Competition in the pharmaceutical sales industry is fierce! What separates the successful sales reps from the mediocre? The ability to consistently close the sale.
You won’t get what you want if you don’t ask for it. In the closing phase of the sales meeting, there is a certain amount of pressure involved in getting the business you want. To a novice sales rep, this can feel awkward, but it doesn’t have to. Remember, if your product meets the client’s needs, you have earned the right to ask for their business!
Avoid the Soft Close
Maybe you have a client who is already purchasing your product. Hanging on to current business is just as crucial as landing new clients. A common soft sales close: “Thank you for your ongoing support.” While letting clients know that you appreciate their continuing to purchase our product, saying thanks isn’t enough. Always remember that there are similar products on the market, and your client could be swayed in another direction. Close the sale by offering updates on why your product is still the best, remind the client of the value they receive from the transaction, and leverage your relationship as another reason to continue the sales partnership.
Similarly, after introducing your product, it isn’t enough to ask, “Do you feel comfortable prescribing X?” Ask for what you actually want! Ask for them to make a change. Instead, trying asking, “Based on all the benefits of X over Y, will you prescribe our product X instead?”
Avoid the soft close. Be direct and go after what you came for!
5 Strategies for Closing Pharma Sales
Closing a sale because of a lucky break is great, but sooner or later your luck will run out. What you need to develop is a strategy for consistently closing sales. Take the guesswork out of it and make a game plan. Follow these steps to increase your potential to close the sale every time.
1. Create a Problem-Solution
People are motivated to buy things when they believe they need them. You have to create the need. Start by considering your product’s benefits. Who will it help and how? Use this information to work backward: what problem does your product solve? Get creative. You want to advertise your product as life-changing to close a deal.
As you begin to close, paint your client a picture. Describe the problem in detail, and outline how your product is the solution to that problem. In this scenario, the doctor is the ‘hero’. They will become the problem-solver when they purchase your product.
2. Explicitly State the Value
A key misstep many pharma sales reps make is assuming that the value of the product and the transaction is obvious or implied. Never assume. You are the expert on your product, so clearly restate your product’s values during the close of your sales pitch. This short summary should highlight why your product is unique and useful. Will it save money? Help specific clientele? Avoid being vague, be specific as you can about your product’s benefits. This is especially important given how many similar drugs may be out there on the market. Highlight your product’s superiority so that there’s no doubt in your client’s mind that you’re selling them the highest quality pharmaceuticals.
3. Remove the Risk
A great way to successfully close a sale is to remove the risk factor from the situation. In this case, the risk is the lingering what-if’s your potential client may have. How do you eliminate any doubt or risk involved with the sale? By making a promise or a guarantee.
The promise includes reminding the prospect what they’re getting and why it’s ideal. Next, add an unexpected benefit, one you saved just for the end. Maybe it’s a discount or an impressive feature of your product. Save it until the end to share, just before you ask for the sale. Finally, state your guarantee. This shows confidence in your product and will reduce skepticism from the potential buyer.
4. Inspire Immediate Action
Your goal is to leave the sales meeting with a signed contract and a check in hand, which means inspiring the client to act now, not later.
Your big promise is a hit, and your prospect is genuinely interested in all the benefits your product has to offer. They understand the value of purchasing your product. But why should they buy it right now? To fully close the sale, you have to induce a sense of urgency. There has to be a reason (real or perceived) for the doctor to act today, not during your next appointment. Don’t “fluff” or “pad” your sales proposition. If there are no distractions, urgency can be developed in a relevant and meaningful way.
There are two types of urgency: real or implied. “I can give you a discount of 20% on your order today only,” is an example of real urgency. The offer has a ticking clock and firm limits. There are clear, real consequences for this opportunity. “Two other clients have already ordered, and I only have X amount left for this month. Order today to secure yours!” This statement is an example of implied urgency. There is the illusion of scarcity, but no details or real consequences. Both types of urgency can be effective motivators. Go into the sales meeting with this tactic for creating urgency already crafted.
5. Be Direct
Your goal when you begin a sales meeting should be to close the sale—not at the follow-up, but that very day. This is an attainable goal! When you close, your mission is to eliminate all doubt the prospect has and replace it with a positive excitement about the product and the business partnership.
Remember, you won’t get a sale if you don’t ask for one. If you’ve used all of the above closing strategies, the prospect is sure to see the value in your product. You’ve earned the right to ask for their business. Don’t assume or imply—ask directly and close the sale!
Closing deals is the goal, but you might need to improve other skills to get you to that point. Check out our online courses to equip yourself with the tools you need to buffer your resume, prepare for job interviews, and find your ideal clientele.