The secrets to succeed as a Medical Representative: Steps en-route before reaching the Pinnacle

in Career Resources & Training

Pharma Industry in India is doing well, and growing year after year.  Therefore many Pharma Companies are already there in the marketplace, and every year new players are joining in.  This has lead to a stiff competition amongst them to convert the Doctors to prescribe their products.  This posts a real challenge for any Medical Representative in Pharma Industry,  more so for the newly joined ones.  This write up is to help them overcome this challenge, and do well in their job consistently.

1) Good habits, some of which are given below,  should become the routine:

  • Brushing teeth (twice) daily;
  • Properly cut & combed hair;
  • Trimmed beard & nails;
  • Daily shave, bath, change inner wears, socks, wear clean & pressed formal dress (dark-colored trouser and light-colored shirt, preferably full sleeves), wear a necktie, etc. while working in the field.
  • Wear belt (formal – leather one), and shoes (formal either black or brown) neatly polished.
  • Apply deo or perfume as many times as possible so that you don’t emit the bad odor.

2) Avoid bad habits like smoking, drinking, pan chewing, poor hygiene, going late for work, not meeting the customers at the appointed time, etc.

3) Use working bag which is formal (leather one), neat, polished, and well maintained. Nowadays many Pharma Companies allow field working with ‘backpack’ bags, which to me appear a bit casual.

4) Carry the list of Doctors, Stockists, Chemists to be met, and the area/location to be worked for the day in your pocket.

5) Before starting the work for the day, think of what has happened when you met the Doctors listed for the day, during the last visit (pre-call analysis), and then decide how to move the proceedings for each call today. Once the day’s work is over then analyze if each and every call went as per your plan or not (i.e.post call analysis).

6) Organize things within the working bag for the day carefully like samples and promotional inputs to be dispensed to each customer in the right order, so that you don’t have to waste time searching for those in front of the customers.

7) Make as many calls – be it Doctors, Stockists, Retailers – as possible,  every day, which should always be more than the desired call averages per day of the organization.  The quality of each call made must also be good, and productive.

8) Making the best use of Retail working: Before meeting any Doctor, we normally meet the nearby Chemists/Retailers to get the feedback about the Doctor as to whether he is prescribing our brands being promoted or not, if yes, how many prescriptions per day/month, in each prescription how many tablets/capsules, etc. and then we plan our discussion with the Doctor accordingly.  In addition to getting this feedback from the Retailers, we should also check if he has our products in stock or not, if not book P.O.B.(Personal Order Booking) for products which are not in stock,  or very less in stock.  Booking of P.O.Bs. from Retailers & dispensing Doctors, every day is very important.  We should always try to do more than the Company’s norm for POB month after month.  Details of POBs booked should be maintained meticulously, and follow up should be made with the concerned Stockists to make sure all POBs booked are supplied quickly.

9) Be cool.  Always wear a smile. Don’t pick up any argument or quarrel with our professional  Customers.  Maintain very cordial relationship with all our Customers like Doctors, their staff, CFA, Stockists, Retailers, etc. Deal with them in a very friendly and professional manner.  However, it doesn’t mean that we should submit ourselves to their tantrums if any. Remember we help the Doctors to treat their patients better with our products, help to improve the business of the CFA/CA, Stockists, and Retailers by creating and improving the demand for our products.

10) Have the customers list – specialty wise – Product wise – strictly as per marketing strategy of the organization.

11) Promote right products to right Doctors strictly as per marketing strategy of the organization

12) Do Retail Chemists Prescription Analysis (RCPA) for each product/each customer (i.e.Doctor), arrive at their right potential, current share for each brand, and then target the customer as to how much share you want from him for your brand, and then work on him accordingly.

13) Give visits to each of the customers as per desired frequency only (once or twice or thrice every month),  as outlined in the marketing strategy.

14) Work as per approved tour programme only every day.  Discuss with Superiors, and get their prior approval,  before making any deviation in actual working.

15) After effective detailing of the products to the Doctors, close the call powerfully by demanding for prescriptions for the products detailed.

16) Follow Company’s rules and regulations in all sincerity.  Submit all reports on time without requiring any reminder from anyone.

17) Be up-to-date with your Product Knowledge, and detailing for all products under promotion.  Communication is very important in this job, and if your detailing is very good, then it will be that much easy to convert the Doctors to your products.  Good communication skill can be acquired, if you do practice, practice, and more practice,  till you master it.

