Unless you’re an independently wealthy solopreneur (or maybe a pirate? or a secret agent?) we’re willing to bet your industry has been impacted—and probably not for the better—by the Covid-19 pandemic. At CaterSquad, we’ve seen firsthand how the virus has affected not only the world of meal delivery, but the medical and pharmaceutical sales industry in particular.
With doctors devoting their time to treating ill patients and medical offices closed except for virtual consultations, now is an especially tough time to be in medical sales. In fact, 30-40% of specialists and about 50% of GPs have reported that they’re not interested in engaging with pharma reps during Covid-19. Those are some disheartening numbers.
If you’re a medical sales rep who’s struggling to stay connected to clients (and generate new sales) here are three strategies for staying in the game.
Focus on what’s working
Depending on your clientele, some of your clients’ offices may be permanently shuttering, while others may stay off-limits to sales reps for months to come. When this is the case, accept what you can’t change. Focus on what’s working for your clients that remain. If you’re limited to a handful of clients at the moment, make the absolute most of your relationship with them.
For example, as you strive to help your existing customers, do all you can to provide them with exceptional service. Imagine what the best customer service ever would look like. Anticipating their needs? Going above and beyond to research answers to their questions? Whatever is your image of the ultimate service, make it your priority to embody those qualities. Well-cared-for clients are loyal clients.
Roll with the Covid punches
One key to success—in any profession—is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. During this time of online everything, you may have to use new
technologies to book meetings—and even then, you may only be able to meet your clients virtually. Dealing with unfamiliar processes and tech hiccups may be
uncomfortable, but you’re playing the long game here. Put in the time and energy to meet your clients in whatever way you can right now. You’ll likely see a payoff in time as they remember all your efforts to stay connected.
Also, don’t overlook another avenue many reps are exploring as sales dry up: A shift in mentality. Years ago, the slogan of successful sales was “Always be closing.” These days, the new motto is “Always be helping.” What does this mean? Look for how you can contribute to your clients’ work in a way that’s meaningful, even if it’s not traditional.
Is there a problem you can help them solve? A task you can take on? Eventually, your helpful, buyer-centric attitude may result in reciprocation of the very best kind: a sale.
Network like a boss
With a bit of extra space in your schedule, now’s the time to tend to your network. Conferences and in-person lunches may not be happening at the moment, but that
doesn’t mean you can’t keep networking through LinkedIn, phone calls, and virtual meetups. Keep your connections strong by consistently making friendly check-ins with clients and colleagues.
Finally, try using this time for a little vision casting. Changes are likely on the horizon for the medical sales industry. Perhaps you can spend some mental energy reimagining what the future may look like when all is said and done with Covid-19—and how you’ll
come out stronger.