Now, more than ever, companies are looking for high performing MSLs and professionals who can demonstrate a track record of success. Here are 4 on-the-job practices that can help you gain visibility as “The MSL to Watch” at your company.
1. Track Timelines and Deadlines.
I know that you work with projects that are lengthy and have long vesting cycles. This doesn’t mean that timelines don’t exist and deadlines will constantly shift downstream. Some companies ask their employees to respond to phone calls and emails within 24 hours. This can become too demanding for MSLs who travel a lot. You can adjust your personal response time accordingly but hold yourself accountable to a turnaround time. When I was a MSL working 10 states, I used to make an effort to respond to calls and emails within 36 hours.
2. Focus on Fruitful Interactions.
Too often MSLs go for KOLs they feel comfortable with, rather than KOLs with whom their companies can collaborate strategically with. Getting used to being uncomfortable is a mental muscle that you can train. The more often you practice building bridges with KOLs who may at first brush you off or discount you as a professional, the better you become at crossing that barrier. This also makes you a more valuable, marketable MSL in the big scheme of your career.
3. Ask More Questions.
MSLs are in the business of being experts – whether this be therapeutic experts or product experts. Sometimes MSLs can get trapped into the dangerous mindset of thinking that they know everything, or must act like they know everything. The know-it-all is an exhausting act, and often unpersuasive. The funny thing is that the more questions you ask and the better you become at listening, the more people think you know and the smarter people think you are.
4. Care about Crossfunctional Colleagues.
Stop seeing sales and marketing as the enemy. I know some sales and marketing folks see you as an extension of their effort. A smaller percentage may even treat you as an off-label sales person. For the most part, sales and marketing teams have a job to do just like you do, and they want to do an ethical job at their company, just like you do. Rather than running in the opposite direction, approach sales and marketing from a sincere attitude to want to collaborate in a way that does not compromising to the company’s reputation or bottom-line. Ask them what they would do if they were in your position, and bound by the guidelines and ethical rules that you are bound by.