What to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Career Mentor

October 30, 2009 · Posted in Career Coach, HealthCare Sales, HealthCare Sales Jobs, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Medical Sales Recruitment · Comments Off on What to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Career Mentor 
How to Choose a Mentor for Your Medical Sales Career

How to Choose a Mentor for Your Medical Sales Career

There’s an article on EmploymentDigest.net that you should see.  It’s about how finding a mentor can help you advance your career, but it also has several important points about how to choose a career mentor, keeping in mind that your manager, recruiter, or your friend might not be the best choices for you.  A manager, for instance, might present a conflict of interest in certain situations, and they probably won’t have the time to help you.  A recruiter just won’t do it–a recruiter’s primary concern is to please their clients (the hiring company) and he or she won’t have time, either.  A friend might be unable to give you any constructive criticism out of a desire to remain your friend!

Even though it can seem difficult to find a mentor, I can’t emphasize enough how valuable a mentor can be to your career.  A mentor in your field has been there, done that, and can help you advance while also keep you from making mistakes.  A mentor can see the big picture of your career, but still knows how to coach you through the details.  Example:  I recently coached someone through the interview process.  We worked on his presentation, his answers to interview questions, documents like his 30/60/90-day sales plan and brag book, and his negotiation skills–and he got the job, with a $22,000 base pay increase!

I’m not saying you have to hire me–I primarily help people involved in medical sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, biotechnology sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, pharmaceutical sales, and other health care sales.  As a career coach, I help them move from sales to management, and from other sales areas into health care sales.  You should find someone who’s an expert in your field that you’re comfortable working with.  Finding a mentor (or hiring one) is an investment in yourself and your career that has the potential for huge dividends.  It’s worth it!

Selling Yourself with Confidence as a Medical Sales Rep Candidate

Mark Hunter, “the Sales Hunter,” is an expert on increasing profitibility and success in sales, and has written a great article on maximizing your sales success by being confident in yourself and what you sell.  I’ve posted the whole thing here for you.  I’d like for you to think about it with this perspective:  what about in the job search?  As a candidate for positions in medical sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, pharmaceutical sales, or other healthcare sales, are you sure that you’re sold on the product?  (That’s you.)  If you aren’t, how can you expect the buyer (hiring manager) to be? 

Sales Call Best Practices:
Have You Sold Yourself?

You will always be your number one customer.   It’s not the big account you service, nor is it the hot new prospect you just uncovered; it’s you.  The reason is simple.  If you’re not completely confident in what you’re selling, you will never come close to maximizing your sales potential. 

The current sales environment makes the need to sell yourself even more important.  If you think you’re the exception to this rule and you’re not completely confident in the products or services you offer, ask yourself this simple question:  Have you ever offered a discounted price to either keep a customer or attract a new one?  Few salespeople can honestly say they have never done this.  If you have, it means that you were not 100% sold on your product or service. 

As a consumer, when we don’t fully believe in what is being offered to us, we naturally expect a discount.  We want something in return for not being completely confident about what we’re buying.  Since the salesperson hasn’t communicated the level of confidence we need in order to buy the product at full price, we want some type of concession to make us feel better about the purchase.  

To be completely sold on your product or service, not only do you need to use what you sell, but you also need to understand all of the benefits that your product or service provides.  As a sales consultant who works with thousands of different professionals each year, I’m amazed at the number of salespeople who admit that they don’t even use what they sell.  How can anyone be totally committed to a product or service if they don’t even use it?  Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for me to see salespeople shortchanging themselves because they are unable to identify and explain the value of what they are selling.  Although this sounds basic, many salespeople cannot name five benefits their customers receive from using their product or service.  They can usually only list five features.  Without understanding the full array of their product’s benefits, there’s little chance the customer will ever see them too. 

A poor sales process is usually a good indicator of whether or not the salesperson is sold on the product or service they are offering.  Nothing conveys a lack of confidence faster than a sales process that is not professional.   Unfortunately, for many salespeople, a disorganized sales process is the norm and it only serves to destroy more sales and, ultimately, a huge amount of profit.  Despite the customer’s desire to buy, an unorganized sales process creates an air of skepticism that often can only be countered by offering some type of discount to close the deal.

