Even though we don't think of them as such, doctors are small business owners too. They have offices. They have staff. They share the same problems most small business owners' have- and maybe even more in our litigious society.
Doctors are also difficult clients to obtain. They typically make, or are perceived to make, a healthy income and their practices have a lower probability of business failure than other businesses. As a result, they are pitched to. A lot. My own doctor is sold to so often that he takes pictures of all his pharma reps since he can't keep track of all of them.
As a result, they are a cynical lot when it comes to salespeople. Give me your pitch, Leave your business card. I'll call you when I am interested. Next. What makes it harder is that Doctors are so specialized in their knowledge that they have little time to learn the difference between your client management system or your competitors or the difference between this insurance product or that one.
Thus, one of the shrewdest sales strategies I ever experienced was an insurance agent who simply acknowledged that Doctors are a difficult sale and found a way around this obstacle. Quite simply, he encouraged all doctors to attend an insurance seminar with their accountants.
This strategy was successful for several reasons:
1. He understood that in a complicated field like insurance, the Doctor was going to refer to her accountant anyway so why prolong the sales cycle when you can invite the accountant as well?
2. Accountants are often the gate-keepers for Doctors so show you have nothing to hide by inviting the gate-keeper.
3. Earn the trust of trusted advisors of your prospects and you will have an ally on your side.
To put this in another context, remember your dating days? If you really wanted to impress that girl you liked, you would be nice to her friend right? They would put in a good word for you. Even though she may not trust you, she trusts her friend and her friend's judgment.
Labels: Albert Luk