Professional Persuasion:101

Do you know a rep that couldn't use a refresher course in presentation skills?
May 01, 2005

Catherine Kaputa
The Detail Piece The sales aid or detail piece tells the features and benefits about the product. (See "The Detail Piece") The important marketing points are in bold print. These are the key words you need to use when you role-play presenting the detail piece in the interview. The summary of the marketing message is at the bottom of a one-page sales aid or at the back of a multiple-page sales aid. Use the summary to guide you through as you role-play doing a sales call in the interview.

Look at the detail piece for XYZ Eye Drops. You can immediately see the key points in the marketing message: "once a day," "safe," and "effective." This message is reflected throughout the detail piece. Notice words such as "quick response" and "pediatric use" (anything for pediatric use is very safe).

Lynn Zimmerman
It's very effective to relate all the product features to patient benefits. For example, look at the dosing for XYZ Eye Drops in the sample detail piece. Once-a-day dosing is a feature of XYZ Eye Drops. You just need one drop a day compared to four or five drops a day for competitive eye drops. The benefit for the patient is convenience. XYZ Eye Drops are also approved for pediatric use. The benefit for the patient is safety. The following exercise takes you though a role-play presenting a detail piece so that you'll be comfortable doing it:

Exercise: Role-Play Using the Detail Piece

Learn the Secrets The Field-Tested, Combat-Ready Guide to Becoming a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, by Catherine Kaputa and Lynn Zimmerman (iUniverse, 2005) is a book intended to help aspiring sales reps to prepare for job interviews, but the content of some chapters can also serve as training for new hires or refresher courses in essential skills for reps already in the field. In this (edited) excerpt, the authors offer role-playing exercises to remind reps of the finer points of using pharma s key sales instruments to promote a fictitious product, XYZ Eye Drops, to physicians: the detail piece, the clinical paper, and the package insert.
Rep: Doctor, when your patients need a quick response to dry, itchy eyes, think XYZ Eye Drops first. XYZ Eye Drops are dosed once a day, which means it is very convenient for all patients, and it is approved for pediatric use, which means it is safe enough for patients as young as one-year-old. Studies have shown XYZ Eye Drops provide the greatest improvement in dry eyes within the first 48 hours of treatment. Doctor, have you had the opportunity to prescribe XYZ Eye Drops?

Doctor: No, I've been using Competitor B.

Rep: What do you like about Competitor B?

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