Workplace Diversity At Pharma Companies
Yesterday while I did a special version of my workplace diversity presentation to a group of Canadian Armed Forces military personnel at one of their bases (see the full story on this visit to my first military base ever) here in Ontario, I mentioned some of my experience and observations among pharma companies in Canada. I talked about one specific story in particular which was around one of my former team members who happens to be an East Indian pharmaceutical sales rep.
My former rep came from India about 15 years before he started to work for my team at one of the pharma companies I worked for when I was national sales manager. He still had a fairly thick East Indian accent and we would lose about 15% of his spoken words. Without being too politically incorrect especially when it comes to workplace diversity, this difficulty in speech is never a good thing in business, especially when customers can’t understand what a pharmaceutical sales rep is saying.
Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Turned Disadvantage Into Advantage
What this pharmaceutical sales rep did was go around to some of his top potential customers and asked them whether they ever tried East Indian cuisine. Most said no but would love to try it. So he asked them if they would like to have an East Indian man show them the best of East Indian food. Many of these customers said yes and they ended up having a great time.
What do you think happened to the sales level for this pharmaceutical sales rep over the next couple of months? You guessed it. His sales skyrocketed because of the strong business relationships he was able to build because of his activity. He basically turned a negative, which was his thick accent, into a positive by providing something nobody else could from a business entertainment point of view which solidified his business relationships. This is a workplace diversity success story and one of my favourites to tell from all the pharma companies I worked for.
Speaking Programs Available For Pharma Companies
For more information on my workplace diversity training as well as motivational keynotes, see my business speaking programs.
For those interested in getting into the industry, see my free webinar about pharmaceutical sales rep jobs.