Drug Rep Time

How to succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales.

When it comes to your interactions with your doctors, what do you hate?

10 % of your clients give you 90% of your pain. What is it that hurts you the most?


November 21, 2007 - Posted by | Debates, Your best comments |


  1. RUDE BEHAVIOR. How hard is it for Doctors and staff to display common courtesy? Drug reps are there because they have a job to do. If they have bought lunch for the staff in hopes to simply get 2 min of a doctors time, how hard is it, really, to simply be nice. If a rep oversteps their bounds or is too pushy for your liking, then by all means, there is always a way to convey that message politely. but outright RUDE behavior is Never acceptable. After all we are all adults and should be able to show respect for one another. Isn’t that what we teach our children??!!

    Comment by wiseguy | November 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. This is an interesting blog. I hope you don’t mind if I join in.
    I am a doctor in private IM subspecialty practice (yes there are some left). And I have a very rep-friendly office (yes, there are some left as well). I speak for few Pharma companies and sometimes go on office calls with reps, so I had been on “the other side”…
    In response to wiseguy…
    90% of the time reps want to unload something on me they were told to unload, something that has no value to ME (yes it is all about ME) and to my patients, the way I treat them, anyway.
    So, if 90% of the time it was total waste for me, my patients and my office staff, what do you expect? Yes, you are doing your job, but it takes from my time and after such encounter I feel worse about myself – “I knew this would be a waste of time – and I still decided to do – and I wasted 2 perfectly good minutes of my life…next time I will not fall for this…”. How do you treat telemarketers who call at dinner time? They are doing their job, and they do not take NO, I am not interested” for an answer, they will continue to talk until you buy or hang up. Are not some of you like that?
    If have nothing to say – say nothing (of what your company tells you to say). If there is nothing you can intellectually contribute today, or I am not receptive to it – see what I need that you can give me. Use your 2 minutes to make ME feel BETTER. Use your emotional intelligence! Doctors are working all day with sick, suffering, despairing people, all of them in addition to medical also having psychological and emotional issues. I often feel this “emotional black hole” sucking all positive energy out of me leaving me bone dry… and then a rep fiddling with a sales aid unloading on me all “double digit reductions”, “target achievements” and “90% Part D coverages” – all the ones except for the plans my patient belong to. All I want is to talk to somebody who does not need something from me and who will give me a minute to recharge.
    So, if I see a rep who is a living human being willing to connect with me and leave me with good emotional aftertaste – I will be glad to see him/her next time – and when I am ready – we can have a productive discussion about your product.

    Recent example:
    Rep comes in, I am at front desk looking tired and busy:
    How are you Dr..
    Me: Tired.
    My receptionist adds: he had a busy night on call.
    Rep: Was this sleepless night worthwhile? Did you save somebody’s life?
    Me: I wish… he died at 6 am, as I was going off call.
    Rep: Sorry to hear that. No wonder you look tired. Can I get a double shot Latte for you?
    Me: Sure…could you also get some for girls as well, if they want…
    Rep: I will be right back with the Lattés. I will come back next week, we got 5 new indications for XYZ. I wonder what you think about it… when you have time, of course.
    Me: thank you. See you next week.

    Trying to unload anything on me in this situation would be met with resistance or indifference. Even if I were to listen, and info is new and important, even the one that likely to make me change my prescribing habits – it will not happen after sleepless night, when I am just trying to make it to the end of the day and get to bed.

    But are you, Reps willing to see Dr as a person, not just as target to be cornered and unloaded on what you were told to unload? Some of you do, some of you don’t.
    Some doctors see you as humans who have a job to do and living to make, who bring value to their practice and professional life, some of them prefer not to risk 2 precious minutes of their lives going to waste and will shot you off before you even start.

    We are all guilty of mistreating each other sometimes, knowingly or not. Let’s face it.

    Comment by Dr V | November 25, 2007 | Reply

  3. Doctor V,
    Whoever you are.
    I thank you.
    This helps.

    Comment by Doctor | November 25, 2007 | Reply

  4. It is all good and well to understand how to read your physicians. But when you set up lunches with an office and you wait 30 minutes and when the physician comes in and says he has 30 seconds because he has to go home and walk his dog, that is inconsiderate. He is more than willing to take your samples, promo materials, and lunches, but doesn’t give you the common courtesy to speak about the disease state and class of medications. How do you get across to a physician like that?

    Comment by Anonymous | November 26, 2007 | Reply

  5. To anonimous:
    I feel your pain.
    I get it sometimes as well.
    I come to do a lunch presentation and after 30 min (usually HE-with a lot of ego and testosterone) comes in and says ” I have 30 seconds for you”. You can give up and bitch about it -or you can try -and say something that makes him say WOW! in this 30 seconds. If you can not do it (pick his interest) – you probably do not have a chance in 30 min or an hour lunch anyway.
    But then, if you can make him say WOW! – hour and a half later we have to apologise for leaving him with unfinished conversation, because I have to catch a ferry. This did happen to me more then few times (and sometimes he “just ain’t gonna do it”. But this is when you HAVE something to say of value to HIM/HER.
    And then, yes, there are doctors who are still on your list and whom your DM wants you to see, who are wasting your time and resources. Shame on them (your DM and doctor). Do not dispair. You can not be all things for all the people all the time. But sometimes you have to be a good “corporate citizen” and play by the rules, especially when your DM is with you…
    Dr V

    Comment by Dr V | November 26, 2007 | Reply

  6. I have to agree with the first poster – RUDE BEHAVIOR. Some doctors seem to enjoy belittling reps. Well, I certainly don’t need their business that badly – there are many other doctors in my territory who actually appreciate the value and samples I bring to their offices.

    I’ve been doing this for 5 years and know my customers well. I have one female doctor who does not want to be detailed. She will talk briefly, but I know not to push her. Last week I brought my DM to her office because her colleague is a rep friendly guy. I was simply replenishing her samples and asked for a quick signature. She was obnoxious and rude. Not once did I try to detail her and I didn’t need to be treated like a piece of crap in front of my DM. She knows where she can put her samples.

    I plan on addressing this with her next time and if she asks me to leave, so be it. It was totally uncalled for and I will not allow anyone to think they can treat me unfairly.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 7, 2007 | Reply

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