Drug Rep Time

How to succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales.

The truth will set you free, but first will piss you off.

Below is a quote from one of the participants of DrugRepTime. This was expressed some time ago in a survey about this blog and for a while I wanted to comment on that. 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 disseminated.”  So, first of all , thank you.

Here are my thoughts about it. Three dangerous words in English are ” I KNOW THAT”. If your mind ever tells you that, simply say to yourself “Thanks for sharing”. Somebody smart once said: ” It is not what we don’t know that prevents us from succeeding, but rather what we know that ain’t so.” The best way to learn something is to open yourself up by emptying your cup from any preconceived ideas and thoughts. In other words , the best way to learn is to unlearn first. True learning may be painful but it is always rewarding. If you know the purpose and if you are open to learning you will have the biggest gratification – CHOICE. Here is a quote from Lau-tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching: Not-knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease. First realize that you are sick; then you can move toward health. 


May 26, 2008 Posted by | Your question , my answer | | 2 Comments

If you want to win.

So what consistently impacts your sales the most? The comments to the previous post suggested that you think that there isn’t  any “one thing that fits all”. You are right, but is there one common denominator?  I also promised to tell you how I tested that in my own sales. Here is a question : What do doctors do in the rooms or on the phones with their patients? The answer is: they sell. Specifically, they sell to their patients problems and solutions. Example: Mr. J has high blood pressure. His doctor’s job is to sell him on the need to treat high BP and to treat it for an indefinitely long period of time, on the compliance with treatment, on the need to follow up regularly , to pay for the medications, to do testing , etc. In fact, your doctors do it every day, with multiple patients, multiple individual circumstance, multiple objections, multiple socioeconomic considerations including time issues, money issues, trust issues, knowledge and education issues. Moreover, your doctors end up “selling” YOUR medications as best solutions for their individual patients needs and wants. Now, tell me how it is different from what you are doing? If and once you overcome the “medicine is a sacred profession” objection, you will realize that all your doctors are in sales.  And what do all sales have in common? The answer is that every single sales transaction is a form of EXCHANGE. Something has to be exchanged, whether it is knowledge, conviction, passion, confidence, experience, physical object, service and whatever else you can think of. The key condition for success of such exchange is ENERGY. None of exchanges in communication is possible unless some form of energy is passed along. When your goal is success a positive form of energy must be manifested and exchanged. If you are a recipent in a sales transaction whether you are a patient in the room or a doctor in the office would you be more likely to participate if you sense a. negativity, b. indifference or c. positivity? Would you likely buy from the sales person whose response to your ” what’s new?” is: a. “same s..t, different day” or “we are getting killed by..”, b”same old, same old” or “nothing much” or “TGIF’, or c.” happy to be here working with you”?  Multiple studies showed that adding energy consistently increased sales across the board. I tested it myself and found it to be true in my communication with eight to nine thousand patients a year, black or white, reach or poor, young or old, tough or easy, friendly or hostile, educated or not, for past nine years. When you are at you doctors’ regardless of how you look, how smart you are, how great or poor your product is, how well connected or far disconnected you are with your clients, how useless your DM is, how often or rare, how early or late in the day, with or without food, you will uniformly increase your sales if you consistently deliver higher energy. I mean that anything HIGHER than your baseline will move your sales up. Do not believe me? Just test it. One caveat: do not fake it – keep it real. 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”.

May 18, 2008 Posted by | Sales Tips | , , , , | 15 Comments

Male or female?

A few weeks ago I was asked by a rep what one thing makes the biggest difference in your sales.This came after my post www.drugreptime.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/five-reasons-why-you-cant-sell/. To my surprise I couldn’t answer the question without talking about too many things and hence diluting the value of each answer. What is it? Should you be younger or older, experienced or fresh out of training, female or male ,  “barbie doll”, always prepared, always available, always with funds? Should you have clear messages, or personal relationship, should you be in the office weekly or biweekly, should you be aggressive or considerate or simply be yourself? Is that the product or the company, breakfast, lunch or dinner, type of food or type of speaker, primary care or subspecialty, samples..? Do you need to dance if your doctor dance, drum if he drums, hunt if she hunts, golf, travel , be cool or old fashioned? Is it about some “alternative” relationship,  or maybe about knowing how to look, smell, what to say and when to shut up? Having spent over three months observing, thinking and debating I finally got it. It was so simple that I couldn’t believe it. So I decided to test it myself in my own sales. “What sales?”, you might ask. And that, my friends, is something I will also share with you in my next post. However I need some smart ideas and comments before we can continue. What do you think?

May 11, 2008 Posted by | Inside your doctor's mind | , | 3 Comments

How to enroll your docs in conversations?

You were all taught to use enrolling questions to get attention of your audience. Great approach. 1. How many of you do not know how to do that? 2. And of those who know, how many want to master that skill so that 100% of your audience is always enrolled?  What did I just do?  Right, I enrolled 100% of you. If you are still reading you are enrolled. What would have happened if I stopped after the first question? Those who thought “I know”  would have departed, or drifted away. So here is the problem: By far the majority of reps will benefit from getting better in this. Have you ever stood in front of your doctor observing his eyes glazing over after you asked him a question? Yes, that’s the moment when you lost him. From this moment all your further communication occurs with the little voice in the back of his head that basically says “Shut up, you, let me go..”. Does the mastery of enrolling the audience require some special personality or charisma? No, it requires two things: a. Doing it regularly and observing the response, and b. Practicing what you are going to say ahead of time by constructing your questions in such a way that precisely 100% ( not 99) of them are enrolled. In most cases your company marketing people will give you one enrolling question that uniformly leaves some of your targets out. Thank them for that  question ( better than none ) and proceed with constructing question number two that will scoop out the rest of the audience that got left out after the first one. That’s right , you  have to have two questions ready before you fire. Here is a classic example from the author of “Sales Dogs”, Blair Singer. Question 1: How many of you had breakfast this morning? Show of hands in the audience -70%. Great, thank you. Question 2: How many of you didn’t have breakfast. Show of hands, remaining 30%. Thank you. No matter what you are going to say next you are now talking to all of them. Start doing that and observe what works, what doesn’t, and how your questions need to be modified. It goes without saying, that your enrolling questions have to carry value to your docs and that you must thank them regardless of their answers. Put it to practice, and keep in mind that what you hear you forget, what you hear and see you tend to remember, but what you do – you understand.

May 4, 2008 Posted by | Sales Tips | , , , , | Leave a comment