Techniques for Selling to Doctors
Doctor’s offices need to purchase business supplies and services just like any other company. If physicians comprise your target sales demographic, take into consideration the unique nature of selling to medical professionals. Doctors typically have very full schedules, are accessible through an office manager or receptionist and may frequently need to reschedule appointments due to medical emergencies.
Learn about the doctor you plan to solicit before making your first call. Know his specialty, how long he has been in the market and the type of patient he typically treats -- come at the sale from an educated perspective. If you are trying to persuade a doctor to stop using his current service provider and do business with your company instead, find out as much as you can about the competition. Devise key selling points that allow you to differentiate your services and outline why you are the better choice.
Look into advertising opportunities in medical journals and trade magazines that have a large physician readership. Attend medical trade shows and exhibit your products and services directly to doctors and their representatives. Participate in health fairs and get involved in boards and organizations related to the medical industry. Network with doctors and other medical professionals.
Doctors are busy professionals. Focus your sales pitch on the timesaving features of what you’re selling. Medical professionals are likely to look favorably on products and services that free up the time of office staff, streamline their office operations and allow them more time to focus on patient care. Also focus on the professional nature of your business. Doctors must maintain solid reputations, and this extends to their affiliation with companies they do business with.
Most doctors utilize an office manager or front desk clerk to field initial sales inquiries. Be polite to this individual and respect her time. Be brief in introducing yourself and your products or services. If you walk into a busy waiting room, don’t monopolize the manager’s time with your sales pitch. When possible, have sales materials or samples you can leave behind for later review. Ask for the best “slow” time to follow up.
If you are selling healthcare-related products or services, consider the value of hiring a salesperson from the medical field to represent your company. Doctors may find it easier to trust and identify with someone they view as their colleague. This type of sales representative may also be able to utilize his own contacts in the industry.