In part two of Samuel Gbadebo’s interview with the Co-founder of Ptch, Justin Rhodes, Justin reveals how he made the decision to go entrepreneurial and how Ptch came to be. Learn his love for solving problems and helping others in his field. Discover how you can make it in the trauma world or as an aspiring entrepreneur. Listen in to this episode to find out how Justin became who he is today!
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How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur In The Trauma World With Justin Rhodes, Part 2
We are with Justin Rhodes part two. In this second half of the interview, he gets into how Ptch came to be. He continued his role up until when he stopped in medical device sales and transitioned into founding Ptch, what Ptch is about and what they’re doing, and their wonderful motto, “Valuing people over paper.” He gets into that and explains that as well. This is a great episode. Whether you’re someone trying to get into the industry, whether you’re someone that’s in the industry or you’re leading the industry, this is something you want to read. Ptch is a software that’s available for all of the above. Everyone that I’ve just mentioned can find value here, especially the companies that are trying to find the best candidates. I’m not going to say anything anymore. I’m going to save it for the interview. I do hope you enjoy the rest of this interview.
Give us a little bit of how sports medicine is different from what you were experiencing in trauma.
Sports medicine is definitely still a value add. You’ve got to know the latest terms, the latest procedures, the latest ways of doing things. It’s more of a 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM or 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM type position. It’s more scheduled. Whereas trauma, you don’t know if somebody’s going to be in a car accident or have a fall or icy weather, somebody falls and hurts a wrist or breaks a hip, or whatever it may be. Whereas sports med, this stuff is all pretty much planned out. You have some busy sports med surgeons that are scheduling.
We worked in the shoulder space and upper extremity space. Shoulder surgeons have surgery days on Tuesday and Thursday. You have ten surgeries scheduled on each of those days. You know that you’re going to be here from this time to this time. You may get all the cases. You may get 1 or 2 but you know that on these certain days, you’re going to meet with these particular surgeons. It’s a lot different. Your life is a little bit more scheduled, a little bit less hectic and unexpected. That’s conducive too if you have a wife and a couple of kids. She wants to know when you’re going to be home.
You got into a field sales training role for Smith & Nephew. When you went from Smith & Nephew, the field sales training role, what inspired you to leave that role to go start Ptch?
I started this field sales training role because it gave me an opportunity to help grow this even more and train these new biologics people that came in. When we were in the field sales training role, we would do something called the scrub sink pitch. If anybody knows and has been in the medical device, you have about 30 seconds to a minute while a surgeon is scrubbing in, while you have their undivided attention to maybe talk about the game or talk about the next procedure, the next case, or do a value add from that standpoint.
Gather more information on the front end to make a better and more informed decision.
You get to talk about your latest and greatest product and how that may be an opportunity to help them or help their patient in the next procedure or another procedure that you saw on the board or whatever. That’s what we did. It was popular from a training standpoint. A lot of people liked how it went. We continue to grow that. When COVID hit, we trained about 600 reps over the course of three days online in doing various things, whether it be scrub sink pitches or just different material that we were looking at doing.
You did a big training. You were able to get to explore the passion of these pitches through the scrub pitch practice with these actual reps.
We definitely did. We were doing that and we saw how much of a value add it was not only on the training aspect, but we thought that it would be very beneficial on the hiring side as well. It’s multifaceted from a training or a hiring standpoint. We already started the company but this only validated what we had already come to believe that this is a very value-added training type tool that people could use to help drive clear and concise messages in a short period of time. It was right around the same time Ptch was created. It’s a little bit before that, that they get validated.
Did you create it with people in Smith & Nephew? Did you have people outside of Smith & Nephew? I’m sure people want to know. You’re saying that it started with Rotation company. It started back then but it started how? Were you guys talking about it with some friends saying, “We should put together,” then it just grew and grew from there? How did it go?
The co-founders, I worked with at Smith & Nephew. They were with me at Rotation Medical. We always talked about different business ideas and things like that. The cool thing with Rotation Medical was that there was a problem in the marketplace and a solution was made to solve that problem. A lot of times, you see that products are created, then you make the hammer, then go try to find a nail to take care of it and fix that.
The great thing about Rotation Medical is that a problem existed and a hammer was created to fix it. It’s the same thing with Ptch. There’s a problem that exists that you’re spending a lot of time on the front end of doing the phone screens, the resumé reviews, and you don’t know what this person is like. You don’t know how much passion, creativity and enthusiasm they have. Why can’t we gather more information on the front end to make a better and more informed decision?
We talked about all this. We were just like, “Is this what we think is going to be our business?” As I said, we’d already come up with a bunch of different ideas and this was like, “This is awesome.” We got behind it. We did the feasibility study. What drove it home for us is after we get the markets researched and the feasibility study, we got some outside experts to say, “This is a pretty awesome idea.”
We talked to some developers. We talked to a Google developer. That developer said, “I’ll definitely want to help you guys out. I will do it for almost free. I think this is why I’m going to leave Google.” I said, “What? Are you serious? Do you think is that good of an idea?” He said, “Yes. This is an amazing idea.” That person has helped while they’re still at Google. They’ve been helping on the side, doing things at night, and developing things for us. That led us to where we are. We have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time.
