Rep's individual strategies work

January 1, 2001

Pharmaceutical Representative

Joanne St. John attributes her success in her three years as a sales rep for Princeton, NJ-based Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals to the freedom she has been given to determine her own strategies and take advantage of her personal background and skills.

Joanne St. John attributes her success in her three years as a sales rep for Princeton, NJ-based Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals to the freedom she has been given to determine her own strategies and take advantage of her personal background and skills. Rather than concentrating on a daily schedule, she focuses on what gives her the best results. "This job is not about making calls and going home. It's about every single call, what did you do, what did you accomplish."

This relative autonomy allows her to direct her efforts toward strategies that produce results for her as an individual. For example, because the competition often outnumbers her, she makes special efforts to distinguish herself. Each month she selects one to three doctors and visits them one or two extra times every week, familiarizing herself and her product with each doctor. "Now I have about 70 doctors that I have a great rapport with because they know me."

St. John also makes use of her background as a registered nurse to build relationships with nurses and office staff, an opportunity that she has seen many reps neglect. As a nurse, she is aware of the importance of nurses as gatekeepers and in influencing doctors' prescribing habits, particularly if the "doctor is willing to listen to the nurse, or the doctor is neutral and the nurse is motivated."

St. John's enthusiasm for her job and the products she sells is unmistakable, and this is greatly due to her ability to personalize her selling techniques. Said St. John, "You motivate reps by letting them do what works for them."

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