“Read all about it!!!” for medical sales…

I found a great source of science headlines in one handy spot for everyone in medical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, laboratory sales, medical supplies sales, surgical supplies sales, DNA products sales, cellular/molecular products sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, histology sales, biotech sales, or pharmaceutical sales:  it’s Sciencebase!  It’s got a science blog, articles, links…it will help keep you updated on what’s happening in science news which will contribute to your job success.

Are your job candidates taking other offers before you get through your hiring process?

Hiring Manager Alert:  If you have a problem with candidates taking other positions during your interview and hiring process, it’s likely that you’ve gotten your candidates from job boards, newspaper ads, and so on…which means that it’s also likely that you’ve contacted them late in the job search cycle.    

To avoid this problem, the solution is simple:  work with a recruiter.  A recruiter prescreens candidates for you, eliminating the waste of your time and productivity on a candidate who ultimately won’t be available. 

Advantages of working with a recruiter:

·         You won’t waste time reading through resumes of unqualified candidates

·         You won’t waste time on phone interviews with clueless candidates

·         You won’t waste time interviewing candidates who don’t “fit”

·         You will only interview candidates who are qualified, informed of the position and the pay scale, and interested in the job

·         You will maximize your productivity

·         You will stand out as someone who finds quality hires



I advise small companies especially to move quickly through the interviewing and hiring process – don’t take shortcuts, but do be quick. This can be a competitive advantage in the “war for talent”.  A recruiter will be an efficient resource for hiring managers to use to find the best candidates in the shortest time possible.

Bottom line:  As in all things, if you want something done quickly and well, hire an expert.  Use a recruiter…hopefully, a recruiter who specializes in your industry.  For instance, a medical sales recruiter will know what you need for specific positions in medical sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical equipment sales, medical device sales, DNA products sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, hospital equipment sales, surgical supply sales, or any specialized area of healthcare sales.  Take advantage of your recruiter’s experience, industry knowledge, and network, and reap the rewards of a job well done. 

Why You Need an Objective On Your Resume

I found a great video on YouTube by Susan Ireland, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume.  In this video, Susan discusses why you need an objective on the top of your resume.  I agree that it’s important for you to have a good one (see my post 7 Tips For a Great Resume).  There are several reasons:

1.  It lets the reader know what you want, instead of implying that you need help finding a spot.  It’s a weak approach that won’t serve you well anywhere in the process, including salary negotiations.

2.  It tells the reader which department head needs to have your resume, so that it gets to the appropriate place.  (Are you interested in laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, biotech sales, cellular/molecular products sales, hospital equipment sales, medical equipment sales, surgical supply sales, medical device sales, or pharmaceutical sales?)

3.  It tells the reader what level of responsibility you’d like to hold in your next job.

4.  It tells the reader how to interpret the rest of your information.  It’s the supporting piece for your marketing document.

You can learn more from Susan Ireland at www.SusanIreland.com

Here’s her video:

Thanks, Susan!

Explaining Medical Sales — Part III

There are several things to think about when you are considering job opportunities in medical sales, whether you’re moving into it or moving around in it.  In the first part of this series (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I) we talked about what’s involved in capital sales, and in the second part (Explaining Medical Sales – Part II) we covered consumable and service sales and what kinds of personalities best fit different sales jobs.  In today’s video, I discuss specific aspects of sales jobs like: 

  • How high do you want to call up in the organization?  A large capital sale, for instance, will require you call on people high in the organization, such as the CEO or top administrator.  If you’re not comfortable with that, you definitely need to stick with consumable sales or service sales. 


  • How often do you need to close?  If you need to close sales frequently to feel successful, then you don’t want a high-dollar close (like those typically involved in capital sales).  You also don’t want a high-dollar close if you don’t want a lot of travel.  Less travel, on the other hand, gives you more customers within a smaller area, but also gives you smaller closes (typically consumable sales or service sales).


  • Process–do you enjoy simple or complicated? 


  • Potential employer – how do they manage their sales force?  Do you mind being micromanaged through a very structured system?  Or, can you handle great independence?  You need to fit the organization you work for to your personality type.


  • Do you want to be the key person in the sale and handle it all on your own?  Or, do you want to be able to bring in a team with several specialists to assist your sale? 

