Detailing Tips For Medical Representative

Medical sales representative detailing tips

Ditch the Awkward Silences: Proven Detailing Hacks for Med Reps Who Want to Win Over Doctors. Every med rep knows the struggle: those tense moments in the doctor's office, desperately trying to make your product stand out.

But what if there was a way to turn those interactions into confident, persuasive presentations that lead to more prescriptions?

This post is your roadmap to detailing success, packed with practical tips and tricks to build rapport, showcase your product's value, and leave doctors eager to prescribe.

Product Detailing in The Pharma Industry

When you visit your doctors, do you know what they expect from you? Detailing products is not the only thing you do when you meet your doctors, but it is one of the tips for medical representatives for success in pharmaceutical sales.

Pharmaceutical detailing answers

Before you get down to all the juicy tips, you want to distinguish these few things firsts:

  • What is pharmaceutical detailing
  • What represents the importance of detailing medical reps
  • How is the mechanism of detailing?

What is pharmaceutical detailing?

To offer you a basic definition, it's a promotional activity done face-to-face with your doctors using materials like products brochures, and in today's pharmaceutical industry, using e-detailing tools like iPad, laptops or tablet PC to deliver critical messages to convince the doctors to prescribe your medicine.

What represents the importance of detailing for medical reps?

It's a part of their roles and responsibilities. It's one of those visible functions of being a rep if you are one, which you are often being evaluated on. Some pharma companies go to the extent and make detailing as the particular thing that counts for. Reps are expected to promote and close in a pharma sales call. It's what generates the revenue, and revenue is exceptionally significant for the company you're presenting.

How is the mechanism of detailing?

First, you need to do pharmaceutical call planning. This is when you plan to meet what doctors expect from medical sales reps. Once you have done this, you'll have the idea of what to bring with you during your visit to the doctors.

Then you record the outcome from that interaction, and you set the objective for the next. As you can see, there are not much of secrets to succeeding as a medical representative.

Medical Representative Product Detailing Tips

Here are 9 tips you can use to detail your product as a medical rep:

9 medical representative product detailing tips

1) There is no right or wrong way to convince doctors: just what works and what do not.

You can categorize putting it as the “old school vs. new school” method of detailing but the main point is which one works best for you.

There’s very minimal value by having the latest sales strategies like SPIN Selling, SNAP Selling, Selling to Social Style (S4), Value Base Selling, Patients Focus Selling or what have you when simple talk, point to the brochure and ask for commitment achieve your sales objective just the same.

2) Ask yourself whether you’re in a great detailing or a short one.

Depending on the type of pharmaceutical sales calling you’re making, a long call requires you to detail more compared to a shorter one. It’s common sense.

A typical long call makes you go through the steps of asking questions, making initial benefit statement, checking for acceptance, validating your claim with studies, addressing a concern and asking for a commitment.

A short call is achieved with just greetings and discussing key message(s) and schedule for another meeting.

3) Is it a technical or follow up call?

A technical call could mean it’s the first time you call upon the prospect or customer and you need to take the time to introduce the company and product and go through a lot more details. A follow up call typically just a continuation on what you’ve discussed before that meeting (progressing into the sales cycle).

4) Are you seeing a decision maker or non-decision maker?

Like it sounds, decision maker requires no stone left unturned for them to make the final call but non-decision maker likely need to be updated on the progress of the sales process or negotiation.

5) Are you in the GP (General Practitioners) or Institution selling?

Some GPs require a detail description of the product or service you’re offering. Most of the time, they absolutely need to know how big is their profit margin is but there are exceptions in some instances.

For Institutions, customers need to be furnished with more details but when it comes to carrying out decision; you might need going a few layers before a conclusion can be made, with or without your detailing. Woefully, some Institution requires you to manage bureaucracy well. It’s just the way it is.

6) You want to prepare to best of your ability.

Devour all you can about your product material which includes your Packet Insert/Product Info (PI). Ask your Brand Manager (BM) or Product Manager (PM), Sales Manager (SM) and whoever responsible for notifying you about the product everything you desire to appreciate about the product and its’ associated issue.

Make sure you understand enough to present to your prospects or customers.

7) Practice with those who know the product or customer.

In detailing practice, this is dubbed “mock detailing.” You learn how to best present your piece, you get feedback, practice some more and then you go out to approach your customers. This might be unpleasant initially, but after a while, you’ll get the hang of it.

8) Deliver the call and record your performance afterward.

