Getting Started in Medical Sales
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I have been ranked in the top 1% for GSK. I received my MBA this past spring with a 3.94 GPA.
I left a few months ago to help my fiance start up a new company but I am now free and looking for a new challange in either Medical device or Pharmaceutical sales.
We live in Northeast TN (Tri-Cities area) and I would like to stay but would consider moving for the right opportunity.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Would you consider an "Independent Agent" program (this is Commission-Only, but yields ongoing, annuity commissions, on monthly revenue from your sales). We have had success recruiting former Pharma Reps willing to represent our Workflow Productivity products for Physician "back-office" (business side) operations.
Please read on:
Independent Sales Agents wanted for IMPOWERnet
IMPOWERnet (www.impowernet.com) from Unicomp is a HIPAA-compliant, Internet-based, electronic secondary claim processing service. IMPOWERnet allows the uploading of ANSI 835 or NSF electronic remittance files and claim files from any Practice Management, billing; or EMR software for the purpose of matching secondary claims and corresponding primary (single patient) EOBs for submitting to the secondary payer.
This is a transaction-fee based, automated service -- capable of producing monthly commissions based on revenue (annuity revenue) from each practice at which it is utilized. TARGET MARKET is Multi-Physician group practices manually processing secondary claims. ONCOLOGY; CARDIOLOGY; and other Medicare-intensive practice areas tend to make excellent prospects for this service.
Seeking Independent Agents currently calling on group practices. All territories are open. If interested, please email background information to:
VP Business Development
Unicomp Corporation of America
> You have spent the last 7 years of your detailing
> (not sales) career catering lunches Monday thru
> Friday. Would you consider going into the
> restaurant/catering business ? After all, it is
> VERY important to have an MBA degree to cater
I hope you are not one of those idiots that try to say pharma sales isn't really selling.
I said that I had been ranked in the top 10% for every sales company in my career which is 24+ years.
Yes, I had food delivered to some doctors' offices but unlike people like you I used that time to actually sell. I didn't talk about the local football/basketball/baseball team or the freaking weather.
I pushed my docs to talk about my products and how they treat their patients.
If you can't offer something useful then shut up. The fact that I got an MBA while working as a pharma rep shows that I'm not an overpaid, overdressed, UPS toting caterer.
BTW. Just because you don't get a purchase order from your customer doesn't mean you are not a sales rep. If it was all luck in pharma sales then why do some of us always wind up in the top 10% every year? The cream always rises to the top regardless of the product they are selling or the market they are in.
BTW. it is good that you do not talk about the weather and football etc. when you cater lunch. That is definitely common sense on your end. You are to be commended for your intelligence while having a 5 minute lunch meeting with the doctor.
BTW, how come you drug reps are unable to get face to face time with the doctor without bringing lunch. Ask your manager to answer this one for me.
Did you ever realize that the doctor is only seeing you to be polite and he feels obligated since you catered lunch to his entire staff.
No lunch equates to NO Face to Face Time.
How sad !
How sad !!!!!!!!!!!
Very well put. You could not have hit the nail any more head on !
> OK, here is another opinion from a rep with 20+
> years device sales experience. Tom, I'm sure you
> work hard, and are competent in what you do. You
> do influenice and effect sales, but it isn't the
> "classic" sales job, it's more promotion than
> "sales". It's not that the transition cannot be
> done, you just have to acknowledge that what
> you've been doing well, is not what you would be
> doing if you progress to device sales from
> Pharm.sales. Sales skills are learned skills
> that can be developed by anyone, however, if you
> do not realize that in your Pharm. job your not
> "selling", it will be very difficult for you to
> get a sales job and be successful at it. In other
> words, you won't be good at a "classic" sales job,
> if you can't recognize what "classic" sales
> actually is. How can you do it well if you don't
> even know what it is? There is a bias towards
> Pharm reps becasue they haven't proven themselves
> in a traditional sales position. You will have to
> overcome that, not by defending what you're doing
> as "sales", but rather by learning the skills that
> you will need to be a device sales person.
You people must not read. Let me repeat that I said I have been ranked in the Top 10% for every I have worked for and that includes direct sales!!!
Again, That includes direct sales!!!!
I sold industrial equipment and I was in sales in the printing industry.
In addition I was a manufacturers rep where I sold equipment directly to OEM's where I made sales of over 500K in a single sale. My territory had sales and a quota in the millions.
All I was trying to say was that I do have expereince in sales with medical professionals. I have experience selling/detailing with a partner and as part of a pod and in both cases I have been ranked in the Top 10%.