One thing about pharmaceutical sales:  it’s very different from all other areas of medical sales (laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical supplies sales, medical equipment sales, surgical supplies sales, imaging sales, biotechnology sales, cellular/molecular products sales, medical device sales, hospital equipment sales, imaging sales, etc.).  Pharmaceutical sales reps can’t ask for the business, or close the deal.  They can increase their numbers, and there are some great salespeople involved in pharmaceutical sales.  But for them to move over into one of these other areas, they might as well be starting over.  It’s not to say they won’t be successful…I’m just saying it’s different.

What do you think about these areas? Can you see what kinds of personality traits might best fit?  What’s been your experience with different types of sales jobs?


Age Discrimination: McCain was too old!

November 14, 2008 · Posted in Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Age Discrimination: McCain was too old! 

Not in years but in attitude, energy, and communication style.

Okay – I am sure that I am going to step on some toes here but….I think McCain lost the election because he is “old”. Why do I say this? His platform, knowledge, integrity, and experience were much stronger but he failed to deliver the message because he is uncomfortable with technology, publicity and this new age of communication that we are now in.

He had an opportunity to be on the O’Reilly show at the exact same time that Barack had his “payday” on the TV. He declined. Why? My guess: he was tired! Campaigning is rough work and he made a poor decision due to to his energy level. Of course, he didn’t let the young “whipper snapper” go on for him, how could he trust her…better to just decline. She was good enough to cause his ratings to turn and head north, but not good enough to trust with the “fresh new piece of humanity”.

Older candidates think that their incredible wisdom and experience is soooo valuable. (and they do think they are worth more money and they don’t want to travel as much and they are often resistant to change and Web 2.0). But if you can’t communicate that wisdom and experience in a format that people listen to – it is useless. In the case of the presidential elections, McCain was weak using the communication tools and Obama was super strong using the tools. This happens in interviews all the time. What can we learn from this? Embrace technology, embrace all styles of communication, and make sure you have enough Red Bull to get through the work of it. And remember that others feel the way I do, so be quick to show you aren’t like the rest of the aged.
(aging rapidly in Texas)

To do items for those of you who feel aged:
Learn LinkedIn
Send a picture through email
Send someone a link to a great article (maybe this one)
Figure out Blogs
Get a blackberry
Use IM (instant messenger)
Set up an e-newsletter
Explore all of the Web 2.0 tools
Spend time with someone that is informed on technology changes….

Am I the only one that feels this way? Do you agree? Disagree?
Tell me about it in the comments.

Explaining Medical Sales–Part II

In my previous post (Explaining Medical Sales – Part I), I told you about the difference between capital sales and consumable sales, mainly concentrating on what kinds of products are involved in capital sales.  In today’s video, we’ll talk about consumable and service sales as they relate to medical sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical equipment sales, pharmaceutical sales, imaging sales, medical device sales, hospital equipment sales, or biotechnology sales.

Consumable sales (remember, like shampoo–something you’ll use up that generally doesn’t require much cash outlay) are things like inject-ables, wound care products (bandages), reagents for the laboratory, sterilization products (although these could be capital), lotions, potions, even aspirin given to patients in the hospital.

The other non-capital sale is a service sale.  Even in a consumable sale, the customer can see, hear, and touch the products, but in a service sale they can’t.  This kind of sale would cover lab services, off-site imaging, payroll, human resources, even recruiting (like I provide).  This is a little bit more difficult sale.  You have to demonstrate, or prove the service to them to sell them on it. 

Then there’s you:  Where do you fit?  Are you a hunter or a gatherer?  The hunter likes to close the sale most of all, and can be in any of these areas.  But this person really likes to get new business, close the deal, and move on…and the higher-dollar the sale, the better.  The gatherer is more like a farmer–who wants to tend the field, take some time, plant the seeds, you get it.  The gatherer will not mind making many sales calls on a customer, and even enjoys building the relationship.  If the sales figures are lower per sale, that’s OK…he or she takes pride in providing quality service to their customer.

So which are you?

Explaining Medical Sales: Part I

I receive several calls every week from people asking about the difference between sales opportunities in the medical sales field, and which personalities might fit best.  So, to address these questions, here is the first part of a 3-part series explaining different types of medical sales. 

There are two basic types of sales that occur in all areas of medical sales, which includes clinical diagnostics sales, laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, imaging sales, DNA products sales, cellular/molecular products sales, medical equipment sales, surgical supplies sales, hospital equipment sales, pathology sales, or biotechnology sales.  Today’s video will explain Capital Sales, as opposed to Consumable Sales. 

My favorite way to explain this is to talk about the difference between buying a car (capital sales) vs. shampoo (non-capital, or consumable sales).  Buying a car requires research, consultation with your spouse, test-driving, maybe a loan, and a major outlay of cash.  It takes a while. 

