3 Most Popular Medical Sales Recruiter Posts of 2011

What were medical sales reps reading in 2011?

Top medical sales posts of 2011

(1)   Medical device reps wanted to know the best companies to work for:

Top Medical Device Companies of 2011

(2)   Medical sales reps of all stripes wanted to be more competitive in job interviews:

Business Plans for Medical Sales

(3)   And job seekers looking for medical sales jobs liked this one:

Breaking Into Medical Sales With NO Medical Background

Want to do a holiday favor for someone in a medical sales job search?  Pass this article along to them.

* If you want a business plan that’s proven to get people into medical sales jobs, check out 30/0/90-day Sales Plans.

* If you want some free training to help you get a medical sales job, come to this free medical sales job webinar.

* If you want to be better at job interviews, come to this free training webinar on How to Answer Interview Questions.

The Medical Sales Recruiter’s Top 7 Posts of 2010

Can you believe it?  2010 is almost a memory!  Looking back over the year, here’s what you all have been the most interested in this year–our top 7, most-read posts for 2010:

If you missed one, now’s your chance to go back and take a look.

**Tip for the day: send along the link to this post to someone who’s interested in finding a job in medical sales, medical device sales, pharmaceutical sales, laboratory sales, or any other health care sales.  They’ll thank you.

Medical Sales Recruiter’s 10 Most Popular Posts of 2009

1. (tie)  Top Medical Device Companies and Top 10 Medical Device Companies – medical device sales is a great place to be

2. Company Car Allowance vs. Mileage vs. Company Car for Sales Reps in Medical, Laboratory or Healthcare…. – pros and cons, plus a vote

3. How to Write a 30/60/90-Day Plan – 30-60-90-day plans are a fantastic way to impress a hiring manager

4. LinkedIn Tip – shine up your profile – a great LinkedIn profile is critical to your job search, your network, and your personal brand

5. What questions will they ask in a medical sales interview? – interview preparation for medical sales

6. Peggy spills the beans on the top 50 questions about medical sales… –  especially good for those transitioning into medical sales careers

7. Top 10 Ways to Ace Your Medical Sales Interview – what to wear, which questions to ask, how to close, and more

8. How to get into Medical Sales, Healthcare Sales, or Pharmaceutical Sales…. – a must-see for the person trying to break into medical sales

9. Careers for lab professionals who want to get off the bench: molecular, cyto, histo, med tech, etc. – career options in sales, technical support, and marketing for those with a strong science background

10When To Introduce Your 30/60/90-Day Plan In the Interview – how to bring up your sales plan in the interview

Honorable Mention: Job Seekers: Here’s Your “Video Guide to Getting Hired” – a collection of 22 videos I made to help you with everything about getting a job in medical sales (explanation of medical sales areas, resumes, networking, interviews, brag books, and 30-60-90-day plans)

We’ve had a fantastic 2009 here at PHC Consulting, and I hope you’ve had a great year, too.  I try to write posts that will add value to your job search, and I hope that my posts this year have given you some tools to be successful in your job search and in your medical sales career.  I always welcome your comments and suggestions, and if there are topics you’d like me to address, please let me know.   May you have a productive, successful, and rewarding 2010!

Job Seekers: Here’s Your “Video Guide to Getting Hired”

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.

Peggy McKee

Job Interviews: How You Can Benefit By Asking Questions

What really separates candidates?

It is not what you think.

What sets candidates apart

Of course, you need a great resume and you have to have presence. You have to have your shoes shined, show up on time and answer all the questions correctly.

But you know what really makes a great candidate stand out from the others?

It is the questions that they ask.

The questions that show:

  1. they have the confidence to ask the questions
  2. they thought it through
  3. they think strategically

Quick story

I had an entry level medical sales candidate last week call me right before she had her phone interview. She said, “Hey, I want to ask you a couple questions, do you mind? I want you to tell me, without  worrying about hurting my feelings, what are my weaknesses and what do you perceive are my strengths?”

I’ve never had a candidate ask me that!

Most candidates think they already know what I think, but we don’t really understand how anyone perceives us without first asking questions to find out.

The kinds of questions candidates should ask

Questions like:

  • Tell me a little bit about what you are looking for in your candidate or new hire, tell me about the last one you hired, or why is the position open?
  • What was it that you think held the other person back from being successful?
  • What are the tasks in this job that are really going to define success for this person?
  • What are the next steps?
  • When will I hear from you?
  • Do you have any reason why you would not consider moving me forward during the (hiring) process?
  • Are there any other folks who will be interviewing me later?
  • Will it be a panel interview?
  • In the typical day, how many hours do you work on the road?
  • How does the travel program work?
  • With your clients, what do you think is the #1 obstacle to success?
  • What do you see in the field with sales representatives that stops them from being successful?
  • Which product line of yours is your lead line? (i.e. the one that everyone should buy)
  • Which product line should they probably not buy?
  • What do you like about working here?
  • Among the other candidates, how do I rank?
  • Are there any questions that you have for me?
  • Do you see how my experience at XYZ (past company) translates well into this position?
  • Do you agree with me that a Bachelor’s degree in Biology is not necessary for this position, that it seems like it’s a sales process that really requires someone that can understand the product well enough, but can also understand the customer and their business process?