Now that you cannot say that I don't have experience actually selling we can put this behind us. Yes, I know I don't have experience selling direct in the medical arena but that's the whole point of this forum, "Getting Started in Medical Sales" in case you have forgotten.
If everybody already had expereience in medical sales there would be no point to this forum!!!
> OK, your right, I missed the part about other
> sales jobs. I'm a hiring manager in Device Sales
> and the questions I would have for you are, 1).
> What prompted you to leave a "hard" sales job for
> a Pharm job? I would be looking for clues as to
> why you decided to do that, especially if you were
> in the top 10%. Too demanding a life style? Too
> much presssure? Not suited to your real
> personality? What exactly motivated you to do
> that? and 2). Now that you've moved away from
> "hard" sales, and are in that Pharm "mode", and
> given the fact that you left hard sales before,
> how do I know that this potential move is the
> right one for you? Does it match your skill sets
> and your personality? Can you change gears and
> adapt? Another question I would have is why you
> went for that degree. It sounds like your not
> really sure what you want to do. If you can
> really sell, the degree doesn't matter. So why
> did you go for it? You were hoping to get into
> management? If that was the reason, then why don't
> you want to do that anymore, and now want to get
> into sales? Combine that with the fact that you
> would look at either Pharm or Device, and you come
> off as not clear at all on the direction you want
> to take in your career. If I was to consider
> hiring you, I would want to be crystal clear about
> all the changes you've had, and where you want to
> go. Your no "rookie", either, so you'll be
> competing against a lot of fresh talent with that
> "fire in the belly" that managers look for. Your
> answers to those questions will say a lot about
> you...make sure you've thought it out well. Good
I left the "hard sales" industries I was in because the pay was not there like in medical or pharmaceutical sales. I got my MBA because my grades in college were not good and for some reason people look for a weak spot and they always mentioned my GPA even though I have never had any problem learning any material and in fact I have always been one of the top students in training. THe so called fire in the belly kids were off drinking and not studing. When the time came for exams and being vidoetaped they started crying and breaking down in the hallways. So much for that theory.
Just because someone isn't just out of college doesn't mean that they have lost any fire in their belly, perhaps you have but not me.
You sound like the type of person that feels better about themselves by trying to shoot down other people judging by the questions you ask.
Every move I have made has been a step up in money, and more challenging. Is that typical of someone losing the fire in their belly? It sounds like someone who is using their head and getting better with age like a fine wine. Sales is not like athletics where your body peaks in your 20's. If you notice they don't even let you run for President until you are at least 35 because you don't have enough experience and maturity. Don't tell anyone who has ever run for a high office that it doesn't take a fire in the belly to run and if the 40+ crowd can do it in politics I see no reason the same wouldn't apply in sales!
I have thought about running my own business from time to time and have even developed a business plan but it would be something that would basically manage itself (hence the beauty of it) but would not even begin to replace my current earnings. This would be another additional challenge.
I earned my MBA to help with that and to broaden my potential opportunities and I like the challenge of it. I would ideally like medical device sales but in the meantime if someone else is going to pay for me to earn my MBA why not take advantage of it. I also wanted the additional challenge of going back to school and seeing how well I could do and I think a 3.94 GPA proves there is nothing I can't do if I put my mind to it.
I know someone who has been ranked the past couple of years at the top in the medical device market and they are not a spring chicken either and they don't do anything that I wouldn't or could be doing.
You keep looking for problems. Had I known about medical device sales when I was still in "hard Sales" I would have tried to go in that direction but my sister had been a pharma sales rep and I had several friends that were drug reps so I only heard about that type of medical sales.
If I had never gone to pharma sales I doubt I would have gotten my MBA. My previous employer didn't offer tution reimbursement.
Exactly what type of degree would you have wanted me to get?
I have thought about management but only because of what other reps have told me in regards to me helping them with their sales. I generally get asked to help out with training from time to time but being a full time trainer did not interest me in the least and the pay is not what I am after. I guess after you lose the fire in the belly you can become a hirng manager like you. :)
I don't follow your logic that I am in some sort of "pharma sales" mode and that it would be hard to make the change back. If you knew pharma sales like many of you claim you would know that the difference between the top 20% and the bottom 80% is that we do press hard for the sale even if it isn't for a purchase order. That excuse is like some of the excuses doctors use to try and back up their illogical reason for using one drug over another when they don't have the facts on their side.
