In continuation of our spotlight interview series, we’re excited to introduce our readers to Lois Smith, Sales Manager!
Lois has been with the BulletinHealthcare team for over a decade and brings extensive experience in the medical publishing and pharmaceutical industries. She is passionate about finding creative solutions to meet her clients’ needs and works tirelessly to deliver results for them. Her commitment to her craft is evidenced by the many friendships she’s forged with her clients over the years.
Without further ado, let’s hear from Lois!
You have a wealth of experience in the pharma industry. What inspired you to pursue a sales career in pharma, and how has your journey evolved over the years?
Lois: My path to pharma was both intentional and serendipitous. I had done research on the most predominant industry in the tri-state area and then met someone at a social event who worked at a pharmaceutical company. Fate stepped in and I began as a pharmaceutical detail rep just as e-business was emerging. I’ve always loved tech and nerdy things, and this evolved into becoming a specialist in e-business and mobile marketing to pharma. I’ve been fortunate to work with some keystone companies within our industry.
How has the pharma industry evolved over the past several years?
Lois: Pharma has been through an interesting arc over the years, going from a mindset of being slow to adopt change to readily embracing the newest technologies. This hasn’t been a smooth path. The “dot.com bubble” burst hard on pharmaceutical companies which caused them to pull back for a few years. As technologies refined and e-business became less of a specialty and more of a core competency, pharma became both an eager consumer and a producer of cutting-edge advances. Healthcare continues to provide unique opportunities and challenges.
In your opinion, what is the key to building and maintaining strong relationships?
Lois: Be authentic and ethical. Salespeople have a responsibility to protect the interests of their clients. It isn’t just about dollars and budgets. There are people’s livelihoods that rely upon your guidance. It is something I do not take lightly. I’ve left companies where I’ve felt their values don’t align. It is why I’ve stayed at BulletinHealthcare for over 11 years. I’ve never once been asked to do anything that was not in my clients’ best interests. My clients know that I truly care about their success both professionally and personally.
With the ever-growing focus on patient outcomes and value-based care, how do you align your sales team’s goals with the broader mission of improving patient health and quality of life?
Lois: We are fortunate as an organization that we have built a full team who appreciates and understands the positive impact that a new medicine or a new device has on patients’ lives. We all have family, friends, and clients who are patients, so healthcare is personal for us. It is that mindset that keeps us excited and eager to help educate HCPs. As a company, we are always looking to develop new and better programs to present this information.
In a diverse and multicultural industry like healthcare, how do you ensure your sales team embraces and celebrates diversity, leveraging it as a strength to better serve a wide range of customers?
Lois: From a product perspective, this year, BulletinHealthcare began to publish a new series to highlight DEIB disparities in healthcare, Diversity In Healthcare. The idea for this came from our clients and our sales team. We have trusted partnerships with our clients, which allows deeper discussions about trends, pain points and unmet needs. The open and inclusive culture that we foster within our organization is an organic strength.
What are your predictions on the most significant trends and changes that will impact healthcare providers and pharma advertisers over the next few years?
Lois: The pandemic caused a paradigm shift for both providers and life science manufacturers. For providers, telemedicine is here to stay, but I think another trend will be “boutique-style” healthcare. A bit of a pendulum swing back to the days of local doctors making home visits and an iteration of the group practice combined. I can see where new HCPs might mimic other industries and begin offering private practice in a co-op environment. For life science manufacturers, the big shifts in privacy will force them to lean back into personal promotion, refine digital and social strategies, and leverage medical associations and affiliations as trusted delivery mechanisms.
What advice would you give to young professionals looking to make a career in the advertising industry, based on your experience and insights?
Lois: Be inquisitive, be open, be eager. One of the lingering negative effects of the pandemic is that young professionals are not getting exposed to the broader scope of an organization. I would suggest joining an organization where you go into an office at least 2x a week. The breadth of education that you absorb through osmosis from colleagues and mentors is invaluable in figuring out where your strengths and passions lie.
What are your hobbies outside of the office?
Lois: I enjoy gardening, although I am an accidental gardener. I lack the discipline to weed and have a high failure rate, but playing in the dirt appeals to the child in me. I also love to cook, it’s the perfect blend of science and art. I only know how to cook one way though, in large quantities, so I own an embarrassingly large collection of mason jars and plastic containers (and happy friends).
What is the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you?
Lois: Well, it wasn’t business related. When I bought my house, my elderly neighbor said, “You never own a home, it owns you”. Truer words were never spoken.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Lois: Be Kind 😊
To learn more, or if you have a question of your own for Lois, we’d love to get connected!