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Pharmaceutical Selling


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Pharmaceutical Selling: From Induction to Evolution, A Complete Guide

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Pharmaceutical Selling

  1. 1. Course Facilitator: Dr. Awais e Siraj MBBS (KE, 1994) MBA (SGBS, Glasgow 1997)  Product Manager 1997-2001  Medical and Regulatory Affairs Manager 1999-2003  Business Unit Manager 2003 to 2006  Sales Manager, Boston Scientific Regional Office, Beirut, Lebanon  Assistant Professor, Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS, Islamabad.  Publication:  The Art and Craft of Pharmaceutical Selling: GA Communications, Lahore, 2003.
  2. 2. Why are we all here? To sharpen our ‘selling skills’ To have a better understanding of our customer To prepare ourselves better for our communication Foster an insatiable will to win  Victory belongs to those who want it most Be constantly impatient with the status quo Remain highly ethical at all times Demand to hear the truth from our customers andour business partners. Focus on continuous improvement
  3. 3. Medical KNOW- Market LEDGE ProductTheoretical SELLINGAnlytical SKILLSPragmatic Pillars of Pharmaceutical SellingAttitude APTI- TUDE Passion
  4. 4. Patient, Efficacy Job, Salary, Safety Targets Cost effectiveness Incentives Cure, Cost Information Prescription Queries Fee sMedical Representative ine Doctor Patient di c ey Me Sa Mon les Manufacturer, Importer m ans Ch Sa hi p or Distributor em lar i st y, s Be Medicine ne fit s Money The Pharmaceutical Sales Cycle
  5. 5. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Basics  Pharma companies and their salespeople  Positive frame of mind  Goal setting – the key to success  Mission statement
  6. 6. Baby Steps!!!!
  7. 7. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Gear up for sales call  Pre – Call Planning Who are your customers?  Know your customers Examining your wardrobe Timing Rehearsal
  8. 8. Rehearsal
  9. 9. Pareto’s Law
  10. 10. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Taking care of your means of transport Traveling Distribution and distributors Chemist first! Arrange your belongings While in the waiting room, observe Liaison with gatekeepers Shaping initial discussion
  11. 11. PROSPECTING Identify markets, segments, competition andrequirements needs to be met To find potential customers; to Qualify, Classify andCategorize Basis for the strategy for the Sales call Proper allocation of time and frequency of salescalls. A continuous process ; all changes must be knownat all relevant levels
  12. 12. Pre-call Planning Align your objectives  Do you have a clear call objective?  Is the objective identified on your strategic direction?  Is the objective S. M. A. R. T?  What can you offer that may be of interest to the customer?
  13. 13. Pre-call Planning  Do you have a clear call objective?  Secure a purchase order for 100 packs of a specific injection by the end of the day  Gain commitment from a targeted physician to a 6-week evaluation of a specific new product
  14. 14. Pre-call Planning Is the objective identified in your strategic direction/Performance Goals?  Confirm that it is a priority for your territory and division  What tactics are linked to this particular strategy?  Does your plan support the chosen tactics?
  15. 15. Pre-call Planning Is your objective S.M.A.R.T?  S pecific  M easurable  A chievable  R elevant  T ime-bound
  16. 16. Pre-call Planning Do you have what they want? What influences them:  Your Offerings:  Third-party references  Clinical support  Revenue to the hospital  Financial savings plans  Delivery Support  Free delivery  Product Availability  Next day service  Recognition  International data  Full line supplier  Broad product portfolio  Innovation and technology  Proprietary technology  Price  Price discounts  Technical Support  Product in-services  Relationships  Professional support  Congress involvement.  Symposia coordination.
  17. 17. Pre-call Planning  Sales Tools  Do you have all the tools and resources you need to conduct a complete call?  Are you carrying a complete sales bag into every call?
