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How to Sell Expensive Medical Devices & Equipment [Free Template]

Selling expensive medical devices is no easy task.

Hospitals take procurement very seriously, which means you need to work diligently to capture the trust of potential buyers. But that can be difficult when it comes to items such as MRI machines or CT scanners, which represent large investments. Unlike replenishing orders of fast-moving supplies, selling more expensive equipment requires you to forge a genuine relationship with multiple stakeholders at the hospital before making a sale.

To do that, you need to engage these stakeholders with frequent visits, as well as demonstrate technical expertise with their product and show value to each of these stakeholders. Here are three of the biggest challenges inherent to the long sales cycle, and strategies you can embrace to overcome these obstacles:

 

Ready to start selling more? Click here to download our free Account Maintenance Template for Medical Sales

 

Challenge 1: Multiple Stakeholders

In a modern-day hospital, there are several people involved in the decision of whether to purchase a new medical device, including nurse managers, surgeons and their support staff, and supply managers. When promoting more expensive and sophisticated equipment, it's important for you to make your case to multiple stakeholders to persuade every involved party that the investment is worth it. 

 

Solution: Show Buyers You Care

When working in a long sales cycle, the first meeting you have in a hospital or doctor's office will most likely not end with a new sale. The purpose of each visit should be to establish rapport with hospital staff. You should make a concerted effort to get to know each of the people involved in the buying process to improve your chances of fostering trust and starting a long-lasting relationship with the hospital.

 

 

This is important because different people within the hospital will have varying concerns about equipment, and you need to be able to answer all of them - from questions about pricing to technical specifications. To engage with every stakeholder and address his or her concerns effectively, you need to do your homework and find out which aspects of your product are most important to different buyer personas. 

 

For supply managers, this could mean beefing up your knowledge of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on medical device purchases. For surgeons, it will be critical to demonstrate how your products will enhance treatment for patients.

 

You should make yourself available to every stakeholder to address new questions and concerns in a timely manner. This poses a unique challenge for reps who sell over a long sales cycle, however, because it means being responsive to questions for weeks, or even months, before (and after) a sale is made. Plan to make several visits and speak with each person involved in the buying process multiple times before buyers are ready to pull the trigger on a sale. 

 

Getting to know your stakeholders' everyday problems will help you position your products as time-savers.

 

Challenge 2: Complex Products

Although establishing cordial working relationships with hospital stakeholders is critical, equally as important is your ability to demonstrate technical expertise with the product you're selling. To get a surgeon or hospital administrator on your side, you need to show that you know what you're talking about. This is particularly important when guiding stakeholders toward large investments, since hospital staff won't want to purchase expensive products that are difficult to use. 

 

Solution: Demonstrate The Product And Its Value

 

One of the most effective ways to win over a skeptical stakeholder is by showing him or her how easy it is to use the device you're selling. If possible, bring a device with you to the hospital to perform an in-person demonstration. This method allows surgeons, nurses and others to engage with the product up close and ask any questions they have about the device's functionality. Having the equipment on hand will allow you to physically demonstrate the solution to any problems a buyer might have, which is an efficient way to put their mind at ease.

 

If a device is too bulky to bring along, a simple solution is to use CRM technology, which will allow you to carry up-to-date product information, in addition to supplementary resources such as a video demonstration. This will allow buyers to at least see how a device works even if they don't get to try it out themselves.

 

Above all, hospitals value the people they treat. When you're demonstrating a machine, it's critical to convey how its features will benefit patients. This point is even more important than showing how a device can make life easier for the hospital staff because medical personnel value patient satisfaction over their own convenience. 

 

The most expensive medical equipment is typically the most difficult to install - making your job all the more important.

 

Challenge 3: Lengthy Implementation

A critical aspect to forging relationships with stakeholders is getting involved in every aspect of the sales cycle. Responding to questions and other requests in a timely manner is key to gaining the trust of the hospital administrators who ultimately own the decision making power.

 

Solution: Stay Involved and Helpful

One of the most important elements of medical sales is offering constant support and guidance to yoru customers. It's crucial for you to assist in prepping equipment for implementation, as well as being present when the device is brought to the hospital and installed. If you operate on a long sales cycle, being present during installation is critical for fostering a long-lasting business partnership because it shows dedication, preparedness, and a willingness assist with any technical issues that might arise.

 

If you can demonstrate your value from the beginning to the end of the sales cycle - whether it's responding to questions quickly, making frequent hospital visits or providing assistance to hospital staff - you will have a much greater chance of establishing a fruitful relationship that will thrive long into the future.

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Frank Brogie

Frank Brogie is the Product Marketing Manager at Repsly. When he’s not thinking about how to position and sell Repsly’s products, Frank loves to explore Boston by bike and hunt for vintage cars through a camera lens. On weekends you can count on Frank to organize a pickup basketball game or play disc golf. An avid podcast listener, Frank recommends Philosophize This, 99% Invisible, and Radiolab.

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