Pharma Sales are a Negotiation: Are You Ready?
As a pharma sales speaker who specializes in negotiation, I know it has never been more important to view each pharma sale as a negotiation.
As the dust settled on 2020, we learned that despite many approvals and innovative therapies, numerous drugs failed to achieve sales projections. In addition, healthcare facilities across North America had no choice but to reduce staff and as a result, were not receptive to meetings; both in-person and virtual.
Nevertheless, those who could negotiate persisted and prospered.
In January 2021 Pharma Manufacturing came out with their “Top pharma industry predictions for 2021.” Let me give you just a few examples of what is ahead and talk about pharma sales negotiation in light of what we already know about 2021 at the half-year mark.
Are You Ready?
- The industry will shift toward niche medicines. The industry will be forced to move away from blockbusters and focus on more personalized, more focused sales.
- As a result, expect smaller scale manufacturing and more sales expertise will be required. Companies will be on the lookout for exceptional sales talent.
- The cell and gene therapy landscape is expanding and changing. Sales competition will grow as well.
- Expect that the “quality culture” to be emphasized more than ever before.
- The pharma industry will become more efficient. Expect expedited procedures.
- There will be a Biopharma revolution as never before.
Each point I raise above as a pharma industry sales speaker who carefully follows the business, requires your ability to negotiate. Each sale is a negotiation. It is mandatory to give healthcare providers a reason to consider your medicines over the competition.
Negotiation is a Driven and a Given
Pharma sales negotiation is a driven and a given. If we consider just the trends that I outlined above it becomes clear that with limited time to “see” sales reps either in-person or virtually, the meeting needs clear and driven purpose; it must emphasize knowledge above and beyond the expected; superior customer service and always follow-up. It will come down to the sales rep to making themselves indispensable.
One of the many pharma industry problems with 2020 had little to do with the “lockdown,” but in the failure to negotiate and to give practitioners a reason to see sales reps, to consider what the sales reps had to say and to ultimately to write a “script.”
If, for example, the industry will expect to see a shift toward niche areas, the need for greater sales expertise, an increase in competition for the niche and greater efficiencies, how will you accordingly adjust? How will you out-compete and out-negotiate the competition?
Why should a provider consider what you have to offer? Even if it is a brand-new, innovative therapy, what is the driver and what are the negotiating points and the follow-up that will lead to a greater result?
Negotiation is a Learned Skill
The negotiation process in pharma sales is a learned skill. It is not the domain of a select few but requires learning and practice. Negotiation gets a bad rap; it is not a technique limited to those with loud plaid suits! It is a highly specialized process and stresses service. Pharma sales negotiation is an agreement between rep and provider based on ethics, knowledge and professionalism. It would be my pleasure to teach these techniques to your organization.
To book Mike Hourigan, Pharma Sales Negotiation Speaker, for a virtual or in-person presentation to your organization, contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.