It would be excellent if someone else undertake this with you since you’ll exhibit the tendency to overlook or miss your own careless habits like not pointing at a brochure with pen, etc. but do the best you can to record what you did well, what you entail to cease and what you require to maintain performing.

9) Polish your detailing and keep polishing it until you develop your own style.

It will take some times before you achieved detailing mastery and that’s the reason why you need to keep practicing. You can never tell when the company will amend your portfolio or improve your area, or you change the company for a more productive career and so on.

And here are 15 things to avoid when you're working to convince the doctor to prescribe your medicine:

15 things medical sales rep to avoid during detailing

1) Not enough preparation.

No background check was done to the previous call or to look into the customer’s past record to customize an approach before the sales call. In the worst case scenario, wrong information or product was presented during the sales call. It happens, but it is easily avoidable.

2) Saying the wrong thing to the wrong crowd.

Detailing messages are not relevant, and they lead to more questions, and they turn into customers’ losing interest. It’s a classical “send the duck to talk to chicken” kind of situation. If enough preparation was made before the call, this could be avoided without breaking a sweat.

3) Not reading body language.

Reps didn’t notice the signal to move or ask for commitment and did not interpret well the non-verbal cue that’s being transmitted by the customers/prospect. Reading non-verbal cue when detailing is as crucial as delivering the verbal message, in fact, in some instances, it’s more important to pay attention to the non-spoken message.

4) Fail to add value.

No value was added in detailing due to trying to say too much in such short period of saying too little in product related issue when having longer time (spend too much time chit-chatting), and customers were lost in the conversation, and reps find it challenging to put them back on track.

5) Pressing for time.

As reported by the latest survey that many doctors are spending less time with a medical sales rep and most MR can’t really decide what to say when they got the opportunity to meet doctors to face to face.

6) Ineffective use of detail aids or visual aids during detailing.

For example, reps keep flipping brochures to find where the piece of information related to the topic discussed is located hence losing customer’s attention and interest (and patience too).

7) No, follow up.

Since many reps think that detailing is just a past event and it ends the minute they walk out the doctor’s room. They should know that doctors retention rate for products could be quite short because of interference with another pressing issue like patients well being and other medical products. They need to be reminded more than informed, and that means ‘follow up.’

8) Don’t know when to start.

For some reason, because many reps are very talkative about the issue other than their own products, they keep on talking about the non-related issue and talk very minimal or almost zero about their product key messages. They can talk for hours about movies, sports, travel and so on until they forgot that they are there to deliver meaningful and relevant critical words to customers.

9) Don’t know when to stop.

Some MR, even after being verbally reminded by the support staff that the doctor needs to attend to some other matter, keeps pressing on what they have to say. Falling into this mistake or the previous one is easy. These are just the flip side of the same coin.

10) One way communication channel.

This is also known as talking TO the doctors. Treating customers like a wall results in the same reaction from the customers. Customers find it easy to lose interest because they have so many other things to attend to.

11) Not checking for receptivity.

Reps keep talking to finish the conversation fast and to go back home to their TV, or they just want to make up their sales call numbers. This might be one of the most natural detailing mistakes made by MR primarily when they work alone without proper coaching.

12) Does not validate claim/statement.

This violates the ethics of evidence-based medicine. Even we don’t want to depend on just public opinion whether medication can address our medical needs or not.

13) Assume customers know everything.

This mistake causes reps to skip many important qualifying questions regarding the product they represent. Customers may know enough about the background disease and probably a science behind the medicines, but reps suppose to know more about how their product is relevant to customers’ practice. Don’t assume. Ask question.

14) Reps spill the bean too soon in a call.

They did not build interest for customers to feel that they need to use what is offered. In a competitive pharmaceutical industry, building customers’ attention has become more and more essential to make sure the drug position as the preferred medicine of choice.

15) Bad detailing habit.

A habit like not pointing at the brochure with the pen, keeping detailing aids too close to them and other practices that can repel customer’s interest and attention to the message being delivered is also common. MR needs to realize this habit and replace it with a more favorable pattern.

You can use this list as your medical representative success guide with 100% chance of working, if you put it to use, that is. Does the doctor expect very little from a pharmaceutical representative? That's very subjective, but for success in medical sales, these medical representative detailing tips can be very invaluable.


  1. Replies
    1. Any updates?

      Pharmaceutical has been a very dynamic industry lately, despite the global pandemic that seems to slow everything else down...

