As we transition to the new norm, the power of social media strengthens. In his episode, Samuel Adeyinka continues to discuss the opportunities in using social media as an avenue for promoting services and products. And in this episode, he shares how choosing a specific audience and focused content can jumpstart your following and enable you to take your message to the general audience. Whether your goal is to get into a medical sales role or improve performance, tune in to find out how you can Evolve Your Success and take your career to the next level.
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Social Selling – Healthcare’s Emerging Commercial Model Continued
This episode is part two of my conversation with Evolve Your Success Founder Samuel Adeyinka. He and I discuss how he and I came to meet and the spoiler alert has something to do with the challenging and evolving commercial model of MedTech. I hope you enjoy the episode.
When it comes to marketing, medical sales is the last bastion of innovation. Even before this opportunity with social media, it’s the last to catch on. The one thing that we got to include in this conversation is we got to think about the era that we are in. When you and I were former reps, there were medical devices and surgeons as they are now at that time.
I’m sure everybody wants to be a rockstar on their own. If you don’t want to be a public guy, you want to be good at your profession. If you want to be good at your profession, you want to make sure you are a good servant. Everybody wants to show up the way they need to show up to some degree. This generation has leveled the playing field for anyone to showcase who they are and what they are about.
Maybe it was important to everyone back then but there wasn’t a way to do it. If you couldn’t get on TV or radio, no one’s going to know about you. Unless you are doing big things in your space, no one’s going to be talking about you. Now everyone has an opportunity to be known, discussed, create a brand for themselves or get more business from the privacy of their home or even in their car when they whip out their phone.
That’s what’s allowed reps to get closer to these surgeons. Looks at what’s happening with the medical space on social media. It’s not just that because of social media you are a rep and you can get access to surgeons. It’s also driven by these surgeons trying to create brands for themselves. These surgeons want people to know.
I talked to Dr. Dawson and he has a strong moral obligation almost to make a way for underrepresented communities within medicine. He sees LinkedIn as the platform to get that message out. Back then, it took a lot of hoops to jump through to get a message like that out but now anyone can do it. The opportunity for the sales professional is they can meet that surgeon in the middle that’s trying to develop his brand. Other surgeons that are reading this are saying, “I want to do it too.”
You made up a good point about how the leaders of this industry, the med sales space, are reluctant because they are older and not as familiar as the younger generation. Look what’s happening. The younger generation is becoming all the decision makers anyway. Years from now, the majority of people making decisions even in the med sales space are going to expect to see some level of this. To learn it puts you at a serious advantage
Going back to how this all started for me and how our paths collided. I remember for years leading up to COVID-19 in 2020, I was always disenfranchised by the model. It’s too much art and not scalable. The best example of that is the Customer Relationship Management database, the CRM and the salesforces, have been present almost my whole career in sales and every person in sales hates them. Why did the company that we worked for always ask for us to enter notes? It’s primarily so we can measure whether any of the stuff that we are investing in is working.
I was taken by growth marketing metrics and tried to emulate business models that had higher growth as a norm. The industry grows faster. What do they do in their sales motion that’s different than ours? What are the similarities? What are the sacred cows in MedTech that are like, “You can’t do that. This is MedTech?”
An example would be the rep who has to physically be in the room. That’s one of those things. There’s a lot of resistance to change in that concept because so many of our colleagues that are medical sales professionals, part of their identity is being there for the customer. That’s how they deliver value and it’s a big part of who they are.
What was so catalyst is when it was illegal to be in the hospital or go to the grocery store. You don’t have to have that debate and postpone it for a later meeting. It is like, “We can’t leave the house. How are we going to do this?” There’s a gentleman named Matthew Ray Scott at the FEED agency. This is my experience as the consumer of a content creator using thought leadership and standing out of the crowd to build trust and credibility without asking for anything. By the time, I’m following Matthew Ray. I don’t know how he ended up on my feed.
At the time I was like, “This guy is interesting.” I was bored, scared and uncertain. I’m looking on LinkedIn. I had a little intro meeting with him. He didn’t close me. No part of him seemed he needed the business. I made an introduction to some people in the company. It didn’t go anywhere but the idea was planted.
I then started listening to Chris Walker talking about a lot of things. There’s so much great content. It’s not that everybody knows the stuff but his point was this whole idea of marketing and sales being separate things. I’d worked in enough companies to know that there was always this natural antagonist. That’s crazy. Why is that?
