Optical Women’s Association

OWA Connects Blog

OWA Practice Series: Building Relationships with Sales Reps

We have put together a “Practice Series” which will include advice from doctors, opticians and administrative staff, on common and relevant topics that come with running a practice. Stay tuned for additional contributions each month!

Read previous Practice Series articles: Building Practice Culture

What Is Your Advice On Building Relationships with Sales Reps?

 

Melissa Rasband: I must say that 80% of our vendors/reps are AMAZING. Most of them go above and beyond to help our office out. For the other 20%, checking in with us on a quarterly basis, responding to emails and sending RA’s when requested would be a great start. We find that with some vendors/reps they just don’t seem to care. We had one rep who told us that “if you drop my lines, your business will fail”. This rep was immediately let go (for other reasons as well) and we are still a thriving practice. Weeding out reps/vendors that do not take care of our practice or treat our staff with respect has really increased the rep-staff relationships.

Be more efficient. If we can do less leg work and fewer emails by working with you, that’s VERY appealing! It’s ideal if you can make our lives easier by doing the heavy lifting to help us with training opportunities, cost savings, new product role outs, etc..
Mollie Tavel

Carissa Dunphy, ABOC: You should approach all reps with a give and take outlook. The majority of reps will go out of their way to provide anything for you to help your practice succeed. If you need something, ask. They are a valuable resource and they see a lot within the industry and your region. They can provide recommendations, tools, special offers, and much more. However, they aren’t going to go out of their way for you if you are rude and disrespectful. It is give and take, so work with them and you will both benefit from it. On the flip side, if you have a bad apple rep, you do not have to remain their customer. Use business sense and make decisions based on actual data, not personal feelings towards the rep (this applies to both buying and firing).

Sales reps that are not knowledgeable and rude to my staff are dismissed from the practice. Also, I don’t like to feel like I must fit a quota.  We need transparent pricing not pricing on volume.
Dr. Sampalis

Christine Maiello: Be consistent with following up and following through! We are so busy with caring for our patients and maintaining good team culture while managing the growth and success of our practices that having to reach out to our vendors for service is tiresome. In the same way we want to deliver great care to our community of patients, we anticipate the same level of care from our vendors to ensure great service for the needs that keep our practice running in tip-top shape!

What are your suggestions for working with reps? Let us know in the comments!