  2. This blog post has always been among the top most visited posts for this blog.

    If you get my drift, perhaps you want to take advantage of it. Of course, I'll sift things out first before allowing anything to be on here.

    Got it?

  3. This is a very valuable piece of information that helped me a lot in training my team of medical sales reps. Thank you very much!!!

    1. You're most welcome!

      Do share your experience using those info & lets discuss any challenges that you and the team are facing.

  4. If you're looking to improve your skills as a medical representative, this article is a must-read. It covers crucial detailing tips that can help you effectively communicate with your clients and close more sales. From understanding the client's needs to crafting a compelling pitch, the article covers it all. Whether you're a seasoned rep or just starting out, you'll find valuable insights that can help you take your game to the next level. So don't wait, read this article now and start boosting your sales performance today!

  5. I would like to share some quick tips for new joiners on building rapport with clients. Building rapport is an important aspect of being a successful medical sales representative and can greatly impact your sales performance. Here are some tips that I believe will help new reps quickly establish a strong rapport with clients:

    1. Be authentic and genuine: People can quickly sense when someone is not being authentic, so make sure to be yourself and show genuine interest in your clients.

    2. Ask questions and listen actively: Show a genuine interest in your clients by asking them about their business and their needs. Pay attention to what they have to say and respond in a way that shows you're listening and understand their perspective.

    3. Share personal stories and experiences: Sharing personal stories and experiences can help build trust and create a strong connection between you and your clients.

    4. Use humor: Humor can be a great tool for building rapport and making a connection with clients. Just make sure the humor is appropriate and in good taste.

    By using these techniques and strategies, you can quickly build rapport with your clients and establish a strong relationship that will help you achieve your sales goals.

  6. I'd like to share a few quick tips for new joiners on handling objections effectively:

    1. Listen actively: When a client raises an objection, listen carefully to understand their concerns. This helps to build rapport and shows the client that you respect their opinion.

    2. Ask questions: Ask open-ended questions to gather more information and clarify the objection. This helps to uncover the root cause of the objection and tailor your response accordingly.

    3. Acknowledge the objection: Acknowledge the client's concern and validate their feelings. This makes them feel heard and understood, which can help to diffuse any tension.

    4. Offer solutions: Provide a solution to the client's concern that addresses their specific needs. This shows that you are knowledgeable and have their best interests at heart.

    5. Follow-up: Make sure to follow-up with the client after addressing their objection to ensure that it has been resolved to their satisfaction. This helps to build trust and strengthen your relationship with the client.

  7. I have seen many new sales representatives struggle with effectively presenting a product and closing the sale. Here are some quick tips to help you succeed in this area:

    1. Know your product inside and out: The more you know about your product, the more confident you will be when presenting it to potential clients. Research the product's features, benefits, and unique selling points. This will help you to highlight what makes your product stand out from the competition.

    2. Identify your target audience: It is important to understand who your target audience is and what they are looking for in a product. This will help you to tailor your presentation to their specific needs and interests.

    3. Use storytelling: People are naturally drawn to stories. Use real-life examples and anecdotes to illustrate the benefits of your product. This will help to make the product more relatable and memorable to your potential clients.

    4. Highlight the benefits: Focus on what the product will do for your client, not just its features. Explain how your product will solve their problems or meet their needs.

    5. Use visual aids: Visual aids such as slides, diagrams, and videos can help to reinforce your message and make your presentation more engaging.

    By following these tips, you can effectively present your product, highlight its unique selling points, and close more sales. Good luck!

  8. I have seen that successful follow-up with clients is crucial in closing sales and maintaining long-term relationships. Here are some tips to help new medical sales representatives master the art of follow-up:

    1. Make a note of each interaction with a client and what was discussed, including their needs and objections. This will help you tailor your follow-up message and address their concerns.

    2. Set specific follow-up goals and targets, and plan how you will achieve them. For example, determine how many phone calls, emails, or visits you want to make to each client.

    3. Use a variety of follow-up methods, including phone calls, emails, and visits, to ensure that your message is received and understood. Remember to vary the timing of your follow-up attempts, as some clients may respond better to a phone call in the morning, while others may prefer an email later in the day.

    4. Be persistent but professional in your follow-up efforts. A client may need several follow-up attempts before they are ready to make a decision, but don’t pressure them or come across as pushy.

    5. Finally, be open to feedback and adjust your follow-up strategy as needed. Listen to what your clients are saying and use their feedback to improve your approach. With the right approach, follow-up can be a powerful tool for building lasting relationships and closing sales.