Is your business at a competitive disadvantage?
It could be if you — and all your sales reps — don’t have the knowledge and ability to customize your presentations any place, any time. You must be able to create personalized sales experiences on the fly that meet the needs of virtually every medical professional to maintain a competitive edge.
People have gotten used to almost every experience being customized.
- Online stores offer personalized shopping recommendations. It often seems like they know what you want before you do.
- Netflix and other video-on-demand services are programmed to recommend the perfect movie or show for you. They figure out what you want to watch even when you’re not sure.
- When you do research online, you can customize your journey, stopping along the way to read, look at infographics, watch videos, and get answers to your questions in virtual chats or over the phone. You have total control over how you learn about things.
With all aspects of life being so “personal”, most people don’t have the patience to sit through any experience — much less a presentation — that isn’t 100 percent tailored to meet their needs and expectations. This is particularly true of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who don’t have time to waste, especially during a pandemic.
The personalization trend has only accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More meetings are taking place on Zoom and other virtual channels. When people aren’t in the same room as the sales rep, they’re less likely to be fully engaged, unless the experience is created just for them.
How can you and the people on your sales team personalize presentations so the medical professionals you meet with find value in them? It’s easier than you think! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Do your due diligence.
Take time to learn all you can about the people you’re presenting to. Current customers and prospective ones will appreciate that you cared enough to do your homework. Go beyond doing standard research like reviewing websites and seek out information about the prospects you’re meeting within social media. Check out their networks. See if you know any of the people they’re connected to. The people working in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and healthcare professionals are a tight-knit group, especially on the local level. It’s likely that you know somebody who knows the people you’re going to meet with and can tell you about them.
Tip: Be thoughtful about how you leverage what you learn through research. Don’t use information in a way that seems like you’re a stalker. Limit what you find out to develop personalized presentations and not to get too “personal.”
2. Make it clear you understand what they’re dealing with.
Based on your research, ask yourself: What do the medical professionals I’m meeting with want to achieve and what problems are they dealing with? How can your business provide them with something that makes doing their jobs easier while allowing them to deliver better care to their patients? Incorporate these insights into a story that runs through your presentation. Make it clear that you “get it” and share a common mindset.
3. Shift your perspective.
Don’t limit your understanding of your clients and prospects by viewing them only through your own mindset. Honestly get to know them. Do what it takes to get into their heads and hearts. If you’re not sure about what someone you’re meeting with is thinking and feeling, take time to listen and understand. Ask thoughtful questions that turn your meetings into conversations rather than monologues. If in doubt, stop talking and listen instead. Sometimes personalization doesn’t require cutting-edge technology or high levels of creative design. It just takes listening.
4. Don’t pitch drugs or devices. Offer solutions.
It’s difficult these days to differentiate most drugs or medical technology. There are countless offerings that seem similar. The only way to beat the competition is to transform your offerings into custom-tailored solutions to the issues medical professionals and their patients are dealing with every day.
5. Know your prospects better than they know themselves.
Don’t limit your sales efforts to what doctors, nurses, and others ask about or think they need. Provide them with information about what they really need. The best way to break through is to answer a question that hasn’t been asked yet or solve a problem they don’t know they have.
Tip: Doing good research and asking the right questions will help you deliver more proactive and personal sales experiences.
6. Use messages and images that support your sales conversations.
You never want people reading bullet points on your PowerPoint slides. It’s the kiss of death. You also don’t want them staring at images trying to understand what they mean. Instead, you want to keep the focus on YOU. Leverage visuals that encourage conversation. They shouldn’t distract people or turn them off.
Tip: If you’re not sure whether your images are the right ones, put yourself into your client’s head. It could help you gain a better perspective. While you’re at it, distribute your sales presentations through an app like Mobile Locker. It will help you gather insights that will allow you to determine what presentation elements are working and which are not.
7. Use testimonials that are meaningful.
Client success stories used to be an afterthought. Today, at a time when opinions, ratings, and reviews are central to most businesses, customer testimonials could make all the difference between sealing the deal and losing the sale. Choose client stories the medical professionals you’re meeting with will relate to. A doctor in private practice may not connect with a testimonial from a nurse who works in a hospital. Or a pediatrician may not find a case study about a geriatric patient helpful.
8. Speak their language.
Every industry has its own terminology. This is especially true in the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and healthcare fields. Add to this the fact that people have different levels of education, training, and experience. Take care that you’re not using words the people you’re meeting with don’t understand. Perhaps even more critical, use terminology they expect to hear. This will help you build credibility and trust.
9. Learn about the competition.
You’ll be better able to individualize your sales conversations if you know specifically what companies and products you’re competing against. A vague reference to the “competition” won’t do much to blunt their advantage. Learning what a medical professional is already using, and who else they may be meeting with, will help you better position your offerings against those of your competitors.
10. Structure your presentations around short chapters.
Don’t create complete end-to-end presentations. Instead, come up with short sections that can easily be configured depending on the needs of each client. Develop a few slides to cover individual topics like “Background,” “Challenges,” “Research” and “Efficacy.” Come up with a few variations on each for everything you sell. Make it easy to mix, match, and configure slides and sections so they can be used to tell a custom, clear, and coherent story for each potential client.
11. Leverage the latest technology.
Distribute your sales decks using a modern sales enablement system like Mobile Locker. It will make it easy to customize your presentation components any place, any time. If you take advantage of our cutting-edge app, you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your presentations with different groups in real-time. This will make it possible for you to constantly improve them so they better resonate with people in your target audiences.
12. Make your follow-up as personal as your presentation.
What good is a personalized sales experience if you follow up on it with a generic email or call? When you communicate after a meeting, be as specific as possible about what was covered, how you plan to handle next steps, and what to expect next. It will impress prospective clients if your personalized approach continues after the sales meeting. It’s a good way to demonstrate what working with you and your organization will be like. It communicates that they can expect personalized service tailored to their needs in every interaction.