With the current state of the economy, it is imperative that sales professionals be both confident and competent to achieve maximum success.   In any sales call, you best communicate these qualities by being completely sold on your product or service.  If you are not, find ways to better educate yourself so that you can become your number one customer.   Remember, “No customer is ever sold until the salesperson is sold.”

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter”, www.TheSalesHunter.com, © 2008

Why Should You Join LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is one of the most popular online career-focused networking tools available today.  It has over 40 million members, and it’s growing.  Did you know that 80% of employers use LinkedIn as a networking tool to find the best candidates?  LinkedIn provides such an amazing array of opportunities, it’s increasingly becoming “the place to be” for professionals in all industries, all over the world.    It’s a vital tool for those interested in medical sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, biotech sales, pharmaceutical sales, or any healthcare sales.

LinkedIn’s primary purpose is to allow its users to interact with other professionals to help enhance career opportunities.  Although it functions on the same principle as other networking sites in that a set of connections is created, it creates a specific set of business-related benefits for its users:

  1.  Joining LinkedIn is a definite advantage for professionals because it allows you to expand your network using the connections of other people.  The whole purpose of the site is to allow you to establish a link to someone who is in the network of one of your first degree contacts. It expands your potential opportunities exponentially.  It’s not only a resource, it’s a learning tool for you.
  2.  One of the most unique features of LinkedIn is that is provides a platform to build an online resume.  Past projects, places of employment and notable achievements can be publicly displayed.  Recruiters, potential employers, and contacts looking to recommend you can easily see your experience and achievements.  Your LinkedIn profile then becomes a floating, open-ended marketing document for you… which opens up the possibility that someone might call and say, “I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you are experienced in x, y and z.  We need those types of skill sets…can we talk?” 
  3.  A highlight of LinkedIn is that it allows for recommendations to be made. Partners, suppliers, or clients can write short paragraphs about other individuals they have worked with.  A testimonial like this is one of the most powerful features of a resume. It reinforces the details that are listed as well as helps build trust about how you do your work.

Why is LinkedIn important?  In today’s competitive business climate, every advantage is a plus.  Not only do potential employers or partners get the opportunity to know more about you, but you also get to control what others see about your work experience and put your best foot forward.  It’s how you build your personal brand and increase your online presence. 

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, you need to get one now.  Need help?  Click here for a LinkedIn Profile Tutorial to find out how to set up your profile, choose connections, create contacts, and get great recommendations. 

If you have a LinkedIn profile and aren’t getting the results you want, maybe you need a few LinkedIn Ninja tricks—creative ways to target the people you need in your network.

Jobseekers:  Need more help?  Click here for the secrets to job search success.

Find a Mentor for Your Medical Sales Career

October 23, 2009 · Posted in Career Coach, HealthCare Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Find a Mentor for Your Medical Sales Career 

I found a great article on Employmentdigest.net that points out how helpful a mentor can be to your career, and gives you some ideas about what to look for in a mentor as well as how to find one–like at your company, in a professional organization, or a friend who’s farther along in their career path than you are.   A mentor can be a tremendous asset to you in your career.  Someone who’s been where you are, who knows the obstacles you face and can help steer you around them, can make your climb up the corporate ladder smoother and faster.

A mentor can coach you to success in your medical sales career!

A mentor can coach you to success in your medical sales career!

You can think of a mentor as a coach–someone who can help you stand back and see the bigger picture, and function as a source of objective, constructive criticism about how you play the game, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what issues you might face (and what to do about them).  This sort of relationship happens all the time when someone is trying to improve his or her skills in any given arena–people use athletic coaches, voice coaches, personal trainers…you get the drift.  For instance, my nephew hired a swim coach to help him shave a few seconds off his time and went from 15th in the nation to 8th.  That’s a big deal.  That’s the difference that will mean not just trophies and personal success, but scholarships.  In your career, that could be the difference in coming in second or third place for a job offer or promotion, or being far and away the first choice candidate who gets the job.

