Think about the kind of impression you want to convey to your interviewer or hiring manager when you’re trying to land a medical sales job: experience, ability, and confidence. If you’ve been paying attention to me, you’ve got the experience and ability portions down: a winning resume, a brag book, a 30/60/90-day plan, and high-quality references. Your confidence comes out in your physical presentation, your body language, and what you say and how you say it.
Good communication skills are essential. Sounding even remotely uncertain of your ability to do the job you’re interviewing for (and do it well) is an interview killer. No employer is going to hire someone who isn’t even sure himself if he is capable, or who promises to bring inferior communication skills to the job–especially in medical sales. What phrases convey uncertainty?
I would hope that…
You don’t want to “hope” to handle this job, and you don’t want to “try” it. You want to do it.
There is no try, only do or do not. – Yoda
Confident speaking is an interview skill that I coach candidates on all the time. These phrases often sneak into your everyday conversation, but you don’t want them in your job interview.
Can you think of any I have missed?
I asked Chris Norris to discuss with me the BEI, you have to listen to this!
It will really help you as you encounter these types of interviews (which are growing in popularity)
Chris is a commercial leader who has documented performance excellence in various capacities including Vice President of Sales, National Sales Director and General Manager. He brings a diversity of experience in a multitude of Commercial roles having served with Abbott, Bayer and GE Healthcare.
Listen here to learn more about the Behavioral Event Interview (BEI):
If you find this audio valuable, will you tell me in the comments? (and forward it to others who might need to hear Chris’ special perspective).
Indeed.com pushes out Careerbuilder and Monster for “most relevant medical sales search” in the month of July
News of the day: Indeed.com posted 9.1M searches for medical sales in July, which eclipsed Monster (4.1M) and Careerbuilder (4.4M).
This makes sense. It is an aggregator of jobs. Meaning, it gathers job information from everywhere and posts it all together. Handy, huh? Maybe–maybe not…
Here’s one key point for you to remember: As many positions as those sites have posted, they don’t have everything. In a tough market like we’re in now, a jobseeker will not be successful without looking for the jobs that aren’t on these sites but that are on individual recruiter sites (like ours – PHC Consulting) or small company career pages. Also, I would encourage job seekers to develop new, bigger networks and to work them methodically. Relying on online job searching just isn’t going to get you where you want to go. (Although that’s not the only job-hunting mistake.)
If you need one-on-one career coaching (like how to get an interview without EVER applying online to a job site or career page), or if you need help with any other aspect of getting your medical sales position, go here . (See how it’s helped others by clicking here.)
Did you just flub your job interview? Were you awkward? Did you forget some critical piece of information that will make them want to hire you? Or did you make some other kind of job interview mistake? Whatever it was–it just didn’t go well, and you know it. But you still want the job. What do you do?
You send a thank you note.
It’s probably your only shot at damage control–your one last “Hail Mary” pass, but if it’s your only chance to fix whatever the problem was, you should take it.
On a good day, thank you notes are very important to your job interview process. On a bad day, it may be your only hope. Thank you letters show your great attitude, highlight your communication skills, and give you a chance to provide more information about why you’re a perfect fit for this job. In this case, a thank you note also highlights your ability to take in information (the interview) and provide feedback on whatever the problem was. You’re responding to an issue in a timely fashion (e-mail it, please), which is only going to improve the hiring manager’s perception of you. The ability to turn a negative situation around is one of those intangible skills you’ll need in medical/healthcare sales, and a situation like this is your chance to demonstrate it.
Need a little help? Here’s a link to guidelines and samples of thank you letters to get you started.
I have known David Allen for a long time. I tried to recruit him back about 9 years ago. Failed. But did win him as a client – so all was not lost. He is a super manager with experience in Quest Diagnostics (laboratory services), Oncura (oncology therapy) and Urologix (oncology therapy). So I begged him to chat with me about his hiring philosophy and experiences. You can listen to it here:
I hope you enjoyed this (and maybe learned something). Is there any topic, type of person, etc. that you would like to see/hear here? Put it in comments or email me.
