This week in my travels, I had the pleasure to meet with two medical assistants in one of my meetings. As I was delivering a technical update to both ladies, I noticed something colorful sitting alone in the corner of the room. What could have been their office mascot, turned out to be a unicorn pinata. It made me smile and I asked if they could tell me a little bit about the story of how this adorable unicorn came to hold such an honored spot in their office. It turns out, a sales representative recently brought it to them with lunch. One of the medical assistants went on to say, “he used to bring the same lunch to me all the time and when he asked what I would like for our next meeting, I asked him if he could change it up a little bit and bring in something different?” He agreed, and on his next visit he brought in Mexican food and with it, the awesome pinata. She then said with a smile, “it even has candy in it.”
There were no other items that were apparent in this medical assistant’s workspace. The mere fact that this unique object was out in the open for her to see and to retell the story to inquisitive minds like mine, tells me that it created a lasting impression with her.
The medical assistants had no idea that they were feeding my marketing brain with content. As I looked over at the unicorn, I thought to myself, “I have stumbled upon a sales unicorn, and I’m not talking about the pinata.” I want to congratulate this unicorn representative for taking a step to differentiate himself from the plethora of other sales representatives that this medical assistant meets on a day-to-day basis. Being creative doesn’t require much energy, but it does take thought and action.
Do you think, our medical assistant in the example above felt the sales representative was creative? Absolutely. My question to you is, what creativity do you use daily to become a sales unicorn?
In the context of sales, I would describe creativity as ‘bringing new ideas and actions into your daily sales activities.’ One of the questions I often ask when I interview a potential sales representative is “describe what creative selling techniques you have used in the past.” The answers give insight to let me know if the candidates can think out of the box. Using creativity to connect with your prospects and clients is essential. Combining creativity with information that your new contact tells you about themselves makes them feel heard.
In the medical industry, competition is fierce. Sales representatives continue to look for differentiators in commoditized markets. In my opinion, sales managers need to encourage creativity to drive sales and to use this creative approach to outperform the competition. Data shows that the quality of leadership-representative interactions can influence the extent to which creativity results in actual sales. Sales managers need to listen, discuss and help to develop the creative ideas that their direct reports bring to the table.
In my management experience, creative representatives are more successful than their counterparts. You don’t have to be an art major or scrapbooker to be creative. Use your resources wisely to find interesting tidbits of information to create novel ideas. Stay abreast of your industry by reading journals, follow your targets on LinkedIn and attend industry meetings and trade shows. Armed with information, you will be able to take a problem-solving approach to your selling and successfully incorporate creativity daily to become a sales unicorn.
Create raving fans and enjoy the approach to your sales day. If you are having a hard time collaborating with your sales manager, give me a call, and we can create together!