- How does one juggle multiple meetings out in the field?
When I am traveling by plane, car or at a conference, I am in control of my schedule, so I don’t ever have conflicts in my time. What I do when I am in the field is to reach out to my KOL via email or phone call and try and schedule time out of their office for breakfast, lunch or dinner to sit down and discuss topics of interest. If this is a doctor I don’t know have a current relationship, I will reach out to one of my commercial or clinical team members to arrange a meeting (usually introduction meeting) I really enjoy meeting doctors in the operating room during cases. I have been observing cataract and refractive cases for many years. Most surgeons enjoy the teaching aspect during surgery and are very open to having you in the OR. One key point is to not upset the flow or staff in the surgery center. There is one surgery center that I have known some of their staff for over 20 years and I have an open invitation to observe cases with two of their surgeons whenever I want to.
At conferences, I book breakfast reservations and lunch reservations ahead of time and try to fill them with KOL meetings. If I can’t fill them, I cancel the reservations the day before with no penalty. I often will arrange to meet my KOL at our Medical Affairs table in the Exhibit Hall.
- What are the top 3 tools needed to manage a territory effectively?
Frequent flyer and frequent hotel rewards program. As you rise in the loyalty programs, you have access to better seats on planes, better rooms at hotels and the perks that go with it. Combine multiple KOL visits when traveling by plane to maximize your time when away from home. Keeping in contact with the commercial team for introductions or if one of their KOL’s proposes a study idea.
3. For MSLs that have a limited budget, what are 3 tips that help them to continue to maximize KOL opportunities in their territory?
- Fortunately, I can drive to half of my KOL’s so I am putting plenty of mileage on my company car.
- Telephone calls and emails replaced face to face interactions while our budget was sliced.
- Combine multiple doctor visits when traveling and fly back home at night to avoid another day’s hotel stay.