I match sales and marketing professionals with world class laboratory companies. I make the connection between business and science. Here you can see how a recruiter works, how this industry runs, and where you fit in (and have others see that fit).
Today’s podcast will teach you how to network. Networking is critically important in the business world–and in the rest of the world, too, if you think about it. I have discussed networking ideas in past posts, but today is a real nuts-and-bolts tutorial of what, exactly, to do:
*How to make yourself available to people and provide value to them and become the kind of person other people want in their network. (Here’s a quick extra link for how to use networking as a marketing tool.)
*How to keep in touch, and what to say when you do.
*Ways to network beyond the traditional, like using LinkedIn.
The information in this podcast, if you apply it, will help set you up for success in healthcare sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, and pharmaceutical sales.
Here is some news that everyone in healthcare sales should be very interested in, from my post at Interview On Demand:
Today, jobseekers have a new tool to differentiate themselves from the masses. Interview on Demand, LLC. introduces the Video Career Profile! This is a web page that showcases the jobseeker in a way that will generate interviews and ultimately – “The Job Offer”. And isn’t that what all jobseekers want?
The Video Career Profile will show a video clip of the jobseeker in an interview situation, the resume and a short “why you should hire me” summary. Here is a sample Video Career Profile.
Click the player below to listen to Peggy McKee talk about this product and what it means to the jobseeker!
As a medical sales recruiter, I get asked a lot by candidates about how to make themselves stand out in healthcare sales interviews. Today’s podcast will offer you some thoughts on basic interview skills:
1) DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! You can use the internet to find out almost anything and everything about the company, and you should if you want to communicate that you care at all about this job in imaging sales, pathology sales, clinical diagnostics sales, or research laboratory sales. I will give you different ways to do this.
2) Have a great resume – There’s a lot of information available online about putting together a good resume, so I won’t go into all that here. But do ask for input from others on your resume, and seriously consider putting together a business plan. I have extensive information on a 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day business plans on my blog site. It will be invaluable to read it, and I will also discuss it here.
3) Closure. Help the hiring manager see you in this job. ( I offer a few ways you could accomplish this.) And, remember to act like a salesperson and try to close the deal. Ask for the business, which in this case, is the job.
There’s a lot more available in the podcast today. I hope it’s helpful to you.
Good sales skills transfer easily from one industry to another, so why should you consider healthcare sales? Besides the fact that this area is continually evolving and changing with leaps in medical technology that will keep your job interesting and rewarding, healthcare sales are recession-proof. A bad economy doesn’t affect the healthcare industry with nearly the impact it has on other industries.
And why do I think that almost any area of medical sales (imaging sales, pathology sales, clinical diagnostics sales, research lab sales, medical device sales) is better than pharma sales? The one area of medical sales that does tend to be tied to the economy is pharmaceutical sales. Fortune magazine had an article recently on layoffs in pharma sales. Also, there are perception issues with pharma reps that don’t affect, say, research or clinical sales reps (which I also discuss in the podcast). Medical schools even have a few issues with pharma reps.
Do you read a lot? I do. And lately my book list is predominately “how to market in today’s technology based world”. The leadership thought is that “buyer” (and for me that would be potential candidates and clients) all learn in different ways and to be most effective in our pursuit of your time “sellers” (that would be me) need to provide our expertise in as many different formats as possible. So I have adopted blogging, quarterly newsletters and now podcasting! My next four posts will include a podcast that covers topics that I think will be very interesting and informative. In this particular podcast I describe PHC Consulting and our services and mission. Please take some time to listen in to my discussions and give me feedback and suggestions (perhaps there is a particularly hairy topic that you would like to hear the medical sales recruiter’s spin on)….let me know.
