Drug Rep Time

How to succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales.

Feel, felt, found.

This one is as old as the world. However for some reason this great sales technique is underutilized. This is what you say: “I understand, doctor, how you feel about ….XYZ medication. A lot of my other doctors felt the same way until they tried XYZ for …… condition or in the ….. dose or over… YZX medication. And what they found was that…..( quote from another doctor or from a recognized local expert on how great your product is).

I am sure you can recall how other sales people (car, furniture, etc) used it on you.  This is a very powerful technique.


December 31, 2007 Posted by | Sales Tips | | 1 Comment

Read your opinions from the survey!!! I bolded the questions and one angry rep’s comment. It is all here, just read.

What do you like about the blog?

There’s something new all the time. It’s very interactive, and practical. It deals with challenges I face every day in the field.
– great posts from the moderator and the reps
-excellent topics- good advice
-That it is written Dr with a marketing focus.
-The fact that you set this up to be a serious place to learn and shar ideas, not a place to whine.
-Good discussions and suggestions.
-positive and encouraging
-I like how it is a physician’s honest opinion of pharmaceutical representatives. I appreciate how -Dr Sungorov has taken time to help us with our job and give us real world opinions from “the other side.”
-hearing both rep and dr. points of view
-The information is useful to new, young, and inexperienced pharmaceutical sales representatives. Any Representative with 4 or more years of experience may not find much value in the information diseminated.
-the topics are “real life” and offer an area to convey & retrieve insightful pearls of wisdom
-Since I am new to the blog, I like reading about the doc’s view of pharma reps and the ideas for creating better relationships with clients.
-It helps educate me on what to do and what not to do in offices.
-I like to know what the physician’s are really thinking as they blow us off…what matters to them…what do they want from us…and I love the last blog about keeping the message simple and utilizing the brand message to its full advantage.
-It is a good place to ask questions to a physician and get an honest reply.

What would you change, add, improve?
-The format can be a bit difficult to follow. It might be easier if you had a home page with links to various discussions or topics within the blog.
-would improve the spelling/grammar. Lot of errors…
-more real life stories about your practice and your interaction with reps
-I would like to see a product specific place or even a drug class specific forum.
-more frequent topics and more responders
-More advice on access with doctors
-Good question ?!?!?!?!?!?!
-The Blog is meant to be helpful but there are resources from the pharmaceutical training and development area that are much more useful. The physicians feedback is welcome and somewhat helpful, but wonder what his true underlying motivation is in creating the blog.
-it would be easier to follow a thread chronologically or by subject then chrono. instead of the subject lines on lower right side
-Sometimes the physicians are not realistic or ethical in the pharmaceutical industry. I don’t believe the guidelines are understood.

December 19, 2007 Posted by | Your best comments | , | Leave a comment

Find your message and deliver it.

The following is the quote from my conversation with the moderator of “Ask Dr. Dave” of Cafepharma.

Originally Posted by DrDave
Dr. Max-Thanks for your post. Could you give us an illustrative example of a single sentence that you would find indicative of such value?I would also be interested in your comments regarding your website/blog. I visited only briefly, but it appears that you “coach” reps from a physician standpoint on sales techniques, but with a focus on marketing strategy. Can you elaborate on how/why you were motivated to set up your website?Thanks again!Doctor Dave:

My reply: Every successful brand has a Singular Idea or Core message. It has an extreme focus, precision and brevity. That’s how it lives in the minds of the audience.It’s not a slogan, not a catchy word, in fact, it never has to be verbalized or written. It’s a hidden under the hood engine that drives the brand.
Say, Volvo’s slogan is “Volvo for life”, but the Singular idea is “Safety”.
Apple’s notebooks and iPods: “Cool”
Target: “Affordable quality”.
Some brands of medications are very successful in developing such singular ideas in the minds of prescribers. Let’s say, Plavix:”When Aspirin is not enough” , Z-Pak “Antibiotic for mild infections”, Levaquin: “When you need to add power”, and so on. It’s not said or even implied, but that’s how doctors bond with those brands.
The job of the sales force is to find , so called pips, easy and memorable messages that would link the docs with the Singular Idea of their brand. Pip needs to be compact and portable enough to spread quickly. Usually, the companies provide their reps with enough training and materials that contain pips. Pip should connect with the docs, and should have enough intrinsic value for them to spread it around. What defines a good pip is that it asks to be passed along. (“Hey I just heard from …rep that… say, Aciphex is the PPI of choice for obese patients”).
Hope this is helpful. Have a great weekend!

December 16, 2007 Posted by | Your brand message | , , , | 4 Comments

A tip to bond with your docs

Most doctors are tired and overworked, or think they are , or more importantly, want you to appreciate that. They frequently project fatigue and fading energy. A person with fading fuel source doesn’t mind borrowing some fuel from another source. The source however should be empathetic to their needs. Try to be that source of fuel with some extra energy in you. Be more energetic, but comfortably for them. Do not go too far out from where they are. Learn to tune yourself to feel their energy and to be refreshing. When you perceive: “life sucks” coming from them , you project “I can make it a bit better RIGHT NOW”. It’s a good tool that takes some time to learn, but once mastered it will give you a great bond with your clients. They will look forward to seeing you again. You can start by trying it with those docs that you are comfortable with. Remember that sales are energy exchange, and you are the energy source.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | Inside your doctor's mind | | Leave a comment

Sales are exchange of energy.