BTW why would a hiring manager come on this board as the chances of finding someone for your company in your own area has to be low? Why are you here? What products or product class do you promote and what city? Itís easy for you to say you are a hiring manager on a board like this so I'm sure you will excuse me if I don't bet the house on you being totally honest.
My biggest mistake is just coming on this board and thinking I would get anything useful out of it. I have started to look at the responses people post and there are very few that are the least bit helpful. Some people have an axe to grind and act like its a club that they don't want anyone else in and some people try to sell you on some oddball business that they there are trying to drum up reps for that true medical device reps wouldn't touch in a million years.
Like a fat kid in dodgeball, I'm out of here!
One of the first things you should do is quit being so defensive. I'm telling you the questions I would ask to uncover what really is behind "Tom", and why you are/ would be interviewing for a potential position with my company. The answers to your questions provide insight into you, and how you would fit into the position, and they say a lot about you, your personality, work habits, likes, dislikes, motivators, etc. I told you about the "fire in the belly" because that is the reality of what your up against in the job market. Instead of flying off emotionally, you would be wise to give a considered answer that speaks to what the interviewer is trying to uncover. Short consise answers that speak to how your still a top producer. The questions are probing questions to find out more about you. You know a lot of people in their 40's who still crank it out. So what!! I want to know that YOU still can and will crank it out. Interviewers look for several things initally. One are "knockout" items, the next are "concern items" and lastly there are "incomplete" items. I was making you aware of the "concern" items I would have about you and your background, but you weren't "listening". If you want to truly get into device sales, you'd better begin to prepare, or still to Pharm.
That is the major difference. Doctors prefer F R E E hot lunches for their entire staff and that is why you were in the top 20 % with Glaxo SmithKline.
I suggest you stay in pharma detailing, since you are being soo defensive to everything George states.
I use to be a hiring manager in Pharma and I never looked for fire in anyone's belly because no one interested in pharma had that.
They do usually leave pharma with the experience of professional waiters or waitresses, since all you do is deliver F R E E food for 5 minutes of the doctors time.
Tell us all how much you $$$$$ you spent on catering lunch per week ?
per month ?
Is this why the cost of drugs is so much? Don't you dare say that the real money is in the R&D.
The other postings are right on the money with you! You left an industrial sales job for a pharmaceutical job because the money was better. (Anyone in sales want to answer that one?).
You said "excuse is like some of the excuses doctors use to try and back up their illogical reason for using one drug over another when they don't have the facts on their side" Again, anyone in sales want to help Tom with the Dr's "illogical" reasons for not using his product?
Oh yeah, here is another quote from you, "BTW. Just because you don't get a purchase order from your customer doesn't mean you are not a sales rep."
Actually Tom, that is exactly what defines a sale, and a sales rep.
Your rankings and GPA are fine, but they don't mean squat to someone who wants a SALESPERSON to SELL products. You need to show people that you can do the job if you want to get hired by any device company. You can't rest on your rankings in Pharmaceutical and your GPA. YOU HAVE NO TRACK RECORD IN MEDICAL DEVICE SALES, do you think this forum will just ante up a job for you? YOU need to LISTEN and take the advice YOU came here to get, and stop whinning because you don't want to hear it.
I do not think Tom will be returning to give us any more foolish, silly, explanations of his high and mighty career in big Pharma. Hopefully, he will have learned something, but I do not think he has.
We all know you are not coming back, however we do know you continue to read the posts.
Why not go back into industrial sales and pioneer a new concept in that industry.
Deliver lunch to all prospective customers and see if your new employer will offer tuition reimbursement for you to go on for your doctorate.
Your thesis can be on a career in big pharma, explaining how delivering lunch to doctors is a sales position even though there is no close involved.
> I quote Tom.......... "Like a fat kid in
> dodgeball, I am out of here".
> We all know you are not coming back, however we do
> know you continue to read the posts.
> Why not go back into industrial sales and pioneer
> a new concept in that industry.
> Deliver lunch to all prospective customers and see
> if your new employer will offer tuition
> reimbursement for you to go on for your
> Your thesis can be on a career in big pharma,
> explaining how delivering lunch to doctors is a
> sales position even though there is no close
I am being totally serious here, how do you break into device sales if you started in nursing, then moved to pharma? Is there any hope at all or a lost cause? Please don't be mean, I really am curious.
Emphasize how you went back to school to get your MBA so you could prove to yourself that you are not a complete moron.
Last but not least tell the interviewer that you are Tom's twin sister.
