How to Navigate 2017 Healthcare Trends – Adapting for Value

Part 1 of 3

All this political insanity is making our jobs really difficult. With all the jargon, acronyms and ill-defined buzzwords – how are we supposed to set our sales strategy while facing such uncertainty? If you’ve been wondering how to handle the changes and challenges as a Healthcare Sales Professional, you’re not alone.

Here are some of the questions you’ve asked me and I’ve been asking myself:

  1. What the hell is going on?
  2. Is the Affordable Care Act being repealed/replaced? With what?
  3. What will happen to the uninsured patients?
  4. With all this talk about “value-based care”, how do I create “value” for my customers?
  5. When will they take away his Twitter account?
  6. What are we supposed to protest this week?

For starters, yeah, the ACA/Obamacare is going out the window. No matter what side of the aisle you sit, improvements will be made. But, some fallout is inevitable and the politicians will argue like my daughters bicker over the last cookie.

How to Keep Your Prospecting Emails Out of the Trashcan

In a previous post, I proclaimed email is the devil.  I’m shocked how many people responded pledging 2017 the year to wean themselves off the email teat.

(Yes – I see the irony of a guy who sends a weekly email to you claiming that email is Satan.)

I do hate email though.  It’s been bastardized in large corporations filled with people who equate sending an email to accomplishing a goal or task.

I HATE, HATE, HATE email.

Thank You Thursday

Here are few things that I’ve found valuable this month and thought you may appreciate them too…

  • Giveaway Winner:  Last month I launched my first giveaway to thank you for being a subscriber.  I’m excited to announce Dan D was the big winner (here’s a video of the drawing).  I will continue to run giveaways every month with products from partner companies.  Here is this months $299 giveaway.  Remember, you receive 5 additional entries for every person you share the link with…send it to 5 friends, you’re entered 25 times.

  • Favorite Christmas gift:  The greatest investment you can make, is in YOU. The most cost effective investment you can make, is in books. But who has time to read? ReadItFor.me is video Cliff’s Notes. Each 8’ish minute overview includes a video, audio and text synopsis of the world’s best selling business and self-improvement books.  I tested the ReadItForMe freemium waters for a year before being gifted a lifetime subscription.  Here’s a FREE 30 day trial for JJC subscribers.  HINT – Check out this month’s giveaway.
  • Travel product of the month:  You pony up the $100 for TSA Pre-Check. As you enter security, you’re instructed to leave your jackets, belts and shoes on – you confidently stroll through the metal sector…BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. The mumbling TSA agent tells you to remove your shoes in broken english. Damn metal shanks! I recently found Mezlan shoes and quickly bought 2 additional pairs. These shankless shoes break in the first day and are compliment grabbers (some are a bit gaudy). While not cheap, I’ve been able to find them half price at Nordstrom Rack.
  • Book I’m reading:  Tim Ferriss is renowned for his podcast interviews with the titans of health, wealth and wisdom.  In his latest best seller, Tools of Titans, he distills the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers into easy to read bit sized chunks.  This 704 page behemoth is intentionally unavailable in audio to encourage readers to use it as a reference guide.  While I finished reading it this weekend, it will be a permanent fixture on my desk and re-read often.

If you find this gibberish valuable, it would mean a lot if you forward this to your counterparts and encourage them to sign up.

4 Sales Trends That Will Determine Your Success in 2017

Judging by the feedback I’ve received over the last few weeks – you are ready to have your best year ever.

Success as a Healthcare Sales Professional starts with a lot of planning. Part of that planning is keeping a close eye on sales trends and the healthcare market.

Why staying up with sales trends is important in healthcare sales…

This past Saturday morning, I met with an ex-pharmaceutical representative of 20+ years.  Let’s call him Frank.

Frank was struggling to get back into the industry after a round of layoffs pushed him out nearly 2 years ago.  We had been introduced through a mutual connection who asked if I could help Frank out.

Two minutes into the conversation, I realized why Frank had struggled to land a gig despite decades of experience and solid results.

I asked Frank how we both worked in Nashville Oncology market for so many years and never crossed paths.  His eyebrows raised in confusion.

I asked if his experiences at Novartis aligned with what I saw during my 6-month stint with the company. He tilted his head to the side – dumbfounded.

