Friday, March 26, 2010

A scientist's thoughts on lead generation - power of observation

In a previous post, I talked about the concept of Key Influencers (Part 1).  

Key Influencers are the individual scientists that can and will push your products far beyond the original purchase to labmates, colleagues, and beyond. Over the next few weeks, we will show you some tricks to identify Key Influencers and provide some ways to warm them to your products.

The Cold Lab Visit

Walking into a random lab to push your products is intimidating. I know this because I get intimidated when I walk into an unfamiliar lab. Everyone either gives you the stink-eye or they refuse to look up or there's no one in sight or someone asks you brusquely, "Who are you looking for?"  This happened to me this week when I went to borrow a reagent from a friend that knew I was coming. Freaked me out!

Through timing and observation, you can turn this uncomfortable cold call into a Key Influencer discovery mission.

Visiting Times

Key Influencers are the scientists that come in early (before 8am) or stay late (after 5pm).  They are serious about their science and getting experiments done, so they work when there are fewer distractions and care little for work schedules. I’ve know scientists that literally had a cot in the lab.  Furthermore, scientists have journal clubs, lab meetings, and talks to attend during the day (10-4pm) and, Key Influencers will be at these meetings (hint : these are the meetings where they will push your products). Time your visit for success.

‘Chance favors the prepared mind’ - Louis Pasteur

To find a Key Influencer observe the following as you pass through the lab.

  • Personal Bench Areas and Open Freezers - Look for a bench with tons of reagents, pipets, and equipment labeled in the same hand writing.  Key Influencers will have products stuck in every nook and cranny. If you can see an actual name or initials on these products – REMEMBER IT! 
Here's an example of what you are looking for!

  • Desk Area – Look for shelves or desktops with lots of hand-labeled binders.  By lots, I mean 10-30 notebooks.  If the writing looks old or the labels are peeling off, that’s not it.  You want fresh labels and recent dates (past 3yrs).  Again you are looking for a name.

  • Scientists - Key Influencers are typically in the 30's to 40's age range. Practice identifying people of this age group. Again observe and file it away.

RED FLAG WARNING - If a scientist is working at their bench (gloves on, pipet in hand) – WALK AWAY!  Don’t leave some fliers.  Don’t bother them.  Just observe the above and leave with the knowledge that you have identified your target.

Let’s review; personal bench (products and bottles labeled), desk (10-30 binders names or initials), and scientists (30ish).  You now have an idea who is using products and directing purchasing.  Identify them, help them, and you will succeed.

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