So what I’m saying is, finding a mentor can make all the difference in the success of your career—but you need to find someone with some skills.  If you can’t find someone to serve as a mentor for you, it’s worth it to hire someone, like a career coach.  I do offer career coaching services to those involved in medical sales (and other types of sales), and I might be the right fit for you, but then again, I might not.  The most important thing is to find someone with experience in your field that you also feel very comfortable working with.  It’s a small investment, but provides a potentially huge payoff for you and your career.

Medical Device Sales Rep Uses Career Coaching to Wordsmith…

Here’s Melissa’s story:

I went through a very difficult career transition in which my job ended in such a way that was very hard to explain to people.   When I met Peggy, I was pretty down and out about it.  She came to the rescue and helped me rephrase this difficult situation and put a positive spin on it.  After coaching and role-playing with her multiple times, my confidence increased dramatically.  I was finally able to tell my story with confidence and landed a job that was perfect for me.  Peggy was a great support system and I appreciate her genuine interest in helping me achieve my career goals and objectives.  She is a class act.  I would definitely utilize her services again.

Melissa R., Sales Representative, Medical Devices

Candidates who are on the job market due to a negative incident are super-sensitive.  And since they are so close to the issue, they don’t realize others might not see it as the “bad” thing that they perceive it to be.  I can help you think about your situation in a different light.

As a candidate you may have only worked for 3 or 4 companies and you might not have been at a management level so you just don’t have the breadth of experience and understanding that I do.  I speak with 7 to 8 managers a day (and have for 10 years now) and I have seen how companies view things (I have over 100 clients).  You can see it from my perspective: click here.

Brag Book Contest: Show it off, medical sales reps!

October 19, 2009 · Posted in Brag Books For Interviews, Interview Coach · Comments Off on Brag Book Contest: Show it off, medical sales reps! 
Who has the best brag book for medical sales?

Who has the best brag book for medical sales?

I always recommend to my candidates that they create a brag book as a routine part of their interview preparation for medical sales interviews, so I see a lot of them.  I have to say, I am amazed at the quality of information, the level of organization and the selling message that some of you have put together in your brag books.

I want you to have the opportunity to show off!

Please send your brag book to me at:
Peggy McKee
PO Box 1578
Celina, Tx 75009

I will send you a personal thank you gift for taking the time and effort to share it with us.  I have to receive your book by November 22, 2009.

On November 23, 2009, I will choose the best book based on quality content, layout/presentation, clarity of purpose, appeal, selling message and over-the-top factors.  The winner gets his or her choice of products from http://www.career-confidential.com/ (up to a $197 value).   

Fine Print:  All submissions become the property of PHC Consulting and will not be returned.  I will let the winner decide if they want me to publicly share their name or brag book. 

I look forward to seeing your best work!

How Does LinkedIn Work?

October 19, 2009 · Posted in HealthCare Sales, LinkedIn Tips, Medical Sales · 1 Comment 

LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals, is a large community of over 40 million users from all over the world. It allows people to interact with other individuals and maintain profile pages that contain their career-oriented information and contact details. The advantage of LinkedIn is that it prevents personal details from being stored in the same place as business information—which means, you can publish your business information without worrying about who’s going to read it.  In fact, the more people who have access to your business information, the better.  You never know where your next job lead might come from.

 

Like other networking sites, LinkedIn works on the concept that contacts can lead to even more contacts. People simply sign up and create a profile page containing the details they may want it to contain. After this, users can link their accounts with other individuals they may know. LinkedIn has a feature that allows its users to search through the e-mail contact lists and link with them if they are subscribed to the site. 

 

Users are allowed to interact, using certain guidelines, with the lists of their immediate network. Contacts that come from the primary user’s connections are referred to as second-degree connections. Degrees can be built further as the network expands. Thus, what is created is a multi-tiered and continuous resource of professional connections.

 

The network that is created can be utilized by the user as a means of finding employment and other opportunities. For LinkedIn, an approach known as “gated-access” is used. This means that the identity of the user must first be properly acknowledged and recognized before any form of communication can take place. The user has to have a connection, first-degree or otherwise, with the user through other contacts. 