When did you officially leave the field sales training?
It’s scary. We talked about it for months. I’ve planned well and been successful from that standpoint. We talked about within the business that somebody needs to go full-time and be able to run this beast in a full-time capacity. I volunteered for it because not only was I part of the genesis, this is coming from my brain and helping to create this. While we worked together to grow this thing, I felt like you have to be fair to not only Ptch, but also to your medical device company as well. When something gets to a point where you’re getting ready to spend a little more time on something, you got to be fair to both parties.
If you’re passionate about your job, you’ll never forget about it and never want to leave.
August 9th, 2021 is when I went full-time. It’s tough because I and my partner had the number one territory in the country. I could have stayed on and continued to grow it. Maybe have the opportunity with President’s Club and all that other stuff. You don’t want to be 75 years old sitting on your front porch and wondering what if.
Just like with anything, solving problems, whether it be at the Smith & Nephew or Rotation Medical, is something that I’m passionate about. This is a problem that exists. We can help a lot of companies save time and also uncover unconventional talent that they would never have given a chance to. On the other side of things, with candidates, it helps them have an opportunity when they wouldn’t because their resumé is in a different industry or different background, or whatever it may be. This is a problem that’s a great one to solve. We’re working hard to help do it.
We talked about having two little ones and a wife. When you were a trauma rep, were you working on that family? I want to know how you’re able to manage it all in light of having a family that you’re committed to.
My wife was my girlfriend at the time. We have to take different cars to dinner if we’re going to dinner or going out to lunch or whatever it may be. There are times where I would get phone calls that say, “We’ve got a femur fracture in the OR. We’re going to do an intramedullary nail here in about an hour. Can you make it down?” “Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. I’ll be down there right away.” I have to leave dinner and head down there. It’s give and take. Home-life balance or whatever, it’s hard to manage that. It’s something you have to be passionate about. If you’re passionate about helping people and getting in the OR and being a value add, it’s something that you’ll never forget and never want to leave.
Having two little ones is when it started being harder for my wife and for us. Making the jump to a different company that was a lot more scheduled with different procedures in the OR ended up being better for me. I will say that I do have colleagues that helped hire me. They’ve stayed on. As they grew, they helped bring on new pod members that you could develop a call schedule. You’re able to rotate and have different people on call for different days of the week or different weekends, and things like that.
That’s another thing too but early on, as an associate or somebody who’s breaking into the trauma world, you’re going to be asked to do a lot. You’re going to be asked to carry a lot of trays. You’re going to be asked to do things a lot of people don’t want to do. If you’re able to overcome that and be a great team member, the sky’s the limit. The long-term play is showing your reputation, showing how valuable you are not only to your surgeons but also to your teammates. It’s going to go a long way in that city that you live in or within that division that you are working in within that particular company.
One thing that I like to ask is, how do you manage your day? Being a medical sales rep, being a medical sales executive, being an entrepreneur all require you to be able to manage your day well. It also requires that you probably partake in some routine or something that you do to keep you grounded so you can perform at your best each and every day. Walk us through your daily routine. When do you wake up in the morning? What do you take on? What do you do? How do you set it all up to be successful?
If I don’t wake up at 6:00 or 6:30, one of my kids will run in the bedroom and wake me up. Sometimes they play out my day for me to get me going. With the medical device, I had a little bit more scheduled type day. Now, it’s all about networking and reaching out to different people. To that point, being a good person and helping other people out in your past and every single day, not that I did it for this, but in turn, it helps you out down the road because it’s amazing. It’s cool. You probably see it with your business in Evolve Your Success in the medical device world.
People want to help others that are genuine and that have helped them in the past. They didn’t ask for anything in the past. It’s been cool to see how people have wanted to do and see demos and talk with me on the phone and network. What’s cool is that a couple of these demos and appointments I’ve gotten were just favors from other people, “Can we talk to this guy and see what it’s all about?”
I get in the demo. They’re like, “I’m just doing this as a favor.” By the end of the demo with our product, they’re like, “You actually have something here.” I’m like, “Thank you, I appreciate it. That’s awesome. That’s kind of you to say.” Those have progressed on to sales, which is amazing. My day is unexpected. It’s a little bit different. I’m not in the OR but I’m trying to network and talk to as many people as I can. I still help as many people as I can and learn about their business. That’s where we got connected and learning about all of our success.
People want to help others that are genuine and that have helped them in the past.
I love your platform. I love how you’re helping anybody trying to break into the medical device world, no matter what their background is, whether you come from B2B sales or whether you come from pharma. That’s what I love about what you’re doing as far as the training and the aspects that you guys bring to the table in helping prepare people to get into this world. I’ve watched your stuff. I like it. That’s what it’s all about. You’re helping people.