Jennifer had little experience in sales and was having trouble getting a job offer. She was doing what everyone thinks of as “all the right things”: networking, had her resume professionally done, and applied to more than 50 positions online, with no success. With a 1-2 hour coaching session, we tailored her resume, taught her how to use social media, and more….within weeks, she received many offers and landed her dream job. See her story for yourself here:
Thinking of transitioning one of your great technical people in to a selling role? The odds for success are 10-15%. Out of 10 technical people that make the transition, 1 or 2 will succeed.
The good news is that if they survive, they often will be top producers in the organization.
Here are a few things they normally struggle with:
The Hypocrisy of Sales
In the technical world that they grew up in, there are absolutes. Their daily work often revolved around eliminating variables in experiments to guarantee the same outcome each day. All of the sudden, they are faced with more uncertainty and gray area than absolutes.
The company says,
“We sell solutions not products”.
TRUE, but understand you are expected to sell your product, regardless.
If it provides a solution, great. If not, you need to make your product provide a perceived solution.
“We are customer driven”
TRUE, as long as where the customers drive you results in them needing/buying your product.
“Our customers are our partners”
TRUE, as long as the partnership involves them buying your stuff.
The point being, the shift from an advisor/peer role to a sales role is very different on many different levels. In the technical role, many absolutes. In a sales role, many variables. Can you see how that might cause some of your highest caliber technical people to struggle if they are trying to make the transition?
I do believe that, “If you do the right things, the right things happen”. Does that mean that people that are doing the right things never fail? No, it means that you have no chance at continued success if you don’t do the right things. If you are doing the right things, the right thing will happen; it just might not happen in the time frame you need. Best rep, worst territory-the outcome is always the same. The only variable is time.
The grind is acknowledgement that success in a territory is a long term project with many ups and downs. How they handle the adversity and constant change will determine their level of success.
· We shipped the instrument, but it got damaged in shipment.
· We shipped 3 instruments and all were out of box failures.
· We shipped 3 instruments and all appear to work within spec but none of them correlate to each other.
· We promised to install the instrument Monday but had to postpone for a week so we could ship a more important accounts’ instrument first.
· My customer just got bought and wants to return their instrument.
These types of issues arise daily in the sales rep role and if the person in that role doesn’t understand that success in a territory is normally a long, hard process
with infinite variables, requiring a constant focus, they will probably struggle in the sales role.
This article was written by: Kraig McKee
Here are 22 videos designed to guide you through the job search and interview process and give you your best chance for success. They’re all on YouTube and in random order on this blog, but I’ve put them in order for you here, so that you can build your knowledge as you go and see how it all fits together.
About Medical Sales
If you’re new to medical sales, or thinking about transitioning from one area to another, you need some general information. What are the different areas available? How is, say, laboratory sales different from medical device sales different from pharmaceutical sales? If these are your questions, these are the videos for you:
1. Introduction to PHC Consulting – PHC Consulting is a nationally-known recruiting firm, in business for 10 years. We have a LOT of experience available to guide you through the hiring process and place you with some of the most prominent, high-growth healthcare companies in the country.
2. Explaining Medical Sales Part I: Medical sales can be generally categorized into consumable sales and capital sales, and I explain the difference.
3. Explaining Medical Sales Part II: What kinds of personalities best fit different types of sales?
4. Explaining Medical Sales Part III: Sales processes differ greatly between capital and consumable sales. Which process will you like best?
5. How to get into medical sales: General overview. It’s a must-see for the person trying to break into medical sales.
6. Getting into medical sales: How job shadowing, otherwise known as a “ride-along” or a preceptorship, can make the difference for you as a candidate.
Networking is a critical skill for you to master. Building a great network through social media, or just old-fashioned talking to people, will benefit you in countless ways in your job search and throughout your career. I can’t emphasize enough just how important this is.
