Your rep and your brand can stand out
Simply put, the easier it is to write your prescription and drive successful patient outcomes, the more physicians will think
of your drug first. The fewer patient follow-up calls and questions, the more your rep and your program stand out. Here are
a few starters:
Find out what your physicians need. How often do you find yourself sitting behind two-way glass watching physicians comment on your next sales aid? Does this
chart work? Does that data point have relevance? Important yes, but what does that same physician think they need to help
their patients understand your drug or their disease? And what is the patient getting from their physicians? You may be surprised
at the answers.
Invest in patient materials that support, not sell. Once you understand what's needed, stop selling and develop materials that will help patients succeed on your therapy. Make
them simple, clear, and high impact. Help the physician set proper efficacy expectations, explain potential side effects,
and encourage patients to take an active role in their treatment. And consider the impact of programs that can provide an
additional level of support after the patient leaves the physician's office.
Prepare your reps for a different kind of conversation with their physician. When your rep can ask a physician, "What do your patients need, and how can I help you be successful with them?" their role
changes from selling to supporting. What are the physician's issues with their patients, and your drug? What can be done to
deliver the expected outcomes? Your rep becomes a resource, not just a cheerleader with samples.
Follow through before and after the exam room encounter. Make sure the support staff is aware of your materials and programs. Hold conversations with nurses, physician assistants,
and even the front desk personnel to be sure there is understanding and follow-through. Remember this is not selling, it's
patient support targeted at improving the promised outcomes. Everyone can play an important role.
Measure the difference. Here's the critical step. Take the time and effort to measure the follow-up scripts, patient-by-patient and doctor-by-doctor.
Conduct post-program interviews to document the impact of the program and modify the components as needed. Frankly, planning
and creating these programs are costly, but the impact on a brand's growth can be significant.
Five Ways to Get Your Rep to Stand Out
In an age of data that can match a sales rep and physician's hobbies and interests, solving a real unmet need can be an even
stronger relationship builder. Help a physician be more effective with their patient, and that physician might just see your
rep in a different light. The result can add valuable time to your rep's visits, differentiation to your brand, and solid
increases to your sales.
Al Topin is President of Topin & Associates, and a member of Pharm Exec's Editorial Advisory Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org