Becoming a top performing healthcare sales rep and getting to the top of the ladder requires you to hone your skills, build on the foundation of your knowledge with first-hand client encounters AND the useful advice of others.
With that in mind, we spoke to Kathy Douglas-Kellie, a key member of our healthcare sales recruitment team, who accrued extensive first-hand sales rep experience before starting at Chase, to let you in on a few trade secrets that’ll see you performing at the top of your game.
Here’s what Kathy had to say …
1. Product knowledge
Trust is placed in the healthcare industry not just because of the professionalism of its staff, but because of the integrity of the products it uses. Patients want to know that they’re receiving the best service and that means your clients will have to invest in the most effective treatments.
This is why, as Kathy told us, the best sales reps have first-rate knowledge of their products. Understanding the physiology and anatomy behind every healthcare product you sell is absolutely vital.
2. Ability to Listen
A salesperson shouldn’t just be a presentation machine providing a glut of information to a client. To create a meaningful connection with your clients, you’ll have to listen to their wants and needs, and respond to those needs with a sense of understanding and perceptiveness.
A finely tuned sense of communication and empathy for your customers can only really be picked up on the job, and will come with time. But making sure you’re effectively perceiving the needs of your clients is vital to increasing your sales performance from the get-go.
3. Awareness of the industry
The healthcare industry is constantly in flux, more so in the UK thanks to the need for balance between private interests and the NHS. The most prominent recent example of this is the Lord Carter Review, a government review of the English NHS.
The Carter Review, published in February this year, outlined plans to save up to £5 billion for the NHS with “efficiency measures”, many of which could impact the way you sell your products.
A comprehensive awareness of the report, and any other future changes in the industry, is vital to communicating on an even footing with your clients.
4. Dedicated, determined and resilient
Accepting no for an answer isn’t an option for a healthcare sales rep, according to Kathy. Combining dedication, determination and resilience is the key to pushing your way to the top of the career ladder.
Sometimes a client won’t be interested in your products. Sometimes their quarterly budget won’t be able to stretch to the product your offering. But you’ve got to make a sale, so always have a plan B in your back pocket.
And remember – your clients might not need your products now, but they might need them later.
5. Professional, polite and personable
Although a sense of determination is vital to remaining at the height of your powers in the healthcare industry, remaining professional, polite and personable to each of your clients can also be the perfect way to make sure they place their trust in you.