  18. 18. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Lights, camera, action  The sales call  On the stage  First impression is the lasting impression  Remember the name of your doctor  Know your lines
  19. 19. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Lights, camera, action  Make it natural  The speed of your speech  The game of feature and benefit  Own “their” concerns  Patient’s pocket is the decision- maker
  20. 20. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Bridging Mode of communication Credibility Make them feel special Value proposition
  21. 21. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Active listening Selling with evidence Adopt a proactive attitude Discuss with confidence Research and generics
  22. 22. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Impress them with numbers Repeat the name of product time and again Ready made answers Short and long calls and a few in between Negotiations Apprehensions
  23. 23. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Convenience Different strokes for different folks Choose your words carefully Tell them about the old days Managing time Talking to a group of customers When the day is just not right!
  24. 24. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Selling skills  Opening  Probing  Reinforcing  Gaining commitment  Objections  Misunderstanding  When the customer is right  Uninterested customer or satisfied with another product  Disbelief  Closing Complainers are most loyal customers Is that all about “selling skills”
  25. 25. Super Selling through “Skills”
  26. 26. Selling Skills Establishing the Clinical Need  “No Need = No Sale ”
  27. 27. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:
  28. 28. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:  Opening Exercise:  Write an opening statement of your call and share it with your colleagues
  29. 29. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:  Opening  Probing
  30. 30. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:  Opening  Probing  Reinforcing
  31. 31. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:  Opening  Probing  Reinforcing  Offering a Solution
  32. 32. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:  Opening  Probing  Reinforcing  Offering a Solution  Handling Objections
  33. 33. Selling Skills Basic steps to an effective sales call:  Opening  Probing  Reinforcing  Offering a solution  Handling Objections  Gaining commitment
  34. 34. Building a Call Gain Commitment Handling Objections Offering a Solution Reinforcing Probing Opening
  35. 35. Openings What defines of a strong opening?  Of interest to the customer  Successfully gains favorable attention  Identify why you are there  Consistent with your call objectives  Tailored to the customer’s profile  Encourage the customer to further discuss.
  36. 36. Reinforcing What is “reinforcing?”  Statements which…  Paraphrase the physician concerns  Confirm “the need”  Establish a sense of urgency in the eye of the customer.
  37. 37. Reinforcing Why do we “Reinforce?”  Add value to the approach in the eyes of the physician  To establish a strong need for the product or program you wish to introduce.
  38. 38. Offering a Solution What does the solution statement accomplish?  It fulfills the customer’s new found “need”  It builds value to the product or program you are about to deliver  It serves as a problem solving statement to the conversation  It gives you the right to get a prescription or introduce a program.
  39. 39. Gain Commitment Implied needs versus specific needs  Implied Needs:  When the customer states dissatisfaction  When the customer agrees that his/her current modality or drug has a shortcoming but they can “live with it”  Explicit Needs:  When the customer specifically states that he/she wants or needs to make a change  When the customer suggests the next action steps.
  40. 40. Gain Commitment Before planning the follow-up call, consider:  How do I feel about the call?  How effective was my plan?  Did I accomplish/advance my call objective?  What went well that I should keep?  What didn’t go well that I should change?  What do I see as the next step with this customer?
  41. 41. Selling Skills – Handling Objections Brainstorming on common objections...  Product performance / desired outcome  Price  Product familiarity  Product reliability (actual and perceived)  Clinical need / relevance to practice.
  42. 42. Objections Why customers raise objections? Why shouldnt they raise objections?
