Drug Rep Time

How to succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales.

Pay attention to getting attention.

I wrote the following almost a year ago, but some of my recent observations compelled me to address this again.

It’s that simple: without your doctors’ attention there won’t be any transaction. Should you sell, pitch or educate when one wants to get out now, needs to answer a phone call now, is bombarded by 3 different conversations, dying of thirst or simply can’t hear you?
Your message delivered in the absence of her/his attention loses its immediate impact. Moreover it loses its potential to have any value or power in the future. You know why? Because in the midst of noise their brain catches something without reaching their awareness. You may think it’s OK, because next time their brain will recognize it as something familiar or already heard. Right? Maybe on paper. In reality their brain will associate that message with the negative circumstances and instead of bonding with your message , the brain will get frustrated with it and, what’s worse, with YOU next time when the same message and the messenger are back. The more of the same you do, the smaller your chance to ever deliver your next message will get. Instead of becoming an educator, you become an “irritater”.
Slow down, visualize their attention, watch and once they ready – talk.
What’s the best manifestations of their attention? Their direct question addressed to you, their direct eye contact with you, their mouth shut and ears unplugged, so to speak. Identify these simple signs and you are ready to go.
Even if you are dying to share your new indications, your new sales line, still slow down, take a look around, feel what they feel, think if the current circumstance allows, if not, see if it can be modified to benefit their attention (not your itching to talk).
By showing respect and making a neutral comment important to them you either will modify the circumstance right away or will get a better chance to be listened to in the future. Remember, it is all about THEM, not about your you or you product.
And yes, with some of them you won’t succeed because it is too late to correct established patterns of disrespect to you, or else because some of them are genuine jerks. But so what?

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September 27, 2008 Posted by | Inside your doctor's mind, Sales Tips | , | Leave a comment

Key mistakes to avoid when using visual aids.

The two main ideas behind visual aids are to enhance verbal communication using images and to provide you with a source of topics and information  about your products. It is well known that what we hear we forget but what we see we tend to remember. About 10% of people learn via listening only. Visual learners are much more common. It is believed that by drawing your doctors attention to the image in visaids you have a better chance to keep it and to leave lasting impressions. Every time you will show your piece to the doctors they will immediately stop whatever they are doing and grab your visaids to satisfy their endless thirst for knowledge by literaly eating and drinking every word of the studies quoted in your materials, right? Nothing gets physicians more excited that looking at graphs from “pivotal” studies conducted by your companies, that get tossed and squeezed by statisticians to get a drastic 3%  improvement  over your competitors, to be then able to proclaim “power of something”, right? Well, wrong. Day in and out we are presented hundreds of studies, papers, copies, visaids, quotes, references, etc. Your competition does the same thing, so unless you know what to say and exactly what value you are bringing with your visaids, do not carry them like the olympic torch. That being said, not using visaids at all or an  “these marketing people have no clue what they’re doing” attitude, is certainly a mistake. What are the DON’Ts: 1. Do not refer to the content that you are not familiar enough or that you do not fully understand; 2. Do not show anything to your doctor until you engaged him/her in a conversation and have some form of confirmation of attention in the form of a question, head nod, comment or argument; 3. Do not refer to your materials without asking for a permission to show them; 4. Do not waste time on illustrating secondary points. One key point at a time; 5. Do not make them read fine prints or study complicated graphs unless they ask; 6. Do not shift attention from your face to your visaid , even when you have it ready and open, until after they clearly expressed their interest and permission; 7. Do not rush through the whole thing. You’ll have time at your next visit to cover the remaining points; 8. Do not close your visaid until you shifted their attention back to your face; 9. Do not leave you “stuff” behind without asking for their permission. Think about what goes through their heads when they throw your visaids to trash; 10. Do not use the same formal language that the visaids use; use your own but keep the main idea.

I welcome any comments.  Remember that black belts are not those who practice 1000 things 10 times but rather those who practice 10 things 1000 times.

September 6, 2008 Posted by | Sales Tips | , | Leave a comment