The power of enthusiasm

April 1, 2001
Michael Dorfman

Pharmaceutical Representative

No one wants to hang around people who are sad all the time, or who have a chip on their shoulder.

"Enthusiasm is contagious" is a saying I learned at my first sales training course, and when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. In general, no one wants to hang around with people who are sad all the time, or who have a chip on their shoulder. On the other hand, people with positive attitudes create positive energy around themselves.

Doctors are surrounded by negative energy all the time. Unless a person is going in for a physical, he or she is probably going to the doctor because of poor health. Bad hearts, diabetes, depression and death are a few of the things that general practitioners must cope with day in and day out. It is no wonder that some doctors are moody at times. No matter what kind of mood the doctor is in, though, it is still our job to sell medicine, and to do this we must stay positive and enthusiastic. We can offer different levels of enthusiasm. A shy, soft-spoken doctor, for instance, might not appreciate an over-zealous, super-enthusiastic representative. However, a sincere, warm smile might be a great way of expressing enthusiasm for your job, your product and how glad you are to be in that doctor's company. There are also rare situations when the doctor is dealing with his or her own personal issues, and we must trade in our enthusiasm for some empathy and understanding. On most sales calls, though, enthusiasm must be expressed at some level.

A great attitude

An enthusiastic sales call starts as soon as you walk in the doctor's office and greet the staff. The staff also deals with negative people continually. The representative who walks into an office with a smile has the potential to brighten someone's day. An energetic, positive introduction will most often return you a smile from the doctor. Even if the doctor doesn't have much time for you that day, he or she might very well remember you and your great attitude the next time you visit, and grant you more time then.

An enthusiastic person exudes confidence – in our case, confidence in our products and our companies. Doctors might think to themselves, "That representative must really like her product," or "Maybe that representative's product is really special, maybe I should give it a trial."

Starting a call with enthusiasm usually helps the entire presentation flow smoothly. Many representatives are apprehensive in expressing enthusiasm while presenting clinical data and product information. It is understandable that one might think to express scientific data with serious and unemotional vocal tones. On the contrary, though, this is the time when your true enthusiasm and passion for your product must come out. Enthusiasm doesn't always need to be expressed with a smile. Changes in vocal tone and increases in vocal volume can also express enthusiasm. This is especially effective when presenting products that are used to treat serious illnesses, and when your product can benefit the doctor's patients in a substantial way. And if, during the presentation, the doctor gives a positive response, or if your data brings positive news, it might very well be appropriate to smile. A sincere smile during presentations will let the doctor know that you have confidence in your product, and that you feel good that your product is going to help his or her patients get well. Enthusiasm and passion in your presentation will surely help the doctor remember your product and your message. Doctors review clinical data and lab reports all day long. If you are not excited about your own product, then why should they be? The last thing they want to hear is a stoic speech with more dull data. Make your information exciting, and your doctors will be inspired to remember and prescribe your products.

Another famous saying is "When you smile the world smiles with you, and when you frown you frown alone." If you are able to maintain an enthusiastic attitude on all your calls, the rewards will be fantastic.

The staff will look forward to your visits and let you in. Doctors will allow you more time and think highly of you, not only as a confident salesperson, but also as an exceptional individual. Sales will come, and you will be smiling more than ever before. PR

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