How Drug Reps Can Become Respectable

For many years during my pharmaceutical career as both a drug rep and a sales manager, I’ve observed how some drug reps have been regarded by physicians along with their staff as respectable while other drug reps were treated as if they were just annoying sales people.

The main difference between the drug representatives that medical professionals respect and those that they don't, is the knowledge the seasoned sales pros are able to communicate with their clients. The super drug reps know their stuff inside out including the pharmacology of their products, the medical aspects and the clinical studies that involve the therapeutic areas of interest.

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Drug Reps and Clinical Studies

Clinical studies are especially important as doctors seem to respect drug reps that are currently on top of all relevant published medical literature. It is quite evident that top drug reps have really done their homework in terms of knowing everything important about the therapeutic areas they are involved in. Such professionals become reporters to help doctors keep current and are therefore regarded as an important part of the overall health care team.

Drug reps must be able to converse with doctors at the highest levels with respect to clinical literature. Reps must be familiar with every last detail of clinical studies and be ready to discuss them with medical professionals. This will certainly gain the respect of even some of the most highly regarded specialist physicians.

Mediocre drug reps are not comfortable with clinical studies and are not current with what’s published in the literature. These reps rely solely on promotional sales material and are therefore not regarded as highly as their counterparts who can really communicate at the same levels as physicians.

As a former pharmaceutical sales management executive, I’ve always made sure that the drug reps I managed were always up to date with published medical literature and they were able to go through relevant clinical studies with great ease during their visits with doctors.

If you are an aspiring drug representative who wants to enter the pharmaceuticals sales industry, one of the discussion areas during your job interviews could be on the prospective company’s training department. You could ask how well they train their sales force on medical literature and how they ensure that their drug reps are kept current on all important relevant issues. You will come across as someone who wants to be taken seriously and respected by medical professionals.

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