Tailor-Made Selling

Victoria Williams, VP & Sales Director at GSK urges women to put themselves forward and avoid over-questioning their capabilities.



Selling has changed vastly in the past 20 years with the emphasis now on value. If I compare today to when I was a medical representative in Nottingham, UK, in 2000, there are some major differences. The main driver has been that access to our customers, including doctors, has become more and more difficult and limited. A medical representative in the pharmaceutical industry used to be focused on “delivering” three key messages almost like an advert.

Our environment has changed; in order to gain access to our customers we need to bring more value during that interaction to justify spending time with us. Our selling needs to be focused on identifying our customers’ needs and then tailoring communication of the benefits of our medicines to meet this need.

We also have a need to be more transparent in discussing key contra-indications and side effects that must be considered. Overall, at GSK the sales process has become more patient-focused so it can bring more value to the day-to day work of our doctors and is more transparent.

It is shown that women have a tendency to over-think and question themselves when going for a new job, a promotion or discussions about salary. In my experience, we lose nothing by asking and challenging. If we are able as women in sales to ask our customers to change their behaviors then we can ask our managers.

Anyone who has a real interest in people, in advancing healthcare and can, most importantly, listen should be a great medical salesperson.

Are women better at these things? I don’t know, but I have certainly seen many women in my industry who I would describe as natural salespeople because they exhibit these traits.

I am a big fan and supporter of the lean in movement and think many women over-question their right, capability and capacity to do some jobs.

It is shown that women have a tendency to over-think and question themselves when going for a new job, a promotion or discussions about salary. In my experience, we lose nothing by asking and challenging. If we are able as women in sales to ask our customers to change their behaviors then we can ask our managers.

I really enjoy and get a buzz out of selling.

I love the feeling when you leave a customer and you know you have changed their behavior, particularly in Pharma when you know this means that a patient will benefit from one of our innovative medicines. This great feeling and buzz has meant I love what I do and hopefully can transmit that energy to my team.

I’d advise women starting off in sales not to be afraid to challenge.

Also, enjoy it: sell something you feel passionate about. Be as transparent as possible in your selling; this develops trust and long-lasting relationships.

To be successful in sales you need passion for what you are selling.

You need to be interested in others, a good listener, have the ability to deliver succinct communications and be able to transmit your energy.

Published by permission of the International Journal of Sales Transformation ©2016 www.journalofsalestransformation.com

 

 

 


Victoria Williams will be presenting on "The Journey Towards Patient-Centric Sales Force Excellence - Beyond the Sales Target" at eyeforpharma Barcelona 2016.


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