Doctor detailing is essential to your pharmacy’s growth and marketing strategy plan.
Doctor Detailing Basics
I often refer to doctor visits as dating. You’re dating multiple doctors, and each one has their personality. Some are needy, some like gifts, and some like to be left alone.
Therefore, you must adapt the concepts in this article to fit each prescriber and office you are trying to build a rapport.
Before you randomly visit prescribers’ offices, you should consider these questions:
- Which prescriber should you visit
- Creating goals for each visit
- Why are you visiting them
- Who should go to the visit
- What should you wear
- What should you bring
- How to follow up and follow through
In this article, I will dive into the first 3 points. If you want to jump to all the content, please check out my YouTube video, where I go through all the consideration points above on doctor detailing.
Which Prescriber Should You Visit
The first step is determining who to visit.
There are more doctors than you will ever visit in your town unless you’re in a super small town, and even then, there’s probably more than one doctor. You must prioritize or figure out who you will visit on any particular day.
Current or New
The good first question is, will you visit a prescriber you are already getting prescriptions from, or will you visit a new office trying to start a relationship?
If you visit with current prescribers, have a goal of building a deeper connection with the current prescriber, developing that relationship more, and getting closer to that office. You want to serve more of their patients. Visiting a known prescriber is an excellent time to tell them about additional services or products and how they might benefit.
If you visit a new office, your goal should be finding out what problems they or their patients have. It would help if you were asking a lot of questions and listening. New visits are not the time to talk endlessly about yourself; instead, you should be learning about them. Think like a first date!
Specialty or Location
The second question to ask yourself is if you should visit prescribers of the same type, regardless of where they are located, or should you hang around the exact geographic location.
There’s no right or wrong way or wrong answer to this question. It depends on what your goal is for all of these visits. If you’re trying to get the word out, you may have a new service; then you’re likely hitting up all the prescribers in a location; it doesn’t matter what their specialty is.
However, the type of office you spend time with does matter if you’re trying to drive sales of a particular drug. For example, if you are trying to grow your clemastine liquid prescriptions, it makes sense to target pediatricians, dermatologists, and general providers. Going to an OB/GYN office isn’t help you reach your goal.
Creating A Goal For Each Visit
No matter who you’re visiting, you always need to create a goal for that visit. The purpose of the holiday can help you determine who you will be seeing. It would be best to determine what success looks like and clearly define it.
Creating a goal is not only from a general activity of doctor detailing but very specifically for each doctor’s office visit. Yes, it is good to develop overall plans, such as how many offices you visit in a week. It is also critical to create more specific goals.
What does a successful prescriber office visit look like for this office?
Why do you want to visit this doctor?
You may want to visit Dr. Smith because he’s an allergist, and you want him to prescribe clemastine. Great! How many new prescriptions are your goal?
Why Are You Visiting Them
Internal Why Versus External Why
The metrics you develop are your internal ‘why’ for going to that office. It is not what you tell the doctor’s office staff why you’re visiting.
Don’t Say: Hi, I am visiting today to get three clemastine prescriptions from you.
Say This: Hi, I would love to tell you about a new prescription product that is helping patients get relief from their allergies at night much better than their current therapy. This prescription product isn’t carried at the chain pharmacies, and we stock it.
You are in their office to help solve problems for them and their patients. Coming from the perspective of being a problem solver, I never came across as pushy or salesy.
Once you have your internal reasons for going to a particular office, then you need to be able to clearly define the external logic. The external reasoning is the story that you’re telling them to answer the question of why you’re stopping by their office today. Unless you’ve got a close relationship with that doctor, and you are genuinely just stopping by to say hi, you must have a good story to tell for why you are there.
Here are some examples of great external reasons to visit a prescriber’s office:
- A new employee at the pharmacy
- You started a new service
- Industry changes
- Insurance issues
- You are carrying new products OTC/Rx
- Patient safety issues
Here’s an excellent tip for you. You can use any new service or product as a reason to visit any office, even if your new thing aligns differently from the demographic of the office. Let me share an example. You start a hair loss program that uses PGx testing. You can visit a pediatrician’s office to talk about this because humans staff the office, and those humans might also need those services. It can even be refreshing for the staff that you aren’t “asking” anything from them and instead are just educating them. It is a great way to not be seen as a salesperson.
One of my favorite external reasons to be in a prescriber’s office is a drug take-back program. Every office needs to catch up in getting unused medications off the street. I have used this program to get large posters in prescribers’ offices even if they “don’t allow promotions” because it is a public safety cause. And, yes, it also promotes my pharmacy. Learn more about leveraging a drug take-back program to boost your pharmacy.
Just One Part Of Your Pharmacy Marketing Plan
Doctor detailing is critically important to all independent pharmacy owners. This article has helped you plan how to begin or make your doctor visits more impactful. Doctor detailing should be one piece of your overall pharmacy marketing plan. Please reach out to me with any questions. We have tons of pharmacy marketing resources and courses inside Pharmacy Badass University. I invite you to see all you get for a low monthly price. Our goal is to get your pharmacy as profitable as possible.