Success is a funny feeling. A quick rush of relief & satisfaction and then, inevitably, an urgency to keep working to earn it again. In sales, specifically, success is usually followed with more work. Soon there are higher goals and higher expectations. You cannot just ride on your success; you have to create it month to month. People who produce success out of honest hard work will continue on the path of success throughout their life, but it isn’t easy.
This Friday I experienced the highest point of success in my career. All I can think about is what I am going to do next. How I am going to make this success work even harder for me. In my industry part of the job is selling a product, a specific medication. However an even greater task is getting a product on Formulary. In other words, the branded product must be recognized by a managed care organization as worthwhile enough to place on their preferred drug list. Until a drug is offered to patients at a discounted rate at the pharmacy, patients often have a hard time paying full price especially if a “comparable” generic product is offered at a little to no cost. Therefore, the samples that were handed out at the drs office go to waste if the patient decides they will not fill their intended script and replace it for a generic. When I approached my regional contact about this one account, I was told it was too small for a national rep to handle and I was on my own.
This large account, which also happens to be the largest employer in the city of Sioux Falls, SD (350 physicians in 150 locations through SD) has never covered my products. The way the system is set up, the physicians get a report monthly of how much of each product they are writing. If they write off formulary, they get reprimanded. So even some of my best customers were telling me that they were writing my product for patients that were covered by insurance not provided by this huge employer and were getting reprimanded for doing so. I felt this was so unfair–that patients were putting their health care providers in the middle-having to choose between giving patients a product with the most therapeutic benefit or not getting in trouble and giving them a lesser quality product. Well…after nine months of targeting the right people, turning the decision makers into advocates of my product and inspiring them to take action, my product is now on formulary!
Such a huge task, suck a huge reward. But really a win for women’s health care in SD.