We’re trying to help people. I know I’ve said it a lot, but that’s what makes the world go around. That’s beneficial to everybody. We’re all in this together. If you’ve been successful in certain areas and you can lend your credibility and lend your advice to people, that goes a long way. People have done it for me over the course of my career. I’ve learned a lot from a lot of other people. You and I are in an opportunity in our space that we can give back a little bit and help other people as well.
You mentioned something that I want to ask about. In our business, we help people from any profession get into the medical device, pharmaceutical, any healthcare sales-related field. With Ptch, is it specifically for the medical sales environment when it comes to pharma, medical device companies, or only medical device or B2B? Does it matter what companies are using it? Can any company use it? How does it work with Ptch?
Any company can use it. It’s open for any company. We see this as being for customer-facing roles, sales and customer service, whatever it may be. Maybe it’d be retail associates or however else. We come from the medical device world. We come from the healthcare world. We have those experiences to be able to relate to when we talk to other people. We started out as being healthcare first. With any startup, you want to have a laser focus on what you’re doing so you don’t get distracted. What we’ve seen is that we have technology companies, SaaS companies, and the technology world using us as well. Any customer interacting or any type of sales role is where we fit in.
Justin, thank you so much for being with us here. We’ve learned much about you and how you came up through the ranks to do what you’re doing now. I learned so much about Ptch and the amazing services it provides. One thing I love to leave with is something that you believe in that you want the audience to walk away with. We’ve got people in the industry that want to get in. We’ve got people that are in the industry and executives that are leading the industry. What would you want to share with everybody before we wrap up?
From a business perspective, we want to make sure that we humanize the hiring process and value people over the paper. That leads to my personal belief that it’s all about people. You hear about different companies that had been hiring for certain roles and whatever else. If we look more towards the future, most companies are saying that they think that soft skills and the way they interact with other people are going to be what they’re hiring for in the future. Sales-related roles and things like that, and customer-facing roles.
It’s all about people, how you help them and the reputation that you build, how you want to be left with, and how you want to be thought of. Are people talking about you in a good way in the OR behind your back? Are they looking out for you in a positive way? Do you leave them feeling good when you talk with them? Are you positive? Do you smile? That’s what it’s all about. If I can bring that down to the end here, it’s all about people, how you treat people and valuing people over anything else.
Justin, thank you for being here. We look forward to hearing more from you and all the success Ptch is going to have.
Thanks so much, Samuel. I appreciate it.
That was Justin Rhodes. It’s a fascinating story to go from medical device sales, sports medicine, a field trainer, and then transitioned to founding a company that’s revolutionizing the way clients interact with potential candidates. That’s a beautiful thing to see. It comes from a great place. Helping companies find all those valuable people that get to show their personality, get to show all the different sides of them that you can’t see from a piece of paper. Thank you for reading.
If you’re someone out there, maybe you’re a decision-maker in one of these organizations and you’re saying, “We want to find a better way to get better talent,” then you need to make sure you reach out to Justin Rhodes at Ptch. He’s also on LinkedIn. Make sure you check out Justin Rhodes. Get in touch with him and let him provide this incredibly valuable service to your organization.
If there’s someone out there that’s looking to get into the industry, maybe you read part one and now part two. You’re thinking to yourself, “I want to make a move. I want to be in this industry,” whether it’s medical device, pharmaceutical sales, or any healthcare sales-related industry, then you need to make sure you visit EvolveYourSuccess.com.
Go to the homepage and select Attain A Medical Sales Role. You’ll be allowed to fill out our application. It’s going to get into with us here at Evolve Your Success. You’re going to be able to schedule a call and have a conversation about how our program, the Medical Sales Career Builder, can be a game-changer for you and your career. It doesn’t matter what profession you come from.
If you want to get into medical device sales, there’s an opportunity. You just need to start taking the right steps to make it happen. If you’re someone out there that’s in medical sales, you’re in healthcare sales and you’re saying, “I want to have a breakthrough year.” You want to change the game. You’re trying to do things a little differently. Go to EvolveYourSuccess.com and select Improve Sales Performance.
Let’s have a conversation especially if you’re someone experiencing some success and you’re trying to create some new avenues. You’ve seen people doing things on social media. You’ve seen some branding going on, but you’re not quite clear on what step you should take next. Get in touch with us. Click on our LinkedIn option. It’s going to allow you to schedule a call with us and talk about how we can change the game for you in your career. As always, we do our best to bring you guests that are doing innovative things within the industry. They’re making moves. They’re changing lives. They’re valuing people over paper like Justin Rhodes. We do it every single week. Make sure you come back for another episode of the show.
- LinkedIn – Justin Rhodes
- Attain A Medical Sales Role
- Improve Sales Performance
- LinkedIn – Samuel Adeyinka
About Justin Rhodes
Sales leader with a passion for developing, nurturing and maintaining relationships resulting in business development and sales. Experienced with start-up development, hyper-growth, sales, and integration. Known for taking quick and decisive action on a multitude of projects and various products/teams. I love to see how the collective efforts of so many can make something grow and prosper.
● Increase Sales
● Lead People
● Build & nurture relationships
● Management style that is collaborative, strategic, and innovative
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