Medical Device Sales: Why Do Physicians Decide to Switch Vendors?
Success in medical device sales, as in many sales professions, comes with delivering the right message to the right person at the most opportune moment. Establishing oneself in the field requires knowing who’s who and having relationships that are rooted in qualities like accessibility, integrity, and credibility.
A couple of months ago, we were meeting with the Regional Vice Presidents of Sales at a medical device company. Two of the VPs brought up a common observation: It’s standard for medical device sales reps to have a cursory knowledge of what their current clients use, but they may not know why their clients may use one device or another.
In the conversation, we dove into the main factors behind why a physician uses a particular product or device:
This is what the physician used as far back as their residency and now they’re proficient with it. For an experienced doctor, it’s likely now simple to use and doesn’t require any new training.
The physician has an established relationship with a company and opportunities for building on their own practice in return.
In the same light, physicians often have a relationship with a rep inside as well as outside of the or lab or clinic. Familiarity, trust, and continuity have a major impact here.
This is, after all, a business, and profitable deals and agreements can secure the longevity of both emergency clinics and independent practices alike.
With these factors in mind, we considered what it would take for a physician to move from a favored company, existing sales rep relationship, or new device altogether:
Often, physicians prefer not to be left behind in their field, passing up on new innovations that would otherwise drive patients to their practice.
If physicians don’t follow the most significant trends in their training, independent medical procedure center or clinic, the physician may appear ineffective among their colleagues and leaders in their field.
Once again, this is a business, and profitable deals and agreements can secure the longevity of both emergency clinics and independent practices alike.
If a sales rep’s company and product can offer at least one advantage over the status quo, they offer physicians the opportunity to make a change.
Time and again, conventional sales training methods overlook some of these factors when preparing medical device sales reps to build their client base. Establishing these considerations in their structure — looking beyond just the traditional dos and don’ts of regional coverage and arranging appointments — can be key in training newly recruited employees as well as setting up existing sales reps for success.