Start building a dedicated crowd to whatever it is you're making, because it's specifically for that audience. Click To Tweet
It’s been so many years. It’s like, “Are you going to go to the big congress meeting?” “Yeah.” “How many gazillion dollars are we going to spend?” You get there and talk to the same people in the industry about how there’s nobody there. It’s like all the writing was on the wall that the way we are doing is not working as well. This never event happened. We are in the thick of it. I didn’t understand it. I was like, “I have got to get with this wave.”
I got to give a lot of credit to Jeremy Lanier who’s our Senior Vice President of Global Sales. In one of my staff meetings, I brought this up for about five minutes. Fast forward, nine months later, we are in Florida and you are training our national sales team on why they should consider building a brand, thought leadership and how LinkedIn is not some distraction thing that you do when you don’t have time or when you are out of all your other stuff to do.
Establishing authenticity, trust and consistently delivering value in the way that we all can. I can’t speak to Mechanical Engineering because I’m not a mechanical engineer. I’m certainly not an authority on being a CEO. I’m trying to learn this job like everybody else but what I can share are my experiences, opinions and cues.
What I like about that is I have them. It’s almost a never-ending reservoir of content. If I talk about how to be motivated, at some point, you run out of that. For the reader, whatever it is you think, do and talk about is remotely relevant to the business you are building or the career that you are developing. That’s the topic.
This is the other thing that I have learned. Not everybody is going to like it. There will always be someone that’s like, “Did you see so-and-so stuff?” What you are doing is just like what we do. We do a role play in a live sales training or when we knock on the door, we know there’s a good chance to get a rejection. Shoot your shot.
What I would say to all the people that are high consumers of LinkedIn content and social media content and strong opinion havers of content creators is, “That’s awesome. You’ve been studying.” Give it a try but here’s the key thing and maybe you could speak to this. When we first started, you are like, “Who’s your audience? Who are you trying to talk to?” I recall I was like, “The most important person in our ecosystem to me is the physician.”
It’s the end-user like the hospital administrators, the finance community and at every stage, seed venture, private equity fund or public markets. I want to be able to recruit. That’s it. That’s my audience. Your advice which I followed and I see the wisdom in is you build an audience one at a time with focus. That’s why my whole focus, and for those that have read since the beginning of the show, is all about physician entrepreneurs. How did you learn that focus when it comes to building an audience is so important?
If you think about it, it makes sense because here you are in complete obscurity. No one knows who you are and what you are about. Frankly, no one cares. However, you start putting out content and someone is going to notice. Ultimately, you can serve all audiences but in the beginning, you want to choose an audience because your content is going to be noisy to a lot of people. If you make content for a specific audience, it’s still going to be noise to a lot of people but for that specific target, it’s not going to be noise to them.
At first, they are going to say, “This is interesting.” Then they are going to say, “This is maybe something I want to keep looking at. I can’t wait to see what this guy has to say next.” Before you know what you are going to start to build, there’s a dedicated crowd to whatever it is you are making because you are making stuff for that audience.
You got to think too that it’s also smart to choose that you know well because only you understand that audience’s pain points, what that audience’s journey is like and what that audience feels on a day-to-day basis. When you are speaking to all those things in your content, it’s going to be noise to a lot of people but to that audience, they are going to feel you are speaking their language. If you do that long enough and consistently enough, they are going to start looking for you and that’s when stuff starts to go well. From there, you can expand to different audiences, go more in-depth and do a lot of things. That’s why it works that way.
It reminds me of a good friend of mine and colleague, Alessandro Sensoli. You know him. He’s one of the best sales professionals I have ever seen in my life. He’s incredible at the whole job. As a hobby, he decided to race Ford Mustangs. The guy moved here from Rome. These are pretty nice cars in Italy. He sells a lot of stuff. Most of them were available to him.
He built all these relationships by showing up, being very curious and learning how it works. Before you know it, he’s winning. He’s sharing what he’s learning with others. It wasn’t on LinkedIn but on Facebook and Instagram. He’s got thousands of followers and getting sponsors. What I like about that pattern and it’s something I try to model myself is when Alessandro was sharing content on his racing hobby, it’s fun.
Sharing content helps him build his community within the Bay Area racing community. People reach out to him 99% of the time. This is one of my dear friends. I’m not interested in what he’s doing with the spoiler. I scroll right past it and I love it. I’m always sharing about cross coaching. People will go, “Here we go.” The point is his people found him because in part is the genius of algorithms and search engines. Some of the smartest people of our generation are trying to figure out how to put the content in front of you that matches what you might be interested in.
