Overcoming the challenge of communication to overburdened healthcare professionals
Overcrowded hospitals & strained medical staff—this is nothing new for the healthcare system. But the situation has dramatically worsened since the outbreak of COVID-19. A lack of hospital beds and healthcare professionals struggling to keep up with the influx of patients seems to be the new normal. And there is no end in sight. This stress, and the addition of social distancing regulations and limitations to everyday life, has resulted in Health Care Professionals (HCPs) having understandably little time for meeting with sales reps. So how can pharmaceutical and healthcare delegates effectively communicate with them during these challenging times?
1) Use their language of systems
Health care practitioners are trained to create and digest information in systems. Today more than ever, when it comes to sales reps communicating with HCPs, effective targeting with relevant content is key. Know your clients as people better than anyone else; this goes far beyond someone’s birthday or family status. The golden rule for both virtual and face-to-face interactions is to always be human-centred and to always consider the unique needs of each individual HCP.
2) Lead with digital solutions
Even though some of them might not realise it yet, a digital first approach can make HCPs life much easier. Offer help to bring digital solutions for their practice, using multiple channels and fully integrated shopping experience from brick-and-mortar to online shopping, and even mobile. This will not only simplify HCP’s daily work but also bring us one step closer to a reality in which the healthcare system is more seamless and preventive.
3) Foster knowledge exchanges
Organise virtual events between sales reps, field experts and HCPs to exchange on common challenges and/or new industry innovations. Platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams will be your friend for this/for hosting such events. But always consider HCPs limited time; try to keep events short and ensure participants will gain relevant knowledge and value. Time is a currency, let’s respect it.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has created much uncertainty and complexity but it has also brought many opportunities for positive change. Pharmaceutical companies that are able to adapt their approaches to the current situation and reinvent the way they do business and connect with medical professionals will come out on top. The tips above will support sales teams in effectively targeting, meeting with as well as selling to HCPs.