No New Data

Most MSLs have no problem setting up an appointment with a thought leader to discuss new product data or development. But what if you fall into the group of MSLs who have no new data to share?

Sooner or later, all MSLs will face this challenge.

New data is “nice to have”, but KOLs may be interested in insight that goes beyond “data”. I’ve often said that “information is cheap, but insight is priceless.” Data is information, and if your company prefers that you only present data without interpreting it, then you are basically dispensing information.

If this is the extent of your “real value” to KOLs, then you are at the mercy of constantly having new information to get any face-time with KOLs.

Then you will dread every time you need to make an appointment with KOLs whom you’ve trained to see you as a data-dispenser. Some KOLs may even decide that it’s not worth making an actual appointment to go over something they can easily find off the internet or hear through their professional grapevine.

You can ask 1 question that will tell you what your true value is to your KOLs. You can ask yourself this question and try for an answer, or you can ask your KOLs this question and hear what they have to say.

The one question is: “KOLs see me as the MSL who: {fill in the blank}.”

Whatever you fill in the blank will tell you why KOLs would want to see you – or not see you.

For example, if you hear an answer such as, “I see you as the MSL who tells me about your company’s clinical trial opportunities,” and at one point your company’s clinical trials dry up, then the KOL will wonder why she needs to keep meeting with you.

However, if you hear an answer such as, “You are the MSL who can spot a trend that I don’t see, that I should know about,” suddenly you’re in better control of your destiny, regardless of the status of your company’s products or funding for KOL collaboration.

When you have no new data, is when you really see what value you can contribute as a medical science liaison — both to external stakeholders (your KOLs) and your internal stakeholders.