Are you wondering how to sell medical supplies to hospitals? If YES, here are 10 easy steps to sell medical supplies to hospitals in 2023. Medical supplies are indeed one of the biggest expenditures in most healthcare organizations’ budgets, second only to Staffing. Managing a hospital’s supply chain is quite a daunting and complex undertaking, fraught with opportunities for inefficiency at every step of the process.
With financial pressure on healthcare organizations growing massively each year, supply chain managers are making purchasing decisions very carefully. They are expected to extensively analyze the need for supplies, identify exactly what is required, evaluate options, and plan for a careful introduction of and support for the products they select.
Hospitals and other medical facilities can acquire supplies through a group purchasing organization or negotiate directly with distributors or wholesalers, all of whom are doing a larger share of their business online. As a medical supply company, selling to hospitals is important and lucrative when done right. Hospitals are major employers and consumers of a variety of goods and services.
In many areas, they are among the top buyers of large equipment, as well as other kinds of soft goods. Though there are many large medical supply companies, it is very much possible for a small independent medical supply business to find success in this industry. If you are eager to start a retail business and would like to work in the healthcare industry, consider starting a medical supply company.
However, to be very successful in this line of business, it takes more than just building strong relationships with surgeons. With an ever-changing complex healthcare system, you have to be able to adapt your selling strategies to meet the demands of multiple stakeholders.
10 Steps to Sell Medical Supplies to Hospitals in 2023
Note that to sell to hospitals, it is necessary to become a qualified vendor, evaluate the hospital’s needs, and sell to hospital administration. Have it in mind that selling to hospitals can be a consistent and excellent source of income for supply businesses looking to improve their bottom line. Nonetheless, here are processes and steps to consider;
Table of Content
Understand Hospital Regulations And Standards
As a medical supplies vendor, the products and services you offer need to be good enough to fit the hospital’s mandatory standards for purchase. Take your time to research and read the medical regulations in your state or area and make sure that your wares comply. Standards for hospitals are more or less determined regionally or by state.
Note that different states may have different regulations, so it is necessary to know the standards for the state you are selling in. Your goods or services also need to be of high quality and recognized by medical organizations, especially if you are selling medical equipment. For the most part, these medical organizations will be affiliated with the federal government or licensed by it.
Know National Medical Regulatory Agencies
In the United States, the Joint Committee for Accreditation of Hospital Organizations (JCAHO) plays a huge role in how hospitals run their business and, potentially, from whom they will buy. This agency often gives accreditation to hospitals and verifies hospital purchasing choices meet their standards.
Note that you can find manuals on the standards for different units, wards, and types of hospitals on their website. These manuals may help you when analyzing the correct standards for medical equipment or other goods and services. Furthermore, JCAHO offers best practices for hospitals on its website. While these may not illustrate standards for goods and services, they can tell you a lot about the potential needs of different hospitals.
Obtain Vendor Qualifications
In the United States, it is very crucial to be able to prove compliance with regulations or other quality control for goods and services. Note that this can take the form of certification for applicable items as well as less formal qualifications. You need to fill out a qualification form available at each individual hospital or on their website.
All of these forms take a variety of shapes, but will indeed detail the regulations your goods and services meet as well as any potential conflicts of interest. Extra vendor qualification forms may include a statement of hospital-specific standards vendors are expected to meet. This may include product regulations as well as product standards required from vendors.
Source Your Goods
Create wholesale accounts with distributors of medical equipment suitable for hospitals and medical centers – buying wholesale is necessary to make a profit. Distributors can be found online, in phone books, and in business directories. You will likely need to provide business documentation and order a minimum dollar amount to open a wholesale account.
Analyse Hospital Needs
Right before you ramp up a sales initiative toward a hospital or similar facility, it is quite possible to do an analysis and evaluation of just what the client may need. Note that this can be done with any kind of observational information, even just based on a walkthrough of the facility or talking to staff on an informal basis.
In your walkthrough, note that you may even notice out-of-date or older equipment. If you are selling equipment, then it may be useful to focus on updating the hospital’s technology to be the most cutting-edge possible. However, depending on the region, you may have to set up a formal appointment to talk to the hospital staff. It is crucial to not violate any regulations, especially before you try to sell to a hospital.
Talk To The Right People
You will need to know how to reach staff at all levels of the hospital operation. This will help you to connect and fill the needs of that facility. Note that phoning the hospital administrator directly may not be the best idea.
Once you are on the approved vendors’ list, you will have to initiate an appointment to talk to the administration in a more formal manner. You may also want to talk to prominent doctors in the hospital, especially if it is a hospital with a specific medical focus. However, find the head of different departments to ask them about their needs within the hospital.
Reach out to senior administration
Note that senior hospital administrators tend to have a lot to say about purchasing. You should listen to them about their needs before starting your own sales pitch. When you finally get an appointment with the administration, listen to what they have to say about their needs first.
Note that by listening attentively, you will show that you are interested in working together in a mutually beneficial way. Before pitching your own products, state back to them what you understand as their needs. This will make it clear you are on the same page before you try to sell your own goods and services.
Understand Sales To Hospital Administrators
Have it in mind that the best practices in selling to hospital administrators will vary, depending on the type, location, and administrative structure of the hospital. Nonetheless, some general sales practices may always be useful when selling to Hospitals. For instance, try to avoid speaking from a set “script”.
Note that hospital administrators want to be heard and a script makes it seems like you were not listening. It is not always necessary that you make an immediate sale with a hospital administrator. Sometimes, it is better to cultivate a long-term relationship with them so they will talk to you when making future purchasing decisions.
Market Your Business
Market your medical supply business to hospitals, especially those within your city. Send flyers and coupons, sponsor medical conventions or health fairs, and send news releases to local medical associations and professional groups.
It is also a good idea to make yourself visible to the administrator and senior staff. If they purchase something from you, keep up to date with the status to guarantee they are satisfied. This will help to guarantee more sales in the future.
Hospital administrators should know how to contact you in the future. In addition, it may be ideal to talk to prominent doctors and heads of departments so they know how to get a hold of you when making future purchasing decisions. Administrators may be more comfortable talking in person, on the phone, or via e-mail. It is important that they can get a hold of you when they need something; otherwise, they may go to another vendor.
Selling to hospitals is important, especially if you are in the medical sales field. Consider offering incentives for medical professionals and hospitals to patronize your medical supply company. For instance, you can offer discounted or free shipping, free delivery within your local area, or volume discounts.