Social media is the brave new frontier of marketing and sales. Creating and growing a brand has become easier with a huge new platform like social media. Samuel Gbadebo is joined by Johnny Caffaro, Director Of Sales West in United Orthopedic Corporation and partner in Caffaro Shoes, as they discuss using social media to kickstart your brand. Johnny looks back at how he got his start in the medical sales field, and how he goes about leveraging the power of social media. Tune in to this first of a two-part series and learn more sales and branding tips and tricks from the best in the medical sales field.
We have with us a very interesting guest. He goes by the name of Johnny Caffaro. What’s fascinating about Johnny is he has found a way to combine the fashion industry with medical sales, more specifically, medical device sales, in his case. He has been able to grow both as brands on the LinkedIn platform. It’s basically through social media. That is something that we teach. We work with organizations and help sales teams and individual sales reps grow their brands as influencers on the LinkedIn platform.
It’s something we strongly believe in. Johnny is the epitome of this. He has done this masterfully and been able to tie two brands together, fashion and medical device sales, two different companies, all working as one, all gaining attention, leverage, and developing relationships and revenue. It’s an amazing thing but I am not going to spoil it with his and my excitement around it and share anymore. You are going to need to read the interview for that. As always, thank you for reading. We hope you enjoy this interview. It’s going to be a two-part interview, and you are about to read part one.
How are we doing?
I’m good. How are you doing?
We have Johnny Caffaro. I’m not going to say anymore. Why don’t you tell everybody who you are and what you do?
My name is Johnny Caffaro. I’m an Executive for United Orthopedic, the Director of Sales for the West. I felt like I was a connector, innovator, icon, fashion enthusiast, Caffaro Shoes. In the medical field, I feel like fashion and medicine don’t clash. I’m trying to make it go together cohesively. I’m excited to be here. I appreciate it.
Right off the bat, you are already piquing people’s interest here because you are talking about combining medicine with fashion. Let’s get a little understanding of where you originated from. What’s your role within medical sales?
I’m the Director of Sales West for United Orthopedic. I manage the whole West Coast.
United Orthopedic, tell us a little bit about that company.
United Orthopedic is a Taiwanese company based out of Taiwan. We have been around for many years. We started East because we are Taiwanese and worked our way West. Most companies started West and worked their way East. Our thing is we are trying to get our brand out here in the US and be able to get United’s name out there. We’ve got a full line, the knee hip revision, hinge, oncology, the whole portfolio.
The thing that we are trying to do is to get our branding out there. Using social media has been a huge avenue for me, and that’s how you and I connected. That’s United Orthopedic in a little nutshell. The cool thing about our company is that we are also 100% integrated. We don’t outsource a single thing. If something gets backward or timelines change, we can shift our focus on what product is needed and get it out to you right away. There are no holes. That’s a huge benefit for us.
How did you get in this space?
I was born with a hip disease called Perthes disease. There’s not enough blood supply to go to the femoral head. The femoral head would die. I would wear braces on my legs like Forrest Gump from kindergarten to second grade. Later on, in my years, I had to get three hip replacements. Two of them failed. I am passionate about my own hips and helping people. I looked in and started researching and doing all I could do to get into the medical field. That’s where I started getting into the medical field with my own hips.
Did this start back in grade school or college? When did you say, “I’m going to look into what profession I can get into?”You only get one chance to make a first impression. Click To Tweet
It was in college after my first hip replacement when it failed. I’m like, “There’s got to be some answers or solutions. What’s going on?” I started doing all my research and was like, “This is incredible. There is a job that is medical that you can be able to do knee and hip replacements and help people.” I was blown away. I’m like, “How do I get in?” That’s the hardest thing.
One thing we always talk about in medical sales is if you have an underlying passion for why you want to get into the industry, it drives you. You are ultimately, almost inevitably, going to find a position going to get in. Tell us, how did you get in? How did you make it happen?
It was a lot of trial by error. My dad was a football coach at BYU, and a lot of the Stryker X managers are football players. I’m like, “Dad, give me their contacts. I’m going to reach out to them.” I started getting interviews and doing ride alongs. I had to do a Gallup test, passed the Gallup test, and didn’t hear anything like stop, ghosted completely. I’m like, “What happened?”
I heard that one of the hiring managers was going to be in California. I packed my car, went crazy stalker, and drove down to California like, “I’m here in town. I would love to meet with you. Is there any chance?” Two days go by, and I don’t hear a word. I’m like, “This was all for nothing.” He texted me and said, “If you would like to come to the beach, we can have a little chat. Come in shorts and a tank top. We will hang out and chat.” My dad always instilled in me, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.”