I asked if he liked living in New Jersey during a past assignment at corporate headquarters.  He squinted his eyes in disbelief.

I watched as Frank tried to figure out how I knew so much about him.

When I finally asked, what I could do to help him – his replied “I don’t know who you are or what you do.”

The Marriott Mess Up – When to Delight and When to Sell

Just to be clear, I love the Marriott hotel chain.  However, I couldn’t help tell this story and how it relates to our lives in healthcare sales…

I’m a Jersey boy who has lived in Nashville for the past 11 years.  Growing up – we rang in the New Year by watching the New York City ball drop.

So when I moved to the central time zone, New Years Eve hasn’t been the same because you have to watch the New York City ball drop at 11PM CST.

a-time-to-delight-and-a-time-to-sell

This year was going to be different. I was spending New Years Eve at the Marriott in Marco Island Florida.  I was eagerly anticipating a real-time ball drop.

(Yes I stayed up waaaaaaaay past my 8:00pm bedtime.)

So when we arrived at the Marriott, I was pumped to hear the hotel was planning a celebratory bash.  In an effort to keep guests on campus and spending money, they were bringing in a DJ, huge outdoor dance floor, AND big screens broadcasting the NYC Times Square festivities.

How I Quit Drinking and Blew Up My Sales Career

The first week of every year, I get a bunch of calls from friends and colleagues that start with – “I was dr-phil-2just thinking about you”.

We catch up for a few minutes and then the conversation evolves to, “soooooo, my new year’s resolution is to quit drinking and I don’t know how to handle going out with customers.”

The most difficult aspect of walking away from alcohol is the psychological and social impact.

Like Dr Phil, I’ve said my fair share of stupid things.  But these people aren’t calling me because I’m a psychologist – I’m just a guy who quit drinking 8 years ago.

The day I decided to quit drinking

How to Overcome Inexperience in an Interview

Coach-ability is the new experience

Have you ever been denied a job because you “lacked experience”?

How are you supposed to get experience if nobody will give you a chance?

While millennials get a bad rap, they possess one character trait that can be leveraged to overcome a lack of experience…

COACH-ABILITY!

Check out this video to hear a story about one guy who was anything but coachable…

How to Overcome Inexperience in an Interview Viideo

Download the infographic

Want a LinkedIn profile that inspires people to connect with you?  Click the image below to get 8 simple steps to creating a LinkedIn profile that customers trust and employers value…

how-to-create-a-killer-linkedin-profile-infographic

Avoid this Booby Trap if You Want to Break Into Medical Sales

I spend a lot of time working with young people who are eager to break into the medical sales industry.

I’ve noticed a lot of people working a contract sales gig think this experience will lead to a full-time position as a Medical Sales Representative.

I hate to break it to you – if you’re not careful, it can be a career ending booby trap.

booby-trap

Why a contract sales gig wont help you break into Medical Sales

Recently, I received a call from a Rachel.  Rachel is a eager, hardworking millennial woman who is working as a 1099 sales contractor.

Rachel was ticked!  She was upset the pharmaceutical company co-promoting her product wouldn’t even consider her for a full-time W2 job.

If “contract sales” is a new concept to you, let me explain.  Pharmaceutical Company A develops a new drug.  The success of the product largely depends on sales and marketing.  But, salespeople are expensive!

What happens if the product bombs?  What happens if unforeseen side effects impact sales?  FDA hiccups?  Insurance companies won’t pay?  Any of these can kill a product.

Rather than taking the risk of hiring a bunch of new sales reps, Pharmaceutical Company A contracts with Company B to use their sales reps to promote the new drug.  If the product isn’t as successful – Company A breaks the contract with Company B.  Company A doesn’t have to worry about negative publicity from layoffs and cost of severance.

But here’s what Rachel didn’t understand – her contract job didn’t give her the experience she needed to transition into a full-time sales gig.

Sure, Rachel’s title was Pharmaceutical Sales Representative. But she had never spoken with the hiring manager – not even through email or a phone call!  This is a huge downside of contract sales. A full-time position in Medical Sales requires face time and collaboration with the co-promoting District Manager and the local Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives.