A consumable sale is the shampoo.  Much easier decision, because the consequences are less.  Not as much commitment, (partly because there’s a lot less cash required), and it’s easy to change vendors.  So, the relationship isn’t as solid. 

Capital sales in the medical field usually mean things like software (hospital information systems, laboratory info system, workflow software, billing or recruiting software) or equipment.  These affect many departments… there’s lots of outlay, many decision makers, and it typically has to be budgeted.  The customer needs a really good reason to switch from what they were doing/using.  Medical equipment means tangible products…everything from thermometers to imaging equipment, laboratory equipment, or beds, even.

Using Assessment Tests As A Hiring Tool

Part of every sales manager’s job is to add to the team.  Hire new talent.  You think you know what you’re looking for:  that “spark,” that intangible “it” factor, that “something about this candidate” that tells your intuition that this is the one.  You do look at resumes and previous sales figures (if they have them), but you also look for personality, drive, determination, and people skills.  Not exactly an exact science, is it?  There’s lots of room for error.  So how do you combat that uncertainty?  You use assessment tools.

Using behavior or personality assessment tests on candidates in the hiring process can be one of the most useful tools in a hiring manager’s box.  In competitive arenas like medical sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical supplies sales, medical equipment sales, biotechnology sales, pharmaceutical sales, DNA products sales, cellular/molecular products sales, hospital equipment sales, or medical device sales, knowing the traits that make a successful salesperson will give you critical information to add to the resume and the interview so that you can make the best hire possible. 

Some of the more common tests include DiSC, Caliper, and OPQ. 

DISC is the classic test.  It provides a behavioral profile across 4 primary dimensions:  Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.  It’s not a specific skills test, but it does describe behavior patterns and styles. 

Caliper works with you and your company to create an ideal profile of your top performers.  Their assessments measure for personality characteristics, individual motivations, likely behaviors and potential for success in a specific job.

OPQ (Occupational Personality Questionnaire) measures persuasiveness, teamwork, independence, relationship building, planning, attention to detail, conscientiousness, tolerance to stress, results orientation, leadership style, motivation and energy.

One important tip for managers:  administer these tests on your current sales force first.  You know what qualities and traits have proven the most successful for your company, so you can use these results as a benchmark to measure new candidates against.

On the high end, assessments can run between $300 – $400.  For this, you get actual recommendations with very comprehensive and specific information.  For a little more work on your part, you can get assessments for as little as $50.  But, for basic cash, you get basic information–personality traits, qualities, etc.–and you do your own interpretations.  All of these tests can be done online.

At PHC Consulting, we think assessment tests are so important, we use them for every employee that we hire ourselves. We encourage our client companies to use them, as well.

Hiring Managers: 7 Signs You Should Run Screaming From A Recruiter…

Using a recruiter to fill an open position on your team can be a tremendous time- and money-saver for any hiring manager.  I say “can be” because it depends on whether or not you use a great recruiter.  Quality matters. 
Seven signs you should run away…. far, far away….
1. The recruiter can’t say the name of your company correctly.  Sounds obvious, but a great recruiter will know the companies in your industry inside and out.
2. The recruiter doesn’t understand what your products are or what they do.  This is where using a niche recruiter really pays off.  For example, a medical sales recruiter will know the products, the issues, and the goals for all jobs in medical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, laboratory sales, medical equipment sales, pharmaceutical sales, biotechnology sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, DNA products sales, surgical supplies sales…get the picture?  This kind of understanding will provide you the best value for your money.
3. The recruiter doesn’t have a website that is professional and up-to-date.  This is no small thing.  A recruiter needs a significant presence in order to attract the talent you need.  Great talent isn’t going to waste time with someone who isn’t likely to help them.
4. The recruiter won’t be returning calls on Fridays and Mondays (this may be in the fine print, but it is their rule).  Problems, questions, and candidates aren’t limited to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 
5. The recruiter doesn’t have a resident expert on his/her team who has hired, trained, managed and fired sales representatives in a multi-state region. Without this experience, how can she understand the challenges that you have?  With this experience, she can be a powerful ally for you.
6. The recruiter can’t be creative about how to meet your needs or your budget.  If he can’t even work with you in the beginning, how will he work with you through the process?
7. When you call, they say – O, Bob? O, um, O- Yes – Bob – How are you?  At least work with someone who knows who you are, is excited to speak with you, and who is focused on helping you and your company.