Plan Your Career in Medical Sales
The majority of people plan a career starting with their choice of education and what skills seem to be natural to them. A career in medical sales should be no different, however most candidates seem to fall into selling medical products rather than planning for it.
The typical candidate applying for these types of positions will have a four-year college degree in the life sciences, business, marketing or communications. In addition, most candidates have experience selling tangible products in a business-to-business environment. Products such as cell phones, copiers, business equipment or consumable items are recognized.
Medical companies today are looking for candidates with experience selling products for major companies. Companies that market and sell office machines and equipment or major rental car companies are known for extensive sales training programs.
It may have been some time since you thought about your professional objective. Candidates often write up some type of objective statement to put on their resume, but what does it really mean to them? Before you write an objective statement, do some thinking about your career and what you want to achieve with your next career move. If you have just begun your career, this may not be as easy. However, if you have over 5 years of experience, think about what you have enjoyed most during these years? Think about what companies you have worked for and if the company’s culture fit your style. If it didn’t, what type of industry would you enjoy?
There’s no question, the competition has increased for a shot at an available position in the medical sales field. Just a couple of years ago it was much easier to find an opening in medical sales for new representatives and tenured folks. As the economy has tightened, representatives with several years of experience have found themselves in some unfamiliar territory. It’s true, getting an entry level job in medical sales or just closing the deal on that next job after being downsized may require some additional firepower that was not demanded just months ago.
Here are some things to consider in preparing for your first or next job in medical or pharmaceutical sales.
Let’s use the acronym “EPIC” as an example of four key areas for you to review. These areas include Education, Production, Initiation and Concentration.
The EPIC Sales and Marketing Career Plan
If you are trying to get your first job in medical sales or you’ve been realigned, maybe it’s time to take a look at your educational background. Taking a few extra classes to finish that master’s degree might just give you the slight edge over your competition. Education is an objective area an employer can review. Many times when all of the variables are equal, an advanced education can help. It’s not just the degree, it’s the effort that you put forward to receive these credentials.
Produce documentation regarding your significant contributions. Show them what you’ve done. It doesn’t have to be in an elaborate “brag book”. Many times documentation of rank reports, president trophy wins, significant contest victories and simply the ability to tie these “wins” to the prospective company’s product line will “close the deal”. Consider yourself a product and learn how to market “you.”
In a word, network. Initiate contact at all levels. Talk to your friends that are in medical or pharmaceutical sales, join social networking sites like LinkedIn, cold call on companies to see if they have openings. Effectively your new job is to find one! Work to find those openings and then do whatever is necessary to make the interview at the prospect’s convenience. Yes, you may have to drive 100 miles. Be excited about the opportunity and show it.
I’ve heard many candidates say, “I’ve sent out 100 resumes.” I always want to ask, “Why?” If there truly were 100 legitimate openings, that’s great. Most of the time these candidates blindly send resumes to simply anywhere. Doesn’t it make sense to research and come up with a “target list” of companies and contacts that you can concentrate on where you can actually see yourself working? This high level of detail, follow-up and focus can make a huge difference in your visibility and credibility with a perspective medical sales company.
The term epic usually refers to something “heroic” or “majestic”. Maybe you can come out as a hero in your job search by finding the medical sales job of your dreams!
Learn more about planning your career in medical sales.