This Pac Med Ed Customer Engagement page is meant to help reps understand what customers value and how to engage customers for meetings and other communication.
What do our customers want? What do our customers value?
While many values overlap and may have a different priority for different customers, the following are several values that our customers consider when choosing vendors and products. Consider each of these when engaging your customer.
- Safety - Is the product as safe or safer?
- Efficacy - Is it proven to work?
- Ease of Use - Is it simpler or more complex? If more complex, is there another value offset such as improved outcomes and efficacy?
- Outcomes - Whether short term or long term, what is the net result or effect?
- Efficiency/Speed - Can I save time and energy?
- Cost - Is it more or less? Is additional cost offset by another value such as time?
- Service - Will we have appropriate coverage? can we use the product without a rep?
- Availability - Is the product available on a regular basis (allografts mostly)? Can you consign or bring in?
- Convenience - Will it be a struggle to have access as needed? Are you on contract or on the shelf already?
- Reputation - Is your product, yourself, and/or company known to be reputable? or simply new and looking to begin?
- Experience and Ability - Am I confident the product, person, or service will get the job done?
- Dependable and Reliable - Will the product consistently work and service always be provided?
For all of these values, you may need to focus on offsetting conflicting values.
What are we always selling at every engagement?
When engaging customers, you will always be selling yourself, team, and products...
- Our character and the character of our company and teams
- Our products and services features and benefits
- Our integrity, experience, and dependability
- Our attitude and enthusiasm to serve
"Take comfort in knowing something WILL be sold. You will either sell your customer or why they need you or they will sell you on why they don't" -Anonymous
Tips for Successful Customer Engagement
Things to consider BEFORE and DURING and AFTER your customer engagement...
- #1, Numero UNO, FIRST, and FOREMOST - BE PREPARED!!! Be comfortable and knowledgeable about the product/service, the customer's current preferences, and relevant competitive info. Have all demo products, associated literature, and cost analysis available.
- The above requires you "do your homework" well ahead of time.
- Go to competitive websites to understand their features and benefits
- Phone a friend - call a more experienced peer or supervisor and ask for advise
- Prepare in advance. Don't wait until an hour before your engagement to gather what you need.
- Beware of citing literature you're unfamiliar with and/or don't have with you.
- Be early to your appointment! "On time is late" - Paul Wiese
- Ease into the selling. Get to know your customer and build rapport first. People buy from people they like.
- Bring enough food for everyone. Eat when appropriate (last or when you're sure everybody has been served).
- Are there other attendees to consider? Do you have enough collateral for other stake holders?
- Ask leading questions to which you may already know the answer. ie. "Doc do your ever struggle with how this works in this scenario?"," Have you ever been frustrated with...?"
- If possible, know your likely objections prior to engagement and how to address those obstacles.
- Be able to speak to every feature and benefit of your product/service.
- Dress and look the part as appropriate for your area. When in doubt, over dress.
- Ask questions about why and what they're currently using, what they like, and what they would change if they could.
- Consider using the Feel, Felt, Found strategy .
- Consider If and Then scenarios, ie. "If I can show you a way to save time and increase healing, then would you consider"?
- Tell a story! Master story teller and salesman Paul Wiese is notorious for sharing a story of how our products are being used elsewhere and the significant impact it has made on those customers and patients. Share where you've seen or heard success of your product/service being used. Share a story of success!
- Don't get stuck on what you don't know. Admit when you don't know the answer and let them know you'll return with better information.
- Consider all stakeholders in the discussion (patients, materials, techs, administration, clinical, etc).
- Don't bash the competition because it could be taken as bashing the customers decision making. Be empathetic of their current product choice.
- Read your customer. Do they need more information to come to a decision or can you close?
- Don't be afraid to ask for the business. Ask for the case. Ask for another demo. Ask for a trial. Ask who they recommend you talk to as the next step.
- If there is a cost increase, be prepared to justify why that is and any value offsets (saves time, patient outcomes, easier, convenience, patient compliance,etc.)
- If using electronics (HipCheck, MiEye, Ipad) make sure unit is charged in advance.
- Sell with enthusiasm.
- Don't OVER close. If the customer says they're willing to try it, you can move to next steps. Discontinue that information exchange on that particular product.
- If you're lucky enough to "Fast Close" (customer immediately agrees to take on), is there a secondary initiative to introduce? If so, consider a simple introduction not an attempt to close.
- Depending on strategy, small victories are victories non-the-less. It's an opportunity to build into more business into the future. Take the small victory with pride and appreciation.
- Close with confirmations, acknowledgements of statements and thoughts, as well as any next step items.
- In closing, get customer and stake holder e-mails and cell phones and add to your profiles and product matrix lists; very useful into the future.
- FOLLOWUP! The meeting is over, but there may be more to do. Followup with your customer as soon as possible and with a thank you for their time. A handwritten thank you card is always classy and they're conveniently available through Pac Med.
- Followup with any additional information needed and close the loop of communication with any other stakeholders.