Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical device and medical technology companies, with a strong presence in orthopedics, surgical supplies and equipment, surgical navigation systems, and more.
I talk to candidates every day who are interested in going after a sales position at Stryker. But I tell those candidates to proceed with caution. Don’t get me wrong. Stryker is a solid company with a strong track record of growth (also on Fortune’s list of 100 best companies to work for). But…the perception among these candidates is that they’re going to make 200-300K right off the bat. That’s why everyone goes after it. But typically, that’s not what happens.
Sales reps at Stryker spend their first year or two in a supportive role, assisting the sales reps who are making the big bucks–which means they make a lot less. On top of not making the money they expected, that kind of workload is very stressful and taxing, which means that most sales reps wash out.
So Stryker runs through sales reps like water, and it’s not a big deal for them because for everyone who leaves, there are 10 more vying for that spot.
So what I recommend to many candidates is that they take a closer look at other medical device companies, especially smaller ones. (Check out BioSpace’s DeviceSpace page for general medical device news.) At a smaller company, they can be 1 out of 50 instead of 1 out of 400. There’s less competition for those jobs, often a lot more training, and a relationship with a company who’s a little more interested in the longevity of its sales force.
If you are currently in a medical sales job search, I’d like to invite you to my free training webinar: How to Get Into Medical Sales.
The Motley Fool’s list of the top medical device companies (in terms of stock ratings, anyway), includes some pretty big companies (Becton, Dickinson, and Co.; Abbott Laboratories; Johnson & Johnson; Medtronic; and Mako Surgical are on the list), and these heavy-hitters usually get the majority of job seekers’ attention. Corporations do have their perks (networking and exposure to name a couple)…but don’t skip the smaller companies. Why?
At a company like Johnson & Johnson, for example, you’re going to be one medical device rep out of a thousand. At a smaller company, you’re one of 35 sales reps (or so). A ratio like that changes everything.
- That means the VP of sales knows your name.
- Stronger relationships within the company will result in stronger recommendations for you later, when you’re ready to move on.
- Plus, you’ll get more recognition for your hard work now.
- You’re also likely (as in any smaller company) to have more flexibility in your job, and gain a wider variety of experiences.
- In smaller companies, employees tend to wear more hats. That broader skill-building experience will translate into fantastic benefits later on.
Smaller companies can be great places to build your career, and simply thinking about where you want to go over the long term can inform your “big company vs. small company” decision.
It’s not uncommon for a candidate to receive a job offer that’s not quite the one they wanted.? But the good news is that if you’re trying to land the medical sales job you want, there are things you can do to slow down the process involving the current offer, and speed up the process on the one you want.
Watch the video to find out how to work this situation in your favor, and avoid what could become a very sticky situation in your job search:
As a medical sales recruiter, I spend a lot of time on the phone fielding inquiries from job seekers. Not only about specific jobs in medical sales, laboratory sales, imaging sales, biotech sales, clinical diagnostics sales, pathology sales, medical device sales, hospital equipment sales, pharmaceutical sales, or other areas of healthcare sales, but also about career coaching: How does it work? How can it help me? Can you help me? Here are some recent questions (pretty typical ones) I have gotten from people interested in career coaching:
- “I want to get into medical sales in the Florida market area. My background is _______________. I have heard that this is a slow time for recruiters, but I am anxious to transition. I would like input, direction, and assistance.”
- “I’ve been downsized. What do I do?”
- “I am currently in pharma sales, but used to work for XYZ Company selling radiology equipment. I would like to get back into medical sales or medical device sales, but nobody wants to hire someone from pharma. How can I make the transition?”
- “I would like a professional to review my resume and cover letter. I enjoy your videos and will use your tip on job shadowing.”
The customized career coaching offered through PHC Consulting can help. Most people only need about an hour, so it’s not a big commitment.