I showed up in a suit and tie on the beach, sweating but he was so impressed that the next day, I’ve got the job offer for Stryker Orthopedics. The cool thing is right after me, he had another interview with someone with seven years of medical experience, and he was wearing tank tops and shorts and was trying to go hang out on the beach with the hiring manager.
People need to hear that because people are under the impression that when it comes to this industry in medical sales, if you don’t have experience, there’s no way in. That’s not the reality.
The experience that I showed him was that I was never going to take a no. I showed him that I always have that consistency, that drive, and motivation. You are going to have to have that in the medical sales because many doctors and so many people are going to tell you no. They are not switching or not going to do that. I look at it as a no as like, “What’s the next objective that they are going to say that I can get around?”
You are the Director of Sales West. That’s a pretty significant position, and you worked your way into that position. Talk to us a little bit about your career trajectory in that.
I started as a Global Product Manager for United Orthopedic. It was a cool thing at LinkedIn again. A recruiter named Mark Peterson reached out to me, a solid guy and like, “I see your skillset. You would do great at this company. They are ready to do great things.” I’ve got on as a Global Product Manager. I can do marketing well. I was a Hip Product Manager at another company but my passion is being in the field, networking, expanding, and growing. They put me as a Product Sales Specialist.
I was onboarding new surgeons and distributors, teaching, training, showing them how to sell our product because it’s different to sell everybody’s product in a different way. I have had great success in that. There’s like, “Could you translate that to the West and be able to manage a territory and grow it?” I’m like, “Yes, give me the opportunity, and I will do it.” In the last few years, I have been growing it. Even during a pandemic year, I have had double-digit growth over the last few years. It has been a great ride. There are a lot of responsibilities, but it has been fun.
You highlighted something that even over the pandemic, you were able to do it and that social media was a big part of that. Tell us a little bit about that. With our company, we were big on social media and healthcare sales. Tell us your experience with how you’ve been able to utilize healthcare sales to make a difference.
The things with your company, Evolve Your Success, is huge because I wanted to know how to get into the field. I did not know anyway. You have a company to be able to help people get into the field and be able to show them avenues and be able to like, “Don’t do this. Do this. Reach out to this person,” or grow your brand on LinkedIn and show people how to do it in a social way that like, “I liked that person. What has that person got? He’s got drive and tenacity.” I’m going to look at them differently instead of doing it the traditional way, going on the website.It's important to be able to put yourself out there because then people are going to know who you are. Click To Tweet
What you have, Evolve Your Success, is you are helping people open the doors. When you and I connected, I was like, “I’m doing the same thing.” I want to be able to create a brand for myself in a sense but also with the company that I’m working for because it goes hand in hand. That’s where I started posting and telling my personal story about my hips like, “It’s okay. Don’t give up.” That’s also related to life. Don’t give up on job interviews and all that.
I feel like social media has been a huge platform. You and I spoke earlier, saying the medical field is so far behind in the social aspect that if you have somebody going that avenue and have tackled it, why not go there when there has been a success? Evolve Your Success is huge for everybody. I’m going on there. I want to look into it and be able to pick your brain even more. What can you do to help me?
You have done an amazing job with your brand, Johnny. People don’t understand what a sales rep is. Let’s talk about any sales professional in any industry, especially healthcare, what they can do, and the leverage they can create with a social media platform. Talk to us a little bit about what does that looks like. When you started branding yourself and getting out there, how did your customers and other providers start saying, “We are noticing you and we want to talk to you?”
It’s putting yourself out there. A lot of people don’t like putting themselves out there. Once I started putting myself out there, the cool thing is people started reaching out like, “It looks like you have a good product. I have been looking at your stuff. This is great. I see that you have shoes. Is there something that you can talk to me about?” There are so many different avenues that you can take it but it’s important to be able to put yourself out there because then people are going to know who you are in a sense. You are not going to be a resume, a piece of paper or a picture. You have to network at the same time.
I was at a conference. I tagged a lot of people and different companies, and that’s taboo. You don’t do that. You don’t walk in other people’s booths at conferences. The cool thing is after I shared it, everybody reshared it from those companies. It was a collaboration. People are like, “This person gets it. He’s networking and bringing people along the way.” What’s helped me a lot is helping others and bringing them into the network.
