cc: Life Science
Life Science Marketing Radio
Expertise is Your Product. Selling it is Your Business.

Expertise is Your Product. Selling it is Your Business.

Jeffrey Kiplinger is the co-founder and partner at Selling Science, a consulting firm dedicated to helping life science, contract research, and tools companies boost revenue by building and optimizing their scientific sales teams. He is also the author of the book "Expert to Entrepreneur."

Jeff shared his personal journey from obtaining a PhD in organic chemistry in the late '80s to his corporate experience with Pfizer. He highlighted the frustrations he faced being siloed in his role and the desire to take his expertise on the road.

I appreciate his perspective on the disconnect many scientists face when building businesses. I guess I would say, your expertise is the product, but it is not the business. I’m still chewing on that one as I think there is a lot to be learned from that. Jeff emphasized the importance of viewing the business as an entity itself, separate from the scientific expertise it offers, and focusing on growing the business side.

Personally, I find marketing easy (talking about what I do). But sales is hard (asking for money). We talked about that and how to find the right people for your offering, stressing the need to identify the ideal customer and tailor marketing efforts to address their specific problems.

What is, what do you do that's provided real value for your customers in the past? And the easiest way to find that out is to ask them. And that's also something that we're terrified of doing.

I asked him about a quote from Brian Tracy. “Sales is just a transfer of enthusiasm.” When you believe in what you have, you can have a conversation and talk about why you are enthusiastic. But first you need to find out if the person in front of you has a problem you can solve.

If you find this helpful, it kind of makes sense to subscribe, doesn’t it?

Thanks for spending some time here, either way.

The conversation also touched on hiring experienced salespeople, both within and outside the scientific domain, and the critical factor of finding the perfect customer. Jeff outlined the significance of defining an ideal customer profile, which guides marketing efforts and ensures a more focused and effective approach. Does the salespersons skills and experience match what you are trying to do? Do they have the right mix of science and sales expertise? For example, selling from a catalog is different from selling a solution comprising components from a catalog.

If you're buying somebody's expertise in your science and they can't sell, that's a wasted investment. If you're buying somebody's network and their network isn't your ideal customer base, that's a waste.

…I guess what I see is when people hire experienced sales reps or senior people who've already got field experience, very frequently they're not looking at whether that person is a match for what you're trying to achieve. They might be a match for your company, they might be a match in terms of the revenue they've produced in the past, but are you really checking them against what the company is trying to do?

If you are on the road to selling your hard-earned scientific expertise, you should definitely give this episode a listen.

Your deepest insights are your best branding. I’d love to help you share them. Chat with me about custom content for your life science brand. Or visit my website.


cc: Life Science
Life Science Marketing Radio
I interview marketing leaders inside and outside the life sciences (and an occasional scientist) to share the best ideas for making your marketing more effective.