Never Eat Alone

Much of a medical device representative's time is spent entertaining and networking for new contacts. When I was a pharmaceutical representative, there was very little emphasis placed on prospecting. The company provided a list of physicians that I was required to call on and that was it, there was no tab to enter a new doctor. However, in medical device sales, to be successful, you must prospect. The selling cycle for capital equipment can be five years or longer. In other words, once a hospital purchases a particular medical device, it may take up to five years before the hospital will look to replace or upgrade the device. Therefore, you can't expect to rest on your laurels and rely on repeat business.

The Simple Dollar is a blog that I subscribe to and he recently posted a nice review for "Never Eat Alone." This is one of my favorite books. And if you follow Keith's advice, your prospecting chores will be much easier.

For instance, in the book Keith says you should "ping" constantly. This is much easier when all of your contacts are stored in your Palm Treo. Whenever, I am driving between appointments, I scroll through my phone list for a hospital that I haven't called in a while and ask how my medical device is preforming. Usually, there is a problem, which I do my best to fix. But on occasion, everything is just fine, in which case I will ask for permission to place them on my reference list or I will ask for a referral to another hospital. This is key because instead of a cold call, I now have a hot lead.

Never Eat Alone
(via The Simple Dollar)

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