Reality Selling Today Role-Play 11, Pharma Supply

In this mock sales call scenario you are a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, the seller. Put yourself in the shoes of the seller selling the antidepressant drug fluoxetine for Pharma Supply. In this activity make sure to thoroughly answer these two points

  1. List of key questions for needs discovery dialogue (and why) (one page)

  2. Features and benefits of product (one-page)

Your Role at Pharma Supply you will be a pharmaceutical sales representative for Pharma Supply, a respected pharmaceutical wholesaler that sells medical supplies and drugs to medical clinics, hospitals, other health care institutions, and to retail pharmacies, which include many small independent retail pharmacies, large pharmacy chains, and pharmacies that are part of large retail operations such as Walmart, Costco, or various supermarket chains. Your company has recently signed an agreement to represent a generic-drug manufacturer. You will be introducing a new, generic, antidepressant drug, fluoxetine, for Pharma Supply. Competing branded drugs include Ely Lilly’s Prozac. You will start by contacting walk-in clinics and multi-doctor family health practices to get acceptance of your generic drug, so that doctors will be comfortable writing prescriptions for a generic alternative.

Your Customer: Family Health Services Clinic

Family Health Services is a downtown clinic. Many of its regular patients live in the immediate area and would be described as lower to lower-middle income patients. You will meet with Payton Diaz, the clinic manager. Payton has been recently hired at this clinic, but you have met Payton a number of times previously at another clinic. Payton always seems quiet and polite, and although you have a friendly relationship, you believe Payton would have a friendly relationship with all salespeople.

Family Health Services has four doctors and two registered nurses:

  • Dr. Tom Brown is 36 years old and has been at the clinic for less than a year. He is one of two doctors who begin work at 8:00 A.M. He works each day until 5:00 P.M., but stays on Monday nights until the clinic closes at 8:00 P.M.

  • Dr. Lu Bingyu is just a bit younger than Tom. She works the same hours as Tom, but she works late on Friday rather than Monday evenings.

  • Dr. Antonio Banderas is the senior doctor at the clinic and is likely going to retire within the next five years. He visits hospital patients each morning and seldom gets to the clinic before noon. He works until 8:00 P.M. Tuesdays through Thursdays.

  • Dr. Jane Blenko works each day from noon until 8:00 P.M. Jane’s husband is a doctor at one of the local hospitals.

  • Nurse Connie Small comes to the clinic each morning when it opens and works until 5:00 P.M. Ben Brothers, the second nurse, comes to work at noon and works each night until 8:00 P.M.

Quick Facts about Selling to Health Clinics and Medical Practices

  • Doctors usually resist seeing salespeople and, when they do, the average duration of a sales call is limited to usually just one or two minutes.

  • Doctors will sometimes meet with salespeople in a group situation, but only when there are very important reasons to do so. Even then, it is common to arrange somewhat of a social meeting as well—perhaps lunch or a small, catered meal.

  • A typical sales call by a pharmaceutical wholesaler salesperson to a health clinic would normally involve talking to the clinic manager to check inventory, take orders, and to ensure there are no service issues or other problems. Rarely would a wholesaler salesperson have to see the medical practitioners. When drugs are involved, the amount of product knowledge required is usually beyond what a wholesaler salesperson would be expected to have, so a product specialist would also be involved in the sales call. When such calls are made, it is important to get to see as many members of the medical staff as possible during a single sales call. This requires working with the clinic manager to coordinate a meeting when everyone can attend.

  • Doctors are sometimes reluctant to prescribe generic drugs, unless they are certain the drug will be as effective as its branded competitor, even though the cost for a generic alternative can be half the cost of a known brand. However, for patients who must pay for their own prescriptions, doctors will often consider prescribing generic drugs.

Your Call Objectives

During your initial contact, you have developed three call objectives. The first is to re-establish your relationship with Payton. The second is to establish who would be the important people at the clinic who should attend a meeting. Your third objective is to arrange a meeting with the clinic staff, within approximately two weeks, so the product expert who will accompany you on the subsequent sales call can make a presentation and answer questions for attendees. Your product expert is a widely known medical researcher and is widely published in medical journals on the efficacy of the generic antidepressant you distribute.

You are concerned that Payton has been employed with this clinic for only a short time. Payton may not be comfortable trying to arrange a meeting on your behalf, unless you can be convincing that the meeting will be worth everyone’s time.

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