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?
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
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.
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:
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:
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.