  43. 43. Why are we scared of objections? We are scared that the customers ask for more favors than the business they generate for us. We are also scared of responsibility. Scared of critique and criticism
  44. 44. Part I Objection Types Misunderstanding When the customer is right!(Real Objection) Uninterested customer or satisfied with another drug (Lack of Interest) Skepticism/Disbelief
  45. 45. Misunderstanding An erroneous impression about the characteristics of a product or company Usually develops when the customer fails to get a first hand knowledge of your products or the company It can also be due to lack of proper communication in the previous calls whereby the information was communicated in a crude manner
  46. 46. Misunderstanding It is also possible that your company representatives have never visited the doctor before and hence his information about the product or the company is derived from not very reliable sources
  47. 47. Real Objections When the customer is right!  Know the difference between a misunderstanding and a real objection There is hardly any ideal drug available in the market. So any customer can come up with an objection, which is true in letter and spirit
  48. 48. Lack of Interest Uninterested customer or satisfied with another drug (Lack of Interest)  An uninterested customer is usually the one who is prescribing an old and established product from a competitor and is quite satisfied with it.  This kind of customer is usually the one who hates change and is not willing to take risks, whether it concerns his own practice, his personal life or a new medicine
  49. 49. Skepticism Skepticism/Disbelief  Disbelief or skepticism comes usually from a very choosy customer.  Unfortunately a live demonstration cannot be made in case of pharmaceutical products. (Unless it’s an instrument or a procedure)  Hence you will have to rely on the clinical trial data and published scientific evidence in leading medical journals
  50. 50. Objections Complainers are your mostloyal customers - Don’t avoid them
  51. 51. Strategies to Handle Objections
  52. 52. Objections The rule for handling objection is simple:  “Do whatever it takes to make things right when things go wrong – No matter what” T. Scott Gross (1998)
  53. 53. Handling Misunderstanding Misunderstanding can be detected through customer signals Customer signals can only be picked through active listening Hold for a second Probe very gently for further clarification. Do not embarrass the doctor by saying, “What are you talking about? Your argument is totally baseless.”
  54. 54. Handling Misunderstanding You need to do it very delicately and in a very sophisticated manner like:  “I think I could not make you understand………….”  “You will be delighted to know that this is not actually the situation but………..” Provide the correct information Repeat the same for a permanent impression on the doctor’s mind.
  55. 55. Handling Real Objections If it is an unquestionable weakness of your product, you cannot deny it. Simply probe to clarify and differentiate between a misunderstanding and a real objection Acknowledge the concern of your customer The customer will develop a lot of empathy towards you. Reduce the impact by describing a benefit that really supercedes the deficiency
  56. 56. Handling Real Objections You can also make a comparison with other products in the market if this is a common problem Clinical and published data can be used as support to prove that the specified problem is rare and/or transient Your marketing department should also provide you a strategy to deal with such specific situations.
  57. 57. Handling Real Objections One of the training corporations based in USA suggests to follow the “five A’s” principle in such situations:  Acknowledge  Apologize  Accept  Adjust  Assure Don’t forget to reemphasize the point and secure commitment.
  58. 58. Handling Lack of Interest An uninterested customer is usually not very talkative. A series of closed probes (well thought out obviously) can expose his need Open probes are not usually successful because an uncommunicative customer would not like to reveal the shortcomings of his favorite product. it is not advisable to push him to the wall  A prerequisite of this, however is a thorough and
  59. 59. Handling Lack of Interest Do not attack head on Always use a diplomatic approach Once done, you can emphasize your point and then ask for a commitment
  60. 60. Handling Skepticism Addressing only the point of concern Defying it through means of scientific evidence Reemphasize and explain the benefit In the end, try to secure commitment
  61. 61. Final Word! One word says it all!  Listen  Listen  Listen  Listen
  62. 62. The Hidden Agenda?????
  63. 63. Selling Skills – Handling ObjectionsAcknowledge Demonstrate that you understand Probe Uncover what is most important Answer Respond with a solution Confirm Verify that the solution is adequate
  64. 64. Selling Skills – Handling Objections Verify the solution is adequate  Test for confirmation by suggesting the next step of action.  “Doctor, if I can demonstrate to you that the < drug > addresses your concern, will you be willing to evaluate its performance in an actual procedure?”
  65. 65. Selling Skills – Closing the Salethe sale ONLY after you have completely You close resolved the customer’s objection If you believe you have completely resolved the objection, you should attempt a “trial close”…. “So doctor, now that I’ve shown you all the data, would you agree that < drug > offers < needed benefit > which directly addresses your concerns?”
