Building Trust and Credibility in Medical Device Sales

Medical decision-makers, including surgeons, doctors, and managers, can be skeptical. Earning their confidence and becoming part of their inner circle of trusted advisors takes time.

Although it can be counter-intuitive, the best way to generate medical device sales is not to sell at all. Think about your own experience with products and services. Do you want additional information to help you decide, or would you rather have a pushy salesperson pressuring you into a transaction?

A much more pleasant experience is to be educated about medical devices so you can arrive at your own conclusion when you’re ready.

Trust and Credibility

A giving mindset: educate to provide upfront value

Educating prospects and past customers is a proven strategy for selling medical devices. It’s an industry with a strong emphasis on research and data, and this type of information is powerful and authoritative.

Providing valuable updates relating to the medical device market, new products, and innovative technologies can position a dealer as an authority and someone worth the investment in a business relationship. Providing rich data from legitimate sources can create value and goodwill—two critical factors for developing the conditions necessary for transactions to take place down the road.

Building trust and establishing credibility isn’t rocket science. With consistent effort, dealers develop strong rapport by being reliable and valuable sources of information. IML is here for our dealers every step of the way, providing premium support, including our IML Sales Toolkits.
Here are five ways medical device dealers can increase the “know, like, and trust” factor in business relationships.

How to increase trust and credibility as a medical device dealer

1. Always keep your promises

It may seem common sense, but you would be surprised how many people do not honor their commitments. Do what you say you will, and be on time. This shows that you are serious about establishing quality business relationships and are trustworthy.

Many dealers may know the importance of delivering on promises. However, the number of no-shows or late arrivals for meetings indicates that being a person of your word is still a significant opportunity.

2. Under-promise and over-deliver

Doing what you promise is great, but it’s not enough in today’s competitive sales landscape. It sounds simple, but exceeding expectations every time requires effort.
It requires investing more time into relationships, constantly improving your sales materials, and being available when customers need to reach you. All these things imply more work, at more hours of the day or night.

When making product claims, it’s better to under-promise performance. That way, when the end customer sees the device in action, they are delighted when it exceeds their expectations. Ideally, you want them to note that the device is even better than they thought it would be.

3. Customer and patient needs come ahead of the sale

Yes, your job is to grow your pipeline and close deals. Each month you have to start from zero and make sales happen. However, the true needs of the end customer and their patients must dictate your product recommendations.

Do not advocate for a product you know is wrong for your customer. This approach sets you and them up for failure and doesn’t make long-term business sense for a dealer. Yes, there is short-term pressure to hit your numbers, but don’t chase sales at the expense of relationships.

4. Speak positively about competing solutions

Medical decision-makers are well aware that there are alternatives on the market. Dealers don’t earn themselves any favors by bad-mouthing the competition.

Instead, speak calmly and logically about the pros and cons of each solution and align them with the needs of the customer. Ideally, you’ll position your product according to customers’ biggest obstacles, such as increasing efficiency while maintaining or improving patient care outcomes.

The old adage applies here—if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

5. Tell the truth

Lie once, and you lose a prospect forever. The importance of telling the truth about products and their capabilities cannot be overstated. When you spend months and years building relationships with medical decision-makers, you certainly do not want to try to mislead them to hit your numbers for the month. Rather, provide the solution you know they need based on the questions you ask, and your analysis of their goals and budget.

Final thoughts

Reps who deliver on their promises, provide value in the form of education about market, technology, and product trends, and tell the truth can create a solid relationship that leads to future medical device sales.

When prospects and customers know, like, and trust you, it creates the conditions for business transactions. Specifically, it creates a strong pipeline that will pay dividends for decades if it’s grown and nurtured properly.

As a dealer, the power to build trust and credibility is in your hands, so use it wisely.

Get in touch

Are you an overseas medical device manufacturer or an American medical device sales rep interested in becoming an IML manufacturer or dealer partner? If yes, we want to hear from you. Feel free to get in touch, and we will gladly answer any questions you may have.