How many places can you physically be at once? 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 mouth… etc. You can only accomplish so many things when you’re solo; even when you have a team, I’d still prefer more eyes, more ears, more assets… period.
The idea of being in 5 places at once is quite attractive, right? I mean, what if you knew what was going on in every bit of your territory whether you were there or not? This can be achieved a few different ways, but rarely is it consistent and you are constantly “massaging” new participants to feed you information. And that gets old…fast.
But viewed through a different lens, what if your customers, more importantly your access to your customers was all the leverage you needed to be 5 places at once?
The reality of being a med device rep is this: you have access to physicians and surgeons that the typical healthcare rep does not. Plain and simple.
Why not use this to your advantage and make loyal allies of other reps who depend on that access?
In all the years I worked in medical device sales, the one constant thing I saw was pharma reps begging, borrowing and stealing any opportunity they could to get in front of surgeons. Many of these times I was sitting next to the doc in his/her office while the pharma rep regurgitated their company line and the doc half-heartedly listened to them.
These reps don’t have near the access you do but depend on seeing these physicians just like you and I do. So, what if you can help influence getting the pharma rep time with your doc? Don’t you think they’d be appreciative?
One of the ways I’ve utilized pharma reps in the past was to leverage that influence. For example, when working with a group of specialists, let’s say 4-6 docs; I’ve invited them to dinner, and they all come. The pharm rep would chop off an extremity to have 2 hours of facetime with these docs which would almost never happen.
I’ve worked with these reps, because in many cases, they have a budget for these sorts of things, where I never did. It was quite simple, they paid for dinner, they got access and the docs listened to them because 1) they weren’t in their office and 2) they were with me.
Voila… a relationship has been created and that rep will bend over backwards to help you. All you need to do is continue to feed that rep access. Maybe it’s with that same group or a different group of physicians. They will become your loyal eyes and ears around town, and no one will be the wiser!
These reps will then feed you information about any doc they cover. They’ll even introduce you to their counterpart reps to help them as well. Suddenly you have multiple eyes and ears!
Pharma reps aren’t the only solution when it comes to extended relationships that can help you. Many DME, PT Clinics, etc have marketing reps who beg, borrow and steal for opportunities to get in front of physicians. Make them your own personal army!
Everyone has something to gain in these situations. The extended rep gets the access they want, you are seen as a dealmaker, your doc respects the fact you can get these things done and you all win.
So, when the next time you see a rep in the hall or in the doc’s office, maybe it’s time to start conversations on how you can work together…