To speak to one of those specific platforms, LinkedIn’s whole goal is to make the most valuable experience for the user and the most valuable experience for the users for that user to be flooded with content that matters to them. If you are someone like Alessandro who has an interest and you are consistently sharing your journey with that interest, curiosity and what you learn, you are going to develop a crowd that’s going to seek you out. That’s exactly what happened to him.
Let’s get into the specifics of Evolve Your Success. How would you describe the product or service that you offer?
It’s pretty straightforward. We are a virtual training service. We have three running programs. We have a program that helps professionals get into the medical sales industry. We do it through an actual online course with supplemental class training and walk them through the entire way. We have a team that facilitates that development and gets them in. We have a program that’s designed to develop a sales rep. It doesn’t matter if you are a pharmaceutical or medical device. If you are in medical sales of any sort, we have the resources to get you to your next level. For most people, that’s getting into the winner circle or a job promotion.
We have our LinkedIn program where we work with individuals on developing their social media. I would say LinkedIn because as far as medical sales is concerned, that is where so many hang out. However, TikTok and Instagram are becoming very popular in the medical sales space as well and we are also developing training where we are helping professionals develop there as well. That’s what we do.
We work with corporations like yours where we take sales teams and medical sales teams. We train those sales reps on how to go from saying, “I can’t get access,” to saying, “I closed a multimillion-dollar contract from a neurosurgeon that seek me out because of the brand that developed on this platform.” That’s the goal we have for our clients and what we continue to do.
If I’m a commercial leader reading this episode and I want to schedule some time to meet with you and figure out whether or not your three programs or all of them could be right for my team, how should I do that?
The easiest way to find us is on LinkedIn under Samuel Adeyinka. You could shoot me a DM. It’s easy to do. You can go to our website EvolveYourSuccess.com and select a program you are interested in. We make it pretty simple. You could only have two options on that site. You are either trying to attain a medical sales role or improve performance. If you select improved performance, you are going to be exposed to our different programs to do that. If you are looking to get into a sales role, you are going to be exposed to our program to do that. It’s pretty straightforward to contact.
I suggest anyone listen to The Medical Sales Podcast. On that podcast, we have leaders like Jeff and professionals that have been through our programs. We have CEOs and managers in the pharmaceutical, med device, biotech and anything medical sales discussing their experiences, different tips to get in, different tips to develop and how all of the innovation that’s happening within medical sales is happening from their specific role and perspective.
One parallel to make is Dropbox and Box. This was probably 2003 or 2002. Drew Houston started Dropbox and Aaron Levie started Box. Two different strategies. Dropbox said, “We are going to give it away free to the consumer or at low cost.” Eventually, many of the consumers that are in the enterprise will be using this. The CTO is going to look up and say, “We have to have a corporate solution.”
They scaled faster, in part, because it was a free and low hurdle to get into it. They also lost more money. Then you take Box, which focused on the enterprise, took financing from Microsoft and integrated it quickly with Word but they were the opposite of Dropbox. Most of their sales pitch was to the CTO. “Everybody wants cloud storage. Do you want to manage 1,000 unique Dropbox accounts?”
The point here that I’m trying to make and there’s a parallel here or something to understand is I believe sales professionals of all industries use free distribution on ever-improving networks like LinkedIn. That’s an unstoppable wave. I don’t know when it will crash or stop being effective but it will stop being effective at some point because it will get saturated.
If you're someone who has an interest and you're consistently sharing your journey, your curiosity, and what you learn, you are going to develop a crowd that's going to seek you out. Click To Tweet
In the in-term, as the bigger companies recognize whether earlier or late this is happening, they are going to go from a Box solution or a Dropbox solution. I’m not trying to put you on the spot but years from now, do you think Evolve Your Success is selling top down starting with C-level people getting buy-in from the IT groups or do you think you sell the aspiring medical rep, build trust, coach them and then they become the leaders and then they pull you into the corporation?
That’s such a great question and it’s funny that you bring that up because I was forced to evaluate that question when we were deciding which direction to go. We’ll see where it is in years. I can’t wait to be on that episode but we are doing both. We have one leg of the business, which is geared to the individual consumer or contributor that wants something affordable for them or that’s going to develop them. That’s growing with word of mouth, growing with the success we are having with them and continues to spread.
On the other side of our business, we do have direct to the CTO, CEO or decision maker enrolling their team to utilize one of our programs to grow their sales. We are continuing to operate both. God-willing, we are able to sustain that but we’ll see if I ended up going one direction or the other within the next years.
I will be cheering you on. I would say to the aspiring entrepreneur. It’s a shift in how society works and that shift is hybrid or work from home, selling remotely and virtually using content creation platforms to build audiences and ultimately directly market to your target customer. When things like that happen, it creates new problems.
