Monday, October 6, 2008



Pharmaceutical marketing and selling requires the right training. The training requirement is not about the technical aspects alone. It is very much about successful oral communication and influential body language in different settings with the physician. There are several aspects to the science and art of speaking successfully, and getting the message across. And there are specialists who train and help pharmaceutical companies excel in the challenge of customer conversion through field force effectiveness.

Sarah rocks!

One look at the web site – and you are convinced with the positive vibrations, confidence, and cheer that Sarah Taylor can bring to the table. Sarah Taylor is apparently making a great deal of contributions in the sector of training for pharmaceutical selling through her firm, Taylor Presentations.

Besides her own persona that strikes out, Sarah has put together a great team of sales training professionals whose vibrant bios you can read here. It is apparent Sarah has a great team building ability and this helps add value in the sales building process of pharmaceutical companies.

Sarah’s articles

In the website Pharma rep, Sarah has written very useful articles that touch every day activities of MRs.

In this article Sarah emphasizes on the importance of TARGETING THE MESSAGES. The basic point is that one cap does not fit all! Although there can be uniformity in messages, it needs to be tailormade to the doctor's profile to obtain a better listening index of the prospect. The exciting point in this article is the suggestion to try and understand the learning style of the prospect - and accordingly perform the in-clinic activity. For eg., there are doctors who learn more from visual displays. Others prefer the audio and discussion style. There are important points such as, on how to strategize the message content and delivery depending on whether the doctor is an early adopter of new drugs or not.

In another article Sarah advices on how senior reps can help in inducting rookie MRs. It is also interesting to note that Sarah uses 'she' when referring to MRs. Probably there are many lady MRs in America. In fact, Sarah emphasizes that this is an opportunity for the senior MR to demonstrate that she or he is 'manager material' apt to be considered for future promotions. Thus, MRs can use this experience to coach new MRs for career advancement. This is the normal routine in India too - albeit, we have to use 'he' more often than 'she'.

In another sensitive article the author deals with the common problem of dealing with 'difficult' doctors. This is a common field problem. To attract the attention of such doctors, stimulating the interest of doctors, kindling the desire to prescribe a particular brand, and finally the action of actually prescribing the brand is a challenging task. And Sarah offers tips to manage such difficult doctor calls successfully in this article. In fact, ruminating on the contents of this article makes it clear that EQ is a very vital faculty in doctor conversion.

Unlike in India, sponsoring lunch to doctors and using the time to interface with the physicians and getting them to prescribe the target brands is a common field strategy in USA. In India, the emphasis is still on in-clinic activity. This is the culture of medical practice and pharmaceutical selling in India. The moral of the story is that whether the platform to promote the product is in a clinic or during a working lunch, it is vital to use the opportunity for product promotion and business. It is prudent however, to make powerpoint presentations on the product and related therapy aspects while the doctors have lunch as is done in India. This will also strengthen product oriented conversations to reinforce prescribing behaviors.

Consultative selling is a powerful style but requires solid grounding of knowledge and communications skills. However, it is a very successful technique. In fact, Pfizer MRs are known to start consultative selling using a social style selling skill. One relates to doctors on interesting social issues and then the MR proceeds to engage the prospect on product matters. This point is explored in the article.

The hot button in a prospect is to be understood and used for successful closing. This may be a price point, a safety point, company image aspect, quality issues, and so on. One needs to do a lot of homework on the doctor's profile to find the hot button. This point is beautifully highlighted in the article.

There are no short cuts to success. Preparation and practice is the only way out. Make the preparation fun and purposeful advices Sarah, and she goes on to suggest that joining toastmasters club is a very effective strategy.

This article engages the reader to take one's career seriously before it is too late. The article gives practical and actionable advice on how to reboot one's career as a MR.

It is indeed heartening to note the activities undertaken and the value addition to MRs and consequently to the pharmaceutical profession, by Sarah and her illustrious team. She has also distilled her learnings in a book called Secrets of Successful Pharmaceutical Salespeople.

Thanks for reading this blogpost. Please scroll down, and clik on months as required to read all other blogposts. There won't be any blogpost this weekend.

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