You shouldn’t try to be “God’s gift” to the world, but you should aim to be a genuine gift to surgeons and hospitals.
In the current vernacular, you are indeed an “influencer”…and you’ll ramp up your influence by doing your due diligence before the medical device sales call.
Do your research
- Set a Google alert for certain doctors or hospitals
- Comb LinkedIn for details on connections between doctors and hospitals
- See if “your” doctor has pasted a CV on LinkedIn
- See what “your” doctor has shared on LinkedIn
- Create alerts on PubMed
- Review MedTechIntel’s Surgeon Intelligence portal
Consider the context
What is the context/environment that you are calling into? Has the surgeon just lost a much-valued scrub tech? Has he or she been called on the carpet for overspending? Because most of the time, you will have no way of knowing these things, it is best to keep an open mind and try to glean what is happening “around” the surgeon. Leverage the MedTechIntel software to review the surgeon’s connections hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, research projects and much more.
In part, says one piece of advice offered by Applied Marketing Science, is to take into consideration not just “your” surgeon, but each person who “touches” the device. “…This could include maintenance technicians, inventory or storage managers, and, in some instances, even patients. In our practice, we’ve found that if the device doesn’t incorporate the needs of every person that touches it, it ultimately won’t be successful…”1
Plan your questions
People—even surgeons—are layered. Spend some time thinking about what questions will help you uncover “your” doctor’s layers of needs.
For example, start with the following questions.
- What is your patient population like these days?
- Are you seeing younger patients that are interested in motion preservation?
- What bone graft are you using in your spinal fusion procedures? Are you satisfied with the results?
- Congratulations on the publication of your total hip replacement study. What surprised you most about your findings?
- I noticed you have a new scrub tech. Would you like me to review your standard case instruments with him?
Also be prepared for what types of things they might they ask you—standard medical device sales questions as well as things others like the following, .
- When was your medical device cleared for use?
- What are the contraindications of your implant?
- What type of cases is your device indicated for us in?
- “How will this help me attract new patients?”
- Do you have patient education materials on your device?
Lay the groundwork for followup
In formulating a relationship, you must give the physician a reason to contact you in the future. According to HealthCare U, one way to create an ongoing dialogue is to ask the physician to track successful results with the product or ask for feedback on their satisfaction.2