As the enterprise adopts this content creation model and embraces it, for it to work in the enterprise, meaning things like compliance, reviews or integration so that one person can turn off an account or turn it on, all you have to do is study mobile. People started getting cell phones, also your trio but you couldn’t carry your trio because your work phone had to be separately managed by IT. Good Link emerged before BlackBerry.
The key point of what I’m saying which for me is highly inspirational is when there’s a shift in how people work and live, solutions like Evolve Your Success come about. For Evolve Your Success and other folks in your space to capture the market, there are going to have to be other things built upon it because you are disrupting the way sales leadership teams operate and manage their teams including marketing.
That’s how I know you are onto something because, if nothing changes, nothing changes. You are creating this change. For the entrepreneur that’s reading, imagine what problems could emerge when the largest companies in healthcare have thousands of sales reps creating content at scale and some of the challenges that are going to pose for their risk teams, compliance and regulations.
I could talk to you for hours but your time is valuable. To close it up, we are going to put you in the vault. We are going to go to the vault. I’m going to ask you a few quick questions with rapid-fire answers. Do your best. What book, movie, blog, any form of media artwork or song did you interact with and experience that influenced your perspective on life and/or your business?
It’s probably pretty well known by anyone inspired to be an entrepreneur and it’s called Traction. That one was pretty nice because it did lay out almost a set of guidelines on how to ensure that you have the right foundation at the core of your business.
Second question. Other than your parents, who is someone who saw your potential early took an interest in your development and had an important influence on your career and life?
I did not know it at the time but I’m going to mention two people. One was my Biology teacher in high school. He saw that I had an interest in science and that I performed relatively well in that class. When I got the top score one time at one of the finals, he was egging me on to keep going. I got the highest GPA in my junior and senior years due to his encouragement. Number two was the scientists I worked with. If it weren’t for him, who knows when I would have learned about medical sales at all? For him to turn me on to that and be dead right about what it could do for me, I thank him for that.
In your professional life, what is one online tool or app that you use every day and can’t imagine working without?
You do not like it but I have to say Kajabi. It’s a course builder, email campaign builder and financial organizer. They ran off of my idea and have done well with it.
You are not the first guest to mention Kajabi so credit where credits are due. Last question, wrapping up the vault. What is your biggest unmet need running Evolve Your Success that you hope somebody builds to address?
Hopefully, I can be a part of it but there is an opportunity where someone can go from, “I want to create content and have an automated system to do it from. I have no idea what I’m doing to this beautiful piece of content that goes to the right platform that says the right things and even has metrics to return to them all from one platform.” That would be a beautiful thing that corporate and individual contributors would find valuable.
You’ve read it here. Traction is the book that changed Samuel’s perspective on work. His Biology teacher right here in Pleasanton, California and Science faculty member at UC Riverside was a big influence and encouraged Samuel to pursue science. Kajabi is a do-it-all platform that he couldn’t live without. His biggest unmet need is a single platform that simplifies the creation of professional content. Samuel, thanks so much for being on the show. I look forward to talking to you in the future.
Thanks for having me.
In this episode, we reviewed Evolve Your Success and had a chance to interview Samuel Adeyinka, the Founder of Evolve Your Success. He is also the Founder and host of The Medical Sales Podcast, which I encourage you to check out. In the episode, we talked about how content creation, building an audience and thought leadership is the emerging tools of the modern sales professional. We got into some specifics about how Samuel’s and my careers changed in parallel with how medical device sales have changed. This episode is important for you to read. If you haven’t read the access episode, please give that a read. As always, leave me a message on LinkedIn. Also, you can reach me at Jeff@JeffSmith.co. Thanks for reading.
- Evolve Your Success
- Samuel Adeyinka – LinkedIn
- The Medical Sales Podcast – Apple Podcasts
- The Medical Sales Podcast – Spotify
- LinkedIn – Jeff Smith
About Samuel Adeyinka
After graduating from UC Riverside with a B.S. in Biology, Samuel started his medical sales career. Over the next fourteen years Samuel worked for the following Biotech and Pharmaceutical companies, GSK, Aptevo and ViiV Healthcare.
Samuel then went on to work as a Medical Sales Development Trainer and ICF Certified Career and Executive Coach. Utilizing his experience in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industry, Samuel founded Evolve Your Success, an organization that delivers two tiers of innovative training programs with a focus on underrepresented groups. Tier 1 employs social media to improve the sales performance of professionals within medical sales corporations. Tier 2 serves professionals who want to attain medical sales roles and increase their sales performance.