18) Be up-to-date with Competitors’ products knowledge, like how your product is superior to theirs, the composition of the products, what is their price, what are the drawbacks (like side effects) in their products, etc.

19) Don’t waste precious field working time due to any reason.  Meeting of CFA, Stockists, etc. can be planned for during times when the Doctors Clinics are closed.  Do both morning and evening work every day,  don’t compromise on this.  Writing work, submission of reports etc. should be handled after we have completed our field working or whenever we are free from fieldwork.

20) Avoid gossiping

21) Be up-to-date with your Product wise, Stockist wise, Primary and Secondary sales details vis-a-vis your targets, what is the potential of each of your Doctor for the products being promoted to him, how much he is supporting you currently, and how much you have planned to get from him within a time frame, details of visits made to each of the customers every month, POBs booked, your call averages every month, etc. These will help you analyze your performance, and then you can plan for corrective measures, if any, in consultation with your superiors, to reach the set objectives.   These analysis/reports are there in your online reporting system.  You should only learn how to retrieve it, and study them,  as frequently as possible.

22) This job requires hard working.  This is a field job, not a time-bound Office job. Most of the days, we may be required to work from morning till 9 or 10 p.m. till we complete our last call listed for the day.  To some important Doctors, we may have to go very early in the morning, and take our token to meet him during the day!.

23) Develop good manners – like wishing the Doctors ‘good morning’, thanking them for the valuable time given, wishing them on occasions like Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc.  and always wear a positive attitude towards work and life.

24) Don’t commit anything to any Customer which the Company has not authorized.   Never misuse samples and promotional inputs.

25) Believe in yourself,  make very sincere efforts to succeed, and you will succeed.  If you take proper care of the processes involved – which are discussed here – the result will be taken care of by itself.

26) Don’t look for shortcuts  than the prescribed ones,  to see the results quickly.  It might lead to problems later on.

27) Have passion for the job. Be proud of your Company and its products.  Always try to achieve the set objectives consistently,  earn incentives, and come up in life.  If Company rewards you with a career growth in the process, accept it and try to do a good job as a Manager also.

28) The job of a Medical Representative is a very good one.  If you do a good job at it, sky is the limit for your earnings, and career growth. I know of many Medical Representatives who have purchased plots, apartments, two wheelers, four wheelers, jewelleries, etc. from their incentive earnings. I also know of many senior managers in Pharma Industry, like Managing Directors, Vice Presidents, General Managers, National Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Brand/Product Managers, who have started their career as  Medical Representatives like you, when they began their career in the Industry.

29) This job doesn’t require great qualifications like foreign degrees, or MBAs, etc.  It is enough if you are a Science or Pharmacy graduate, with an aptitude for selling, and with a decent communicating ability.  Willing to put in hard work, sincerely implementing the company’s sales & marketing strategies in the field, and eagerness to come up in life in the right way,  are some of the pre-requisites to succeed in the job.

30) Be attentive and try to learn as much as possible from Training Programmes, Conferences/Meetings/Workshops, etc.  Go well prepared, as may be necessary,  for every meeting/discussion.

  • A sale is not over unless payment for the same is received. Follow up with your Stockists/Distributors/Wholesalers and collect payments within due dates promptly. Your territory should always be outstanding/overdue free.
  • When you are in the field, always keep a pocket notebook and a pen in your pocket to note down important information, if any.
  • Try to be disciplined and organized.

34) Don’t ask for any personal loans from the Customers and the Trade, and don’t carry their stocks with you.

If a Medical Representative takes proper care of what has been discussed above, we are sure he should be able to do a wonderful job consistently,  earn incentives,  and grow in his career, therefore come up in his life as well. Best wishes!

Author Bio

V. Srinivasan Mr.V.Srinivasan is a well-known author on Pharma Management, with a rich experience of over 35 years in reputed Pharma Companies, having handled Sales & Marketing Administration, HR, and Training functions.  He has over 400 published articles in India and abroad to his credit. He is the proud recipient of  “The Transformational Leader of the Year” for Pharma Industry in 2013.  He can be contacted through email id: shridhar1956@rediffmail.com. He is a regular senior author of Pharma Mirror Magazine.

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[All of the information provided in this article is of the author, does not necessarily represent the official views or policies of the Pharma Mirror Magazine.]. You are also invited to write for Pharma Mirror Magazine.

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