Checklist: How to Prepare for a Successful KOL Meeting as an MSL

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The primary role of a medical science liaison (MSL) is to develop, nurture, and maintain relationships with key opinion leaders (KOLs). To do this, an MSL has to properly prepare for meetings with KOLs to ensure successful outcomes. Lack of preparation can lead to ineffective meetings and frustration for both the MSL and KOL.

There are a few things MSLs can do in advance of the meeting to help avoid this frustration. KOL meetings require proper planning, so we have put together a checklist to make preparing for successful KOL meetings simple and effective.


Checklist download


1. Understand the Goal of the KOL Relationship

The first thing you will want to do is identify the goal of the KOL relationship. It is important that you have a clear understanding of how this particular relationship will benefit your company and your overall brand strategy.

Take the time to discuss the medical objectives and strategies with your manager to ensure your plans are aligned with the overall goals your organization is trying to achieve.

For example...

The organization's overall strategy for commercialization of Drug ZY is to develop a strong team of KOLs. To do this, MSLs need to identify influential KOLs in the appropriate therapeutic area and develop a great working relationship with them.  The end goal is to have these KOLs become advocates and speak on behalf of the company. They will in turn help influence their peers.

2. Plan the Meeting Around Set Objectives

Now that you know the goal of the KOL relationship, you can plan out the meetings to help achieve the goal. It is important to set objectives for each meeting you will have with each KOL individually. Meaningful relationships between an MSL and KOL cannot be built in a day, so having objectives in place for each meeting will allow you to make the most of each interaction while nurturing the relationship.

For example...
  • First meeting objective: Introduce yourself and your company, get an understanding of the challenges faced by the KOL, and set up another meeting with the KOL.
  • Second meeting objective: Get an understanding of the KOLs experience with Drug ZY.
  • Third meeting objective: Discuss the first trial of Drug ZY and get an understanding of the KOLs opinions of the data and how it aligns with their experience.
  • Fourth meeting objective: Get an understanding of what the KOL is passionate about to build a deeper relationship.
  • Fifth meeting objective: Use the KOLs passions to highlight how being an advocate for the organization aligns with their passions and influence them to speak on behalf of the company.

3. Gather Questions & Conduct Research

With all of your objectives in place, you can begin preparing the context of your conversations with the KOL. To reach the KOL objectives that have been previously identified, you must determine the questions you need to ask and the data you should discuss when interacting with the KOL. Being able to lead the conversation with questions and important data will provide value to the KOL, helping generate credibility and leave a lasting impression.

4. Identify your value to the KOL

Piggybacking off of the last point above, it is important to identify how this relationship can be of value to the KOL. Rather than going into a meeting with the intent of questioning the KOL for 30 minutes, you should go in with the intent of building a two-way relationship. Discuss research that may be of interest to them and if they ask questions that you cannot answer during the meeting, make sure you follow up when you have the information needed. Showing the KOL that this relationship will be of value to the both of you will help you get closer to reaching your objectives.

4. Have a Robust System to Capture Meeting Outcomes

Beyond simply capturing interaction data, a robust system provides the team with all the necessary information to properly plan for the interaction with KOLs as well as the ability to capture the insights and outcomes of the interaction. Insights and outcomes are invaluable information that is imperative to building and maintaining a successful and strategic relationship with the KOL. 

With a platform like TikaMobile’s TikaMSL, Medical Affairs teams are able to access dashboard and reports on their performance, manage and track KOL engagement and development, capture actionable insights and outcomes, and other capabilities all within one application.

If you’re interested in learning more, our team is ready to show you how the TikaMSL platform can help your MSLs get the most out of their KOL interactions. Contact us today to schedule a demo and learn how TikaMSL can help increase your team’s effectiveness.