Friday, January 26, 2007

The Ultimate Tag Team Returns

Sunny Crocket and Rico Tubbs join me once again to share their perspective on life as a new medical device reps. Read the interview in our shared comments below...

30 comments:

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

Thanks for joining me again. You know you guys are in trouble. You gave me an hour to come up with some good questions. I’m going to put you through the ringer now. This is going to be worse than your initial interview!
So did you guys tie one on with the hospital staff at happy hour?

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

You know I’m kidding, but actually, I regularly get questions about “entertaining” from candidates. People have heard about all the lunches and dinner programs pharma reps do, and they want to know what it’s like in medical device sales. I always tell them that it’s not the focus of what our reps do. You can’t take donuts into the O.R., after all—or can you?!
What’s your experience been like so far? What kind and how much “entertaining” do you do?

rico tubbs said...

In a tough territory where your product isn't know sometimes doing a lunch is a plus. It gives you an opportunity to meet with the doctor and staff on a more personal side. Sometimes in order to meet with them you need to do a lunch. It's not like Pharma sales where your doing it three or four times a week. It's been successful for me..

sunnycrockett said...

ya know, i guess with our distributorship we have been drilled with preach the products and services and not leading with marketing material, a.k.a-pens, glasses, typical pharma stuff. Rico and I were able to join a med. staff this evening as guest invitees and not as a tandem putting on an evening of entertaining with the staff. I feel this is more respectable and we are seen as peers that work with the staff and not trying to buy the staff out.

LisaMcG said...

One of the big challenges in the first few months is establishing relationships with your customers. How is it coming along in general?

rico tubbs said...

It's still pretty hard but coming into this job I knew it was going to be difficult. The relationships come with time, hard work, and persistency. They come slowly but surely!!!!!

sunnycrockett said...

it's been a little tougher than expected. Again nobody ever sugarcoated what we were going to go through. I have found in my experience that once I have been given an oppurtunity to show my prods i've been successful. Again getting past the gatekeepers is the challenge, but spending time to get to know your Dr's pays off.

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

Let’s say you are going into an account for the first time. Where or who do you start with? Where does it usually go from there?

sunnycrockett said...

For me personally, depending on the facility. You hunt down who the O.R manager is, or the nurse manager, look for purchasers/buyers, sterilization, and the Dr's offices. Everyone in those positions plays a key role and all offer you complete diff. points of view on where to go and who to pull the strings with. If you can get in good with all of them your golden

rico tubbs said...

Well I use the NEW CARD as much as possible. I ask to speak with the doctor, if I can't meet with him/her i'll ask for the office manager. From there just come down the chain of command. OR manager/director maybe a PA or something. I may even throw in that the Doctor asked me to stop by, that usually makes them want to help me a lot more!!!!!

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

How easy or hard has it been to get access to the surgeons and the O.R.?

rico tubbs said...

It's been extremely hard for myself and Sunny. If our products aren't in the acct they won't let you in. But if you approach the Doctor and tell them your new and want to learn they let you sit in on cases...

sunnycrockett said...

for rico and I it has been extremly hard. In our territory we've experienced situations where not very many accounts are currently using our prods. So we don't have a lead. We just try to knock down dr's doors with persistence, look to get in good with one doc. and see who he knows that would like the same prods. have to weed through the grapevine

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

It was great to meet you both when you came down for training in December. Tell me what you thought of training and how it has benefited you since.
Which products have you been emphasizing and having the most success with so far?

sunnycrockett said...

training was awesome. Too many co's focus on the Sales guide 101 with role playing and all that jazz. Typically those role playing situations never play out the way they say they will and it ends up giving you a false sense of security when talking with key dec. makers. This training was hands on and knowledgable. It educated you on your product and what features to push and lead with. It gave me great confidence. I have personally been successful in my short stay with imaging equip, shavers, fluid pumps, etc..

rico tubbs said...

I thought training was HUGE.. We got a lot of hands on training with the products which helped me understand what they do. It's has also made me more confident speaking to people knowing how they actually work. Overall it's making me successful with all my products!!!!!

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

Actually, I thought a little role playing / objection handling might be a nice addition, but no? Is there anything you think we could improve upon?

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

So as far as key products, which ones do you feel most confident with now?

rico tubbs said...

I kind of wish we did some role playing as well. Not everyone likes it but it's something that your going to have to do sooner or later. Maybe make the role playing fun. I enjoyed the group activities it made fun and competitive, definitely continue the group games!!!!!

sunnycrockett said...

I mean, I guess role playing can be good. I just think that in this job there are so many curves and angles of conversations that you can never prepar in terms of role playing for what you will experience in the O.R. I know that through my distributorship and my district manager, I ask just question after question that I have encountered. I feel that if you know your prods well enough you overcome those objections. I feel that for me personally there wasn't anything that could have improved @ training.

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

Can you tell me about any cases or evaluations you’ve had so far?

sunnycrockett said...

I have been in evaluations with Video. Camera's, controllers, documentations systems, shavers, blades/burs, etc...For me that is what I have been most comfortable with because it's the first thing that I have learned while on my own in my account. It's amazing how much you learn just by being on your first eval.

rico tubbs said...

This week I have cases with the new sternum saw. It's going really good and the doctor really likes it. I have to work on a quote to give to them after only a week of evaluating the saw...

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

Someone e-mail me after reading my blog and asked me if there is high turnover in medical device sales. The person apparently had an offer to get into the field. I wrote back that I think the first couple of years are the toughest, maybe the first six months the toughest of them all, and for that reason there can be some attrition, but after that it pretty much rocks. What do you guys think? Any words of wisdom for folks looking to get into this industry?

sunnycrockett said...

Like our distributor told us. You will hit a wall around months 3-6. and you're going to ask yourself what am I doing? is this really right for me? on this job you will get a lot of gatekeepers trying to keep you out of the O.R. After my 5th mo. it is apparent why they have done or try to do so. Because once you present to a Dr. and he likes it, he wants it. Has to have it, so on and so forth.

rico tubbs said...

Yes I agree the first six months are definitely the hardest. Your going to get really frustrated at times and ask yourself what am I doing. But always stay positive and know that this field isn't easy and all the hard work will pay off. Medical sales is a very rewarding financially but you have to be willing to wait out the tough times and be patient.....

sunnycrockett said...

you have to see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize that the light is there even if you cannot see it. I am in an evaluation. Met 4 great ortho. surgeons. next thing you know I was introduced to 2 ENT surgeons, then 2 podiatrist. So once your in it spreads because surgeons are like a big fraternity

Lisa McCallister-Grant said...

Sounds like you guys are making progress, slowly but surely. I hope you know I’m rootin’, prayin’ and crossin’ my fingers for you guys. Keep up the good work! Thanks again guys. G'night!

sunnycrockett said...

thanks lisa. look forward to talking to you again, and sharing future experiences in the field.

rico tubbs said...

Thanks Lisa it has been fun. Enjoy that warm weather and please send some our way. Have a great weekend