Once in a while I’ll foot the bill for a small mentoring group to get together by phone and we’ll work through some of the issues that folks like you face while looking for a job in pharma sales.
In one of these sessions, we started talking about the “Sell me this pen” question/directive in a pharmaceutical sales interview. The questions went something like this . . .
“A pen? How do I sell something so simple? How do I know what this District Manager is looking for in a pen? I don’t even know if it’s the color she wants!?”
So we all agreed that this was a worthwhile discussion.
One of the callers broke it down easily. He said, “it’s all about FEATURES and BENEFITS.” And the rest, as they say, was history.
Take a pen from that cup on your desk or pull one out of your drawer. Use it to write down all of its “features” on the left side of the page.
FEATURES [things like]
- Stainless steel pocket clip
- Dark black ink
- Solid gold barrel
- Engravable barrel
- Ball point tip
- Refillable cartridge
- Ergonomic design
- And on, and on, and on
There’s a saying in sales, “Features tell, benefits sell.”
And you want to sell – so let’s talk benefits.
To determine a benefit from a feature, just ask yourself, “So what?”
Here’s an example . . .
FEATURE = Stainless steel pocket clip…
BENEFIT = …allowing you to carry the pen in a shirt or pants pocket.
…so you can have quick access to your pen when you need it most.
…so you can save yourself time in the office, in the plane, a restaurant, or on the road.
…so you can make a good impression on your boss when it comes time to sign the credit card receipt and get to the next appointment – quickly.
…so she’ll give you a promotion.
…so you can put more money in your 401k.
…so you can retire earlier.
…and so you can buy that condo you’ve always wanted on the beach.
*** I’m taking it to the extreme on purpose ***
The bottom line is, people don’t buy features, they buy benefits.
Work through all of the features you wrote down for your pen. Allow yourself to get silly while thinking of the reasons people buy.
This is how sales messages are built.
Combine this with from the PharmBoard.com Detail Bag for an on-the-fly sales call that is sure to knock ’em dead.
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