For the last 9 years, PHC Consulting has provided top talent in sales, sales management, technical support and marketing for the laboratory industry. We strive to make connections that are productive and positive for our clients and candidates. Areas of expertise are pathology sales, imaging sales, medical device sales, laboratory service sales, molecular and cellular sales and any other related healthcare sales arena. If you know a company whose products fall within these areas that are looking to leverage their product offering with strong sales skills, motivation, drive, intelligence and desire to succeed, tell them about PHC Consulting. They will thank you for it! Take a listen:
First, I found a list of the Top 10 Go-To People for Good Job References, which should help jog your brain, if you’re having trouble thinking of who to ask. Hopefully you have a network of people in healthcare sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, or laboratory sales to help you, so this shouldn’t be too difficult.
Also, I found one more great article that I think is really important for you to see–it’s about how to vet your references. The most important advice here? Prep your references. Give them a copy of your resume, tell them about the job you are going for, and even give them suggestions for topics they can bring up when contacted.
Tailor your references for the job just as you tailor your resume. Don’t just choose people who like you–choose people who can specifically highlight your capabilities and accomplishments to give you the best chance of getting the job.
References are so often an after thought, but they shouldn’t be. They should be on your mind (at least once a month). Even if you are not currently looking for a job. Let me explain. I will start with the negatives (those things you should pay attention to not do!).
1. Don’t give me (the recruiter) or your employer conquest a reference that can hardly remember you.
2. Make certain that your reference can see you in the job that you are looking to get….(I had one lady tell me that all she could say about my sales candidate was that she was very good in her laboratory – very meticulous). Great. That same lady could have said that the candidate showed a lot of leadership, was very persuasive and thrived in interactive meetings. What a difference that would make.
3. Prepare your references. So and so may call. This is the type of job that I am pursuing. This is very important to me. Please call me once you have talked with the “reference checker” (this will make the reference more responsive to the “reference call” and will give you a heads up about how the process is moving. Remind them of what amazing things (specifically) you did for the reference when you worked there. Help their memory along….
4. Don’t give me your college roommate. I want a work reference. A relevant reference. A great reference.
Collect references in your career. Stay in touch. You can’t expect to get the incredible reference that you are looking for if the reference has not heard from you in 5 years. This all goes to the networking needs of the professional. Before you exit a company, ask your current boss for their personal email and phone number. Stress that you want to stay in touch and could you use them for a reference in the future. Then stay in touch. Every 4-5 months, drop them an email or call. Ask them if there is anything that you can do for them…..Help others, they will definitely help you! Link up with them on LinkedIn.Com. Collect these references. When someone that can speak to your skill sets announces that they are leaving for greener pastures…what am I going to say? Yes. Ask them if you can have their personal email and phone number. Explain that you really enjoyed working with them and you want to keep in touch. Then do so…If a manager (not your direct manager) is leaving…perhaps they will feel comfortable attesting to your work ethic, drive, success at whatever task you took on.
I had a great candidate that my client company was not excited about…The candidate perceived that there was a roadblock and had one of his references call me to proactively tell me about this candidate. That is impressive. And that is what gets you the job.
Have you ever wondered when your career is going to take off? Or when you will finally get the recognition you deserve for the work you do? Have you ever wondered why some people are able to generate a lot of attention and accolades for their professional achievements while others don’t? I have theory that a successful career is like a jigsaw puzzle: all the pieces should fall into place at once if you have done the following: (A) You have to put yourself in the right place at the right time (right company culture, right career path for your skills and personality, right mentor), (B) you have to figure out how to be a self-promoter without being arrogant, and most importantly (C) you seek out The One.
What is The One? The One is the one opportunity, the one boss, or the one project, that you have to grab in order to have that perfect shining moment that launches the next stage of your career.
If you ever read interviews with successful actors there is always a point in their story when they found The One. The one director, producer, publicist, script, or opportunity that launched the rest of his/her career. The same is often true in corporate America and, of course, with entrepreneurs. How do you seek The One and how do you know when you have found it? In some ways I suppose that knowledge is what separates those who are well known for their achievements and those who aren’t. If you can’t grab the brass ring when it presents itself perhaps you will never rise above the crowd and be recognized for what you do well.
