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3 Ways to Plan Ahead for Successful KOL Interactions

When a KOL demands time with you, will you be ready?

A survey by the MSL Society referenced by PharmaVOICE says that KOLs spend 45 minutes with an MSL, as opposed to just two minutes with a sales rep.

This gives MSLs an amazing opportunity to have meaningful conversation. But making the most of these meetings involves more than showing up; it means being prepared.

Using the three strategies below, you'll be ready for KOL interactions and carry more influence with decision-makers.

Know Your PAL

Whether it’s a 15-minute chat or an hour-long meeting, interactions with KOLs should never be off-the-cuff. Make sure you know your PAL™ before the conversation starts:

Purpose: Keep your purpose top-of-mind. What’s the primary goal of the meeting? Is it to address common questions about a treatment? Share key results from a clinical trial? Offer basic information on a new therapy?

Think about what you want the KOL to know, feel, or do when the conversation is over. Clarity about the purpose of each KOL interaction will help you get your message across.

Audience: Find out as much as you can about the KOL beforehand. Do a web search, go on LinkedIn, and talk to other MSLs who have met with that KOL. Sharoni Billik, a healthcare communications company, has suggestions to consider “What’s In It for the KOL?” Why are they meeting with you? What is the KOL’s attitude toward your product? What knowledge do they have already — and what knowledge does the KOL need?

Logistics: Knowing the logistics of the meeting can save you a lot of trouble and avoid a late arrival, which is never a good way to start a meeting. Where will it take place? Will other people attend, and who? Will you have access to your computer? How much time will you have?

The answers to these questions are crucial to successful KOL interactions.

Begin with the End in Mind

Think about how you want to end your conversation before it even starts. End strong by preparing ahead of time with these three steps to a strong close:

  1. Review Key Points: Repeat and synthesize the main points of your conversation. This will ensure you’re both on the same page and bring the focus back to your primary goal.
  2. Remaining Questions: Encourage the KOL to ask any remaining questions and show that you’re happy to review anything unclear.
  3. Memorable Statement: What is the key takeaway message? Develop a memorable statement and close with it.

Anticipate Questions Ahead of Time.

In addition to planning what you’re going to say, prepare for any questions KOLs might have. Are there confusing areas in your presentation that might spark questions? Either do a better job of explaining or plan your answers.

If you prepare, you’ll be able to field unexpected questions without getting flustered or losing focus.

Plan Ahead for Successful KOL Interactions

MSLs have access to KOLs like never before, which means new opportunities.

By using PAL™, starting with the end in mind, and anticipating questions ahead of time, MSLs will strengthen and deepen their relationships with KOLs and make the most of these connections.

Want more strategies to develop as a Medical Liaison? Read all the MSL “Skills to Thrive” articles on our next blog or browse through all 6 "MSL Skills to Thrive" below.

MSL V2.0

MSL Skills to Thrive

You can also contact us to schedule a skills development workshop for your team.

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