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Book review: Not-so-secret Secrets

I met Sarah Taylor at a conference last week, and she was giving away her book, “Secrets of Successful Pharmaceutical Salespeople”. Sarah is an engaging speaker and generally nice person; she was a top performer with a major pharma company, then decided to spend a year interviewing top pharmaceutical salespeople with an eye toward writing this book.

She became increasingly concerned as she discovered that the “secrets” to success were not so secret after all; it was continual application of the basics. She wrote the book anyway, figuring that if that was what led to success, then it needed to be said.

The book’s main drawback is that it is short, basic, and simple. Its main strength is that it is short, basic, and simple.

It covers 10 very fundamental and universal behaviors that all pharmaceutical sales representatives should practice. There is nothing new here, and at first, this took me aback somewhat. Then I realized what the chief benefit of such a book could be – giving it out to sales reps would reinforce exactly what every company emphasizes, but provide an “outside” validation of those messages. Based not on theory, or novelty, but on the track record of successful professionals “in the trenches.”

You won’t buy this book to discover novel techniques. But you just may hand it out to your district sales people, or new hires, as a reinforcement and a motivational tool.

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