Ed Silverman over at Pharmalot posted a fun little item about a poll that Cafe Pharma is currently running.

Ed asked “Do Good-Looking Reps Do Better?” or rather that was the gist of the poll.

The devil is in the details. Here’s what the poll asked:

Which type of rep gets the best results? An average looking rep that knows their products and can sell? or A super attractive rep that is an idiot and can’t sell?

Only 16% of respondents chose the super attractive rep option.

Unfortunately, this survey can’t possibly yield any meaningful insights.

To sell (ie, “do better” or “get best results”), you first have to get in the door. So, a better question would have been: Do attractive reps get better access to physicians than do slovenly, but knowledgeable, enthusiastic piglets?

I think a lot more than 16% would answer “Yes” to that!

Another, more meaningful question would have been: Do reps — attractive, plain, or sloven — who bear gifts — pizza, sandwiches, cupcakes — get better access than those who come empty-handed?

Again, I think the pizza-delivery rep would have no problem getting in the door to most doctor’s offices.

Good looks and pizza are very visible attributes, in plain sight. You see the cleavage, you open the door. You see the pizza, you open the door. It’s Pavlovian!

Product knowledge and enthusiasm, on the other hand, are invisible. How does the doc (receptionist actually) know if the rep is knowledgeable about products? Only if the doc/receptionist lets him/her in the door and let’s the rep speak.

But you can’t get in the door without the cleavage or without the pizza!

For the knowledgeable Yossarian reps out there, It’s a Catcha 22 ah!