The way HCPs consume, communicate, and share information is evolving faster than ever before. Traditional, data-heavy slide presentations may have their place, but Medical Communications is moving toward more modern approaches that can make critical information more engaging and better able to "stick". Turning data into meaningful and actionable messages is what sales representatives do day in, day out. Who teaches the sales team how to transform tables of numbers into compelling communications? Sales training experts. IC Axon has been an industry leader in clinical learning and development for over 25 years. Here are some tips from their learning design experts on how Medical Communications professionals can leverage insights from sales training to enhance the value of content.
Sales Training: A Sprint that Turns into a Marathon
As sales training experts, we are faced with making sure sales reps learn a lot of information very quickly. They also must internalize this information so deeply that they can continue to confidently communicate it across a product’s lifecycle. During training we, of course, need to present didactic material, but more importantly, we need to inspire learners to listen up, lean in, and leverage everything they learn in the field. Here are 3 essential lessons from the world of sales training that we think can help elevate traditional Medical Communications content as well:
1. Information + Value = Knowledge
Our phones put all of the world's information at our fingertips, but we only ever look up, remember, and act on information that holds value for us. Information divorced from value is just trivia – rarely sought out and never acted upon. Never let the value of your information stay merely implicit – make it matter, make people care! Information in the abstract is hard to absorb and harder still to recall, but information framed by the value it offers people influences decisions, spurs action, and makes a lasting impact. By making the value as explicit and clear as you can, you can convert the disinterested observer into an interested party and transform the already interested audience member into an invested and invaluable partner.
2. An Engaged Audience is an Informed Audience
Everyone has that one friend who likes to hold court, monopolize the conversation, and ultimately bore their loved ones to tears with monologues and diatribes. Don't be that friend! If you don't want to be tuned out, you need to motivate people to tune in. Whether talking about a new recipe or presenting exciting new clinical data, communication is a dynamic and cooperative process. Stimulating active engagement – making sure your audience is sitting up and taking notice – lets your audience know that you value them and that they are a crucial part of the story you're telling. After all, they are the ones who are going to have to act on your information! Get ahead of the game and inspire people to be active right out of the gate through questions, feedback, and other activities that simulate the give-and-take of great conversations.
3. Short is More than Sweet
Brevity might be the soul of wit, but it's also the heart of good communication. Everyone is busy (and often multitasking), so the likelihood of ever gaining truly sustained attention is vanishingly small. Some might see this as an obstacle to effective communication, but it's really an opportunity to hone your message into a memorable soundbite that can be recalled and repeated as needed. Refining your message until it is as succinct, targeted, and substantive as possible ensures that people walk away with exactly what they need without distractions or diversions impending the path to action.
Final Thought: Communication is an Act of Care
Whether a Medical Communications professional, sales training expert, or member of a pharmaceutical field force – we are all ultimately in the shared business of putting priority information into the hands of those who can help patients live better lives. We communicate what and how we do because we care – deeply and passionately – for the well-being of others. Making sure that care shines out – whether in slide presentation, a conversation with a client, or an email exchange with a peer – is maybe the most valuable lesson we should all take to heart and keep top of mind.
About ClinicalMind & IC Axon
In 2020, IC Axon became part of the ClinicalMind family of companies – adding over 25 years of clinical learning and development experience to the organization’s Medical Communications (MedCom) roots. Learn more about IC Axon: www.icaxon.com
ClinicalMind is a rapidly growing healthcare communications company known for providing innovative technology solutions, outstanding scientific storytelling, and an exceptional client experience. ClinicalMind combines a diverse portfolio of capabilities into a seamlessly integrated set of solutions for biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients. For more information, visit http://www.clinicalmind.com.