Drug Rep Time

How to succeed in Pharmaceutical Sales.

The bigger the “why”, the easier the “how”.

Your comments to the previous post suggest that you feel that your marketing departments are not in touch with the sales reps. My observation has been that the sales aids that are supposed to be the foundation of your sales pitches are generally lousy. The language in them is mostly stiff and dead. There are many reasons for that but the three key ones are: 1. Marketing is not in touch with sales; 2. Fear of saying what needs to be said dominates everything; 3. Most creative marketers left Pharma to work for the Googles of the world. You are on your own now. The point here is that if you want be successful you will have to sharpen your skills. You are the ones who have to be in touch with reality of sales. You are the ones who have to say what needs to be said. You are the ones who have to be creative. From the time I started this blog I have beeng saying that it is not about your companies or products; it’s all about you. You are the brand that needs to be promoted, you are the biggest asset that you companies have whether they recognize that or not. Please be clear about that. So how are you going to do what needs to be done? The first step is to realize that the bigger is the “why”, the easier is the “how”. Know what you want, put all the key elements that we talked about in place and the results will come.  

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June 19, 2008 Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | , | Leave a comment

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

Start here. Get your Doctors’ attention.

OK. Most of you in your responses to the survey said that this is the topic of value to you. You are right on the money, because without their attention there won’t be any transaction. Can you 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.
Would you ever think to ask her to marry you while she is on the phone with her credit card company trying to dispute a transaction?
If you think “yes” -rethink. And if you do it- Good Luck…
Your message delivered in the absence of her/his attention looses it’s immediate impact. Moreover it looses it’s 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 think it’s OK, because next time their brain will recognize it as something familiar, something 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 ( that you all said you want to be) , you become an “irritater”.
Slow down, visualize their attention, watch and once they ready – you go.
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 foundation for nourishing their respect to you in the future. Remember, it is all about THEM, not about your product.
And yes, with some of them you won’t succeed because it is rather late to correct established patterns of disrespect to you, or else because some of them are genuine jerks, but so what?
Don’t let those 20% that can’t stand you give you 80% of your pain.

OK, guys, we officially started. I want to see your comments. I know that you come here to read and learn but it is a conversation, not a monologue. Without your comments, I can’t get myself going…Also please forward the links and invites to your peers.

The next topic will be part 2, and the most important part of “Getting their attention”, called YOUR ATTENTION GRABBING PITCH. Coming on Sunday or early AM Monday.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Marketing and Sales strategies | , , | Leave a comment