This ‘Guest Blog’ Post has been contributed by Mr. Hasan Jamal, a longtime veteran of Pharma Industry. The Guest Blog Posts are also published on https://pharmaveterans.com . You are welcome to contribute. You may write your own story or about some memorable events of your career or about Pharma Industry. Please send your posts to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Before I begin with the topic of communication I must admit my mistake with great regret to have missed out a very important person, in my blog # 5, a colleague who is no more in this world – Mansoor Dar – a jewel of a person. He was a member of Lahore team. I pray for eternal peace and highest stature to him in Heavens.
Effective Communication Skills for the Pharmaceutical Sales Professionals. Part (ii)
As I mentioned in my last blog (part i) on effective communication, here are few
tips which could make the calls to the doctors more meaningful and productive and bring greater success to the sales professionals.
Pharmaceutical selling is a very demanding profession. The amount of pre
paration required is enormous and requisite selling skills phenomenal.
It is a different selling from the selling of, for example, cosmetics, food stuff or automobile etc.
- Here, unlike other selling, decision is not taken by the customer or consumer (patient), but the decision is taken by a third party (doctor) on behalf of the consumer.
- The decision maker is more knowledgeable and well versed with the medicine, than the seller.
Pharmaceutical sales professionals must consider the following points.
- Make your moments with your doctor’s count. Everyone has the right to speak. Earn the right to be heard. Think about what you want to say before you say it. Every word counts. Tailor what you say to meet doctor’s patient needs, means product benefits are to be emphasized more rather than the features.
- Pay attention by picking up or listening to the unspoken emotions. Even if the doctor is busy with the patient or elsewhere, do not let your eyes dart away which signals that you’re no longer paying attention. Wait to speak only when the doctor has finished his work or if he wants to say something. Listen and read the expressions to gain maximum understanding of the ‘WHY’ behind his words.
- Honor the doctor’s time. Prepare and get to the point quickly by speaking in short and concise manner. Avoid rambling and cluttering your message with unnecessary points. Avoid using terms which create doubt i.e. may be, I think etc.
- On many occasions salespersons begin conversation with the words, “I know doctor you’re busy but…” Instead, acknowledge your doctors time by getting straight to the point. Ask for a clear and specific action. Even when you have only a minute of the doctor’s time, you will communicate more with less.
- Prepare for your call to doctor ahead of time. It has been observed that the representatives miss the opportunity to tailor their message to his patient’s needs.
- Avoid non-verbal uncomfortable gestures. Your behavior and non-verbal cues are as important as the words you say. From the moment you walk into the doctor’s chamber, be aware of what your body language communicates. If you want to convey confidence and trust, you must convey these from the time you walk into the doctor’s office till the time you walk out. Do not fidget, act nervous or allow your posture to convey uncertainty or lack of confidence.
- Be Sincere and Authentic. Be genuine and allow the doctor to see the real you.
- Maintain control of the conversation. Be interesting. We heard pharmaceutical sale professionals complaining “My doctor does not look at me when I am talking.” If you see the signs that you are no longer the center of attention and your doctor:
Gets busy working on his mobile, computer, patient or elsewhere.
• He begins to have side conversations.
• Or consistently interrupts you.
Then Stop. Break the flow. Earn their attention. Get back on track.
While working with your senior in the field or travelling along, ask for specific feedback about your discussion in the clinic, the manner in which you presented and the way you responded. Ask for balanced feedback about how to improve your in-chamber performance, and immediately start applying the advice.
The managers who provide balanced feedback immediately during their ride along, observed sales professionals:
• Communicate more clear and concise product information.
• Improve their communication skills to gain and keep their doctors attention.
• Gain the doctors agreement to give business.
The truth is that honing your ‘communication skills’ will pay you back many times over. If you get it right, you are guaranteed to have a much smoother path through life and your career……