As a 1099 contractor, Rachel was responsible for making calls and providing samples to her prospective doctors. She was compensated for this work, but her interactions with physicians in her territory were also limited.

As we talked through her work experience, it quickly dawned on Rachel why she wasn’t being considered for a full-time position.

Her business card said “Pharmaceutical Sales Representative,” but her responsibilities were that of a FedEx delivery person. All she did was drop off samples at the front desk of the physician’s office.

How to transition from a contracted 1099 to a full time W2 employee

If you’re in contract sales, don’t get too down on yourself – yet. It’s possible to transition to a full-time medical sales job, but you have to approach it from a different angle.

Your experience alone won’t be enough to get you hired in this competitive marketplace. Here are some tips for getting your first full-time sales gig:

  • Develop relationships. Start getting in touch with local reps and district managers.  Develop those relationships through constant contact. The key is to make it worth their while to stay in touch with you.  Provide them with market intel about offices that accept samples, competitors’ actions, and anything that may be important for them to know.
  • Don’t stop at the front desk. Administrators and other staff will try to keep you from meeting physicians. You can’t blame them – just imagine how many reps try to make contact with their physicians every day. The best thing you can do is continue pushing to develop a personal relationship with the physician. The more physician relationships you have in a territory, the better chance you’ll have of landing a W2 job.
  • Know the market and business. Too many people want to break into Medical Sales just for the benefits – good salary, flexible work arrangements, and the chance to make a difference in patients’ lives. You have to make it clear that you understand the market and you can bring value if a company brings you on in a full-time role.  How has the Affordable Care Act impacted your market?  What are your customers doing to prepare for value-based care?  Which payers are covering your product and which are causing problems?  How do you plan to address each of these areas?  Learn about larger healthcare issues and explain why that’s important to the local District Managers.

Money, freedom and fulfillment are just a few benefits of Medical Sales.

If you want to learn more about how you can break into Medical Sales, check this out.

4 Reasons Why Millennials Crush It in Healthcare Sales

Millennials get a bad rap.

 

But the Baby Boomers who trash Millennials, hate their jobs and are exhausted from overwork. No wonder they’re miserable!

Sure, most adults ages 18 to 34 played on t-ball teams where everyone got a trophy and grew up being praised by adults for every move they made.

millennials_in_the_workplace_training_video_-_youtube

But all that’s in the past now that they’ve have reached adulthood. Millennials have mortgages, car payments, spouses, and kids of their own!

As it turns out, Millennials now make up one-third of the American workforce.

millennials_surpass_gen_xers_as_the_largest_generation_in_u_s__labor_force___pew_research_center

The thing is, most Millennials aren’t satisfied at traditional companies with 9-to-5 hours and little flexibility. That’s why a job in Healthcare Sales is a great career for this generation.

Here are four reasons why Millennials love and excel at a Healthcare Sales Representative job:

  1. Millennials crave balance. Most Millennials spent their first years of adulthood in college, enjoying some downtime (and partying, of course) before entering the workforce. During this time, they learn that working yourself into the ground only results in burnout and a negative attitude about your job and life.

Work-life balance leads to happiness. And happiness results in a 12% spike in productivity, according to this study. Healthcare Sales is the ultimate career for workers seeking balance. You can make your own hours, work remotely, and take some time off when necessary.

  1. Millennials understand todays healthcare buyer. Today’s buyers (doctors using your drug, surgeons using your device or administrators buying your technology are “buyers”) are empowered with unlimited information. They are more connected than ever through mobile platforms and social networks. Before they buy a product, they research the salesperson, the company and product reviews online. They communicate through mobile devices and they don’t want to wait hours for a response.

Modern healthcare buyers want convenience, efficiency, and to be treated as a partner. Millennials understand the buying cycle and the needs of modern buyers because they are modern healthcare buyers. This understanding helps Millennials achieve fast success in the healthcare sales field.

the-modern-healthcare-buyer-001

  1. Millennials respond well to feedback. Remember that stuff about the t-ball trophies and constant praise? Millennials also grew up craving feedback about their performance. The cost to train and entry-level pharmaceutical sale representative is $18,300 according to this article. That’s what a company spends before you ever bring in one dollar in sales. District Sales Managers offer plenty of critique on what’s working and where reps can improve – exactly what Millennials crave.
  2. Room for advancement. Healthcare companies are prominent on the current Fortune 500 list. On top of that, healthcare sales make up about 18 percent of the GDP. There is plenty of room for advancement in this industry, and a Healthcare Sales Representatives is in a great position to move up.

