Podcasts with Peggy….

I love technology – especially when it provides us with information that we did not have access to previously. Now you can hear me talk about topics of interest via a podcast. Check it out. Currently, I have some short discussions about interviewing, healthcare sales, pharma sales, laboratory sales and medical device sales. I will be adding more topics. Let me know if there is an area that you are interested in….Also, let me know if you know of relevant podcasts that I should hear. I will have another post with a list of podcast recommendations.

How to find great healthcare salespeople

Penelope Trunk, who writes The Brazen Careerist, has some advice on how to find great people that’s also gotten the attention of Gautam Ghosh (Attracting Great People). 

Penelope’s list of new ways to get great candidates (along with my two cents):

1.  Tell people where they’ll go next.  Great people plan to move up.  Give them an idea of where they could go with your company.  Tell them how your company can help them be successful. 

2.  Use your public relations team to prop up the manager.  Great employees make managers look good, but great managers enable employee success.  Penelope’s saying that advertising great managers will attract employees who know how important that is.

3.  Get some respect for specialty recruiters.  As a medical sales recruiter, it’s my job to know where the very best people can be found in imaging sales, pathology sales, pharmaceutical sales, medical device sales, clinical diagnostics and laboratory sales.  I am a wealth of information for employers looking for people in the healthcare sales field.  Any specialty recruiter is going to know the people in the industry and how to recognize quality. (I am going to write another post about this very sensitive subject – at least for me).

4. Advertise in niche communities.  Make your advertising count by focusing on your core group.  Successful people will be keeping up with industry-specific reading.

5. Leverage social media.  Using the internet gives you a greater chance of attracting the attention of younger people. 

Penelope has much more to say on each of these topics, so you should go read her article.  There’s also a pretty extensive comment section, so you can see what others have to say, too.

 

Be a better salesperson

February 22, 2008 · Posted in Career Coach, HealthCare Sales, HealthCare Sales Jobs, Imaging Sales, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pathology Sales Jobs, Sales Advice · Comments Off on Be a better salesperson 

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, you’ll know how much I believe in reading books on sales to continually educate yourself and sharpen your skills.  If you want to get (or keep) on top of your game in health care sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, laboratory sales, or medical device sales, you’ll make time in your day for professional development. 

SuperDave has a GREAT article (read, read, READ) that lists some of his favorite books on sales (with comments, so go to the article, too):

The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

Little Red Book of Sales Answers: 99.5 Real World Answers That Make Sense, Make Sales, and Make Money

Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships

Secrets of Question Based Selling: How the Most Powerful Tool in Business Can Double Your Sales Results

You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar : The Sandler Sales Institute’s 7-Step System for Successful Selling

The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process That is Changing the Way People Sell

It’s a great list.  I love all of these…it’s going to be worth your time to read them. 

 

Questions to ask the interviewer…

February 21, 2008 · Posted in HealthCare Sales, HealthCare Sales Jobs, Imaging Sales, Interview Coach, Interviewing Skills and Tips, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Questions to ask the interviewer… 

Anita Bruzzese (who has a very interesting and helpful blog on workplace advice called 45Things) had some great comments for my recent post, It’s YOUR turn to ask the questions.  While I stressed the information-gathering and confidence-building aspects of candidates asking questions in a laboratory sales, imaging sales, or healthcare sales job interview, Anita pointed out that a candidate should ask questions in a conversational manner rather than like an interrogation…which makes the candidate seem more likeable….which boosts the candidate’s chances of being hired.  Put the shoe on the other foot for a minute and think:  Wouldn’t YOU rather hire somebody you liked and could relate to? 

Here are some great questions to get you started

Why did you choose to work here?

What do you like (and then dislike) about working here?

What’s the culture like?  Is it more like the military, casual California or familial?

Is there anything I can tell you about my qualifications that I haven’t said yet?

How long have you been with the company?  What has been your career path?

Remember that interviewing is a two-way street.  You need information about the company and the job just as much as they need information about you.  And FYI:  You better do your homework on the company ahead of time so you can ask intelligent questions.  That’s the way to make a great impression and have a great interview.

Website Grader – how does your site stack up?

February 20, 2008 · Posted in For Sales Managers, Medical Sales Recruiting, Networking · Comments Off on Website Grader – how does your site stack up? 
I thought my readers would enjoy this….if you go to this website:
http://www.websitegrader.com/#ReportTop

They rank your website and give you tips on how to improve. The two pieces I liked were:

E. Readability Level: Graduate School

This score measures the approximate level of education necessary to read and understand the web page content. In most cases, the content should be made to be simple so that a majority of the target audience can understand it.

E. Traffic Rank: Top 16.36%

Alexa is an online service that measures traffic for millions of sites on the Internet in a similar way to Nielsen television show ratings. Your website has an Alexa rank of 1,963,767 which is in the top 16.36% of all web sites.

 

To me this means that 1. You are really smart readers 2. Top 16% of all websites is pretty fantastic! For 2008 I want to be top 10% – so give me some topics that you would like me to cover!!

the hard truth….

