September 20, 2016
Bringing Value & Affecting Change: A Representative’s Role
published on September 20, 2016 by
You have all seen many industry representatives in your office and operating rooms, and I’m sure you have an opinion on what attributes define good and not-so-good salespeople. Having worked in eye care for a while now and being very passionate about what I do, I wanted to share my perspective on what I believe makes for a good representative. These attributes are what motivate me every day when I am out talking with many of you and your staff in your practices, and helping you reach your goals.
On each and every visit to your practices, I try to add value particularly as it relates to the patient, and even more importantly, backing this up with clinical evidence. Our products are incredibly novel and are changing patient outcomes, and I think it’s important as a representative to communicate this passionately and effectively. We also have the only tissue with FDA clearance for wound healing and its anti-scarring capabilities are like nothing else on the market.
It’s important as a representative to understand the clinical aspects and science of our tissue and to share this with practices so that they are able to improve patient outcomes. In some cases, this means inhibiting a painful and recurrent corneal erosion or even preventing scarring from trauma to the eye, allowing these patients to return to daily activities without impediment. The gold standard for intervention is changing from a passive healing process to an active, regenerative one.
Be an Ambassador of Change
I believe one of the primary roles of a strong sales representative is to be an ambassador of change within a practice. In essence, we are asking doctors and their staff to change their current protocol and embrace new technology, or at least consider it for certain patients. We are really asking doctors and staff to change their hearts and minds. This can be a good thing, but it can also be daunting, particularly for today’s busy medical professionals.
So, we need to be leaders of change and help make it easier. This includes making sure that everyone understands the value the new technology will bring to patients and the efficiency it can add to the practice. As a start, I typically meet with doctors and staff to discuss the inner workings and history of BioTissue, the science behind our cryopreserved amniotic tissue products, and how our innovative products can benefit patients. When we, as sales representatives, are successful at engaging everyone and increasing their knowledge, we can influence change.
Facilitate a Partnership
I constantly strive to be a resource and advisor for doctors and staff about our products, but also other products and the eye care industry as a whole. BioTissue’s products such as Prokera® are primarily focused on ocular surface diseases, but there are many other conditions and issues I am often asked about. For example, the eye stent is a new product that is very interesting, and speaking to this provides a way to discuss other things going on in the industry. Occasionally, I get asked about where to get tissue glue or which one is best for pterygium surgery. So, being able to steer doctors and staff in the right direction and/or put them in touch with the right people helps to facilitate a partnership.
Do Whatever it Takes and Follow-Through
Each day, I do whatever I can to help doctors and staff achieve their goals, while optimizing patient outcomes. At times, this means dropping what I’m doing to be at a surgery or being a resource for a first time Prokera insertion. As a professional sales representative, it’s important to follow-through on what we say when we leave a practice, whether it be sending an article, looking into something for the doctor, or supporting the clinical team. These actions lead the doctor and staff to see the sales representative as a resource in a mission toward a common goal.
By adding value, leading change, being a resource, and going above and beyond, our objective is to help our doctors and staff achieve their goals, provide quality care to patients and improve patient’s quality of life.
Jason Vevoda is a professional sales representative for BioTissue based in Portland, Oregon. Working in the eyecare arena for ten years, he enjoys bringing novel, patient-oriented products to healthcare professionals throughout the Pacific Northwest.