Now you finally got their attention. What do you do next? What do you say when you talk? Are you ready? Do you have a message? Is it powerful, is it memorable, is it concise? I am afraid most of the time the answer is “NO”.
Way too often the reps are apathetic. No energy, no message, just small talk and yapping about the topics that they feel comfortable discussing with their clients. Time after time, week after week I witness how some great opportunities are lost. “But that’s how we bond with the docs..” , some may say. For strong market leaders, or for those docs who are in love with your products this approach delivers results. Great! Are you satisfied? Are these the outcomes that you are looking for? If yes, the rest of this post is useless for you.
Sales are exchange of energy, period. If you are apathetic, so are your sales.
Grow out of comfort of mediocrity. Think about it: your competition is coming right after you and is about to destroy you with her passion and energy. Do you know how easy it is to get attracted to energy? If you were a doctor would you rather listen to and learn from a rep with an apathetic attitude?
This may not be in your sales manuals but:
The single best way to learn is to unlearn first.
If you are looking for new outcomes find new approaches. Get rid of habitual patterns. Grow uncomfortable with boring. Do not allow yourself to slack off ” just this one time”. Learn to be ready NOW. Say what you need to say NOW. Pass on your energy TODAY and pollinate those flowers like a bee.
Doing things the same way brings more of the same results. It’s true everywhere you look in your life.
The key to success is to raise your own energy. When you do, people will naturally be attracted to you. And when they show up, bill’em.

December 13, 2007 Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | | Leave a comment

Get ready for Monday on Sunday. Debates…

“Barbie dolls” vs “No-dolls” reps
Please read the comments from Barbie, Ken, and two doctors. Share your thoughts.
What do you do about “no see” docs.
Read the post below from Cafe Pharma. How do you get through the barriers? Give us your suggestions or share your experiences. Let’s get to work.
Debates about food. Wow! Read the comments under the post “Give us one tip that works for you”. What do you do?

December 9, 2007 Posted by | Debates | , | 6 Comments

How to see "no see" docs?

This is the comment I posted on Dr. Dave’s blog at CafeParma two days ago in response to “Creative ways to reach “no see” docs..” thread:

Doctor here. All “no see” doctors are divided into two groups:
1. Those who do write your product
2. Those who don’t. Group 1 is your primary market target, group 2 is not. The amount of time and frustration that you will have to invest to get group 2 on board is disproportional to any potential benefits. At the same time, those “bad “clients give you 90% of your headaches.
Group 1 is clearly worth your attention. For the most part, the reason they do not want to see you is that they do not think you will bring them any value. So reflect first and decide what kind of value you will give to your doctors once/if you get that chance. If interested, we can continue talking about it when you can boil down your educational value to one sentence, I mean one. Create that one pip that you believe will score. 10 words, not more. Doctor Max

December 8, 2007 Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | , , | 1 Comment

Select your target doctors. Pick your battles, tribe!

Let’s expand on your market selection.
Busy day in the office. A rep is in speaking to me. I am one of the biggest prescribers of the class that his product belongs to. I know that he knows that his particular product has no more than 5-6 % of my scripts in the class. He also knows that that number remained unchanged for 2-3 years, and hence by now unless he is ignorant he should see very little potential for expansion.
A colleague of mine who is new to the practice and always, and I mean always, takes time to listen to the reps passes by as the rep is talking to me. The rep turns his head to the doctor and without saying anything about anything is asking for an autograph. The doctor signs the paper and is heading into a patients room. I am asking loudly: “Doctor…, can you tell me what does this fellow sell?” My colleague looks at me and says: “I have no idea”. Wow! and Wow again!
Does he know that he probably has 10 times better chance with that new doctor than with me. I mean 10 times. Guys, grab it, chew it, taste it, enjoy it and only spit it out if it’s not chewable.
What do you think? Familiar situation? Pick your battles, tribe. Pick your battles.

P.S. Note for the rep in the story: Count on me to help you grow!

December 6, 2007 Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | | Leave a comment

Your primary market. Are you wasting your time with some of your doctors?

I am sure that thought occurred to you. In short, my opinion is “YES”.
We talked about getting your doctors attention, but we never discussed “whose attention”.
You know better than me that with some of them you may be out 3 nights a week, feed them every sushi in the world, kiss their behinds , and yet at the end of the day all you get are a few tiny balls of constipated stool coming out with big time cramping and hemorrhoidal bleeding. Yet, most of you persist. God bless you! You must truly like this emptying process. From business standpoint you are foolish. I submit to you that your absolute best client is the one who already uses your product. They are loyal to your product and to you. Your best bet is to get their attention to write more, to sell them your other stuff, and to involve them in “selling” your products to their office partners. If your DM teaches you otherwise let her read this and yell at me.

December 2, 2007 Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | , , | 2 Comments

Give us one tip that works for you!

It’s time to share. One tip. Give it to us. It can be as brief as one word. Be light. No hard thinking or justifications needed. I will post one tip after every third comment.

December 1, 2007 Posted by | Debates, Your best comments | | 17 Comments