  66. 66. Selling Skills – Closing the Sale  If the customer agrees to the “trial close”, you have the right to attempt a “hard close” by asking for the business.
  67. 67. Selling Skills – Closing the Sale The “hard close”  “Doctor, since you agree that < product > offers those benefits which are most important to you and your patients, would you be willing to use it as your primary modality in every case?”
  68. 68. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling The “marketing mix”  Literatures/folders  Prescription pads  Clinical studies  Gimmicks and giveaways  Sponsorships  Clinical seminars and congresses
  69. 69. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling The “marketing mix”  Group discussions and round table meetings  Opinion leader lectures and speaker programs  Selecting a speaker  Arranging a speaker program  Lunch/dinner or tea  Use of phone, e-mail and mailings  Internet/ e – marketing  Days to remember!
  70. 70. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling After the sales call  Retain Business  Establish relationships  Relationships with medical students & fresh graduates  Post call analysis  Follow ups  Repeat calls
  71. 71. Retaining the Business
  72. 72. Retaining the Business How do you protect your current business? How do you ensure that new business “sticks?” Is the approach different for each scenario? How can you increase the customer’s “mind share” of your company?
  73. 73. Retaining the Business Possible ways to accomplish both:  Communicate to all  Conduct in-services (RTM’s, Group Promos etc.)  Leveraging Marketing Support  Review your price structure and give feedback  Continually upgrade to new technologies  Continually reinforce current technologies  Develop additional end users.
  74. 74. Retaining the Business  Conduct frequent meetings  Give your physicians enough opportunity to gain confidence on the drug before the first prescription  Have you set proper expectations regarding the performance?  Collect quick feedback on initial cases.  What about existing business? How often do we in-service these products?
  75. 75. Retaining the Business Ensure proper placement  Are your products  Conveniently available  At the nearby pharmacies  In the hospital stores
  76. 76. Retaining the Business Review your price points  Is your pricing in line with the market?  If your company is at a premium price, does the customer justify this difference?  Can you bundle other items into the agreement?  What about rebates?
  77. 77. Retaining the Business Continually upgrade services  Strengthen your position with the best practices available  Don’t be content with your initial offerings  Next generation drugs increase your value and can eliminate possible competitors.
  78. 78. Retaining the Business Continually Reinforce Current Technologies  Maintain regular dialogue on the performance of your drugs currently being used  Re-confirming customer satisfaction with existing technologies reestablishes your position as the market leader.
  79. 79. Retaining the Business Develop additional Customers  Don’t stop with just one doctor  Who else potentially see the cases in the same facility?  What about other departments in the hospital?
  80. 80. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling After the sales call  Retain Business  Establish relationships  Relationships with medical students & fresh graduates  Post call analysis  Follow ups  Repeat calls
  81. 81. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Something more  Exploring the hidden agendas  Cultures & traditions of different cities & localities  Cost of one call  Use your own head in addition to product manager’s  Fight on pricing? Should you?  Don’t pretend to know everything  Do “they” know everything?
  82. 82. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Never argue Don’t be too predictable-be different Taking risks Working at odd hours Controlling your temper Institutional/hospital selling Joint sales calls So! Was it a good day or a bad day?
  83. 83. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling It isn’t fun if it’s easy  “No medical reps please”  Competitor loyal  Apathetic doctors  “I am the authority”  Analytical and critical doctors  Loyal and non loyal customers
  84. 84. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Evaluate thy “self” Make yourself dearer for the employer Climbing up the ladder by volunteering “Furlough” “kaizen” training and learning Choose your future today
  85. 85. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling Motivation You are master of your success Are you Mr. Perfect? Managing your stress Ride the change lion Self respect
  86. 86. The Art of Pharmaceutical Selling PHARMA SALES  IS IT AS SIMPLE AS 2 + 2 = 4  SMILE, LAUGH AND TAKE IT EASY!  RELAX AND HAVE FUN
  87. 87. Relax!