5 common bad habits in medical sales jobs

By: John Bult

I was a medicalsales manager for several years. Quite often, the best performerswere simply those who were disciplined in doing things the right way. Unfortunately, the medical reps job seemed to lull people into badhabits which destroyed their performance. If you are new to therole, here's 5 of the most common bad habits to look out for.

  • Repeatcalling on the same group of core customers. Repeat calling oncustomers is, of course, necessary to generate growth in medicalsales. In fact, statistically, you won't get any real benefit untilyou've seen a Doctor 3 to 4 times. However, what many do, oftendriven by call rate targets, is resort to a circuit seeing the samegroup of people over and over again, some as frequently as once aweek or more. This is clearly not going to generate business. Indeed what often occurs is that reps get too close to the customerto be able to sell to them.

Call ratetargets are daunting, but be brave and challenge yourself to achievethem by constantly attempting to call on new customers. Ultimatelythis will win you far more business.

  • Not sellingto customers! There can be a number of reasons for this, the firstof which is point one. The second most common reason is the factthat pharmaceuticals in particular are a more technical medicalsales call. Many reps can get carried away with a 'consultative'approach to calls such that there is little or no 'persuasion'present to gain the extra business. If you go down this road youbecome a billboard, you'd just as well drive by, shout your productname and shower them in branded pens. If you followed a structuredsales approach to your calls you will sell so much more.

  • Notre-booking medical sales cyclical appointments on the spot. Mostappointment systems run in cycles. Many reps turn up for thereappointments in a rush, and leave in a rush for the next call. However, if you do this without re-booking, you fall out of theappointment cycle and as A result can loose a lot of easy calls. Inpractise, booking an appointment is a one minute job. If you alwaysremember to do this ( I would suggest when you turn up before acall) then you will never fall out of appointment cycles and youractivity will be stronger, leading to stronger sales.

  • Not callingon retail chemists. Perhaps the easiest way to cancel out yoursales efforts is to ignore retail chemists, particularly with a newproduct. If you have successfully persuaded a GP to use your newproduct, he prescribes it, the patient visits the chemist whodoesn't have it, he calls the GP and changes it back to what he doeshave! Many medical sales roles don;t specify a chemist call rate,but it's often common sense to call on them an ensure they have yourproduct if you think the Gps will be using it. If the chemistdoesn't believe you, he may call the GP and give your product anextra plug!

  • Notcreating call back opportunities. As mentioned above, it's repeatcalling which generates results in medical sales. Towards the endof your calls, look to create a reason to call again, perhaps arelated clinical paper to get a copy of for them, or the latestgadget your giving away. It doesn't always work, but if you attemptconsistently, it'll work enough to generate extra calls and speed upyour sales process.

In summaryArticle Submission, thebest medical sales people are often those who are simply able tofollow good practise consistently without looking for too many shortcuts. Try to avoid these bad habits and follow the tips and you maylike the results.

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