You will be sure to get hired.
Of course it's not a lost cause, but you have a lot of challenges ahead of you. Look for a "bridge" job between Pharm and device sales to get out of Pharm. Look for opportunities that want the clinical side, but also sales too. Just like in sales, you have to go through a lot of coal to get to the diamonds. The jobs are out there, but your going to need to put on a massive effort to uncover them. I would strongly suggest that you go to your local bookstore and buy and read as many books as you can on selling. Sales is a skill that your going to have to learn. Try "How to master the art of Selling" by Tom Hopkins for starters. You'll quickly see why top salespersons enjoy the financial rewards that they do. Get your resume done professionally. Contact as many Medical Sales recruiters as you can. I think one of the previous posts said something to the effect that device sales people act as if we are all members of an exclusive club, and that we won't let others in. The truth is that the only thing keeping people like that out of device sales is their own lack of effort to get in. It's open to everyone, but not everyone is willing to do whatever it takes to learn the skills neccessary to land a job. Just like in sales, it's all about individual effort. Good luck!
Tom, if your still out there,I'd like to add my 2% (since we're talking percentages)
I am in the Spine implant business for big blue. I was in a high management job with a development company before moving to device sales.
Pharma friends are steady and constant in requesting the same help you are asking for. I tell them my story and I will tell you:
I left a good paying job with a glass ceiling to "break in to" medical device sales. Like you and my Pharma friends I called and followed those I knew in the inductry pushing but not pestering them too much.
scouring the paper for copier sales, cell phone sales, anything that offered the "hard" sales experiance. I took a 60% cut in pay to go sale soft goods in a Tri state area. Straight commision with a low draw that would be cut off in 6 months.The distributer also had a line of sportsmed surgical line (Arthrex) that he had a seperate sales force for.
Over the first 6 months I more that doubled the sales in the area passing my draw in 3 months. It was a couple of $9 wrist splints here and a custum knee brace there (big bucks at the time if you sold one). I begged the surgical rep to let me carry sets for him to the outlying hospitals and cover any case no matter where. In two months I had grown 3 of the small hospitals and had made him extra money and he offered to give me growth on all the outlying hospitals.
after 9 months a spot came open for an assistant with *** Spine in my area. The Distributer had started in softgood sales and manager as well.
That was 3 years ago. I have since made partner and we were in the top 10 of over 700 reps the last 2 years. I am an independent contractor and in addition have started my own distributership with 2 reps pushing, you guest it, softgoods & Bone Growth Stimulators.......... I look on here weekly for new products to put in their bag. I want them to make a bunch of money!!!! If they earn their way to a good device job before I can find one for them then I will be proud. As my first boss in this told me " If your going to make it in this industry it will have to be because of you and no one else"
some points to make:
1.) young doesn't equate to "fire in the belly" hunger and learning through trial and error of what you want to earn through time and experiance is more important to me.
2.) Both my partner and I would have JUMPED at a pharma job when we were wanting to break in. We didn't know about the "golden handcuffs"
3.) Attitude and willingness to step back....... not as far back as I had to I hope. Is key for someone in your shoes!!
4.) Entraprenur spirit is good in this industry.
5.) MBA = not a big deal versus hard numbers When growing a business & relationships with Doctors. (point George)
6.) You personally have to add value in service, knowledge & ATTITUDE to your hospitals & Docs. And thats just to play ball. (point George)
speaking of which my set for an add on case should arrive at 1:00 AM ... off to the hospital to put it up for the morning. Back to the hospital at 6 am with a smile and a "good morning doc" and " I've got some solutions for that retro spondy patient that you want to help make life a little better.
its 6 days a week.... 10 hour days(before paperwork) and competitor reps crowded at the OR door saying "doc just one case to keep my job or feed my family"
YOU SURE YOU WANT THIS?? I personally wouldn't do anything else.
Oh, and yes I had to walk up hill both ways in the snow 10 miles to school every day:)
thanks for indulging.. apologeeze for preachy and spelling
Please preach some more and more and more.
By the way if your competitors are in the OR dressing room b e g g i n g the surgeons to use their instrumentation on just one case they are f_ _ ken losers.
From what I've researched, both are direct competitors in that segment, and combined, own most of the market share also. In my current position, I'm used to getting woken up in the middle of the night over any number of crises, so I look forward to continuing that if I accept either positions ;)
Does anyone here have experience working with either of these companies? I'm buried in as much corporate literature as I can get my hands on, but its always good to hear from some industry vets.
