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About Resound and the Industry

Discussion in 'GN ReSound' started by anonymous, Jun 29, 2017 at 11:17 PM.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Someone asked (under Phonak board) about Resound and the industry. So there are 6 parent companies/major manufacturers of hearing aids, and they all have good products. They are: Sonova (aka Phonak/Unitron-same company), Oticon (William Demant), Resound, Siemens (now Signia), Starkey, and Widex. Many of these companies have smaller companies that they operate, like Beltone and Miracle Ear. Although small, hearing aids are mini computers with microchips and a lot of engineering involved. The industry itself is changing. People are now trying to sell hearing aids online and Legislation to allow OTC products (think CVS, Walgreens) is being pushed through. Basically selling directly to the consumer while cutting out the ENT and Audiologist. This treats the product like a commodity rather than a medical device. It's also not a good idea because patients do not understand hearing loss (it's invisible) and should not self-diagnose based upon their "perception" of loss. They need a real examination to rule out causes of hearing loss (maybe there's wax build up or an acoustic neuroma!) and determine which specific frequencies are affected, because everyone's hearing loss is different. They could end up damaging their hearing further with a walgreens or online device, which is permanent. Also baby boomers are speaking up and demanding hearing coverage, so insurance companies are starting to cover very low tech products. This hurts people in private practice who get a fitting fee rather than the margin on the sale of the device. Patients get upset to find they have a hearing aid benefit that doesn't cover alot. Hearing aids are also being sold in "big box" stores such as Costco. The products aren't bad and are sometimes just previous generation technology, but those stores purchase the product in large volume for much discounted prices, making it more difficult for audiologists, ENT groups, etc to compete. Sams Club sells their own Liberty brand of hearing aids that are not that great. These stores get a lot of traffic and sucker in patients who only care about convenience and getting cheap price. Essentially the whole traditional model of selling hearing aids (private practice) is at stake right now.

    Resound is a solid company. Most companies hire audiologists as salespeople because they know how to use the complex programming software for the hearing aids. The software is used to program the aid to the patients specific hearing loss. Resound tends to hire med device reps. They hire AuDs as clinical specialists who can support you in the field. They are not first to market with new ideas, but they don't lag behind either. I would say Phonak and Oticon are leaders. The Resound reps tend to stay many years. Territory sizes can be large depending where you are, so ask. Avg base salary in the industry is $70-85k. Usually add $70k in bonus, so at least $140k at goal. Goals are usually revenue with most companies, some also have unit goals, and usually they are monthly or quarterly. Companies usually start paying at 70% or 90% to goal, depends on who you are working for. I would ask what comp at goal is, as well as the range of Salaries from the previous year. This is important because you want to make sure the reps don't live on a base salary if they don't make goal. All companies (except Starkey) provide a company car.

    This is an unregulated industry outside of the Sunshine Act. You can take customers to dinner, golf, concerts, go on trips, or whatever without any red tape.

    Hope that helps and good luck!
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guest

    Thanks, I appreciate your insight; I might just be joining the hearing aid industry soon...