Going into sales, you anticipated the litany of “no” responses and you developed a bag of tricks to contend with the innumerable excuses offered up by gatekeepers. But a worldwide pandemic probably wasn’t something you saw coming.
Join the club.
Indeed, this sense of “we are all in this together” can be a good way to approach surgeons during this time. As the sands continue to shift, your consistency of approach will matter. Ask the surgeon, “What do you most need from me right now?” and “How can I best help you?”
According to an article by Bichsel Marketing Group,1 when reaching out from this “we’re in this together” frame of mind, note that “…the entire healthcare industry is under attack. Ask, flat out, ‘Is now a good time?’…Establish a reasonable and respectful cadence for regular communication.”
While you can’t force sales, you can force yourself keep the surgeon’s viewpoint foremost in your mind. That means getting some mental distance between what you want and the moment. Open up that space and make room for details about what the surgeon needs.
Use existing contacts
Leverage your existing customers to increase sales opportunities. While you should certainly devote some time to new customers, in an uncertain period you are more likely to have success with known surgeons.
Be stalwart in delivering on your promises so that at the other end of this global nightmare they will have a clear message that you are supremely reliable. Then you can confidently ask for referrals.
Manage your expectations
While surgeons must manage patient expectations, part of your job is to manage your own expectations. You are a professional…and professionals act, not react. It can be hard to determine what are “reasonable” expectations during a time of extreme flux. But it’s safe to say that those who display patience—with themselves and others—will win the day.
Yes, it’s easy to say, “Accept this situation for what it is.” But that isn’t so easy when we don’t have a full handle on exactly what Covid-19 is and what it can do to whom.
But you don’t need easy…because you know how to pivot.