One of the things that surprises people in our training is when we associate clients with the term “Alphas”.
It happened just yesterday, in training with one of the biggest European pharmaceutical companies.
We are talking about a company that works both the pharmacy channel and the medical channel.
If you’re already wondering if this has anything to do with your business because you don’t work in this area, you should stop for a while and think.
Many of the companies have indirect sales.
For example, the real users of our products or services are not, in fact, our clients.
We are talking for example about a reseller network.
The question that often arises is: how can you bring some dynamism to a sales network? This is when you are most likely to encounter “alpha” clients.
Whether it is in the pharmaceutical market, where you have to work the prescription with the doctor, or in the business market, where you sometimes work the order with the end client to stimulate the demand with the distributor, it is essential to keep thinking who the “alphas” among your clients are.
Well, whether in a pharmacy or with a distributor, several levels in the organization have to be touched.
One of the biggest mistakes that medical salespeople or medical sales representatives make is to work with only the decision-making people on the spot and think this is enough.
In most cases, it is not.
A decision maker may sign the purchase order and authorize the purchase, but many times it is not a true “alpha” in the process.
Well, by now you’re probably asking: what’s an “alpha” client?
Those who have dogs know that, in a pack of dogs, there is always a leader dog that is the “alpha.”
Usually, when we adopt a dog, we are naturally an alpha for this dog, unless the breed in question is a bit more complicated and tends to be the “alpha” at home.
Until you show them who’s in charge, you won’t get anything from the dog, and there will be lots of problems.
Sometimes this also happens with your clients.
Sometimes the “alpha” is, in fact, the decision-maker, but that is not always the case.
Sometimes the person in charge in the pharmacy or distributor is someone you do not always see, but whose words are compelling.
The owner may even be enthusiastic about your product or service, but as soon as you leave that person opens their mouth and says something like:
“Are you going to order that whole amount? Hum, we won’t be able to sell that!”
And from one moment to the next a sale that could have been fantastic falls to the ground.
But what should you do with this type of profiles?
Firstly, identify them from the group.
You’re probably thinking:
“But how do I do that?”
It requires some practice, but above all, it requires attention to every detail when you visit your clients.
For example, if you are visiting a client and are showing something to them and the team, you should covertly try to see if they ask for visual validation from someone in the group. As if they were asking, “What do you think about this?”
Often a mere raise of the eyebrows from the “alpha” is enough to make the decision maker feel less comfortable during the decision.
There are other ways of finding this, but I would have to demonstrate them visually, which I can not do here.
After identifying the “alpha,” try to establish a relationship with them.
Bring them to your side, remember details of their life, such as children, hobbies, etc.
Bring them small gifts, which can be as simple as a pen, or, in a more creative approach, a box of pastries for the team.
Finally, do everything to have them in your hand, so that the business process does not go down the drain after you have gone out the door.
Also published on Medium.