What can you incorporate in your medical sales business to boost performance? In this episode, you will learn all about a game-changing software that does just that. Its creator, Justin Lohman shares his career journey as a salesperson, where he gained a lot of experience and realized that you always need to have a plan. So, from selling, he shifted to management, training other people. Through the process, he learned that most people are asking and looking for technology to help them with their tasks, so he created Rithm AI. It is a sales technology that assists you with planning, organizing, routing, and prospecting, allowing salespeople to maximize their time. Find out more by tuning in!
We have with us, Justin Lohman. He comes from the industry. He is the Cofounder of a company called Rithm AI. They have created a platform that allows sales reps to take their entire territory and drop it into the system. It arranges where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there, how often they should be there and a few other notes that give you details around your providers.
It is an incredible platform and it changes the game for someone looking to acquire territory and trying to hit the ground running and maximize it as soon as possible. A platform like this will make that very possible. I’m not going to spoil this by trying to explain this wonderful software. I’m going to let Justin do it. As always, thank you for reading. I do hope you enjoy this interview.
Justin, how are we doing?
I’m great, Samuel. How are you?
There are no complaints. It’s another day in 2022. Why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do?
I’m Justin Lohman. I’ve been in the pharma and medical sales industry for years. I am the Cofounder of a company called Rithm AI. We build sales technology.
You’ve had experience in the field and you have this technology. Everybody wants to know what exactly is this sales technology that you’ve built with Rithm AI.
There’s technology everywhere but have you noticed there’s not a lot of technology in sales?There's technology everywhere, but there's really not a lot of technology in sales. Click To Tweet
You’ve been in pharmaceutical sales before. The first thing you know about Veeva or Salesforce is great products. They’re game-changing at least at the moment and at the time that they started but they don’t help a salesperson sell more. They’re just there to help you navigate the compliance and sampling. They’re handy. If you’re in a medical device, you can use all sorts of different features to email, send out marketing and do all sorts of things for those types of companies.
I’ve managed, trained and sold. What I’ve realized is that in the beginning, it was just plan, plan, plan. On Sunday night, plan for 4 or 5 hours. This is before the experience. I’m a planner by nature. A little bit about my background here, I was hired at 22 and green behind the ears. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had excellent training but it was boot camp for a week and then they said, “Good luck. Take a Yellow Pages and go find a bunch of doctors. You work straight commission. We don’t pay you unless you sell anything.” This forces habits upon you.
I’m a skinny guy. It looked like I only ate ramen every day. In the beginning, that’s all you can afford when you work straight commission but I had to figure this out pretty fast. It was like selling vacuums door-to-door. It had the “glamour” of the pharmaceutical industry. It wasn’t that glamorous but I learned a lot of lessons. I learned you had to plan and that it is not easy. It is time-consuming. If you’re a top salesperson, you’re always trying to be more efficient and improve your craft day-to-day.
With all that being said, I went into management after selling for a number of years. I was doing well and enjoying it. I love sales. What then happened is I got to ride with other people. I trained people along the way. Every time I rode with somebody, they knew I was coming with them but they didn’t have a very good plan. I thought, “Where are we going? What are you going to talk about? Who are you seeing?” It was like, “I don’t know. I thought you were going to help me with this.” I thought to myself, “I don’t live in your town. I don’t know your doctors. I see why your sales numbers are where they are.”
This isn’t everybody. I had some great people. When I finished managing at that company, 9 of the top 10 salespeople in the company were on my team. It was awesome. We had so much fun. With all that being said, I moved on to another company, did some training there and rode with over 100 people at that company. There were 108 people in my region. It was a bigger company. 5 people out of the 100-plus had a plan for the day. That’s it. It’s eye-opening.
That is pretty shocking.
You get into it and you can be pretty comfortable. They give you a company car. You’ve got good benefits.
What time period is this?
This was years ago. You’re riding with people. The commission structure wasn’t as favorable as being a straight commission. The only way to go is up with the straight commission. I knew that I needed another challenge. I started thinking about all this. We are all shaped by our different experiences. I started thinking, “When I’m hiring people, what’s the number one thing they’re asking me?” They’re asking me, “Is there some technology or an app for this that will help me manage, organize and plan all this out because this is overwhelming?” That’s the word that I heard a lot.
If you remember when you first started, it was overwhelming. With all that being said, this is why we created Rithm. What Rithm does is it takes an industry veteran’s knowledge. You’ve got a co-pilot in the car with you, a partner or a personal assistant that is like, “You need to be here. You’ve got an appointment at 2:00. You can’t miss it. You’ve got lunch. Have you already ordered that?” It’s all the stuff that if you could afford to pay somebody to do all your paperwork for you and have all of that done for you would be right there next to you.
