Rating pharma reps for the market researcher SDI (press release here), cardiologists named Pfizer's sales reps No. 1, with Merck's as No. 2. Rounding out the top five were Merck's Schering-Plough, AstraZeneca, and Novartis.Wow. Amazing that "product know-how" was the most important quality of a good sales rep. Glad to know.
So just why did these 300 heart doctors rank the reps as they did? Most graded Pfizer first for several different attributes, including their product know-how, which they considered the most important quality of a good sales rep. Pfizer's sales folks also were No. 1 for the sensitivity to doctors' busy schedules, for their professional conduct, and for their drug-sample offerings. In fact, the only category in which Pfizer didn't rank first was in giving unbiased comparisons with competing products. Schering-Plough's cardiovascular sales force won that prize.
But I also agree with the other important qualities mentioned that were important to cardiologists: "sensitivity to doctors' busy schedules" (knowing when lunch is served), professional conduct (apropriate gender with low BMI's and stunning dress codes), and drug-sample offerings (not just giving out those skimpy rebate cards, but real drugs).
Now, if we could just get some pens...