Healthcare has been at a turning point since 2020. During that year, elective surgeries were canceled, starting a backlog of orthopedic surgeries. But the popularity of outpatient surgeries also began to rise and the industry saw multiple improvements in technology, such as robotics and augmented reality. For those in DME sales, this may be the time to revamp your business.

Healthcare subsidiaries are still seeing the effects of this shift. The durable medical equipment (DME) market is projected to grow by nearly 6% during the next five years. 

There is a world of opportunity for medical device reps to grow their book of business. But, it can be tricky to devise a plan to increase your sales. In this article, we will cover four strategies to boost your income including: 

  1. Setting a schedule for success
  2. Reduce tasks and busy work
  3. Take advantage of a team
  4. Take control 

Want to elevate your sales strategy this year? Here is what you need to know.

Strategy #1: Design a Day That Works for You

Being a DME rep can take various forms.

  • Big Ortho: Some reps work for a larger ortho company such as Stryker or Medtronic. Sometimes, these reps in “big ortho” also sell other products to their clients on the side.
  • Smaller Businesses: Other reps own their own company and partner with different brands to obtain products. Many of these smaller business owners worked for big ortho in the past, but now enjoy a simplified schedule with fewer surgeries.
  • 1099 Contractors: Some independent reps contract with smaller device companies to sell products.

Advantages of the Independent Rep Life

Working as an independent rep means you’re responsible for finding new product lines and growing relationships with a variety of clients. Yet, working as an independent rep or for a smaller ortho company typically means a more flexible and long-term sustainable schedule. 

Many find that breaking away from a big orthopedics company can be liberating. While it’s important to hustle and stay on top of an ever-changing industry, there are ways to focus on and have a great career. 

Decide the Path of Your Career 

When working with a big orthopedics company, reps are typically assigned a territory or even a handful of surgeons. Going out and starting your own company means you can work in multiple territories, and even use every connection from previous jobs. 

It also means you can focus just on orthopedics, or focus on a variety of disciplines. Plus, you can work in hospitals, independent surgery centers, or both. 

Less Red Tape

Leaving the corporate world typically means less red tape. But, choosing to work specifically with independent surgery centers also means a certain amount of freedom. Getting decisive with which clients to take could mean saying goodbye to larger healthcare facilities, which in turn can lead to fewer roadblocks. 

More Control over Your Schedule

To some extent, working for yourself means creating your schedule. You get to balance how much time is spent doing sales vs account management, as well as how many vacation days you can take each year. 

Compression Solutions offers a range of durable medical equipment (DME) for DVT-prevention and pain management.

Strategy #2: Embrace a Positive Attitude

It may be cliché, but research is clear that a positive mindset benefits a person’s income. This is especially true in sales where your daily activities directly impact your earnings. 

Attitude and mindset are critical in sales – whether you are spending your days with doctors in surgeries or prospecting at ambulatory surgery centers. 

For those looking for a bit of inspiration to recharge their sales strategy, check out this podcast featuring Joe Testa, who has a career in orthopedic sales in Florida. 

Testa focuses on having a positive attitude in this space and how his personal goal is to set the tone for the surgeons he works with. 

“As a rep, at the end of the day, if you can do nothing else, make sure your instruments and implants are there and make sure you have a positive attitude. If you’re positive, you’re going to make people around you positive. If you’re negative, that negative vibe breeds like wildfire … My personal goal is, no matter what, if you’re in sales, you can’t have a bad day, especially in OR when you’re setting the tone and it’s about the patient and surgeon.” – Joe Testa

Here are ways reps can incorporate positivity into their client relationships: 

  • Set targets with a healthy mindset by creating achievable goals 
  • Celebrate wins 
  • Track progress each month
  • Network with other people in your industry to regain excitement 

Strategy #3: Reduce Time on Busy Work

One way to maintain a positive attitude (while avoiding burnout) is to reduce busy work. Getting caught up in cumbersome tasks isn’t just time-consuming; it also hinders business development and client retention. 

There are so many new technologies to help reduce time-consuming tasks today. Whether you work for an ortho company large or small, or you are independent, administrative tasks can dominate a workday. In fact, in an article written by orthopedic recruiter, Tiger Buford, he estimates that some medical professionals only spend 7% of their day selling due to time spent in surgery or doing admin tasks. 

Here are a few ways orthopedic salespersons can reduce administrative tasks: 

  • Hire an admin assistant on a part-time basis to help complete tasks 
  • Ask hospitals and surgery centers to submit insurance claims digitally to reduce your time collecting bill sheets each month
  • Utilize digital systems such as PRO-MAPP to help streamline communications 
  • Set up CRM systems such as Hubspot to help automate communications, keep task lists, and show a pipeline for forecasting 
Medical Billing
Compression Solutions medical billing services save time on bill sheets each month.

Strategy #4: Don’t Go It Alone

For those working as an independent rep, you don’t have to work completely alone. 

Compression Solutions offers product lines from DVT prevention to opioid-reducing pain pumps to help increase reps’ product lines. 

By partnering with Compression Solutions, your clients and their patients will have access to US-based product experts who can help troubleshoot device problems. 

Independent reps can also benefit from engaging a key account manager to help with implementation or strategy and an expert medical billing department that will help with reimbursements. 

Take Control of Your Schedule

For those interested in taking on extra product lines, or wanting to start a new career as an independent rep, download this free e-book for helpful information. 

E-Book Signup: How to Control Your Own Schedule

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