Instead, it’s in a computer program where you can store information like a CRM. CRMs were novel technology but what we’re doing at Rithm is taking it to the next level. We’re helping you sell more. It’s a productivity tool. Think of it as CRM veteran knowledge. You’ve injected this into this database. You’ve got a great mapping tool like Google Maps, Waze or Google Analytics. It’s all combined into one for you but it’s quite simple.Be a planner by nature. Click To Tweet
Would you say it’s like a super juiced organizer of where you should spend your time?
It’s the add-on. It’s the improvement to the CRM that is the next step. It helps you with planning organizing, routing and prospecting. You can do that right inside. You can visualize where your customers are so you can understand. I was thinking back to when all of this spurred in my mind and started. You drive through a new town, you don’t know where to go and who’s available.
You know you’re going to the right office but it might not even be the right address. You’re driving back and forth all over town. They say, “We only see salespeople in the afternoon. You have to make an appointment. Get on our lunch calendar.” For the first 3 to 6 months, you’re thinking, “How do I keep all this straight?” However you want to package it, that’s what Rithm is.
Your platform is impressive. It’s exactly what you said. I got to play with it a little bit and I look at it like it tells you where you can be the best resource within your territory. With that concept at the core, it helps you build out from there. The AI does the work for you as opposed to you trying to figure it out, making mistakes and maybe getting a time or an office wrong or the human error that happens. That is very cool. Correct me if I’m wrong. I would like to believe that there was a moment where you said, “Something has to be done about this.”
I don’t know if you had some tech friends and you said, “What do you think about this idea?” Talk to us about whenever that was if it happened that way and when it was. This platform you created, Rithm AI is so cool. Most of my readers want to know what’s going on with the man behind the myth. You’ve created this platform. I believe it’s going to be extremely successful. I’ve used it. It’s amazing. It’s going to be a big deal. Ultimately, people are going to want to know where did this come from. Tell us a little bit about who you are, your time in the industry and what your experience has been. Give us a little bit of insight on how you’ve been able to even do things like this.
I’ll start with I’m ultra-competitive. I don’t like to lose at anything. I expect to win. I don’t mean that as arrogance. I just know I’m going to do my best every time. If it’s not good enough, I’ve left it on the field. I was a college athlete. I played soccer in college. I love sports. Sports and sales seem very similar to me. A lot of ex-athletes go into sales.
Did you know about medical sales in undergrad? Was it something that somebody introduced to you?
I was going to go into finance and maybe do wealth management and things like that. When I graduated, it was around 9/11. The economy tanked and I thought, “Who is going to want me to manage their money as a 22-year-old just graduating college? I’ll do sales for a few years and get by.” My real thinking was, “If the economy is down, what do companies need? They need more sales.” I don’t know if that was smart or not but that’s exactly it. I remember when that thought came into my head, “They’re much more likely to pay somebody very little in a higher commission. They don’t cost them much to bring in sales because they need money. They want money or income.”
My dad was in sales for his whole life. My dad is the best salesperson I’ve ever met, hands down and no questions asked. He was with a huge company. He was the number one salesperson in the entire country with thousands of sales reps. For a few years, he was their number one. I didn’t know if I was going to be good at sales but I also knew that I was around my dad all the time. To this day, he is still the best salesperson. If I wanted to train him on something and he felt comfortable, he would sell it to everybody. He is awesome.
I hope he reads this.
I’ll send it to him. He’s so likable. He’s much more likable than me. He’s so funny. He’s much funnier than me. I thought, “I don’t know if I have his skillset but he has made a decent living this way. We never had to want for much. We had a good life. Why not try it?” The first company I started with had five people apply to a small ad in the newspaper. It was three lines. It was very small because it was less expensive, which should have been a red flag. With all that being said, they called me because of the background.
What I learned later is I was affordable. I was 22 and I could work straight commission. It changed the way I think and has made me who I am, for better or for worse. I’m not saying that I’m better than anybody at all. When you do have to go through things the hard way in working straight commission, I was the one pharmaceutical sales guy, maybe there were others out there, that I ever saw in the field working at 6:00 on a Friday. When you’re straight commission, you go to the ER and urgent care after work because somebody is writing prescriptions.Money shouldn’t be your primary driver. Do your best every day and get out there and maximize challenges to be efficient. Click To Tweet
You can correct me if I’m wrong. These habits that you developed being straight commission stuck with you into W-2 roles and are the reason why you were so driven to be successful. Is that accurate?
I am so thankful that I took that job with the best training. My advice if you’re new, I would find out which managers are hands-on and will train you. I would find out which companies have the best reputation for training because what I’ve seen over the years is less training and more, “Let’s get you out in the field. You can learn on the job.” If somebody is only with you once every three months, your chance to learn is low. I wanted real help. To this day, that manager was my only manager there for about ten years. We’re still friends. He taught me so much. He and the company were great.
