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Manufacturers Reps DOs and DON’Ts for Successful Interactions with Therapists

by Marcia Margolis, PT, ATP
DO
• Call me on a regular basis to notify me of new and different products
• Make me remember you – somehow
• Get to know my background and experience as a therapist
• Call ahead to schedule your appointment
• Let me know why you want to come
• Ask if I want to see the product
• Ask how much time I have available for the appointment
• Tell me who is coming (and their background/position)
• Ask/know the types of patients I see
• Arrive prepared and bring spec sheets/order forms/brochures
• Be respectful and cordial
• Demonstrate your product thoroughly and precisely
• Explain why your product should be used and its benefits to me and my patients
• Explain your product’s limitations
• Know how your new product is different from any previous products you showed me
• Know how your product is different from other manufacturers’
• Know if other products interface with yours
• Ask if your product will be used in my clinic with my patients
• Know if samples are available for me to try with patients during evaluations
• Be available for consultation during evaluations
• Allow time for demonstrations and questions
• Ask for and accept feedback regarding the product (and your time with me)
• Attach your “card” to the product spec sheet/brochure
• Ask for (and keep) the therapist’s business card
• Follow-up promptly (within the week) with any questions asked – get me the information I asked about
• Establish the time frame for your call back or next visit
• Graciously thank the therapist(s) for their time and attention

DON’T
• Show up without an appointment – even if it is to make an appointment
• Show up without your product and/or handouts (glossy propaganda sheets)
• Be late (or too early) - call if trouble arises
• Be intimidated by the therapists
• Bring other people without informing the therapist(s)
• Expect to have to bring food
• Make rude or sexist comments
• Use terms or diagnoses erroneously
• Misrepresent specifications/prices
• Criticize other manufacturers’ products
• Present your product/method as “the only one”
• Argue with the therapist; even if you win, you’ve lost their respect
• Guess if it can be done
• Presume your product will be used (just because you’ve been there)
• Be a stranger and then expect to be remembered


CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Marcia may be reached at mmargol1@fairview.org or 612.273.8678