This is exactly what Millennials are after – this generation is not filled with people who will be satisfied working the same job until retirement. A career in sales provides experience from a customer’s perspective and exposure to multiple departments in the company. This work experience comes in handy when Millennials are ready to move up or out of a company.

Oh and here’s an added bonus

Healthcare Sales people typically make more money than any other part of the organization with similar educational background. They also make more money than their peers in different industries.

Money, freedom, recognition from a rewarding career – sounds pretty sweet, right?  No wonder Millennials crush it!

If you want to learn more about how you can break into Healthcare Sales, check this out.

Why Healthcare Sales is the Best Job on the Planet

For most college recent graduates, money isn’t everything – but it’s an important thing! And from that perspective, healthcare sales is an awesome business to be in.

According to a 2016 medical sales study by MedReps.com, the average medical sales representative salary is more than $145,000 with a base salary of $88,038.

That’s serious coin!

Not bad for one of your first jobs out of college.

But money isn’t everything and there are other benefits of Healthcare Sales jobs.

Making a difference

Most of us want freedom and fulfillment on top of the ability to make a good living.

Ask people who have been working for a while if they’ve been able to find freedom and fulfillment – seriously, ask!

You don’t have to, you know the answer.

In another MedReps study, sales professionals cited “making a difference” as one of the top reasons why they enjoy working in healthcare sales.

Healthcare Sales Representatives provide life-saving medicine, devices, test and software to medical professionals and patients who need help.

During my career, I’ve helped countless patients receive the care they need by getting doctors and nurses the products they need.

And sometimes, I’m the only person who can help when a they’re in a bind.

That’s exactly what happened right before Christmas a few years ago.

It was 2 days before Christmas and I was wrapping up my last overnight business trip of the year.  I was ready to get a good night’s sleep (I took an Ambien to make sure of it!) and get my holiday plans started. But before my head hit the pillow, I received a frantic call from a customer.

She forgot to order chemotherapy drugs for a patient who would be coming in for treatment on Christmas Eve. Tomorrow!

To make it worse, the practice would be closed on Christmas and the following two days.  Going without a life-saving chemo treatment that long wasn’t an option.

I immediately climbed out of bed and got to work. I called my company’s Chief Operating Officer in Alabama.  He drove to the warehouse to gather up the chemotherapy the patient needed. The COO handed those drugs off to my counterpart who couriered them from Dothan, AL, to Memphis, TN. I drove more than seven hours to meet him in Memphis and continued on another four hours to Fort Smith, AR.

10:00am on Christmas eve morning, I walked into the clinic and handed my customer the drugs she needed – just in time for the patient’s treatment.

It was a brutal night for me!  But I felt great knowing that a deathly ill patient would be getting a life-saving cancer treatment because of my effort.

A sales gig doesn’t get more fulfilling than that!

xmas-eve

Freedom without the risk

It’s tough to find a job that gives you freedom and flexibility, but doesn’t require you to take on a big risk.

If you land a job in Healthcare Sales, you won’t work the traditional 9-to-5.

You’ll work hard!  You’ll put in long hours!  But often, those hours will be on your terms. You’ll have the freedom to work from coffee shops, hotels, or even your car.

Of course – you might find yourself driving through the night, across multiple states, so your customers can treat their patients. But that beats sitting in a cubicle staring at a blank wall for 40 or 50 hours a week!

Healthcare is a secure industry with expenditures making up 18% of Gross Domestic Product. Although it’s always changing, the healthcare industry isn’t going away. If you hit your numbers and work hard, you’ll always be able to find a job in healthcare sales.

Money, freedom, and fulfillment are just a few benefits of healthcare sales.

If you want to learn more about how to break into Healthcare Sales, check this out.  Be sure to join the waiting list to receive info about a FREE 3 part Healthcare Sales 101 mini video course launching November 7th.