Medical sales – ask for commitments if you want to win

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Asking for a commitment that moves the sales process forward – too often it’s the forgotten last step in a sales call. Unfortunately, it’s also a critical one.

How often have we been in a sales call where the physician nods in agreement and we leave the call thinking it’s been successful? But, you quickly learn otherwise. The physician doesn’t support moving to your product, support a clinical evaluation, doesn’t use your device for the “next four cases” or perhaps just doesn’t do what you thought they would – like talking with a colleague about your solution.

Research shows that in complex sales, the seller needs to “close” for a commitment from the buyer on every call. The commitment varies on a number of factors including where you are in the sales cycle and the buyer’s position. Some examples would be a commitment to introduce you to someone once else in the hospital or within a practice or a commitment to support you in an upcoming meeting.

This true in all sales environments – but because of the highly competitive environment it is particularly important for sales people in medical sales. Think about this … a medical sales rep walks out of what they think was a great sales call with a doc. But – the medical sales rep may or may not get traction in the sales process, even though the call went well, unless there is a commitment that moves the sales process forward.

Simply, unless you can get any person – including physicians – to make a commitment it’s unlikely they will follow up and take any action. So the next time you meet with them nothing has happen in the interim. That is not how to win in a competitive sale.

This means that when doing pre-call planning, no medical sales person should omit the final step for the plan – the commitment you want from the buyer to move the sales process forward.

And, when you do pre-call planning – think about commitments creatively … for example, have multiple commitments in mind for the call – what if it goes as planned, or if it goes extraordinarily well, or if perhaps not as well as you hoped. You need different levels of commitment to propose to the physician based on how the call went.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Janet Spirer
For more than 30 years Janet Spirer has worked with the Fortune 1000 to craft sales training programs that make a difference. Working with market leaders Janet has learned that today's great sales force significantly differs from yesterday. So, Sales Momentum offers firms effective sales training programs affordably priced. Janet is the co-author of Parlez-Vous Business, to help sales people have smart business conversations with customers and the Sales Training Connection.

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