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Make Every Call An Effective One

Every sales representative who wants to succeed in the pharmaceutical world must master the art of making effective sales calls to physicians. The following six suggestions will guide you on how to make a call that is highly effective even in a limited time period.

Document Your Call

This will help you to plan your next call to the same doctor and also keep you equipped to face similar questions in another doctor's call. An easy method for documenting your sales call is to use the three-part call note:

Part 1

Explains what you did. In a couple of sentences, explain your call objective, including patient picture and product. Whom did you speak to? What samples did you leave? What did you say you would do?

Part 2

Describes the doctor's reaction. What did the doctor say and do? Include any information you obtained regarding the doctor and the practice.

Part 3

Outlines what you will do the next time you visit the once. This includes any follow-up items such as information or samples to deliver. Based on the doctor's reaction, what objective do you want to set for your next visit? What can counterparts do during their visits to assist you?

Know Your Customer's Buying Behavior

There are four main styles of human behavior. When you are able to determine what each behavior style requires, you will be able to adjust your approach to fit that style.

The Four Buying Styles


These physicians are self-reliant and like a challenge, so appeal to their sense of individual accomplishment. Show how choosing your product will benefit them.

Image-Conscious Physician

These physicians buy because they want to stand out from the crowd, and fulfil their sense of popularity and enhance their position.


These physicians buy because they are assured of the product's reliability as a result of a sales representative's accuracy and accountability.

Loyal Customer

When these physicians do decide to buy, they will stay with you. When you understand what motivates physicians to buy, you will know how to tailor your calls and quickly become a valuable resource to many physicians.

Telling Is Not Selling

Select the information your physicians need to know. Look at each study's findings and turn them into key selling messages. You can do this by translating statistical significance into clinical relevance the same way you turn your product's features into benefits for physicians and their patients.

Plan Your Call

Plan for a tong call even when expecting a call to be short. If you plan for a 15-minute call, you might just get 15 minutes. But if a prospect gives you only 60 seconds to speak over the phone, at least you are prepared, and will be able to cover your key points within the limited time frame given. Whether it is a short or long call, the goal is to start with a strong 60 seconds and get the physician to extend the call further.

Know Your Physician

Make use of the resources at your disposal, such as patient prescribing history, notes from past calls, information from other pharmaceutical sales representatives and the physician's area of specialty. Do the physicians treat a lot of elderly patients? Are they known for their ability to treat a certain disease state? All these will affect how you build your call.

The Steps Of The Short Call

Knowing your physician well will help determine how you should use the following steps.

Awareness Creation

Open the short call with something strong that will attract the physician's interest. The short call requires the use of effective patient pictures because there is no time for anything else. When you create patient pictures, you are trying to establish a case or a model for the physician to follow. So patient pictures should be short and to the point. Include age, occupation, gender and concern in your patient pictures, and make sure that they are relevant to the physician's practice.

Interest Creation

Ask questions that draw the physician into the conversation and you will be half-way through making a successful call.

Build Up The Desire

Position your product and focus on the key message of the call. Help the physician see the benefits of your product over a competitor's product. Show the doctor literature to support what you are saying.


Last, but not least, close the deal. What do you want the physician to do as a result of this call? You could ask for new prescriptions, or a longer appointment the next time. When you continue to provide physicians with valuable information, your ability to end the call with a successful close increases.

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