The Pharma Rep’s 5 Tips for Winning Every Call

The 3 Minutes that Will Save Your 3 Minutes

You’re sitting in the waiting room, flipping absentmindedly through last month’s copy of Golf magazine, anxiously waiting for the opportunity to call upon your targeted physician. You know that you’re only going get a few minutes in front of the prescriber you’re calling on – that’s of course, when you’re lucky and got in at all. Physicians’ schedules keep getting tighter, allowing very little time for ‘extras’, like seeing a Pharma sales rep, even if they consider your visit quite valuable. After traveling all that way, waiting for an hour in the waiting room, and being rejected on your previous visit, you surely want to take advantage of these few minutes, don’t you?

Analysts in the home office produced all sorts of reports, slicing and dicing your territory to send you off with what they believe to be the most optimal target list. But now, you’re here in the waiting room, about to enter the physician’s office and have to make the most out of this visit. How can you prepare to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity? You could of course, pull out the stack of reports from the home office and review the tables and charts they’ve produced. There’s a lot of good information in these reports. Alas, too much of it.

You don’t have the time to dive now into all these reports. You need the gist of it – has volume been going up or down? How’s the competition doing with this prescriber? What’s the managed care situation with this office? Have there been any changes you should be aware of? The more prepared you are the more you can profit from this short visit. How can you best prepare for these precious minutes? Here are some tips to ensure the highest payoff from your visit.

Tip #1: Don’t waste your meeting time on asking questions.

Every detail you can look up ahead of time to know the answer, do it. You shouldn’t waste precious time on asking unnecessary questions. Lots of essential details are available in your databases, your CRM, and your BI reports. The secret is, to bring them up and review everything before you step in.

Tip #2: Familiarize yourself with your prescribers’ pain points and open issues.

Demonstrate your awareness and expertise and come prepared with keen, educated answers that are exactly to the point. Is Managed Care putting pressure on the prescriber to use generic rather than brand? Has your competition launched a new drug that gets lots of profile-raising coverage in medical publications? Did the Affordable Care Act affect the formulary status? If you’re familiar with the particular challenges faced by a prescriber and come prepared, you can start off with summarizing the situation and follow on with suggesting actions.

Tip #3: Acquaint yourself with the big picture.

In order to acquire deep understanding and subsequently demonstrate expertise, you ought to see a comprehensive picture of your prescriber. You want to know the physician, his market, the brand promotions, the competition, managed market plans they’re working with, and in some specialty pharma, you even want to know the patients. It is a lot of data, but for in-depth understanding of a situation, you don’t want to ignore important components of the big picture that might be the drivers for success or failure of your brand. High-end analysis tools will add in the link between market intelligence, brand strategy and sales execution to mesh all the essential information and make sense of your data.

Rule #4: Be specific.

The more specific you are when addressing your prescriber’s pain points, the more proficient you seem. Pinpointing a specific issue makes you more credible. You will come through more as a consultant and less as a salesman. It is not enough to review all the available data, you ought to take it to the next step and narrow down the big picture to focus on those issues that actually matter. Charts and reports are not enough. Some thorough analysis is needed to highlight the few points you want to hone in on and not waste time on less important issues.

Rule #5: Be confident.

When you’re well prepared for your call, you’re more confident, and it shows. Knowledge is power. Prepare yourself to demonstrate understanding of the issues on hand and the solutions available and your prescribers’ attention will be all yours.

To maximize your full potential, your best bet is using a robust tool that will help you create a comprehensive picture on one hand and bring to your attention essential points to bring up in front of the physician on the other. The volume and complexity of available data is beyond what you can quickly go through by skimming over reports and spreadsheets. You need an analytical application that ‘understands’ the needs and problems in Pre Call Planning and knows how to swiftly and accurately present them to you.

Reps in the pharma industry experience every day the challenge of optimally approaching prescribers with sensible, convincing messages. A Pharma Rep will be regarded as credible, only when demonstrating both, proficiency and focus on actual obstacles that prescribers are facing. To be successful, the Pharma Rep has to be very well prepared for every meeting. A three minutes call upon the physician is the last mile in a lengthy planned branding strategy; that last step that will make it or break it. Won’t you invest three minutes to best prepare yourself to make the most of your three minutes in front of the prescriber?