As a medical representative many years back in one of the top multinational pharma companies in the country, one major skill set that was drilled into us was customer profiling, under segmentation and targetting. Yes, how to profile your customers. It determined the number of times you visited a particular doctor (customer). We called it call “frequency” then (not sure if that still holds today).
So, if as a med rep, you spent all your time visiting and detailing a tier 2 or tier 3 customer, then you could almost predict that you were not likely to meet up with the numbers for that month. No matter how much a general practitioner loves your brand, if he doesn’t attend to the kind of patients that can benefit from your brand, it is more of a fruitless effort, unless he or she is moved from that department or unit to where there is a need for your brand.
Now, there is one unique area which a lot aren’t aware of but, if adopted, could assist med reps in profiling their customers because of the insight it gives into their personality. The beauty of this is that even if the customer cannot be engaged verbally with adequate proximity – no thanks to challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, this method still finds relevance. It is the Handwriting.
While I was a medrep, one key performance indicator was in the number of clinical meetings you had within a month. If you were expected to do five meetings altogether and you did only three meetings, there was no way you could be vindicated in case you did not meet up with your budget numbers for that month. The first area your line manager put a searchlight on is the number of meetings budgeted and the actuals.
However, the reason I brought this up is because I later discovered from my research into graphology that the attendance register sheets which contained details of the customers and potential customers we desired was a very powerful profiling tool in our custody but we simply didn’t realise the extent at the time. Even though many times it contained only the names , phone numbers and the signatures of these potential customers, much more than that, it revealed the personality traits of each customer or potential customer. This profiling method is unique and exclusive to graphology. Therefore, you can understand a potential customer the “write way” just by knowing what exactly to look out for in their handwriting.
In an era when there is increasing advocacy for physical or social distancing, a nonverbal intelligence tool like graphology will always come handy. The question now is, how many med reps are trained to read the personality traits of medical doctors or pharmacists in record time just by browsing through their handwriting on an attendance sheet or on a prescription paper? The world is evolving but are you flowing with it? Do not forget, we are in a new normal; or as someone prefers to say, “a new abnormal”.
The two signatures below belong to two different medical doctors at the GOPD clinic of one of the government hospitals in the country (hypothetical). As labelled, the first sample belongs to Doctor John (right slanted handwriting), while the second belongs to Doctor Ken (upward slope writing ). Assuming you were privileged to have access to the prescription of these doctors whom you have not been opportune to detail for some months now, which of them do you think would appreciate less talk about your brand and which one would not mind you visiting frequently and having chats for some time during clinic before you move to another unit?
Stay tuned for the next edition to find out the right answer. For now, just take your best guess.
Till I come your way next time, always remember that if you must get it right, you need to do it the “write way”.