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“I usually leave early on Monday morning and come back home on Friday. I drive around 450 kilometres per day, and I have a detailed schedule from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. I meet nine general practitioners at healthcare centres per day,” says sales representative Lea Maijala in Aesculapius magazine in 1974.
She is one of Orion’s eight sales representatives who focus on doctors alone. Each representative has a network of around 500 doctors. Aesculapius also reports that each representative is a qualified pharmacist or nurse, and 10 per cent of their annual working time is devoted to further training.
“The main focus is on basic medical information and product-specific training,” says sales representative Tuula Meriö. She is also pleased with the training provided on presentation techniques. “During training, we produce presentation situations that are as true to real life as possible. We film these situations using a small television camera, and then we discuss them.”
Saara Anttila is particularly pleased with the tips for improvement. “However, we must not forget the importance of personality. Routine-like sales presentations will not be successful,” she says in Aesculapius.
So, what kind of personal qualities should a sales representative have?
“An open mind, a certain degree of independence, good judgement and good health,” says Pirjo Salusjärvi in 1974, after having toured eastern Finland as a sales representative for 12 years.
Naturally, in terms of success, the counterparty is also important. According to Salusjärvi, the ideal doctor “has opinions, is willing to discuss the topic at hand and really takes the time to listen what the sales representative has to say”.
Pictured here is Pirjo Salusjärvi on a presentation visit to the healthcare centre at the Chymos plant in eastern Finland, accompanied by occupational health doctor Pekka Helo and occupational health nurse Kaarina Vento.