How can it help you? Basically, I have years of experience in sales, building successful sales territories from the bottom up, sales managment, and medical sales recruiting, and I use all that experience to offer you an objective, informed opinion on your personal situation. It’s effective, and it’s efficient. You can learn:
- What you need to know to transition into the medical sales industry, even if you have no previous medical sales experience
- How to write your resume so that it highlights YOUR best qualifications
- How to ace your interview–I can ask you questions and give you immediate feedback on your answers and style
- What you should include on your brag book and 30/60/90-day plan–with specific ideas for your own situation
- Which job offer you should take–discuss pros and cons with someone who knows the industry and has no agenda
- How to negotiate salary–everyone is afraid of this one, but it’s not that hard
- Which follow-up techniques to use to make a great impression
- How to build your personal brand so that you get farther faster
- Figure out why you’re not getting offers even though you’re qualified
- How to get an interview if you’re having trouble–how can you contact that sales manager?
- Anything you need to know about sales career success!
If you’re already in sales, or are a sales manager, you can also get coaching advice on:
- building your sales team
- making hiring decisions
- getting that promotion that has been eluding you.
Want to know what others say about how I’ve helped them? See my LinkedIn page.
It’s tough in the job market right now, and you need every advantage you can get. I would love to help you. Click here to find out more about what career coaching can do for you.
Company Car Allowance vs. Mileage vs. Company Car for Sales Reps in Medical, Laboratory or Healthcare….
One of my hiring managers (a client) wrote this, and kindly agreed to share it with you:
“While it isn’t scientific and it certainly has room for bias; my last poll of our team was they like the full mileage reimbursement as it lets them own the car of their choice. We pay $0.55 / mile. If they don’t buy a gas guzzler, they can almost afford to own any moderate to upper moderate car they wish. Our typical rep does about 1,300 miles per month. If you presume 20 mpg, attainable and far below Prius standards by a stretch, they pay less than $200 per month in gasoline at $3/gallon. This leaves them after gas funds of $450 for payments and maintenance at tax free dollars.
When I do this math for reps they see that they’d need a car allowance of $900 per month to make the same (gas, payment, federal / state tax). How many companies have a car allowance that generous?
Our CFO has hinted at moving to company car purchases, but our reps have voted twice now to keep status quo.
I think on the surface a car sounds nice and without prior experience would seem like the best; however our reps have learned to like the tax free payments and selecting the car of their own choice.”
We recently took a vote on just this question. Our results so far:
44% – want the car
28% – car allowance
14% – Who cares about the car…we just want a job!
14% – mileage
If you have some data about the car question – please share it with us. (Are there strong trends that differ by area….whether it’s medical sales, laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, medical device sales, biotech sales, imaging sales, hospital equipment sales, or other healthcare sales?)
Also, if you would like to work with a company with a management team thoughtful enough to ask which you would prefer, send me your information – maybe I can introduce you to my hiring managers…..
BONUS: Sign up for this FREE webinar: 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!
Candidates sometimes ask which is best: company car or allowance? So we thought we would allow you (the reader) to tell us what you think. Many candidates like the allowance because you can choose your car and don’t have to worry about driving record issues either. But companies need to know that I think that the company car is more “sticky” for the employer. What do I mean? I think reps with companies that have car allowances are more likely to leave (those companies have higher turnover) than companies with company car plans (all other things being equal). Many times, it is the small things that stop change cold in its tracks. Having to consider buying a car and the insurance, etc that go with it will stop many reps from considering a position without a car plan.
Tell us in the comments what your experiences are?
I saw your video response to the presidential campaign advertisement (and response). I wanted to let you know that you should call me to be your VP. Why Peggy McKee? Well, you will need a balance (or you won’t win). So while you have a lot to offer the office, I could help you to sidestep some mistakes that will harm your candidacy and office effectiveness. Also, I am not as old as McCain (although with age and experience comes wisdom) or as weak as Obama (sorry but if I put him through one of my behavioral interviews, he would be in trouble). So we will be a step ahead from the beginning. Below I will list a few areas where I think I can be of assistance and you can let me know what the next step is….
