Friday, May 25, 2007

Dumb Blonde Reps vs. Slovenly Genius Reps

Ed Silverman over at Pharmalot posted a fun little item about a poll that Cafe Pharma is currently running.

Ed asked "Do Good-Looking Reps Do Better?" or rather that was the gist of the poll.

The devil is in the details. Here's what the poll asked:

Which type of rep gets the best results? An average looking rep that knows their products and can sell? or A super attractive rep that is an idiot and can't sell?

Only 16% of respondents chose the super attractive rep option.

Unfortunately, this survey can't possibly yield any meaningful insights.

To sell (ie, "do better" or "get best results"), you first have to get in the door. So, a better question would have been: Do attractive reps get better access to physicians than do slovenly, but knowledgeable, enthusiastic piglets?

I think a lot more than 16% would answer "Yes" to that!

Another, more meaningful question would have been: Do reps -- attractive, plain, or sloven -- who bear gifts -- pizza, sandwiches, cupcakes -- get better access than those who come empty-handed?

Again, I think the pizza-delivery rep would have no problem getting in the door to most doctor's offices.

Good looks and pizza are very visible attributes, in plain sight. You see the cleavage, you open the door. You see the pizza, you open the door. It's Pavlovian!

Product knowledge and enthusiasm, on the other hand, are invisible. How does the doc (receptionist actually) know if the rep is knowledgeable about products? Only if the doc/receptionist lets him/her in the door and let's the rep speak.

But you can't get in the door without the cleavage or without the pizza!

For the knowledgeable Yossarian reps out there, It's a Catcha 22 ah!

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:42 PM

    I think the issues is less about looks and more about solving problems physicians face in clinical practice.

    Instruction/learning/knowledge for physicians—as professionals—differs from that for other adults because professions differ from other occupations. First, professionals address more complex problems for their clients than do practitioners of other occupations. Second, the knowledge and skills professionals use in addressing the problems are: Esoteric; require prolonged, supervised training; and can be harmful if used incorrectly. Third and finally, professionals must develop cognitive skills and ethical reasoning abilities not required of other occupations and use those esoteric skills and knowledge in handling complex problems. These differences suggest that the principles of adult learning must be qualified to teach physicians.

    Therefore if you are not helping physicians solve problems they have you do not have their attention. Pizza solves a problem but it isn't clinical and patient oriented. Jessica Simpson solves a problem and that is not clinical. It is time priciples of how adults learn and how physicians learn are applied.

    edu@bioc.net

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  2. Anonymous10:03 AM

    HELLO! Are you comatose?

    Even the American Medical Association acknowledges the bribery that secures sales rep "air time" with doctors.

    JAMA has proposed that doctors should stop accepting samples, and should not serve on formulary committees if they receive $$ from drug companies.

    How many professional adult learners does it take to figure out that the AMA knows its members are being bribed and has published evidence of that knowledge???

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  3. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Clearly the issue is less about looks and more about solving problems, but it seems to me that these days society has come to a point that looks and popularity matter more. For example, society is more caught up in the fact that Lindsey Lohan is in jail then they are about solving the problems of today. Society needs to change their focus.

    "Not all blondes are dumb, but many dumb people dies their hair blonde" -Anonymous

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