
This is a stark contrast my previous career in copier sales. My biggest hurdle there was getting in front of my customer. I would live and die by the number of appointments and product demonstrations that I could get my customers to agree to.
Now, my biggest hurdle is making an impact each day when my customers are short on time, seeing as many as 30 patients and possibly six reps a day. To be successful I need to be better than my competition in regards to: building trust, relationships, product knowledge, being impactful, and salesmanship.
My favorite way to differentiate myself vs. the other representatives is through my product and disease state knowledge. Every company has training when you are hired and additional training periodically throughout your career. However, like any sales job it is up to the individual to keep the “saw sharp”.
No matter what industry you sell in being a product expert takes time. Many sales leaders recommend an hour of reading per night in your industry to stay ahead of your competition. I read industry journals, read a few headlines on industry leading companies, and look at my competitors website to keep me abreast of the huge flow of information that is out there. Not only will you gain the respect of your peers but you will also impact and influence what your customers buy.
Please share with me what you do in your territory to be a product expert?