Pedi-sales to Ben 1-16-01
(Note 1-15-04: This is all I have, just a copy of an email to nephew and co-conspirator Ben Owen. I think just after
this was when the websites crashed and I set about getting the new ones up. I think I made one discouraging sales call in
Iowa, then headed out to Hawaii for the summer to build the high shack deck.)
Good news on Cletus the mega fetus. Did I send yall a dropper
yet? I know I had / have a note on my desk to do it. It may be wrapped up in this new "vision" for sales. I'll blab a little
I call the concept "Pedi-sales". As you know, the original
vision was to find product ideas, patent them, and license them out to the big guys. Since the patent part is bogged down,
I've been drifting toward ideas to do in the mean time. The first was selling to individual parents-to-be, via our web site,
etc. (The downside of this is the price has to be about $5 to cover shipping, all the little inserts, instructions, etc.)
The second is pedi-sales, selling to pediatricians. Sooooo,
I've been trying to think of ways the economics could make sense. The first phase was, hmm, we establish the price as $5 each
on our website. Then sell to pedis for ~$1 each - say packs of 10 for $10. the pedis then resell and bill customers for $5
each. (The trick of this one is the probably the billing process, insurance coverage, etc. I don't know squat about that.)
At least this makes fair sense for everyone involved.
To get pedi-sales going, I was thinking of something with preggers
and websites. (This may be where your dropper got stuck, I was going to ask Tanya to test this process.) The pregger could
go by or phone the pediatrician. She would be doing (what was popular when Mary went through it, do people still do this?)
the pre-baby interviews with a few pediatricians to select one for her baby. She would say she saw this OptiDose thing on
the web, and what did the pedi think of it?
The outcome I was thinking was that the pedi would go on the
web as soon as the pregger left and find our site, and if nothing else want to be prepared for the next time the question
came up. (this strategy bogged down with optidose.com being taken by a water-tracer technology from Rohm & Haas. Then
I got distracted trying to find another way - like a posting that was picked up, so we could say something easy to remember,
like "I was on Yahoo, searched for infant fluoride, and the OptiDose site was on the first page of hits". That way you don't
have to give / remember some long URL. anyway...)
Other pedi possibilities would be just straight forward "detailing"
- visit lots, free samples, etc. and eventually get some sales. Your experiences may be very useful. I think the average pediatrician
sees about 5-10 new babies a month? So sales per, even if all went well might be hard to get over about $10 month gross, so
we may be working with very marginal economics.
Although part of all this is expanding our product line. I
may make a bunch of new droppers - some for acetaminophen (Tylenol), and eventually all the pedi meds - antibiotics, etc.
(The world list is 17 now, but some are duplicates; see http://homepages.go.com/~optidose/World/List.html.)
The expanding the products notion started with F - trying for
more dosage options. The coolest is a set of 3 droppers versus our one now. A super low for the first month, then a middlin
for the second month, then our regular to kick in about month 3. (If you're online, click over to http://homepages.go.com/~optidose/albums/DBW/pic9.html
for a little more.) At any rate, we could expand enough to have say 1 or 2 optidose
products being used per baby [per month], not just one per newborn, and then have enough volume to make life interesting.
I think pediatricians would like to be the exclusive source of these cool new droppers that would "layer" on top of existing
Then the most recent vision, yesterday morning.
The biggest economic impact we could have with pediatricians
is to give them more customers. As part of the selection process (I was also going to ask Tanya to make notes - when and how
she did this, what were her thoughts along the way, etc.) I think at least some preggers look in the yellow pages. Now, in
Honolulu they would see about 100 pediatricians. Most are just listed by name. A few, about 10-15, have a small box ad with
some short little message like "new patients welcome".
What about a message (like OPTIDOSE OPTIONS FOR NEWBORNS) that
would be something different and arouse a little curiosity? If that got a few preggies to call (and the pedi would know it
by questions), we would start looking good even if they never used optidose. And the other pediatricians might notice the
ad, look us up, etc.
As you can see I have worked up quite a froth of ideas, but
have not delivered a single malt-flavored beverage of actual sales yet.
The reality is that pedis are, as a rule, unlikely to do anything
that is not part of the AAP program, no matter how much sense it makes. I think we would also have to embark upon getting
a few studies published. Maybe nothing too complicated, maybe even just "lab" work, where we use the new droppers for acetaminophen
for fever, and measure the fever changes and blood concentrations of acetaminophen, etc. to show that it makes sense and works
sorta better. With F same thing, just that the blood levels (or urine more likely) with our droppers are in a good spot (between
the known too little and too much). We wouldn't have to follow the kids for 10 years and get cavity / appearance data which
is much harder. But we should probably put something out besides the logic alone.
Well, more than enough, n'est ce pas?