There is a misconception that a medical sales representative only gets 90 seconds with each of the target doctors/health care professionals (HCPs). What this refers to is that they will only get 90 seconds to get mental access and show the HCP that they have a potential solution to a problem/issue the HCP has in their clinical practice. All HCPs are very busy and the last thing they need to hear is the same story that they have heard a 100 times before. This is why they often start the conversation by saying something akin to “What’s new?”
The key to gaining mental access and showing that you have something to offer is NOT to start the conversation with an open question. It is very easy for the HCP to come back by saying that they are too busy or do not have time today. Remember that all HCPs ask questions for a living. With every patient they have to ask a myriad of questions before they can make clinical/prescribing decisions. Therefore, what the sales professional needs to do is to make an opening statement that elicits a question from the HCP. Once the HCP has asked a question, mental access will have been achieved and the sales professional can take the call to where they need to go in order to address the HCPs concerns and to a place where an informed (prescribing) decision can be made.
To do this effectively, the sales professional must
1) Know and understand the physician’s clinical practice and patient profile (pre-call planning)
2) Show that they have a solution to a problem/issue or concern that the HCP has.
3) Support that solution with relevant clinical information or data.
The digital sales aid is so important, as being able to access supporting information with a single touch of a screen is what will make that 90 second call into a 3-5 minute useful interaction.
StayinFront provides the tools, data and analytics that enable field representatives to do more for their medical professionals, know more about their needs and deliver more targeted, one-to-one messages that help build relationships and lead to increased use of your products. Read more about how life sciences companies are maximizing time with HCPs using StayinFront TouchRX® .
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series – How to maximize time with HCPs.
Dr. Peter J. Shaw, Chief Medical Officer at QPharma Inc., is an expert on improving communications between pharmaceutical sales executives and healthcare practitioners. He has 25 years of experience in clinical medicine in a variety of specialties, 20 years’ experience in product launches and pharmaceutical sales training and assessment, and 10 years’ experience in post-graduate education.