Quick Tip for Medical Sales Reps

There’s a major key in getting a hospital to purchase your product or service, it’s the key to Dr. VITO’s office. No matter how much sense your product or service makes for your potential customer. No matter how much money it’s going to save them, or time, it’s a much harder sale to close without this major key.

My first experience with this “key”!

When I first moved into the role of PACS Admin about 13 years ago one of my first projects I was hyped up about was getting some flat panel monitors wall-mounted in the O.R..I had been a tech for many years and daily we were printing stacks of film for the O.R. when we had PACS monitors in every O.R. suite.  The problem was they were big old CRT monitors setting on a desk behind anesthesia and were hard to get to if you were scrubbed out.

We were literally spending hundreds of dollars a day on CT and MRI studies printed to send to the next floor.  I gathered quotes and data for making it happen, total cost for the 4 busiest ortho/neuro rooms about $3,200.  We would have recouped that in less than a week!  My director loved it, our CIO thought it was great.  But I remember the CIO asking me the “key” question….. he asked,  “Who’s your champion?” .  He said, “It’s a great idea and makes all the sense in the world but if you don’t have a physician champion asking for it from administration it’ll never get done.”  I said I had mentioned it to several docs and they all thought it was a great idea.  He replied, “that’s all well and good but if they’re not knocking on admin’s door telling them the have to have it it’ll never happen.”

He was right.  It sat there for two solid years with no traction what so ever.  Then one day……  a tech came down from the O.R. and said,”Dr. (ortho guy) asked how we can get PACS in the O.R.?”  I told her, “Have him call me.” A few minutes later he dropped by to see me.  I told him that I had been trying to get this done for 2 years and not to quote me but what I needed was for him to tell admin that he needed it done.  In literally less than 2 hours I had an email string from the CNO, CEO, COO to my director to me asking how we could get this done. I refershed the quotes, which by this time I got bigger monitors for several hundreds of dollars less, and project went foward without a delay.

Selling to Dr. VITO!

I’ve seen it over and over again in the last 13 years.  If the managers and people in the departments like your product or service you need to ask them, “What doctor would benefit the most from this and can you set up a face to face meeting with them so I can do a quick demo  of (benefit) to them?”   This is the quickest route to getting a signed contract, hands down.

There was a book I had to read when I was in sales called Selling to VITO by Anthony Parinello .   VITO stands for Very Important Top Officer.  The premise of this book is that if the top decision maker in an organization likes you/your product, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it so your first efforts is to get to the VITO.  In a hospital there are a lot of VITOs, they have MD after their names.  The best way to get to them is through someone they know there already, such as the imaging director, etc..

I hope this helps get you in front Dr. VITO and that your product or service indeed helps healthcare providers and/or their patients.



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