If you’re a financial advisor interested in working with more physician clients, learn from the masters. Here are 7 lessons about physician engagement from the pharmaceutical industry.
Lesson # 1: Give Gifts
Over half of the pharmaceutical marketing budget is earmarked for gifts. Think free drug samples, educational materials for patients and gifts for physicians.
The pharmaceutical industry makes this sizable investment for a good reason. It works! The Law of Reciprocity says the gift recipient is more likely to act in a way that benefits the gift-giver.
Here are some gift ideas:
Can you develop “free samples” that would benefit the physicians’ family members?
Lesson # 2: Educate
The pharmaceutical industry delivers more hours of continuing medical education than hospitals! The content is developed by physician thought leaders and delivered in multiple formats to accommodate different learning styles: live events, written materials, video-based learning and audio courses.
Are you establishing yourself as an educator? Do you have a unique body of intellectual property? Do you invite experts to offer theirs?
Here are some topics that interest physicians:
Lesson #3: Talk to influencers
The pharmaceutical industry took sales to the next level when they brought their message to the consumer. Now they are investing in social media to reach consumers. It works.
Can you bring your message to the people who influence physicians? Maybe it’s the husband or wife of your prospects, the executive director of medical associations or a vendor like the nail salon owner.
Lesson #4: Attend Physician Gatherings
Pharmaceutical reps meet physicians where they gather. This is much more effective than interrupting physicians during clinic hours. Attend medical meetings, or social events where your prospects and clients gather.
Lesson #5: Sponsor Events
In the past pharmaceutical companies sponsored social events, philanthropic efforts and community campaigns. This practice, like gift-giving, has been curtailed. You can sponsor:
Lesson #6: Recruit Physician Opinion Leaders
The pharmaceutical industry identifies physician thought leaders –called Key Opinion Leaders or KOL’s–who are invited to speak at educational events, participate in clinical research and become brand representatives.
How well do you understand the social networks of your target physician clients? Are you developing relationships with thought leaders? Could you ask one of your physician clients to give a talk about a topic that interests colleagues?
Lesson #7: Repeat Your Message
On average, pharmaceutical reps expose physicians to a message about a new medication six to ten times before it’s prescribed. What mechanism do you have to regularly reach out to prospects and clients with high-value content?
These seven lessons gleaned from the pharmaceutical industry can help you join the ranks of high-performing financial advisors who get great results in the medical market.