Improving Sales Performance – 3 Strategies to Improve Any Pharmaceutical Sales Call

1. State a Benefit to Your Customer in Your Opening Statement

If any of us had a dollar for every time some one from a mortgage company called to try to get us to refinance our mortgage we would have a lot of money. Normally I just say that I am not interested and politely hang up the phone. Some time ago I had some one call my house and say, “Mr. Price, I would like to take a couple of minutes of your time to ask you a few brief questions about your mortgage to see if we can save you up to $500 a month.” I agreed to give him the time because he let me know that he might save me up to $500 a month. Who wouldn’t want that! The benefit of saving money compelled me to give him the time he asked for. Never open a sales call without stating a customer benefit.

2. Always Present Benefits With Features

One of the biggest mistakes I see sales representatives make is not mentioning a benefit after every feature. In the pharmaceutical industry it is estimate that sales reps mention 7 features to every 1 benefit. In focus groups, doctors tell us that they listen when sales reps say, “What this means to you is…” or “The benefit to your patient is…” I have actually seen this happen in role-plays. The doctor would be looking down at his notes and the sales representative would say, “Doctor the benefit to you is…” and the doctor would look up. I have seen this so many times it is funny to me now. This is true for two reasons, first the customer is shocked that a sales rep stated a benefit and secondly benefits solve problems. When you directly say that the benefit to the customer is that it will solve a problem for them they will listen. It is all about what is important to your customer. Focus on memorizing a benefit for every feature of your product over the next few weeks.

3. Ask the Customer to Take Action in Your Close

If you have done a good job solving a problem for your customer, this will be easy. The reason closing is so scary is because we walk in and say, “Doctor, you should use my product because it is faster acting, longer lasting and covered on most managed care plans.” Then we ask the doctor to use it. Well, what if she is experiencing terrible side effects from the drug she is currently using and she just wants to see if your drug has the same side effects. Your statement didn’t do anything to solve HER problem. Closing is simply asking the customer to implement the solution by using your product. You could say, “Doctor, based on the fact that Drug X doesn’t have the side effects of your current medication, would your begin to use Drug X for patients with allergies?” Never be afraid to ask your customer to implement the solution. It will tell you if they are sold on your product as the solution. If they refuse then ask them what additional information they need to be able to use your product.

Over the next few weeks focus on adding these three strategies to every sales call. Before you go into your sales call, rehearse the call to ensure all of these elements are present. After the call ask yourself if you executed these elements during the call. If you are successful implementing these strategies you will be successful in gaining more business from your customer.