7. Easy networking tips: How to utilize your current contacts, get more contacts, and one big tip.
8. How to Work a Tradeshow: Tradeshows (anything industry-specific) are a great way to get to know the players in your field. There are ways to make these shows work for you in your job search.
9. Shine up your LinkedIn profile : LinkedIn is tremendously popular, and one of the most effective social media sites for business.
10. 7 resume tips: A resume overview…objectives, bullet points, appropriate length, keywords, and more.
11. Keywords in your resume : You MUST have quality keywords in your resume to be picked up by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), even if you don’t have specific experience.
12. You must have numbers on your resume: When a sales rep has a resume with very few #s on it, I wonder….do they not understand that their job is to ring the cash register? Here’s what kinds of numbers to include.
13. Resumes that don’t make the cut: I go through a 12-inch stack of resumes and tell you why they don’t make the cut. Learn which mistakes to avoid.
14. Check your own references: Here’s the scoop on references–what (who) makes a powerful reference, how to get them to work for you, and how to “test” them before you need them.
You need an edge
15. Explaining brag books: Brag books demonstrate initiative, professionalism, organization, your understanding of sales and marketing, and sets you apart from your competition–it’s the difference between “good” and “great.”
16. How to use your brag book: Hiring managers will look at how you use your brag book. That’s their indication for how you’ll use product brochures, PowerPoint presentations, or other media with your future customers. Lots of sales reps don’t use these kinds of tools well, so if you can, you’ll stand out.
17. 30/60/90-day plans: Do you really want to knock it out of the park? Bring a 30/60/90-day plan. They take a little work, but presenting a detailed plan is a guaranteed impressive attention-getter.
18. Behavioral interviews: Chances are very good that you’ll find yourself answering behavioral questions in your interview. Know what kinds of questions to expect, and what kinds of answers interviewers are looking for. One hint: In sales, quantify your examples whenever possible.
19. Panel interviews: Panel interviews can the most stressful for the candidate of all interview types since they seem impersonal and more judgmental. Here are some tips to get through it successfully.
20. Asking questions in the interview: Asking questions in the interview sets a candidate apart. Learn which questions are going to be the most effective for you.
21. How to handle the money question – How to navigate your way through one of the most stressful aspects of the hiring process: Salary negotiations.
22. Closing the interview: No sales manager is going to hire someone who can’t handle a closing process, and the closing process for an interview is no different than the closing process for a sale. You have to just do it.
I hope these videos make you a better candidate. I also do custom career coaching for jobseekers who decide they need more help. Either way, Good Luck.
Jennifer M. tells all about how a career coach (that would be me) made her dream job come true (even in this economy)!
I worked with Jennifer mid July. We fixed her resume, worked on her social media skills, helped her target hiring managers (and gave her the secret of what to ask for when she contacted them), and smoothed out her rough interviewing edges (don’t say “I hope”, “I believe” or “Hopefully”, or other negative statements). And within 6 weeks, she called me to say that she had landed the job of her dreams.
Here is her version of the story:
If you want someone in your corner that really has the inside scoop, go check out my custom career coaching page.
Life is short and you will only get one run through it (as far as I know), so why would you wait to grab your dream job?
I just had the saddest thing happen. I had this great job: Incredible opportunity, professional growth, sunny location, good money, stock options. I knew the “perfect candidate”. I had not talked with him in the last year or so….I immediately called him. Number disconnected. Then I emailed. Email no longer valid. Called his company, they would not give me forwarding information. I got distracted working with other candidates, filled the job and thought no more of it. Fast forward 3 months. The “perfect candidate” calls me – his company that he has been with for less than 2 years is going through layoffs, do you have an appropriate opportunity? Well, I did…. But I DID NOT HAVE YOUR PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS AND I COULD NOT CONTACT YOU!!! Don’t let this happen to you. Send me your personal email today!!