Getting Started in Medical Sales 

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interview preparation
Posted by: Dave (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 16, 2005 09:53AM


I am in the midst of trying to change professions and get into the medical device sales arena. I am currently a District Sales Manager for a CPG company. I have had a successful phone interview and face to face interview to date. I am now preparing for a final interview with the distributor.

As a person not coming from a medical background, I would like to show this person that I am committed to learning as much as I can as quickly as I can. I have been scouring the internet and textbooks learning the anatomy and the knee and shoulder areas; learning about the athroscopic procedures I will be selling for; and even finding and watching videos of the procedures.

I will present this education I've undertaken during the interview, but I also would like to learn as much as possible about Territory Management and possible ways of showing him that I have already thought about how I am going to attack the territory and prioritize accounts. My internet search has been much more difficult on this subject. Is there anyone out there that could provide some assistance? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Re: interview preparation
Posted by: bob (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 25, 2005 05:33PM

The fact that nobody has responded to you reinforces my intuition that this board is essentially worthless! You sound like you are doing the right things. At the end of the day, people hire people they like. Show your enthusiasm and commitment to learn and let the chips fall where they fall.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: ortho man (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 25, 2005 06:25PM

I guess YOUR response doesn't count (unless it's "essentially worthless" too?) Strange reaction, just back from vacation myself, but this site is usually my first stop for what's going on out there.

Territory management is equally an art and a science, but the best way to prepare, or show someone else you are up to the task, is to demonstrate a good set of organizational skills, and perhaps ask how the manufacturer(s) go about qualifying leads from trade shows, whether this is a virgin or mature territory, what kind of contact manager or database they use, etc. There are lots of other items, but many will be specific to the types of devices, medical specialties, consumables vs disposables vs capital or durable equipment, etc. I agree with bob that they have to like you, but it seems that you are on the right track just by asking the questions you're asking.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: device guy (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 25, 2005 07:42PM

Bob--you sound rather cynical and frankly, not very helpful.

Dave--Good luck with the interview. Keep doing your homework, there is no substitute for it. I agree with ortho man, organizational skills are the key. Know the hospitals in your territory, know the surgeons and what products (competition) they are using. Identify the major players. This woud include any key opinion leaders (teaching hospitals), the high volume surgeons etc. Prioritize then go after them. Remember 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers (surgeons).

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: Bob (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 25, 2005 08:04PM

Amazing that I have to post a response like I did to acually get additional people to contribute with there wisdom. Dave' post was there for 9 days unti I responded. Now two in an hour.

Not cynical at all, just wish more would contribute on a timely basis.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: JT (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 25, 2005 11:54PM

okay, so maybe some of us are lurkers. point taken. sorry, dave.

ortho surgery tends to be a very predictable business, so that might make your job a little easier than with some other specialties. i bet the dist already has a pretty good handle on which accounts are easy, tough, and up for grabs.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: Gary H. (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 26, 2005 09:30PM


I'm just curious why you say ortho surgery tends to be a very predictable business. Could you just elaborate or give me an example of what you mean. Thanks.

When you say identify those practices that will be easy to crack, tough, or up for grabs; this can greatly depend on the relationships the current ortho rep has with the doctors in the practice. I am sure you will agree with that statement.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: jt (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 28, 2005 06:00PM


We are on exactly the same page. The relationships are critical, and that is precisely what I meant. I believe this confers a degree of predictability upon the whole business, and I would try to set my sights initially on where those relationships are weakest.

Great minds think alike, it seems.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: Gary H. (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 28, 2005 09:49PM


I can't agree with you more. Total joints, spine, trauma, etc. etc. It all boils down to relationships.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: Dave (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 30, 2005 10:54PM

First, thanks for all of your relplies. I am another step closer to getting into the medical sales industry. I just completed another step in the interviewing process. I thought it would be the last, but the distributor is in the process of making some territory changes and wants to hold off hiring someone until those changes are made. So, I'm back to waiting and trying to continue to learn everything I can about the business, how successful people operate their territories, etc...Because I do not come from a medical background, I am also studying the anatomy of the knee and shoulder as well as the arthoscopic procedures themselves. I just feel that I can't let myself rest on the fact that the interviews have gone well. I have to keep learning until the decision is made. So any information that anyone can pass on, I would appreciate it. THanks again.

Re: interview preparation
Posted by: Gary H. (Host IP Logged)
Date: August 31, 2005 08:50AM

keep learning,....................dust yourself off and keep moving forward !!! keep interviewing etc. etc. Do not wait for anybody to make their hiring decisions. Continue to interview until an offer comes thru.