One thing I would like to know is what fuels you. Why do you do all these things? You had this great experience starting out. You’ve been in leadership. You created the Rithm platform. There has to be some internal purpose that you live by. Share with us whatever that is.
I’m driven. That’s the word other people use. I thought everybody was this way. You don’t know who you are when you’re 22. You start to figure these things out. This is pre-email. This is sad but they used to leave a voicemail once a quarter with quarterly rankings. All I knew is I wanted to be on that voicemail. They would only tell you a certain number of people. At the time, we had 40, 50 to 60 salespeople. It wasn’t a huge company. I thought, “I only have to beat 40, 50 to 60 people. It seems like if they can do it, why can’t I do it?”
That attitude is who I am. It’s what’s ingrained in me maybe by my parents, coaches or bosses. I liked the sales side better than the management side. I love the training side as well. It’s the in-between. You still get to sell but you get to help other people. I would love to be a teacher. I love to teach people things but teaching didn’t pay the bills to have a lifestyle that I could put my kids into a private school and things like that. I’m driven not by money.
Everybody thinks I’m driven by money that is around me in pharmaceuticals, sales or anything like that. That is not my primary driver. My primary driver is doing my best every day, getting out there and maximizing. It’s a challenge against yourself to be efficient, see the best numbers you can put up and things like that. Rithm is supposed to help you be the best version of yourself. I hope there are other people out there like me and you that find so much joy in saying, “I finally found something that can help me.”
Tell us this. What do you do to maintain your energy? Are you a big avid outdoors person? Do you read a bunch of how-to books? What do you use to keep you on top of your game 24/7?
I have high energy. I’m a very excitable person. I grew up with a mother who should get some credit here, not just my dad, that is an eternal optimist. The sky could be falling and she will tell you, “It’s going to be blue tomorrow.” I know that life is what you make of it. I love working out and playing sports. I still play soccer to this day with younger people that challenge me in every way. I love what I do. It’s finding something that you love and trying to do it your best.
I would like to know, “Would I be good at other things?” That started me on the Rithm train. How good am I at tech? I have a passion for technology. It’s amazing. That’s why our world is getting better. When people started in pharmaceuticals in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, they used to go to a phone because there were no car phones and cellphones. They would call in their numbers for the day. You can pick up your phone and be directed to your next clinic these days. It’s amazing. I’m happy. I love what I do.
Thank you for that, Justin.
Wasn’t that excellent? It’s so great to hear from Justin because as sales professionals many of us think the administration is the enemy but with a tool like this, it makes administration a friend. You get to have a little bit of fun in exploring how you’re going to make the best decisions within your territory, go execute business, get out there and impact patients’ lives. Check a look at what Justin has going on with Rithm AI. You read this and you might be thinking, “I want to use a tool like this. I don’t have a position that would require me to use a tool like this but I would love to do something like this.”
You’ve been trying to get into medical sales and sending out your applications online. You send your resume to Tom, Janet and Jerry and you’re getting nothing. You’re getting crickets. You’re getting frustrated. Some of you might be saying, “It’s not meant for me.” Some of you might be saying, “I’m going to stick this out. Hopefully, it happens in the next year or maybe two.” Some of you are saying, “I don’t know what’s going on but I know I want to be in medical sales.”
Stop putting yourself through any of that and go visit EvolveYourSuccess.com, follow Attain a Medical Sales Role in the prompt and get into a discussion with someone that will guide you and show you where you need to be and not only that, how you’re going to make it happen. If you’re in the industry and you are wanting to level up your game, you want to help that many more patients, impact that many more providers and make some waves with what you represent in your territory then visit EvolveYourSuccess.com. Select Improve Sales Performance and get some time with someone that can show you exactly how to do what you want to do and give you a way to do it.
As always, I try to bring guests that will give you new innovations tools, resources and perspectives to everyone in the medical sales profession and namely, medical device, pharmaceutical biotech, diagnostic, dental and I can go on and on. I do hope it’s providing value for all of you. With that being said, thank you for reading. Make sure you tune in for part two with Justin Lohman. We got a little teaser with part one and a little taste of what he’s doing but part two is going to bring it home and showcase that value. I’ll see you then.
Justin Lohman is a co-founder of Rithm AI, and he is focused on improving the salesperson-client relationship. After nearly two decades of selling, training, and managing in the pharmaceutical and medical industry, he has seen the good and bad of the medical industry. Justin is helping bring the medical industry up to speed with technology that salespeople really need to make their lives easier, better and more profitable.
Justin has won over 25 awards, launching over 40 products, has never finished outside of the top 5% in sales in any organization he has worked for and is recently coming of 9 straight President’s Club wins!