There are a few points in my career when I found The One and taking advantage of it launched my career to the next level. I have changed directions in my career several times so for me The One usually has represented that point when my latest career has taken off. Based on my own experiences and the experiences of people who are much higher achievers than I am, here is a list of tips for finding The One in your career:
Pay attention to the cues in your organization and look for opportunities. Listen to what those above you in the hierarchy are concerned about and find solutions to the problems that keep them up at night. Once, I was assigned to a project near and dear to the CEO’s heart and one that no one seemed to care about. For reasons that I never understood the CEO had been pleading with one department to lead some organizational changes and they just never stepped up to the plate. When I had the opportunity to lead the project that no one wanted, I carefully listened to what was needed, created a strategy, calmly and patiently built buy-in, and ultimately made things happen. That was The One for me at that point and time. Guess what happened? I became the go-to person for the CEO when certain kinds of issues arose and suddenly I was given a different level of access in the organization. I got promoted and had the opportunity to take on great projects. So listen carefully to find out what problems need to be solved in your organization and then come up with solutions.
2. Play nicely with others
If you want the opportunity to distinguish yourself in your career you have to be the kind of person with whom others like to work. We often hear stories about mavericks who take the board room by storm but that only works for a few unique people. In reality, if you want to be successful in any job you have got to build alliances with others. If co-workers are threatened by your attitude, don’t trust you, or just plain don’t like you it’s probable that even when The One presents itself you may not get the opportunity to be a star.
3.Don’t be a fool
Be pleasant to work with but beware of those who try to encroach on your turf. Once you find The One or are on the path to success rest assured that someone will try to sabotage your project, take it from you, or make your life difficult. I call the people who do that sort of thing weasels. There is always a weasel watching and waiting for The One – the difference between a weasel and an achiever is that the weasel steals someone else’s idea to get ahead and seldom adds any real or unique value of his/her own. If you let a weasel steal your project out from under you then you will be just another also-ran.
When you run across a weasel, remain calm and don’t panic or show fear. Play smart. Weasels look for opportunities so just make sure you don’t give him/her one. Show up to work on time, stay within budget, document progress on your project, communicate with everyone who needs to be in the loop on the project, be professional at all times, and don’t give the weasel the opportunity to throw mud at you for some miniscule offence. Also, don’t share any information you don’t have to with weasels. I have known so many nice people who have gotten their careers derailed by weasels and it always makes me sad when I hear their stories. You have to learn to make yourself a formidable adversary while not giving weasels any room to shoot arrows at you.
4.Build the right connections
When you find The One make sure to take every opportunity to meet and cultivate relationships with new contacts whom you meet as a result of the new project/opportunity. I have written numerous articles about the importance of networking when you don’t need anything from anyone so I won’t reiterate all the reasons you should do so in this one. When things are going well in your career it’s time to pay it forward – cultivate new contacts, make sure to reach out to colleagues who have helped you along your way, and offer your assistance when you can. Even when you find The One there will be tough times ahead….everything in life is cyclical and you can bet that you will be in a career slump at some point in the future. You never know which of the people you help when your career is thriving will reach out to you in the future when it isn’t.
If someone at work asked you “Do you have the bandwidth?” would you know what they were talking about? I found a funny article on office lingo that lets you know what people REALLY mean at work. Example: “You and I are not on the same page” really means “Get on my page.”
Another article, Deciphering Officespeak, adds in things like: “I’d like you to take ownership of this problem” really means, “My problem is now your problem.” (In healthcare sales, just like in everything else, EVERYTHING can be turned around to be YOUR problem.)
And there’s a review of what looks like a really funny book called Officespeak:
Do you feel like putting a bullet through your head every time your boss tells you to ”quarterback this one for me, champ”? Do you find yourself resisting the urge to put a chokehold on colleagues who use the phrases ”on the same page” or ”no-brainer” or ”going forward” in a sentence? Are you often tempted to tamper with the messages on the motivational signs HR posts around the office? Or to plant subliminal messages in the legal disclaimer that’s attached to every e-mail you send? Well, then Officespeak might be the book for you!