Drug Rep Time

How to succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales.

Begging for leftovers.

If you are a market leader, skip this post. Go sell more and enjoy your leadership.

Well, today I heard it again: “We are not asking for much. We know you like…XYZ medication (our competition). We just want you to give us a couple of scripts here and there”. This rhetoric is so painfully familiar, that I felt like crying along.

So, let’s look at the message that I am getting: “We do not believe that our brand is the best. We do not believe that we can sell it to you. We are not proud of our product or ourselves. We are begging for leftovers”.

Has anyone ever analyzed outcomes of such approach? Let me tell you what happens after.

A. No scripts. B. You committed your brand to a death sentence. And along with that you committed yourself. 

We all know the numbers game you have to play. But, please, do not put your name under the statement of your brand’s failure. Remember, you and your product are not the same. Even if you think that you are selling a stinky product ( which is NOT the case ), you do not want to be seen useless as a REP. Find and regain your pride! Everything has its place in the market. Locate the niche, locate your primary sales targets and grow them. Do not beg those who are not your primary market for any leftovers.

If I am not saying what you are seeing, I want to hear it. Please post your comments.


January 2, 2008 - Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | , ,


  1. Sometimes, as sales reps, we are asked to sell a “me too” product in an overly crowded market. Many times we do not have any identifiable benefits (i.e. costs more, managed care is awful, bad side effects) over our competition. In these situations it becomes a “relationship sale” with our physicians. I think it is acceptable to ask them to throw us a bone when our hands are tied and we are given nothing to show why our product is better than our competition. It happens often. I get frustrated when I see counterparts/teammates take this same approach with other drugs that have clear, provable benefits over the competition. Currently in my bag, I have one of each and I am successful in taking the different approach with each product. I think it depends on what we have to work with. You can only sell what’s in your bag with the features and benefits the FDA allows us to use.

    Comment by Anonymous | January 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. I love your comment. You made a great point. Nothing is absolute. Of course I was referring to the principle of things. There is nothing wrong with asking your doctor for a favor. But notice, that both you in your comment and me in the post made a reference to dealing with those doctors who are your “primary market”, meaning loyal to you or to your products.
    I will make a request. Pick a screen name. Your insight appears very valuable. I wish we could refer to your comments this time and in the future calling you by your screen name, rather than saying:”remember that one guy said…”.

    Comment by Doctor Max | January 3, 2008 | Reply

  3. Any physician that writes a prescription because a rep is begging for a little help deserves to get out of the business. If I am a patient and ever found out that I got an inferior medication because the physician likes the representative or is BOUGHT, I will leave that practice in a second!!! Now if a representative asks a physician to evaluate a medication since he/she has not written for it and he will see it works equally as well or better and it is more cost effective, then I can understand the push. Begging for scripts is a joke and that representative will NEVER do well! JMO

    Comment by Anonymous | January 3, 2008 | Reply

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