You are almost breaking the taboo. You are showing people that when you look at this from a collaborative effort and more of a sharing value across the board, we don’t have to hold this red tape and say, “Companies can’t cross-pollinate.”
The cool thing is with how you start branding yourself and putting other companies together is you are going to get a better reputation and better well-known. Your surgeons are going to know like, “This person can be able to rep this product. I’m going to call this CEO and tell him that this rep needs it because he’s built a good rapport.” By doing that and bringing that along is so much stronger than doing it by yourself.
One thing you said earlier is that you have combined medicine. We talked about medical sales with fashion. To be honest, I haven’t heard that. I want to know you have a shoe line, and that’s where the fashion comes in. Tell us about that and how you are bringing the two different industries.
I love Johnny’s breakdown on how he got into the industry because it’s so important how you don’t take no for an answer and how he did more than what was expected. If you are someone reading this and thinking to yourself, “I want to put myself into Johnny’s position and set myself up to get a position,” you need to visit, EvolveYourSuccess.com. Click on Attain A Medical Sales Role and follow the prompts, fill out an application and have a conversation with our organization, me, or someone from our team.
Let’s talk about how we can get you a position in the medical sales space, whether that be medical device sales, pharmaceutical sales, biotech sales or medical equipment sales. There’s a fit there for you. If you are reading this and you are not already in or leading the space, and you are someone who wants to get in, there’s an opportunity for you. The reality is, which one should it be?
If you know a little bit about the space, you might feel like you should be in a specific one. Even if you know nothing, there is a fit for you. We can help you find what it is and get the position. One thing that we talked about in this episode was the reality of what creating a social media presence could do for you and your business. This applies not just to people that want to get into the industry. As you can see with Johnny, this applies very much to people that are in the industry. COVID did a lot for us, and it showed us that we have to be able to think a little differently to do a lot of the same things.
The same thing is we have to generate revenue for our companies. We have to get the business. We have these great products, devices and drugs. Providers, surgeons, and administrators need to know about all the latest developments. When there’s no access, what do you do? You have to think differently. COVID showed us that there are ways, and now we can take full advantage of them, and we should be. Healthcare is no excuse.
Many other industries have seen the value. If you are someone out there reading this and saying, “This makes a lot of sense. I have seen it on social media. I have seen a few reps do it here and there, and people talk about it but I don’t know what and how they are doing it,” you need to visit EvolveYourSuccess.com. Click on Improve Sales Performance and take a look at our LinkedIn training.
We always try to bring you guests that are going to impact your day, whether you are someone that wants to get into the industry, someone that’s in the industry or leading the industry, we bring you guests that are going to impact your day, help you think differently, and provide some value to your life. Make sure you tune in for part two with Johnny Caffaro. He gets deep into what he has been doing on this platform by combining fashion and medical sales. It’s amazing. If you are someone that wants to get into the industry, improve your sales performance, and do it through social media, make sure you go to EvolveYourSuccess.com.
Fashion and medical sales, you’ve got to love that combination. Make sure you check out CaffaroShoes.com. This is the company that Johnny is leading. They make the most amazing shoes. Everyone is getting them. Surgeons and sales reps are getting them. I’ve got myself some and get yourself some as well.
Dynamic, distinctive, steadfast, unstoppable. Johnny Caffaro is a medical professional with an unmatched passion for health, positivity, manifestation, and wellbeing. Born with a hip disease that made physical activity difficult and painful, Johnny’s determination to play football, basketball and baseball led him to overcome innumerable obstacles his disease placed in his path. After undergoing three hip replacements, most would grow discouraged; some may even lose their way.
Not Johnny. It was clear the very obstacle that could have set him back would end up becoming his way forward. Johnny received his degree from Brigham Young University, and soon after, entered the medical field with the goal of helping those who were experiencing difficulties he himself had faced. Fueled by his unmatched dedication and drive, Johnny’s innate perpetual positivity and unique ability to connect with others proved him invaluable.
Staying active and fit continues to provide him the stamina and endurance to regularly assist doctors and patients under even the highest-stress situations in the Operating Room. Passionate about travel, Johnny frequently explores the world in both professional and personal capacities. At home or abroad, he’s always on the go. His joy in sharing his story and positive outlook on life consistently allow him the ability to connect with whomever crosses his path. As Johnny calls it, “serving” those experiencing physical and/or emotional setbacks of their own is the foundation of The Caffaro Way.