The following 3 scenarios are from course materials used by the drug giant Merck & Co. to train sales representatives from 1999 to 2004. Courtesy of Harper's magazine:
Scenario 1I don't think I could give any of these responses without suddenly breaking out in laughter. Which is probably why I'm not a pharmaceutical sales rep.
Physician says: “What a nice restaurant! I hear that the food is wonderful.”
Possible rep response: “You’re right, it is. I’d only arrange the best for you. I’m sure you feel the same way about your patients. When you decide to prescribe an antihypertensive, what characteristics make one product stand out from another?”
Physician says: “I love coming to this restaurant. It has a great menu.”
Possible rep response: “That’s one of the reasons I chose this place. You can get boiled lobster or a venison steak. Speaking of a great menu, what concerns you about the HMOs you’re dealing with, limiting your choices when choosing a specific drug therapy for a patient?”
Physician says: “What a great football game yesterday. Did you see how effective Drew Bledsoe was in the fourth quarter? That guy is amazing.”
Possible rep response: “Bledsoe is effective on so many levels. He’s a leader, you feel safe with him carrying the ball, and he’s a proven winner. You know who else that sounds like? Zocor, a market leader with an eight-year safety record, proven to save the lives of your patients. Physician, what concerns do you have about Zocor leading your team in the fight against congenital heart disease?”