Develop a purpose for the job. For example, if your objective is to own your own car in the next three years, the current job is the tool in your hands, do it properly, to ultimately realize your objective. If you sincerely believe and involved in the chosen purpose, then, that will keep driving you to do well in the current job, and ultimately realize it, within the set timelines.
The job of a field sales person or field sales manager requires good attitude, sincerity, and hard work. Sincerity, because the Representative may be working in a remote place, where as his manager may be in a far away town, therefore it is not possible to have close supervision/observation at all times, therefore good attitude and sincerity is a must. Be ready to grind hard, because this job requires the employees to be in the market place from early in the morning to night, the job for the day will be over only when the last call of the day is finished, which may be 9.00 pm or 9.30 pm, or 10 pm also. It is not like any other office job of 10 am to 6 pm! One should have the patience to wait for long hours, in the Doctors’ clinic, and also at the Stockists and Retailers place.
Try to acquire a good amount of product knowledge on the products being promoted. To make it simple, we can say you need to be clear on the following information:
a) The product treats which disease
b) Causes for the disease
c) How the product under promotion treats the disease
d) Role of each ingredient/composition in the product, in the treatment process
e) How my product is superior to similar products available in the market
f) Current promotional strategy for the product
g) Important competitor brands
If anyone is clear with the above information, then we can say his/her product knowledge is good. However if a person has more interest in product knowledge, he can always go through the internet and update on product knowledge.
Improve ability to community effectively (i.e. detailing ability) and convert Doctors every day. If this skill is not there already, please work upon it, do lot of practice, and acquire it, as it is very important and has a bearing on the ultimate outcome, i.e. conversion of Doctors to the products being promoted.
Good number and quality of calls every day is a must. Try to create a few new conversions every day, besides improving further upon the already existing prescribers.
Better focused and directed work every day: A clear objective before you start work for the day will be of immense help, example: who are all the Doctors I am going to meet today, What is their potential for each of my products (as per RCPA already done and recorded), whether they are supporting my products or not, if not supported, then I should convert him today positively, or if he is already supporting, quantum of support, I should increase his support level for the products he is already writing but quantum of support is less, and will add one more product to his support list today, etc. This will give you better direction and focus on the work for the day. If one follows this consistently, his performance will be vastly differently from others.
Personal Order Booking (POB) every day is a must. This, not only ensures availability of products being promoted, but also lead to corresponding primary orders from the Stockists concerned. If we do this every day consistently, this will in turn lead to less sales pressure during month end. Thus you can turn monthly ‘sales closings’ from ‘pain’ to ‘pleasure’.
I have seen many Medical Representatives procrastinating before the customers, and wondered why do they resort to this? If one understands the following clearly, then he/she may not repeat the same henceforth:
a) To all Doctors – With due respect to them, you are giving them the opportunity to try scientific and innovative products, which will help them to treat their patients better. This will help them to increase the number of patients coming to them, therefore better income.
b) When the products are promoted effectively, daily conversion of Doctors happens, leading to stocks from the shelves of Retailers and Stockists getting liquidated. This results in improved business and earnings for them.
From the above, it is clear that you are helping the Doctors and the Trade to improve their earnings. Therefore while we are expected to deal with our customers in a very professional manner and give them the respect they deserve, there is no need to beg or submit to their tantrums, if any.
This job, as I have seen from my experience in the Industry, is highly rewarding to good performers. I have seen in my own eyes, people who have joined as Medical Representatives at the beginning of their career, have risen from the ranks and now they are in top in positions in big Companies, such as CEOs, Sales & Marketing Directors, Vice Presidents, National Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, etc. with accompanying good life style and pay pocket. Therefore please understand if anyone does well in the job, sky is the limit for earnings, and career growth. You need to have the passion to shine in the job, at every level/position, and accepts whenever growth opportunities/higher responsibilities come your way.
(The author Mr.V.Srinivasan has over 30 years of rich experience in Pharma Industry with over 400 published articles to his credit in India and abroad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile no:9972390513)