Thinking Outside the (Shoe) Box for Physician Access How “Complete the Pair” Helps Open DoorsPharmaguy interviews Goose Lopez-Torres, Principal & Founder, Complete the Pair, LLC (see Bio), about how his company, in conjunction with Soles4Souls – the largest shoe-based charity in existence – can help pharma sales reps or medical science liaisons schedule meetings with physicians.

Aired LIVE on: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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Complete the pair Shoe“What Do I Have to Do to Get my Foot in the Door?”

Many pharmaceutical sales reps probably ask that question every day. No longer can they offer incentives to physicians such as free trips, pens, and other “tchotchkes” that have no educational value. Free lunches are also becoming problematic.

What about a shoe like the one shown here?

That’s just what Goose Lopez-Torres thinks will open doors to physicians without violating gift-giving guidelines and laws that apply to sales rep-physician interactions these days.

Physicians, of course, probably don’t need a free shoe. One shoe, in any case, is useless. To be useful, you need the other shoe of the pair and that’s where Complete the Pair comes in.

In 2009, Goose Lopez-Torres was a successful packaging salesperson in Orlando, FL who had all but given up on two very large potential clients. He attempted one last-ditch, “outside the box” effort: buy a pair of name brand sneakers and have his engineers create innovative, vibrant packaging to hold one single shoe. A letter was included with each shoe to introduce himself, his company and ask the question “What do I have to do to get my foot in the door?” Packages would go out via UPS and once delivery was confirmed, Goose would call each buyer and hope to book the prized meeting.

However, Goose quickly realized his marketing pitch was wasting a life-changing pair of shoes to someone in need. Instead, he began drafting what would eventually become the business model for Complete the Pair. Each pair of shoes would still be split up into two separate packages and mailed out with the message “Let’s meet and complete the pair to help those in need.” Once the pairs were “completed,” they would be sent back to his facility and distributed to the feet of those lacking footwear in developing countries.

Goose still needed the help of an outside organization to manage and distribute the “completed pairs.” He decided to approach “Soles4Souls,” the largest shoe charity in the world.

Admittedly, shoes have no educational value for patients. But the physician does not keep the shoes for his or her patients. They are donated to charity. That’s the incentive that Complete the Pair hopes will motivate physicians to agree to meetings with sales reps and/or medical science liaisons.

Questions/Topics of Discussion

  • How does Complete the Pair work?
  • Is it effective in opening doors? Can you cite any recent case studies?
  • How does Complete the Pair support charity? Do you work with other charities besides Soles4Souls?
  • How do you envision Complete the Pair as a viable and relevant business development tool for the pharmaceutical industry?
  • Besides meetings, what other applications are ideal for Complete the Pair’s product and business model?

Guest Bios

Goose Lopez-TorresGoose Lopez-Torres is a packaging expert in the field of sales, structural and graphic design, fulfillment and manufacturing that has been learned over his 15 year affiliation with the Central Florida Box Corporation in Lake Mary, Florida. Over the course of his sales career, Goose has established himself as the company’s top producer and sales record holder. Goose thoroughly enjoys connecting with and helping others, as well as, problem solving. These were the driving forces behind his patent-pending invention of the Complete the Pair business model. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and currently resides in Orlando with his wife and three children.