America's largest healthcare recruiting firm.


For over fifteen years, I have utilized Buckman Enochs Coss to hire over one hundred individuals for Sales and Sales Management positions for a variety of healthcare technology firms. Whether it’s been for Fortune 500 companies or early stage, VC backed start-ups, BEC has always done a terrific job in sourcing top-talent.

Scott Schlesner
Vice-President of Sales

Rude Customers
It’s not out of the ordinary to encounter a rude customer in the medical and pharmaceutical sales field. In fact, it’s essential for novice sales reps to recognize that clinical decision makers are typically very protective of their time, so if they feel that this valuable time is being wasted or misused, they don’t usually take these feelings lying down. If your customer snaps, becomes abrupt or even openly rude during a meeting, what should you do? 


Stop what you’re currently doing. If you’re talking, stop talking. Even if you’re in the middle of a presentation or you’re trying to make an important point, your turn to talk is over. Something is going wrong, and you won’t fix it by continuing your current course of action. Put the presentation on pause and make an effort to determine the nature of the problem. (If you need to speak, try a phrase like “I can see that you’re upset. Let’s talk about that.”) 

Consider the most common reasons for rudeness. 

When a clinical client or administrator feels the need to lash out or get snarky, there are usually valid reasons for this mood and behavior. Unlike a stranger in the street who does not need to be acknowledged, the client in front of you deserves your respect and attention even if they aren’t giving the same respect to you. If they agreed to the meeting in the first place, then there must have been a turning point at which their feelings changed. Try to find that turning point and reset the conversation. Are you missing something they’re trying to tell you? Are you inadvertently ignoring their questions?  

Connect the client to senior management. 

If you don’t have the knowledge or in-depth expertise to discuss patient care, treatment protocols and drug pathways on a higher level, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with you. You aren’t lacking in any way — you’re just not a doctor and/or you don’t have decades of clinical and research experience. So if this is what your client wants, find a way to connect them with your company’s senior level executives. Don’t be offended. This isn’t about you; this is about forming a stable partnership and making a sale.

The company isn’t all-powerful. 

Your client may be rude because they clearly want something that your product or company can’t provide. If this is the case, back up. Clarify the desire or demand so you understand it fully. Then bring the issue back to your team and search for any possible way this need can be met. If there’s simply no way to make this customer happy, deliver this news in a way that’s honest, direct and diplomatic. If you can’t offer the product or pricing structure they need, be sure you DO offer the integrity and professionalism that will nourish a long-term relationship beyond this specific drug or meeting. 

For more on how to manage difficult encounters with clients and customers, reach out to the sales staffing team at Buckman Enochs Coss and Associates.