Rep finds focus in patient advocacy

January 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

Mischele Hoffman is humble. With a background that includes 12 years in sales, two years administering a nonprofit organization for people with disabilities and a master's degree in health sciences, not to mention a highly successful year with Eisai Pharmaceuticals, it would be easy for her not to be. But Hoffman's patient-focused approach to selling and the match she's found in a company that also places a high value on patient advocacy has proved to be a good combination.

Mischele Hoffman is humble. With a background that includes 12 years in sales, two years administering a nonprofit organization forpeople with disabilities and amaster's degree in health sciences, not to mention a highly successful year with Eisai Pharmaceuticals, it would be easy for her not to be. But Hoffman's patient-focused approach to selling and the match she's found in a company that also places a high value on patient advocacy has proved to be a good combination.

In addition to staying on top of a four-week call cycle and preparing for her March wedding, Hoffman volunteers at an Alzheimer's care facility. (One of her products is an Alzheimer's medication.) Her experience there and as a former human services professional makes a difference. "My perspective is different," she said. "The true compassion for the patient coming out lends more credibility; it's not a hard sell."

She pointed out: "If we continually focus on just the numbers - you know, 'What's his favorite kind of chocolate?' - we lose sight of the real goal, and you have a tendency to get burned out with that approach."

And Hoffman wouldn't dream of it. "I know that I have a message to give them and it's important. And when I do finally get their time, I'm going to make it worth their while and mine. That's what keeps me going."

Hoffman's advice for new reps is to believe in their role as educator. "The best thing that you can bring to this job is a fresh, sincere approach," she said. "And a true belief in yourself and what you do."

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