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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Selling Devices into Primary Care

 by Marty Martinson

 Mary Pat Whaley is one of the smartest and most knowledgeable people in the medical device industry. She knows lots of tips and tricks for successfully selling devices into primary care and shares some of her vast knowledge regularly with readers of her blog, Manage My Practice.  The blog, which can be read at managemypractice, focuses on up to the minute news and other important information for medical practice managers. It also provides a variety of helpful resources for these professionals, including a library, a dictionary, an online store, various helpful tools, and more. The latest topics covered by Whaley have included CMS' latest updates, how to get started with an EHR, how medical sales reps can learn to help doctors market their services, and even how to tell if you have a well managed practice or not. Obviously, with topics like these, Mary Pat knows what she's talking about!

That's why, when asked for some helpful tips on selling devices into primary care, Mary Pat did not answer directly. Instead of just coming right out and answering our question, she asked some questions of her own, questions that, it turns out, are the most important things we can ask ourselves when trying to sell devices. The answers to these questions will determine our best course of action!

The first question Mary Pat brought up was, "Is the practice you are selling to independent or affiliated with a hospital?" The reason that question is important is because it will determine whether or not you're in the right place trying to sell good your goods! If the practice is independent, then you should feel free to go right in and start peddling everything you have using your best sales pitch and pulling out all of the stops. If it's owned by the hospital though, then you're in the wrong place! Even those who hold the top positions at such medical practices can't make the final decision on whether or not to buy your medical devices. Everything they own and use in their own practices is mandated, approved, and purchased by the hospital. Therefore, even if you deliver the best sales pitch possible, it's not going to do you a bit of good!

The other question that Mary Pat asked was "If the practice is affiliated with a hospital, is a GPO involved?" A GPO, or group purchasing organization, has the power to make you rich by buying up all of your products at once or to destroy you by opting not to use any products from your company! So, when faced with one of these, make sure that you've got your best game face on and that you always try to meet with the GPO directly. Be open to negotiating with the GPO. Even if you end up getting less than you were hoping for, getting in good with these guys now can really end up paying off in the long run. Many GPOs will test your product, like it, and then place large bulk orders.

Marty Martinson specializes in marketing medical devices. He works for Medical Marcom which provides medical device marketing strategies and social media medical device marketing plans for medical products manufacturer or distributor and want to increase the number and quality of their leads.

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