Many in this room have had the experience: You’ve stood at someone’s front door, or waited in some business man’s office, knees knocking, breath shallow with anticipation, waiting for that “moment” to arrive. You were selling something and this person was a potential buyer. It might have been magazines, or cars, or insurance, but, whatever the product, the fear and the anticipation was the same.
For me the product was pharmaceuticals. I’d arrive in some doctor’s office unannounced. I’d get my 30 second shot at the doc, in between patients or a five minute session with him over the lunch I’d brought in. I promoted several products, but the top two were an anti-inflammatory and a high blood pressure medicine. It was like the tale of two cities. The anti-inflammatory went great. It was a great drug that really worked and almost everyone that tried it swore by it. I increased market share substantially and was highly commended for its success. The High blood pressure medicine was a different story. I tanked! Why?
Well, it was a new product that had a great side-effect profile, but it had a huge drawback: It had to be taken three times every day. Let me ask you a question: How many of you have ever had to take an antibiotic that was dosed 3 or 4 times a day. How many of you forgot to take a dose? Yep, that’s right! Chances are some of you still have some old bottles of anti-biotics sitting around in your medicine cabinet that you never took, right? Why is that? Because of its dosing. It’s just too hard to remember.
That’s why that drug didn’t sell. It was used to treat a condition that they call the “silent killer” because it usually has no major symptoms. It was dosed several times a day and there were other drugs dosed once per day which were just as good. Simply put, it was a hard sale, and I never really made it. Why not:? I was trying to sell something nobody wanted and I knew it. For that reason, I wasn’t very passionate about it.
By now, you’re probably saying, “As fascinating as this is, Rusty, what does it have to do with anything? I really don’t care what drugs you used to sell.” Ok, I understand, but I do have a point to make: The reason I could sell the anti-inflammatory and not the anti-hypertensive was that I was passionate about one, but not the other.