Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Award Winners

Last week I caught up with one of the newbie reps who was honored with an award at the AAOS. In his first year, he was up 48%! I felt kinda proud because he was one of the folks I helped hire.

It seems like every time I checked up on this rep over the past year, he had just closed another video deal. He is delightfully humble, saying that our products are so good they "speak for themselves". Well, I think there's a lot more to it than that, especially when someone has to sign off on a purchase order worth nearly $200k. To win those kinds of capital sales, you not only have to have good products, but you also need a rep who knows how to conduct a successful evaluation, handle objections and win the confidence of the OR staff.

This rep is well recognized by his accounts for his conscientiousness. The distributor he works for tells me that all his accounts rave about him. "It's not just one account," his distributor says. "It's all of them." So, since I can't reveal his name lest his phone start ringing off the hook with job offers, that's just what I'll call him here...
Mr. Conscientious.

con'sci'en'tious adj. 1. Guided by or in accordance with the dictates of conscience; principled. 2. Thorough and assiduous.

Mr. Conscientious tells me that when he started in his territory, he began to make the rounds to meet his accounts and listened politely "hat in hand" to their concerns. Not all were happy with the amount of attention and service which they had previously experienced.I think new reps in any territory, in any industry can expect to encounter similar sentiments... hence the need for additional representation and expansion.

Mr. Conscientious, who says he's never has a bad day yet, took these concerns in stride and set about to remedy them by going "overboard" on service. He was polite, nice, and did exactly what his accounts asked and needed, even if it was a small thing that made him little or no money. Sometimes he would just drop by to ask if they needed any help and got to know his accounts by showing up regularly. (If you've read my earlier article called "A Doctor's Perspective", you'll notice a lot of overlap.)

Mr. Conscientious is himself from a clinical, rather than sales background, so he knew from his own experience that hard-nosed sales people who show up only when they can make a buck wear out their welcome pretty fast.

"There's a fine line between being a butt kisser and being a professional," he says. "I'm friendly and professional, but not oozing, fake or contrived. I try to be a nice guy and I'm concerned with good service."

He strives to take care of things before he's asked. One of the ways he does this is by checking the boards where the surgeries are scheduled so that he can anticipate the accounts' needs. By the sound of the feedback, they've noticed and appreciate his efforts to make their lives easier.

"My goal is to be prepared in advance, never to be behind the eight-ball," he says. He's friendly, prompt and doesn't b.s. anybody.

He's noticed that although reps may be in fierce competition trying to win deals, the hospital staff has their own struggles and day-to-day battles they are fighting. He believes that a rep who helps them solve their problems, rather than focusing solely on personal gain, can earn their loyalty and their business as a result.

After his first year, he's thrilled with the growth in his territory and is looking for ways to improve his skills and expand his business. He loves the daily challenges of being a medical device rep for Linvatec and the constant learning that is required for him to be his best. I think we can only expect his success to continue.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Launch

This week is the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' annual meeting in sunny San Diego. It's one of the big shows that Linvatec, and many other orthopaedic companies, attend each year. Today, Linvatec is officially releasing several major new products, including the much-anticipated  TrueHD - High Definition Camera System.

To read the press release about this product, plus the new 24k arthroscopy pump and our new hip arthroscopy set, follow this link...

2007 AAOS Product Launches

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Recommendation from a Reader

I received an e-mail from a reader who suggested the following book...

I wanted to suggest a book that I think you (and your entire organization/ salesforce ) will enjoy. It is the easiest sales read that I have found, and the best part is that it is written in "simple" terminology by a very successful former device sales rep/manager from Johnson & Johnson. The book is called "The Greatest Sales Book Ever Written" by Dean Gould (modest title huh....but I think he might be right).

I located an entire copy on-line through Google.
I have some other recommendations from our distributors which I hope to share very soon!