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Role of a Medical Representative
by D. Dayakar


A Medical Representative is an important medium of communication with doctors/retailers. It is a dynamic activity and a live medium, whose impact is more predictable and longer lasting.

As a Medical Representative, you play a vital role by effectively translating the company's strategies into results at the market place. Ask yourself the following questions as a Medical Representative:

* How do I establish my Company's products in the market?
* How much time do I usually get in the doctor's chamber/cabin? And how do I make best use of it?
* How many products should I promote? And which product should I promote first? (As per the doctor's prescription habit; and generally 4-6 products).
* How do I develop a personal rapport with the doctors so that I can ask or demand prescriptions?

Let us consider that you generate sales worth of Rs 1,00,000 per month in your area. How do you compute your efficiency? This output comes from around 200 doctors. So the average productivity per doctor comes to around Rs 500 per month. It is also usually seen that 4 to 5 products contribute at least 80 % of the sales. If you critically analyze the prescription flow in the market, you will also find that 80% sales comes from 20% doctors, and the remaining 80% doctors contribute only 20% of sales. Thus your selection of doctors, visit frequency, sampling, etc., must be properly planned. You need continuous prescription audit to identify potential doctors who could contribute to 80% of your sales.

It is worthwhile to calculate your Return on Time Invested (ROTI). You may be investing 8-12 hours per day in the field; check out your returns per hour and per call.

And don't forget, there is yet another category of customers - the retailers - who must also be influenced.

The job of a Medical Representative requires commitment, energy and the willingness to work hard. It is a proactive demanding role, not a passive accepting one. As a MR, you must know what the physicians are prescribing and you must book and ensure that your products are made available. You would need to regularly interact with physicians to persuade them to prescribe brands that you are promoting. You must follow through till the prescription is taken up - and even later, to convert the doctors into brand loyal doctors.

Thus as a MR, you must take the responsibility for both demand creation and demand fulfillment, through your personal order booking (POB) and regular visits to the retailer level.

August 2000
Pharma Marketing Page.
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