Test The Waters

Filling The RX

Further research helped Ahmed realize the doctors who needed his product most were pediatric endocrinologists. Children with diabetes are challenging for obvious reasons: They don't tend to like following a strict diet and medication regimen. That market, with its pronounced need, is where Ahmed ended up making his first sales.

Ahmed also carefully researched the pricing strategies used by other medical companies selling similar products. He found that downloading software from companies marketing blood sugar analyzers cost $60 to $100 and that medical record software systems typically sold for $3,500 to $5,000 per user. Ahmed set his pricing and terms similar to the norm, which helped him minimize price resistance.

Ahmed's current plan calls for him to concentrate first on setting up about 500 medical professionals with his software, and then using that medical network to help him sell his Diabetes Partner PC patient software and online record transfer system. Ultimately, this plan lets Ahmed enlist doctors as allies in selling the value of his software and also greatly reduces his marketing expenses.

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Test The Waters.

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