Save a Sales Rep: Wisdom from a Front-Line Trainer

Author: Dee Mahoney

My post on November 19, 2010 titled “Does Your Training Change Behavior” generated numerous comments and discussions in my LinkedIn groups. One of the comments from Larry Lynam was particularly insightful. With his permission, I share it with you today.

LinkedIn Group

This is very timely for us to be considering when you realize all of the training and educational issues (opportunities) contained in The Affordable Care Bill that was signed and enacted earlier this year. Also, if people are not familiar with the language inside the Independent Drug Education Act of 2009 that is pending in both the House and Senate. I encourage them to Google and read the summary. They will see quickly that training and education in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare worlds are on the cusp of some major changes.

We need to put ourselves into the role of leading behavior change both for our companies and for our representatives. We all know how slow corporate culture is at changing and already I see a disturbing trend in some companies. They seem to turn a “blind eye” towards representative behavior that is occurring by pretending not to know about it and then when the representative is “caught” they are sacrificed in hopes of preventing a corporate fine or minimizing the cost of it. The representatives are being used like front-line fodder by some companies.

Many of us are able to position ourselves where we can help save our companies from themselves by preventing or trying to minimize the practice of off-label promotion and all of us can help our representatives by arming them with skills to prevent themselves from becoming a sacrifice of the practice.

For many of us this will require a change in our behavior. We need to make ourselves better communicators – both with administrative teams and colleagues and also in our interaction with the representatives we are training. We can arm them with skills and information to assure their success without their sacrifice.

How much more satisfaction could we get from a role where we help our companies and our colleagues while we help ensure accurate information is put into appropriate hands that will make positive changes in the patient outcomes. We can participate actively in the goal of better treatment outcomes while reducing health care cost at the same time we help our companies achieve their corporate goals without contributing to the nation’s unemployment picture.

Larry Lyman is a Biotechnology Consultant from the The Lynam Group and a member of the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers, SPBT.

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