Staying at Home Doesn’t Mean Stuck at Home
In my work as a motivational pharmaceutical sales speaker, one of the most often asked questions I hear these days is, “With all of this social distancing stuff, I’m stuck at home. How can I do my job?”
The answer is that the challenge isn’t one of distance, but of mindset.
Limiting Contact, Not Determination
We are in an unusual time, between vaccine availability and rising cases. Chances are your company is asking you to stay home. As well, many healthcare providers are not only overworked, they want to limit outside contacts.
The temporary new normal turns pharma sales into a major challenge especially if you are selling a new drug and need to provide samples, demonstrate, educate or provide safety information. If things were not tough enough, we all know that patients are fearful of office visits and have cut back on them. This affects prescriptions.
Pharmaceutical industry writer Jessica Merrill commenting on the impact of social distancing on sales stated (November 13, 2020) that:
“The impact of curbing sales reps and medical liaison interactions could be felt more heavily for drugs that rely on hospital-based physicians…many hospitals are limiting access, restricting the ability of company reps to enter the facilities. Primary care physicians too are fielding increased calls from concerned patients.” The sense of urgency to see patients has lessened as, obviously, are educational dinners, trade shows and the like.
If you are allowing tough times to discourage you, it is time to reset your thinking.
Drugs are still being launched. Education is still critical. Your competition is still out there. Are you determined to sell in tough times? Do you have the daily grit to see it through?
When One Road is Blocked, Find Another
Jessica Merrill talked about “Short-Term Triage, Long-Term Impact,” and she is correct. What you do now will impact on your success in the months and years to come. It is a matter of developing a vision of success.
Now, and certainly for the foreseeable future, most sales reps will have to rely on the virtual and digital space to communicate. According to industry statistics, during “normal times,” about 50 percent of the time healthcare providers are receptive to sales calls. However, in these times only 10 percent will open a sales email. That’s quite a drop. How do you get around it?
The key is creativity. Find more engaging approaches to communicate. Out-hustle the competition through committed customer support. Work at show-casing your products in a fresher way or with a more research-based approach or a more interactive method. The point is to be determined to set your company apart and above.
Keep in mind that virtual communication is largely in its infancy. We are on the verge of change. What is necessary now may become an accepted and permanent change in the years ahead.
The pharmaceutical industry has been looking for ways to lower costs and reach more customers for years. A mixture of innovative digital approaches combined with in-person calls could move the industry needle toward greater efficiency and impact.
Through vision, determination and the daily grit to rise above the obstacles that confront us, you and your sales team may well change the sales model forever. Staying at home doesn’t mean stuck at home, it means seeing possibilities from no matter where you sit.
Scott Burrows, Pharmaceutical Sales Motivational Keynote Speaker is booking appointments for in-person and virtual meetings and events. Contact Scott today through this website today or call: (520) 548-1169