 

The gated-access approach is set in place because it prevents people from being bothered by unwelcome individuals. In fact, LinkedIn is also one of the few networking sites that are able to comply with the privacy laws of the European Union. However, people sign up with LinkedIn because they want to build their networks.  It’s not difficult to find contacts and connect. 

 

It’s extremely important that you have a LinkedIn profile that you have put at least as much thought and effort into as you have put into your resume.  It’s going to be the first impression that untold numbers of new contacts will have of you.   It could easily be what makes or breaks your next job lead or job offer.

 

For more information about how to create a LinkedIn profile that showcases you and your professional accomplishments most effectively, click here for a LinkedIn Profile Tutorial for jobseekers.  Many people make mistakes with their profiles that hurt their chances, but could have easily been avoided.  Once your profile is the best it can be, click here to learn how to use LinkedIn Ninja tricks to target hiring managers and land job offers.

Company Car or Car Allowance? – poll results

October 16, 2009 · Posted in HealthCare Sales, HealthCare Sales Jobs, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Medical Sales Recruitment, Polls · Comments Off on Company Car or Car Allowance? – poll results 
Which is best for your medical sales job:  a company car or car allowance?

Which is best for your medical sales job: a company car or car allowance?

Recently, I asked my medical sales rep readers to vote on which they’d prefer from their employer:  a company car, or a car allowance.  Here are the results: 

Company Car or Car Allowance – which do you prefer?

Company Car – it’s the best!                                           46%

I like to pick my own ride – Allowance is best!            27%

Company Car? – I just need a job!                                14%

Mileage pays the most!                                                  13%

 

I have to say, I agree with you.  (Most of you.)  In my view, a company car is always the best financial option for the healthcare sales rep.  Why?  Less stress.  You’re not affected if insurance premiums increase, gas prices go up, or the tires blow out…let alone big maintenance.  Or tax issues.  You just get in the car and go, concentrating on what matters most in medical sales:  closing the deal. 

On the other hand, there are negatives:  the company vehicle may not fit your other lifestyle, you may prefer another type of ride (instead of a Ford Focus), or you might not like the fact that if you lose your job, you lose your ride, too… 

There are plenty of  issues to consider, but many ways to think about it and no right answer for everyone.

December Newsletter – Medical Sales Recruiter – Goes out next week – sign up here:

October 15, 2009 · Posted in Medical Sales Recruiting · 2 Comments 

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What Is LinkedIn? And Why Should I Care?

With over 40 million members and still growing, LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the entire world. It connects an individual with numerous contacts. But, there is more to LinkedIn than just connections….after all, recent developments in networking technology should provide more than just size.

LinkedIn is able to facilitate the exchange of ideas on a larger scale. In other words, the network does not just exist – it exists for a specific purpose, which is to increase professional and business opportunities for users. One of the ways that LinkedIn accomplishes this is by providing a means to update profiles as often as it is needed. This gives business contacts the chance to see your most recent projects and contact information.

The next question that should be answered is this: so what? A large number of contacts may seem impressive but how does this translate to actual results? LinkedIn is a valuable tool to professionals because it gives the resources that may otherwise not have been accessed. The website has features such as Answers and Groups that will allow you to get in touch with experts that specialize in the field that you’re interested in. Unlike ordinary research, LinkedIn narrows down the process through introductions and lets you search for people by name, title, company, and other pertinent details.

One of the effects of technology is that there is a wide array of information that is readily available. The downside of this is that it may just be too much. You never know what kind of data will appear about you if your name is searched. LinkedIn gives you control of the information that others can see about you. For individuals serious about the professional impression they want to convey, this is an invaluable opportunity.

With a membership over 40 million strong and counting, LinkedIn has become an important networking tool for everyone, but it has become absolutely essential for jobseekers.  There are just too many people on it to ignore–and too many opportunities to connect with them.  Jobseekers who learn to make the most of those opportunities–and learn to make LinkedIn work for them–are the ones who will experience the most success. 

Get this LinkedIn Profile Tutorial for jobseekers to discover how to set up your LinkedIn profile to attract the attention of hiring managers while avoiding common mistakes.   After that, learn some LinkedIn Ninja tricks to target hiring managers, bypass HR, and get the job

Click here for more secrets to a successful job search.

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