1. I am great at identifying, targeting and acquiring the very best talent (I am a great recruiter) and have 9 years of experience doing this for companies that don’t have the resources that you will. You are going to need some strong talent around you in order to win and to perform in this position.
2. I understand presence and how your dress/manners/interactions will affect our voting public (it is the same with interviews). We will need to sit down and go over this, but I think it is safe to say that your advertisements will no longer be made on lawn chairs with skimpy swimsuits. This communicates a life of ease, very little work ethic and poor taste when it comes to your dress. I talk with candidates about this kind of thing all of the time. I am sure with some time, we can come to an agreement about what would be best for you (and our campaign).
3. I understand and love capitalism. I know that your family has enjoyed capitalism (so you probably feel the same). I think if we just put the right opportunities in front of the oil companies and other entrepreneurs like T. Boone, etc., we will be amazed about how this oil/gas can pan out. Oh – and I know that the tire pressure fix is just not going to do it.
4. Because I work in recruiting, I am acutely aware of the pain that some of our fellow americans are feeling (due to layoffs, business failing, etc). I am not sure that you will be as informed or able to commiserate at that level. I can provide that balance for you.
5. You seem a little air-headed. We will need to reduce those things that give that impression. Let’s forget about painting the white house pink (I know that change is good, but a lot of people reacted negatively to the last mention of a color change). And try to wear more colors that give off that impression – so less pink, okay?
6. Have you ever been in the military? Me, neither. But I have a lot of friends, family and business associates who have. So I suggest we do a good job of showing support for the incredible individuals they are. Could we try to influence the liberal news slant? Maybe you and I could figure out a way to get the real news out about our military and the amazing successes that they accomplish but no one talks about.
7. Social Media and the web are areas that you would need my focus. We have a lot of work to do. I had a guy lose a job opportunity the other day because of his myspace page. I think some of your stuff out there is worse. We will definitely have to work to clean it up.
8. Negotiations? Are you good at this? I am. I help candidates and companies come together with mutually agreeable terms (and then stay together for years). I can handle a lot of what you will struggle with here. But, before we get started, you must agree that there are issues, actions and statements that are unacceptable (and therefore non-negotiable). You will have to be prepared to walk with me when we face that type of situation. It is the right thing to do.
9. Children? I don’t think you have any. I do and that experience changes the way you view things. Again, I think I could add a lot of balance here.
So, Paris, think this over and let me know if you would like to continue these discussions.
I was reading the Asia Pacific Headhunter blog and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJB0CzlzSwY I really enjoyed this and thought you might as well. Please do not see this as an endorsement of Monster. I just thought the video was funny.
One last thing, if you were in medical or laboratory sales, you would be less likely to be layed off. And if you are in pharmaceutical sales, you may not find this funny…due to recent experiences.
Thank you Liz! Love this article….Check out – Liz Handlin’s Ultimate Resumes Blog
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.
Article courtesy of the www.recruitingblogswap.com a content exchange service sponsored by www.CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for an internship and recent graduates and other career opportunities.
I have written before about issues involved in relocating (Should you relocate? There are some great opportunities for those willing to relocate – and you can always move back later), but I found a great article (Ready to Relo? I don’t think so) that lists specific questions employers need to ask to determine if a candidate is actually in a position/mindset to move if you give them an offer. For instance: Is the family involved and on board? Have they done any preliminary research on real estate or schools? Do they realize they’ll have to pay back company-paid expenses if they quit before a year?
In the current lousy housing market, relocating candidates has become even more difficult than before. Some candidates won’t be willing to go if they are going to lose too much money on their house, assuming they can even sell it.
As a medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, and research and laboratory sales recruiter, I am uniquely qualified to help employers iron out those sticky situations with candidates, helping find candidates who are willing to relocate, and tell candidates the cold hard truth about what’s going to happen and what issues they need to consider…above and beyond the actual job description.