Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hard sell

Something like this with less colors
(First of all, apologies for the lack of posting recently, it's a combination of work, early summer heat and little baby that has been draining me of energy to blog lately)

I am currently managing the launch of a new breakthrough medical technology here in Japan and busy trying to convince doctors to start using in and generate plenty of nice cash for us. The sales reps are of course in charge of the actual heavy lifting when it comes to
the sales but I take care of what's called "KOLs" (Key-Opinion-Leaders, i.e. the doctors that have the power to influence other docs to use it) and sometimes get called in to help out for especially high potential but tough sells.

Me and the local sales rep had been working on one of the most prestigious medical university hospitals here in Japan, having quite a few meeting with doctors trying to convince them to start using the technology, but had not yet had any clear success or promises. The docs seemed interested but a little hesitant to change their treatment strategies. A few days ago I got a call from the rep who had set up a meeting with the professor of cardiovascular surgery and the guy who had enough power in the hospital to make a clear decision. From what we had gathered, the professor was very interested but had a few quite big concerns that we somehow had to alleviate him of.

I prepared for the meeting q
uite thoroughly to make sure I could respond to any concerns as this hospital using or not using would have quite significant impact in the surrounding area and in related hospitals.

Although I felt as prepared as I could be we were still quite nervous on the meeting due to the importance and the reputation of the professor to be quite harsh with industry reps.

We got called in to his office and the conversation went something like this:

Sales Rep: (
sales reppy cheery) Good morning Professor, we are from company X and I brought with me Salaryman from our head office.
Professor: (dismissively) Yeah yeah yeah, what's this about, I'm quite busy you know!
Me: (trying to be equally reppy cheery) Well Professor, we would like to get the chance to introduce technology X to you that is completely new to Japan and possibly hear your thoughts on it?
Professor: (suddenly friendly) Oh yeah! I've heard of that, seems like the best thing ever! We're definitely going to start using it!
Sales Rep: (temporarily shaken) You know of it?
Professor: Yeah, I've been waiting for it, we'll use it all the time! Seems great! 
(A few seconds of silence, notably not awkward as me and the rep were considerably relieved and shocked)
Professor: (still friendly) So please, I'm all ears!
Me: (keeping his mouth shut but saying it loudly in my head) Nope, that was all, we're all done, thanks and bye!

As the main reason we came was solved and we really didn't have anything else we wanted to get out of the meeting the rest of the conversation focused on small talk and petty practical stuff as when we could start shipping the product...

If only all appointments would go this smoothly... 


Chris said...

As the broiling Summer covers us like a steamy wet blanket my posts will dwindle too....wish I had a baby to blame it on....can I borrow yours until the middle of September ;)

Mr. Salaryman said...

Yeah, seriously, I'll probably take a short summer break from the blog as visitors also drop quite sharply in Jul-Aug...

You seem to be busy enough with work to not need a baby as an excuse (cramming in beach, bbqs and girls as well would make blogging come quite low in the prioritization of stuff) ;)

shadowzach00 said...

i have no life so i be checking often

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