What it takes to ask a question is:

  1. Confidence
  2. Thinking it through
  3. Being strategic

Back to the story

I will tell you, that gal that asked me those questions, she set herself apart. I was impressed! And that does make a difference about my confidence in supporting her candidacy.

So when a manager called me and said that he was not quite sure if he was going to move forward with her, I insisted because I felt strongly about her. Since she had enough guts to ask me those questions when I interviewed her, she convinced me that she could probably do the job well.

She will probably ask the customers questions like:

  • When can I expect you to order?
  • When would you like the product to arrive?
  • Is there any reason why we can’t move forward with this deal?
  • How many pieces do you want to buy?
  • Is there someone else I need to speak to?
  • What is the purchasing process?

Get the point: QUESTIONS!

This is the key. I hope this video helps you and I wish you the best of luck.

I’ll see you at the top!


BONUS Opportunities for you:

How to Land a Job in Medical Sales. It’s an hour of straight talk from the medical sales recruiter on the 6 essential steps to transitioning into medical sales, the 4 things you absolutely must say in the interview, and much more.  You don’t want to miss this unique opportunity to hear job-landing tips from a medical sales expert!

How to Get a Better Job – Faster! Let me teach you the secret to standing out as the star candidate in every interview.  Spend an hour with me and jump start your job search!

How to Prepare for a Behavioral Job Interview in Medical Sales

A behavioral job interview is a popular interview tactic in the medical sales arena.  It focuses on finding out how the candidate handled (behaved in) specific job-realted situations.  In healthcare sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, medical device sales, biotech sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, or pharmaceutical sales, customer interaction is key—so how you handle people in a wide variety of situations, under pressure, in different circumstances, becomes a critical factor to hiring managers.

To help you, here’s a link to a video that I made about how to handle behavioral interviews.  Some of the main things to keep in mind are to have lots of stories ready that highlight how skilled you are, and it’s important that you are able to quantify your examples whenever possible.  (What happened when you had an unhappy customer?  How did you increase sales and by how much?  How did you save the company X amount of dollars?)  I’ve also provided a link to How to Survive a Behavioral Interview for more tips, and a lengthy list of possible behavioral interview questions for you to think about.

Important tip: make sure you have a brag book and a 30/60/90-day plan ready to go. A brag book will demonstrate how you handled particular situations, since you’ll hopefully include letters or e-mails from satisfied customers or happy managers, successfully completed projects, and lists/charts of how much money you’ve saved or made for the company.  A brag book covers what you’ve done in the past…a 30/60/90-day plan covers what you’ll do in the (immediate) future. It’s a list, segmented in 30-day time spans, of what you’ll do to get trained and up-to-speed in your new company so that you can be a successful hire for them as fast as possible.  For more information, click here. For a template of exactly how to do one, click here.

Good luck.

How to Write a 30/60/90-Day Plan

If you’re searching for a job in medical sales, laboratory sales, healthcare sales, clinical diagnostics sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, biotech sales, medical device sales, hospital equipment sales, or pharmaceutical sales, you want every advantage you can get, right?Which means, you’ve probably put a lot of effort into your resume, you’ve found the perfect suit for interviewing, and you’ve gone over your answers to interview questions.

Want another advantage?

Create a 30/60/90-day plan for the job you want.

What is a 30-60-90 day plan?  And how do you use it to get a job in sales? Why does it help?

A 30-60-90-day plan is an outline for what you will do when you start the job.  Essentially, you spell out for your future employer, in as little or as much detail as necessary, how you will spend your time.  To do that, you have to do some research on the company so that you know what you’re talking about…a search on Google, LinkedIn, or the company’s own website can provide you with the information you need.  (It’s always impressive to a hiring manager if you can show that you’ve done your homework before the interview, remember?)

The basics:

The first 30 days of your plan is usually focused on training–learning the company systems, products, and customers.  So, most of the items in your 30-day plan should be along the lines of attending training, mastering product knowledge, learning specific corporate systems, traveling to learn your territory (if you’re in sales), meeting other members of the team, or reviewing accounts.

The next 30 days (the 60-day part) are focused on more field time, less training, more customer introductions, reviews of customer satisfaction, and getting feedback from your manager.

The last 30 days (the 90-day part) are the “getting settled” part.  You’ve had the training, you’ve met the customers, and now you can focus on sales!It should include things that take more initiative on your part: landing your own accounts, scheduling programs, or coming up with new ways to get prospects’ attention (again, if you’re in sales), as well as continuing to get performance feedback and fine-tuning your schedule.

The more specific you can be in the details, the better off you are—by that I mean specifying the name of the training you’ll need, rather than just indicating that you’ll “get training,” for instance.  That’s why you research the company, not just the position!

This kind of analysis of the position not only sets you apart from other job seekers… it also makes you a better performer on the job.  It means you’ve put some thought into what it takes to be successful, and once you’ve written down your goals, they become much easier to attain.

Using a 30-60-90-day plan to show that you’ve done your homework, analyzed the position, and thoughtfully considered how you can best serve this particular company in this particular capacity is very impressive to a hiring manager.This kind of effort is the advantage you need that will set you apart from other candidates and get you hired.

Get a proven, job-winning 30/60/90-Day Sales Plan here.