It’s always a shocker for new pharmaceutical sales representatives during their first few months in the field and they meet doctors who just don’t like their products for some reason or another. In the real life case introduced in the last blog post, a new rep met a busy family physician who personally experienced awful side effects with the very drug that the rep was promoting! What a worse nightmare for the new pharmaceutical sales representative.
Over the next couple of months, the drug rep visited Dr. W. every other month making sure that his office was always stocked with an adequate supply of drug samples of the other main drug he was promoting since the doctor liked using them for his patients. As you might recall from the last post, Dr. W. did like one of the rep’s products, ie., the one he didn’t get significant side effects with. The drug 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 Dr. W.’s own education on the latest therapeutic 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 that Dr. W. and his other patients experienced.
The pharmaceutical sales representative 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, Dr. W. prescribed the drug to a huge portion of his elderly patients with success. He became one of this drug rep’s biggest supporters in the sales territory.
With similar support from other physicians, this pharmaceutical sales representative grew the sales level of this drug significantly beyond budgeted expectations. As a result of his performance, he was promoted to a senior hospital specialist rep position in the country’s most important medical market.
I’ll get into the lesson behind this case study in the next blog post. If this field interests you, see my website on pharmaceutical sales careers.