Effective detailing in one minute

October 1, 2001
Jeff Rahmel
Pharmaceutical Representative

What do you do when given only a small amount of time to detail your product?

So there you are, standing at the window of your fourth positively no-see doctor, expecting to crash and burn yet again. But to your amazement, the nurse smiles pleasantly and says, "Frank, good news. Doctor Jones had a last-minute cancellation. Yes you can finally see to doctor. But she's still very busy so you can only have a minute." And faster than you can say "sales training," you find yourself in a small consultation room, awaiting the arrival of the doctor! Remembering the nurse's time limit of only a minute, what are you going to say?

This moment can give a salesperson both a rush of adrenaline at the prospect of detailing the unreachable doctor and a panic attack at only being given 60 seconds to do the job. Even seasoned sales representatives dread moments like this. So, what do you do when given only a small amount of time to detail your product?

Introduce, probe, close

A few simple tips can help you maximize this sales opportunity and increase your prescriptions.

Introduction: Always give the doctor your full name, the company you represent, the name of your product and what it is used for. Don't assume the doctor remembers who you are or whom you represent from the few brief greetings shouted at her through the office window. And don't presume that she knows your product or what it does, even if you've left enough literature to fill a small library. In short, you had better start from scratch.

Product introduction: Now is your chance. Go for it. Time to explain, in detail, what your product does, why it is the best and how the doctor can use it in her practice. Make it brief but informative. Remember: features and benefits. If you don't give that doctor a reason to use your drug, you've wasted her time and yours.

Probing: Quickly, ask if there are any questions. Answer if needed.

Close: Finally, close and ask for the sale. Everything leading up to this moment is just for show. Now is your chance to earn your pay. Get a commitment!

An example

So how would this all come together in the office? Something like this:

"Good morning, Dr. Jones. Thank you for allowing me to see you today. I know you're busy, so I'll only take a moment of your time. My name is Frank Wilson and I represent Hayes-Napoleon Pharmaceuticals. We manufacture and market Nose-Help, which is used for treating the condition of dry and itchy noses.

"According to the latest government studies, this disease now strikes one in twelve Americans and costs industry an average of $14,000,000 per year in lost time. And with winter just around the corner, you will undoubtedly see a substantial increase in this condition among your patients.

"Doctor, you currently have the choice of three drugs when you treat dry and itchy nose. Burn-Go, Itch-Away and my product Nose-Help. Each stops dry and itchy nose, but only my product contains Hydo-Gen, a mild pain reliever and re-hydrator. This allows you to help your patients receive relief faster, because with this extra additive, the healing process is cut from an average of seven days with the other products to three days with Nose-Help. In addition, the pain associated with dry and itchy nose will be completely eliminated in four to six minutes. And because my drug comes in a convenient nasal spray and not a cream, your patients will find it very easy to use. Lastly, I am happy to report that most insurance companies now recognize the outstanding healing ability of my drug and list it as their preferred medication.

"Do you have any questions I can answer? Well, after seeing the outstanding features of my drug, can you see any reason why you won't use it first-line in your practice?

"Doctor, thank you for agreeing to use my drug. I appreciate the confidence you are placing in my company and my product. I will review this drug with your P/A to be certain he also is familiar with Nose-Help. In addition, I will supply you with both 2-mg and 4-mg spray samples. I'll be back in two weeks to check on your success.

"Again, thank you for your time."

While we wish all doctors could take time out of their day to listen to lengthy details on our drugs, common sense indicates that physicians are too busy to afford us this luxury. As the practice of medicine changes, so must we adapt to this new selling environment. The 60-second detail will help you present your products efficiently and effectively in the hectic, crowded marketplace. PR