When I started out in this industry, I sold two medications. One was in a class of its own and extremely effective and therefore covered extensively, the other was actually covered on New York Medicaid as well as everywhere else. Back then there was straight Medicaid and not managed Medicaid, but the fact was, I had very few obstacles with respect to managed care. Getting the “Managed Care Objection” was not even a thing, I and my partners were able to simply sell versus the competition of whom had similar efficacy and similar coverage with their products. It was an issue of; who can sell the best!!
The idea of whistleblowers in it of themselves is not concerning to me. It is when that whistleblower utilizes a platform to tell half-truths to sell books and profit that I take umbrage with. I recently came across the following video when doing research for my blog and I couldn’t be more disgusted because what she is doing is clearly dangerous. Take a look:
When it comes to compensation, this is always a sensitive subject. I have never come across anyone who believes they are overpaid. When I speak to the many pharmaceutical reps that I have worked with in my career, all are either looking to move up in the company they work for (to make more money) or they are trying to do something on the side to increase their income. I have heard of pharmaceutical representatives selling real estate on the side, working in the family business on the weekends, and other such income increasing activities. So this begs the question: Are pharmaceutical representatives compensated fairly?
When we look at what a Territory Representative is being paid, someone entering the industry receives a base salary of anywhere from $50,000 – $65,000 in traditional pharma (sometimes more and sometimes less). Though this is just the base salary and each representative can earn so much more with bonus and commissions, is this enough to live comfortably in a city like San Francisco or New York City where the cost of living is abhorrently high?
Unfortunately when it comes to pharmaceutical sales or the pharmaceutical industry in general, the perception of our industry by outsiders is very far from the reality we all know it to be. If you surf the web and take a read of many of the blogs out there, you will read misinformed perspectives, half-truths, and flat out lies about who we are and what we do. Frankly some of it makes me laugh because if you truly dig deep you will hear some pretty outrageous stuff about how pharmaceutical representatives are ruining America.
Many patients who have gone for the annual check-up at their primary care physician’s office have seen a pharmaceutical representative in a suit enter the office and quickly make their way to the back. The patient reacts in anger as if we have “cut the line” so to speak. This angers them because perhaps they have been waiting for some time and they begin to lash out.
If you are going to have a blog about pharmaceutical sales, you must have at least one post that speaks about the weekly conference calls that we all must endure in the pharmaceutical industry. Though technology has grown quite a bit in the last ten years, it seems as if human nature remains at a standstill.
At this point, though we are able to utilize webex and conference call technology that is so advanced that we can literally see someone elses computer screen on our computer, there is no amount of technology that can account for someone’s inability to put their phone on mute.
As many of who have been in the industry already know, the field ride can be an awkward and uncomfortable experience. I have seen my fair share of field rides from the representative perspective but also from the trainer and manager perspective too. Let’s explore the field ride from the representative’s perspective.
Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than a decade, I have seen my fair share of POA Meetings and I have seen them from so many different perspectives. I have been there as a Territory Representative, a Specialty Representative, a Trainer, and a District Manager. In each capacity your perspective is a little different. Let’s take a look at the mindset of each:
I have participated in and witnessed thousands and thousands of pharmaceutical sales calls in my career. When I first started, I was trained to give almost a scripted detail…and as a matter of fact my completion of the training requirements dictated that I had to hit all of the elements of a pharmaceutical sales call just to pass. During training my role-play performance was measured by a trainer who had a checklist and as I hit each element of a sales call, they simply placed a check in a box to signify I had accomplished hitting that element. No one taught me anything about “salesmanship”, I simply had to learn it as I went. Frankly the subject of salesmanship wasn’t even broached during training.
Welcome to Installment #3 of TalkPharma.com’s series titled: “An Interview With….“. In our first installment we interviewed an Account Manager from Specialty Pharma and in our second we interviewed a traditional pharma Territory Representative. We will do our best to gain the insights of people who have been in various positions throughout their pharmaceutical career and ask them general questions about their thoughts on the current state of the pharma industry and the future of the industry. The identities of our interviewees will remain private, with the aim of getting honest no frills answers to simple questions. We are pleased to bring you our third installment which is an interview with a District Manager from traditional pharma. Enjoy!!
There is nothing more fulfilling to a manager than seeing the fruits of his/her labor come to fruition. You know that moment when all of the coaching you have done seems to click with your representative and they execute the perfect sales call in front of a physician. If you are a manager and you truly enjoy doing your job, you live for these moments. It is so easy in this industry to get caught up with approving expense reports, cleaning out the endless amount of e-mails in your inbox, or worrying about the array of compliance issues that you are challenged with on a daily basis, but what’s it actually all about, I ask? At the end of the day its about salesmanship and your representatives effectiveness in front of physicians. Isn’t it??