As a pharmaceutical sales representative, it’s essential to understand and identify your prescriber’s real needs to effectively promote your products. However, it’s not always easy to identify their real needs as they may not be apparent or explicitly stated. So, how to identify your prescriber’s real needs?
In real life, the prerequisite for creating something new and truly valuable is to gain a better understanding of your clients’ and HCPs’ needs and expectations. But to achieve this, you must first discover what these needs are. Are these needs currently met by another drug or manufacturer? Why would HCPs choose you to meet these needs? How can their real needs be pinpointed?
Expressing these needs is often a difficult operation as people in general find it hard to project themselves into alternative situations. Although they are often able to share what they do or do not like, they are often more hard-pushed to tell us what they would like. A projective process is thus required to achieve this objective…
In Healthcare Market Research, we use a projective exercise called the Imaginary House. This house has several rooms (the practice room, frustrations room, the expectations room etc.) which HCPs enter in turn and then describe what they see, do and feel. This exercise will enable us to address their habits, innermost desires but also what makes them frustrated, disappointed and anxious etc.
We’ll discuss how to identify your prescriber’s real needs.
- Build a Relationship
The first step to identify your prescriber’s real needs is building a relationship with them. It’s essential to establish a rapport with your prescriber before diving into discussing your products. Take the time to get to know them as a person, their practice, their patients, and their prescribing habits. Building a relationship will help you gain their trust, making them more likely to open up about their real needs.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions
Asking open-ended questions is a powerful tool to identify your prescriber’s real needs. These types of questions encourage your prescriber to provide more detailed responses, giving you insight into their thought process and needs. Examples of open-ended questions include:
- What are your thoughts on the current treatment options for your patients?
- Can you tell me about your prescribing habits?
- How do you decide which medication to prescribe?
By asking open-ended questions, you can gain a better understanding of your prescriber’s perspective and identify areas where your product can provide value.
- Listen Intently
Once you’ve asked open-ended questions, it’s essential to listen intently to your prescriber’s responses. Listening actively involves paying attention to their words, tone of voice, and body language. Active listening shows your prescriber that you value their opinion, which can encourage them to share more information.
- Identify Pain Points
Uncovering the pain points is the key to identify your prescriber’s real needs. Pain points are areas of frustration or difficulty that your prescriber may be experiencing in their practice. By identifying these pain points, you can position your product as a solution to their problems.
To identify pain points, ask questions such as:
- What are some challenges you face in treating your patients?
- What are some common complaints you hear from your patients?
- What would make your prescribing decisions easier?
By understanding your prescriber’s pain points, you can tailor your product messaging to address their specific needs.
- Stay Up-to-Date
Staying up-to-date on the latest research and developments in your product’s therapeutic area is essential to identify your prescriber’s real needs. By understanding the latest trends and innovations, you can position your product as a solution to their current and future needs.
To stay up-to-date, attend conferences, read scientific journals, and stay informed on the latest news in your product’s therapeutic area. By being knowledgeable, you can have more meaningful conversations with your prescriber and provide valuable insights into their needs.
- Provide Value
Providing value is the most critical factor to identify your prescriber’s real needs. Your prescriber wants to know how your product can benefit their patients and their practice. By understanding their needs and pain points, you can position your product as a solution to their problems and provide value to their practice.
To provide value, highlight the unique features and benefits of your product that address your prescriber’s needs. Provide clinical data, patient success stories, and any other relevant information that can help your prescriber make informed prescribing decisions.
Identifying your prescriber’s real needs requires building a relationship, asking open-ended questions, listening intently, identifying pain points, staying up-to-date, and providing value. By understanding their needs and pain points, you can position your product as a solution to their problems and provide content to dive deeper into each of these steps.