Here's a very interesting case especially if you are interested in pharmaceutical sales careers. Dr. W. was a senior physician who had a huge practice which consisted mainly of elderly patients. So when a new drug which protected elderly patients from stomach ulcers was launched, he quickly put the drug to the test by putting himself and three of his best friends on it since they were all in the same age group that was prone to stomach ulcers.
Unfortunately, this drug was initially launched with a four times per day dosing schedule and at this dosage, a significant percentage of patients experienced a very nasty side effect, namely diarrhea.
The next day after taking the drug, Dr. W. and his three buddies went out to play their favorite game which was golf. At the ninth hole, all four men suddenly experienced the diarrhea side effect from taking the drug. Their golf game was certainly cut short.
When the new pharmaceutical sales rep responsible for promoting this drug visited Dr. W., the doctor told the him that based on his awful experience with the drug, he will never prescribe the product again.
This was a major setback for the pharmaceutical sales rep because Dr. W. was potentially one of the most important customers in the entire territory due to his mainly senior age patients who were all candidates for the drug. This was not a good way for this rookie to start his brand new career.
Fortunately, Dr. W. did like another one of this drug rep's products so the he wasn't thrown out of the office. So what this he did was to continue supporting Dr. W.'s use of this other drug in order to slowly build up a good business relationship with the physician.
Over the next couple of months, he visited Dr. W. every other month making sure that his office was always stocked with an adequate supply of drug samples since the doctor liked using them for his patients. The rep kept Dr. W. up to date on all of the company's products in terms of the latest published clinical studies.
He also took Dr. W. to a few medical conferences featuring some very high level medical specialists which furthered the doctor's own education on the latest medical treatments.
Dr. W. learned during one of these medical education events that top specialists were experiencing great success with the rep's product without the diarrhea side effect by using a twice per day dosage rather than four times daily. At this lower dosage, patients were still adequately protected from stomach ulcers but didn't get the nasty side effect.
The pharmaceutical sales rep gently encouraged Dr. W. to try the drug out on a few patients at the lower dosage as reported at the medical conference. It took an entire year before Dr. W. did eventually try the drug again but when he did, patients came back reporting good results without side effects.
Dr. W. put the drug on more patients including himself again. No side effects were noticed this time. Over the next few months, he prescribed the drug to a huge portion of his elderly patients with success.
He became one of the rep's biggest supporters in the sales territory. With similar support from other physicians, this rep grew the sales level of this drug significantly beyond budgeted expectations.
As a result of his performance, the rep was promoted to a senior hospital specialist position in the country's most important medical market.
The lesson from this case is that selling pharmaceuticals sometimes require the building of long term business relationships over time rather than going for the quick sales as in retail.
The pharmaceutical sales rep took the time to build Dr. W.'s trust and provided good service over an entire year by such activities as keeping the doctor up to date with clinical information and drug samples as well as bringing him to high level medical educational events. Consistent service was the key in building long term business
Dr. W. was initially a worse case scenario since he personally experienced the drug's side effect himself but the rep was able to eventually turn him around and made him into one of the biggest users of the product.
The new drug rep in this case was in fact me and this was one of my most memorable stories from out in the field.
Building business relationships in your own network with the goal of landing jobs in pharmaceutical sales careers is also important. Rather than being one of the nameless hundreds of candidates who apply for each job opening, it is much better to be the first one to be recommended for positions when they come up.
I show people how to build such a network. With so much competition for jobs these days, you can't afford NOT to build a network if you are indeed serious about pharmaceutical sales careers, check out my webinar on it.
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