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When asking doctors whether or not they have been prescribing a drug, specialty sales rep David Schwartz's advice is, "Don't accept yes or no for an answer."
When asking doctors whether or not they have been prescribing a drug, specialty sales rep David Schwartz's advice is, "Don't accept yes or no for an answer." Though many reps take a doctor's hurried, positive answer as a sign that their work is done, Schwartz's work has just begun. "It's time to start asking questions," he said. To Schwartz, a rep's job is just as much about listening to doctors as it is about detailing products.
The Pharmacia & Upjohn rep, a seven-time winner of the company's Premiere Award Now (formerly called the Upjohn Academy), practiced pharmacy for one and a half years before turning to sales. "I always thought it would be fun to meet the doctors that called in the prescriptions," he said. "It was the best move I ever made."
This expertise has given Schwartz what he admits is "a huge edge," in sales. Still a registered pharmacist, Schwartz completes 12 hours of continuing education per year and is an active member of the Harris Co. Pharmacy Association. "I always try to teach [new reps] the importance of calling on pharmacists," he said.
Schwartz remembers many Saturdays early in his 26-year career detailing pharmacists on his days off from physicians' calls.
His satisfaction comes from making a difference. "When a doctor sees you in the hall and says, 'You saved my patient's life last night,' that's a real nice feeling," he said. But his favorite part of being a rep? "Talking, and meeting people," he said with a laugh. "I love my job."