Getting Started in Medical Sales 

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seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: John Lehné (Host IP Logged)
Date: October 29, 2004 05:06PM

I am in St. Louis, Mo and am seeking some help and advice. I am interested in medical, pharmaceutical, orthopedic sales and wanted to know of any companies that I may be able to contact. I have been in the healthcare staffing industry for the past five years as a Sales Manager calling on hospitals and placing physicians, nurses, and allied professionals. I also have an extensive background in sales and management. Since I do not have previous medical sales experience the challenge is finding companies that are open to the idea.
Thanks for any help or advice!

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: Lewis (Host IP Logged)
Date: October 31, 2004 01:34AM


First of all, I think it would be in your best interest to decide if you want to be in the pharmaceutical business or the medical device/equipment business. There is a separation of these two fields in the minds of most people. I remember 12 years ago I made the mistake of saying I wanted to be in the pharmaceutical business when I was interviewing with a medical device company. The manager made it clear he did not want a person who wanted to be in the pharma business. Needless to say, I did not get the job.

What is the difference? In general medical device/equipment is a commission driven business while the pharma business is more salary oriented with some type of incentives. Depending on where you are at, the medical device industry has higher earning potential while the pharma business is perceived as having a ceiling on earnings.

Secondly, the pharma biz is associated with sitting in the doctor's office with three other pharma reps to get your thirty second detail in when the doc walks by and then having him sign your sample sheet or on the other hand you may bring in lunch to several docs a week. I am sure there is probing and closing on this side of the business but it seems you may never know if you truly close the business because the next guy in the office may have the exact type drug as you and better pens or notepads. Besides, you don't pick up a P.O.; you have to wait for some report that shows what zip codes your product was ordered from.

The medical device/equipment business is considered more of a hunter business with a more definite sales process of probing for and developing needs and closing the business now. Generally, in my business, capital equipment, if I don't get the P.O. when they order, I can't come back next week and try again because it will be several years until they need another piece of equipment barring any expansions or new opportunities that may arise.

I am speaking in generalities realizing you cannot lump all pharmaceutical jobs into a stereotype nor could you do the same with all capital equipment or medical device positions. There are differences and each job takes a different person to fill it. That is why my opinion is to choose which way you want to go and start sending resumes to the appropriate companies.


Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: Gary H. (Host IP Logged)
Date: October 31, 2004 09:48AM


Very well put. You could not have stated the differences any better.

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: John (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 01, 2004 04:32PM

Take advantage of the people you know and have placed. Ask your nurse managers, physicians, department heads and purchasing effect everybody in the business whom you see or talk to on a remotely regular give you the names of some of the reps that call on them. Then call those reps and visit with them. While you don't have any direct pharm or medical sales experience, you may have something most of these companies like..physician and nurse contacts. If your connections are in the fiield they are looking for, you will have a leg up.

John in Tennessee

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: John Lehné (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 02, 2004 07:05PM

Thank you very much for the insight and advice, I appreciate it very much.

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: Michael Hoffman (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 09, 2004 02:31PM

if you would like to learn about an opportunity to work as an independent agent calling on primary care physicians in the St. Louis area, please call Mr. Ethan Demitchell at 1-888-NOW LEAP and tell him I referred you.

I need to add a new rep in St. Louis and we have some unique "physician support" for an agent in that area as one of our top accounts (a prominent local GI doc) will work with the local rep at recruiting new physician accounts. He is very satisfied user of our programs who became so enamored he is now on our Chief Medical Advisor and is eager to work with an agent in the area.

Migrating from staffing to point-of-care DM services and programs sales would not be a "large LEAP".

Mike H

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: Cathy H. (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 10, 2004 02:00PM

I am considering an opportunity to build and manage an independent sales staff for the state of Missouri. I would like to talk to you to determine your interest.

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: Lewis (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 10, 2004 08:41PM


I am in Oklahoma City. Cathy might be able to help you in Mizzou.



Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: Adam (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 26, 2004 12:23PM

John, I am a partner in a direct manufacturer of hand held microsurgical instrumentation for the Opthalmic and Nero markets. I am currently looking for sales reps nationwide. Please reply if your interested. Thanks, Adam

Re: seeking advice in St. Louis
Posted by: AG (Host IP Logged)
Date: November 27, 2004 09:50AM

Adam - do you have coverage in the NYC metro area (including LI) - if not, please forward more info about your product(s) - think we can help.