The Commodity of Healthcare Sales: Patients

Strategy, Sales | May 15, 2018 | 3 mins read
Like almost everything in the world today, healthcare is a full-fledged industry. And like any other industry, it must run smoothly and be connected enough to offer its services to those who need it the most.
The name of the game is patient care, and the commodity of the game ar the patients themselves.

Physician referrals are what keep this game going, as it were, creating business relationships, increasing revenue, and saving lives.

Think of it like this… any engine needs fuel to run. If you have fuel in the engine, you go, if you don’t have fuel, you don’t. Whether the doc is an individual private practice physician or the largest Healthcare System in your market. If there are no patients, there is no fuel.

With no patients, everything comes to a screeching halt.
This is where I challenge all the salespeople out there to stop and think about their business a bit differently. You’re told to sell your product based on what the customer needs and wants. Have you ever stopped for a minute and REALLY talked to a customer about what they need and want, irrespective of your products? Most haven’t.
The overwhelming answer every time I spoke with a doc: patients.

So, how do patients get to a specialist? For one, they can look for a specialist over the internet which happens a lot. In many cases though insurance programs create a barrier for the “self-referral” so many times the patient is referred by another physician.

Studies indicate that doctors receive over 45% of their patients by referral, usually from other physicians. This trend in the healthcare system is indicative of several factors: increased specialization, a lack of time for complex cases, and a fear of lawsuits for not consulting an expert.

In the end, patients need specialized care, and in many cases that means a referral to a specialist… but why are they referred to THAT SPECIFIC SPECIALIST?

Physician-To-Physician Referrals

Physician-to-physician referrals are, in a sense, the lifeblood (the fuel) of the healthcare industry, acting as a currency in the day-to-day transactions that happen in the medical world.

Common sense would say referrals should be based solely on the patient’s needs and the skill/reputation of the physician that the patient is referred to. But, since healthcare is a business, logic doesn’t always apply, or maybe it does, just not the way you always envisioned it.

What we’re saying here is this: Most patients believe when they are referred to a “Specialist” they are referred to that specific physician because they are “best in class.” And in some cases, that’s correct. Unfortunately, the reality is, this isn’t usually the case.
In many cases patients are referred to specialists who have some sort of a relationship with the referring physician. That may mean that a reciprocal referral relationship exists or maybe the recipient of the referral sends patients to the referring physician’s MRI Center or some other investment. Whatever the case, it seems most referral relationships in Healthcare are part of the circular flow of commodities cycling through the system.
There also seems to be an interesting relationship between primary care and specialist physicians. On the one hand, specialists are better paid than their counterparts. It’s primary care that has the most versatility and autonomy.
They are the Gatekeepers of Healthcare. They are the ones who refer patients to specialists, and its specialists that need to keep primary care physicians happy, especially those in densely populated and doctor-saturated metropolitan areas.

The Solution

It shouldn’t come as a surprise doctors are actively looking to form and maintain these physician-to-physician referral streams – they are the currency of the medical community. With the right tools at their disposal, healthcare salespeople can intervene in this previously-mentioned exchange and act as intermediaries to facilitate the creation of secure, reliable, and long-lasting physician networks.
The best salespeople in the Healthcare Industry aren’t salespeople at all… they are brokers, deal-makers, relationship managers and above all else they understand physician referral patters. They understand where the patients come from, and most importantly to their business… where they need to go
Designed and created by the best salespeople in the industry for salespeople, ProSellus is a mobile sales tool developed after years of selling medical devices in the field. Its emphasis is efficiency and effectiveness, by providing salespeople with everything they need to help their physician partners build and expand their business.

In a sense, ProSellus is not a tool that sells medical products. ProSellus is the tool that catapults you, or your reps, from being the average salesperson to the most coveted asset that has ever walked through the customers door.

By making you an indispensable part of a physician’s practice and turning you into the most valued resource the customer has, ProSellus makes your job of selling medical devices a walk in the park.

Conclusion

Technology is completely changing the way companies conduct their business. Technology applies equally as well in the healthcare industry. Instead of focusing strictly on the sales of today, ProSellus empowers its users to create the business opportunities and loyalty of tomorrow.
If you would like to learn more about ProSellus request your demo today or feel free to reach out to me directly: scottwalle@prosellus.com

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