4 Ways New Medical Device Sales Reps Can Build Credibility and Trust With Physicians, According to Physicians
When asked their top concerns with selling medical devices, new medical sales reps often fear working one-on-one with physicians. It’s a logical apprehension because regardless of how much medical training a sales rep gets, communicating in person with a true medical professional can be intimidating for any new salesman.
Horror stories float around companies, clinics, and inside physicians’ offices about medical device sales reps who were in over their head but couldn’t own up to their shortcomings, hoping to build some credibility. But physicians realize that a medical sales rep’s knowledge in their product and field will grow over time, and as such, we figured they are the best people to ask: What are the best ways new medical sales reps can build credibility and trust?
Don’t fake it ’til you make it
There is no shame in saying “I don’t have the foggiest idea” or offering a physician a genuine “I’ll get back to you with that answer.”
It can often be transparent when a sales rep is fidgeting and shies away from responses like these, which inevitably only damages their credibility with that business partner.
Own up to mistakes
To the same point, taking ownership of mistakes is actually an opportunity for a salesman to earn trust.
Do what you say you will
Whether it’s following up with an inquiry or checking up on receipt of a device, responding to a physician or their staff when you’ve promised to will prove you’re reliable.
Have tact and be aware of your timing
While crucial to harboring good fortune in any business setting and any industry, physicians (and their medical staff) are especially reliant on a medical device sales rep’s attentiveness to appropriate timing. For the record, there’s an app for avoiding this called Preferred Time, where reps can introduce themselves to physicians and meet new potential clients virtually and even schedule first meetings digitally, leaving no room for getting shut down at the front desk thanks to poor timing.
Cath lab managers as well as directors, for example, often don’t acknowledge medical device salesmen who regularly hold up a physician in discussions, which results in delayed appointments and procedures throughout the rest of the work day. Similarly, physicians themselves don’t enjoy being approached by a sales rep directly after a procedure that may have gone poorly. Understanding simple unspoken rules is basic to building trust and credibility among the physicians a sales rep can hope to work with.
A final thought:
Naturally, a new medical device salesman will need time to build new, individual relationships. However, drawing on the reputation of their company and aligning with the credibility they’ve maintained can set a foundation for you, the new rep.