If you’re working with a recruiter in your job search, please do not be offended if she tells you things like, “your resume needs work,” and then picks it apart so much that you might as well start all over.  It’s NOT a personal attack, even if your 10 best friends all told you it was fabulous.  Even if you hired someone to help you write it.  There could be all kinds of reasons it won’t work…maybe you’re focusing on selling points the client doesn’t care about and not highlighting the work that’s going to get you noticed, or maybe there are just detail problems that you’ve missed.  (There are lots of tips available for how not to create a resume.)

Medical sales recruiters know what their client companies in research and laboratory sales, pathology sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical device sales, and pharmaceutical sales are looking for.  That “inside” knowledge is going to help you.  Recruiters know how to sell their candidates, so let us help you put your best foot forward (the one that’s going to get you in the door.)

It’s YOUR turn to ask the questions

There’s a ton of stuff online about what kinds of interview questions to expect, and how to answer them to impress the interviewer.  But, you have to remember (and it does wonders for your confidence if you do) that you’re interviewing them, also.  You need to find out if this is a medical sales company that you’re going to be happy working for.  So, what kinds of questions should you ask?  Here’s an article on 10 Questions to Dazzle Would-Be Employers to help you.  Some of my favorites:

“How do you see me benefitting the company?”  Find out what caught their eye about you in the first place, and then you can bring up those qualities for a better sell.

“Why did you choose this company?”  If they haven’t tried to sell you on the company already, this answer gives you some insight.

“When will a decision be made?”  Suprisingly, many people don’t ask that, and end up frustrated if it takes longer than they were expecting. 

Your questions about the company and the job will set you apart from other candidates and show how interested you are in the position.  Not to mention it will give you extra insight into your decision whether or not to work for them. 

How to hire great salespeople

February 5, 2008 · Posted in Business Plans for Interviews, For Sales Managers, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on How to hire great salespeople 

MN Headhunter has some great advice on hiring salespeople:  As part of the interview process, “ask them to write down a schedule of a normal day, their first week, the first 30 days, and the first 90 days.”   This is exactly what I encourage all my medical sales candidates to do to give them an edge in the interview process–see Business Plans for Medical Sales, also broken down into the 30-day plan, the 60-day plan, and the 90-day plan.  This kind of plan helps a hiring manager see past the smooth interview answers that salespeople are (or should be) good at to see really what kind of a job they’re prepared to do for your company. 

One great point this article brings up:  If you think that a candidate has promise but comes in with an insufficient plan, take some time in the interview process to work with them to develop it.  Then it becomes a “practice run” for how you’ll work together, which is a bonus for everyone. 

Improving your selling skills

I found a great article on HireSenseSelling–You Can Always Get Better.  You should always be interested in picking up new tips, learning new trends, and improving your selling skills for the most obvious reason:  the more skilled you are, the more successful you are.  Competition is fierce in medical sales, clinical diagnostics and research products sales, medical device sales, pathology sales and pharmaceutical sales. 

Hopefully, your company offers sales training, which you should ALWAYS take advantage of–you’ll keep those transferable skills with you forever.  A great article for sales managers to see is:  Are Your Salespeople Feeling the Love?  If you’re not feeling the love from your company, you can improve on your own by paying for your own training and reading sales training books.  I am a big proponent of reading books on selling to improve your skills.  Even if you are receiving training from your company, you should be reading for at least a few minutes every day to stay competitive and motivated.  For specific books to read, see this extensive list of Sales Training Books.  For some of my favorites, see my article, Read All About It

Interview Do’s and Don’t’s

February 2, 2008 · Posted in Career Coach, Interviewing Skills and Tips, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pharmaceutical Sales · Comments Off on Interview Do’s and Don’t’s 

So, who do you like in the presidential primaries?  No, don’t tell me.  I don’t want to start something here.  I do know that there’s an interesting horse race going on in both camps.  So, if the presidential race is on your mind, I found a couple of great posts on Bulls Eye Resumes that take a little something from the candidates to help you with medical device sales rep, laboratory and clinical sales rep, or pharmaceutical sales rep interviews:

Interview Do’s From the Presidential Race:  (a few of my favorites)

  1. Bring your personality to the job interview.  You can be engaging and friendly and yourself while answering interview questions without feeling like you have to have false cheer.  The hiring manager is a person, after all, and will likely be as turned off by that as you would be. 
  2. Answer the specific question asked.  Be prepared, but don’t have your answers so “canned” that you answer by rote and don’t seem engaged in this conversation.  (For a laugh, see some really honest answers here…)
  3. Own your failures.  Don’t act like you don’t have any, because the interviewer knows better.  Focus on what you learned from them.

Interview Don’ts From the Presidential Race:  (again, some of my favorites)

  1. Don’t make false claims about your past job performance.  You will be found out.  Recruiters, especially, will look up your references. 
  2. Don’t schedule your interview during a time when your energy is low.  Are you a morning person, or are you more alert in the afternoons?  You don’t want to walk into an interview looking like you need a nap.
  3. Don’t use the same tired lines everyone else is using.  Buzzwords, yes.  You show that you’re informed on the latest developments in your industry.  Using standard “interview speak” when answering won’t get you the positive attention you want.   

These really are very informative posts, with even more information than what I’ve highlighted here.  Definitely worth the read.

 

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