Key Opinion Leader (KOL) meeting preparation

You have just started as a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) and wonder, "How do I need to prepare for my upcoming KOL meeting?".

Before you go to see your KOL you have to make sure you know as much as possible about the KOL and his/her interest and focus. This will take some time, and you should not take this lightly. It involves a lot of digging, reading and note taking.

There are several things you can do before you see a KOL. 

  • Talk to colleagues internally about the KOL and what is known about him/her
  • Review CRM (customer relation management) database for notes of previous (MSL) interactions
  • Explore if the company has previously engaged the KOL in adboards, clinical trials, author on company publications, IIS, sponsorships, speaker tours, educational topics, preceptorships etc. 
  • Is the KOL on the current (or past) board of clinical societies or clinical trial groups?
  • Has the KOL been involved in (inter)national guideline development?
  • Pubmed search on publications and gauge what kind of interest/focus the KOL has (hard data, economic modelling, patient quality of life etc.)
  • Google search for any media involvement
  • Browse the hospital departmental website to understand the department’s focus, their colleagues focus, who is the head of the department etc.
  • Grant applications/awards the KOL has recently received

With this information at hand you can write an engaging introduction email to hit the right spot to increase your chances to meet with the KOL.

Oftentimes the KOL might not reply to your initial email. We have a policy to try it three times with 1-1.5 week in between and send the same email (not as a reply/forward but as a clean one) to the KOL again.

With this list of background preparation, you will have enough leads to start AND continue the conversation with the KOL! 

Do you want to become a master in soft skills to get the most out of your KOL meetings? Then join our "MSL & Medical Advisor soft skills" training program.

Join our FREE MSL webinar to learn "How to become an MSL without having any pharma experience" and test yourself if you are suitable for the MSL career.


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