Feel free to berate/heckle/jeer/rebuke my statements and use of emoticons. My skin's grown pretty thick from spending some long hours in various crappy places.
What does JMO stand for?
I have worked in both the Pharma and Medical device industries. I was ranked number one most years in some of the top paying companies ($250,000 in Pharma and $600,000 in device). I thought I worked hard in Pharma but when I made the tough transition to devices I really learned what it meant to work hard. Although I was out "selling" in Pharma everyday I quickly came to understand selling devices might as well be a completely different game. The only thing that saved me was my relentless drive (ability to adapt, long hours, irregular hours, holidays, last minutes trips for last minute cases). The stress for me was massive vs pharma. The quality of reps was at a whole new level. Because of the income it draws some of the top level sales talent out there-- mixed with some old school hard ass business guys (the kind of win at any cost guys). There are some cake device jobs out there where you can run in the middle of the pack working 7-3 and make $130,000 but for that kind of money you are better off in speciality pharma making a $100k base plus commission.
Money was my main motivator but I guess I would suggest to you to consider your quality of life. As long as your bills are paid and you have lots of time with your family --life is good. The drive that leads many reps to be successful has its costs. Luckily I was able to negotiate around many of the pitfalls but I saw many families destroyed by a reps relentless drive for more.
The responses you received are an example of the mentality of people in this industry. I think some of the guys that where challenging you with serious questions where right on the money. This job is not for everyone--just because you are successful at one career does not mean you will automatically be successful in another. If you are a square peg by nature why force yourself into a round hole. It will only lead to misery. The fellow who intelligently questions his reps and screens out those are not suited for the job is doing these reps a huge favor. In regards to the hateful responses -- individuals with high self-esteem try to build others up not knock them down. Low self-esteem is commonly hidden behind bravado --this is what has driven them to constantly compete with others in order to prove their self worth. Don't let people who behave in this manner bother you. Negative people are everywhere --try to ignore them and gravitate to those who are helpful.
This was long and rambling but sincere.
I hope you find what is best for your family.
> I don't know if this will be helpful but here is
> my story. I retired last year a 36 years old
> multi-millionaire by living below my means and
> hiring top money managers. Looking back I could
> have accomplished the same results with less
> stress by just keeping my living expenses lower.
> The big picture is so much clearer now that I am
> out. I see the guy next door stressed out working
> long hours to "make a better life for his family".
> I also see the other guy down the street wanting
> to make the big bucks but is always with his
> family. The grass always seems greener but it now
> seems clear to me which one is truly successful in
> I have worked in both the Pharma and Medical
> device industries. I was ranked number one most
> years in some of the top paying companies
> ($250,000 in Pharma and $600,000 in device). I
> thought I worked hard in Pharma but when I made
> the tough transition to devices I really learned
> what it meant to work hard. Although I was out
> "selling" in Pharma everyday I quickly came to
> understand selling devices might as well be a
> completely different game. The only thing that
> saved me was my relentless drive (ability to
> adapt, long hours, irregular hours, holidays, last
> minutes trips for last minute cases). The stress
> for me was massive vs pharma. The quality of reps
> was at a whole new level. Because of the income
> it draws some of the top level sales talent out
> there-- mixed with some old school hard ass
> business guys (the kind of win at any cost guys).
> There are some cake device jobs out there where
> you can run in the middle of the pack working 7-3
> and make $130,000 but for that kind of money you
> are better off in speciality pharma making a $100k
> base plus commission.
> Money was my main motivator but I guess I would
> suggest to you to consider your quality of life.
> As long as your bills are paid and you have lots
> of time with your family --life is good. The
> drive that leads many reps to be successful has
> its costs. Luckily I was able to negotiate around
> many of the pitfalls but I saw many families
> destroyed by a reps relentless drive for more.
> The responses you received are an example of the
> mentality of people in this industry. I think
> some of the guys that where challenging you with
> serious questions where right on the money. This
> job is not for everyone--just because you are
> successful at one career does not mean you will
> automatically be successful in another. If you
> are a square peg by nature why force yourself into
> a round hole. It will only lead to misery. The
> fellow who intelligently questions his reps and
> screens out those are not suited for the job is
> doing these reps a huge favor. In regards to the
> hateful responses -- individuals with high
> self-esteem try to build others up not knock them
> down. Low self-esteem is commonly hidden behind
> bravado --this is what has driven them to
> constantly compete with others in order to prove
> their self worth. Don't let people who behave in
> this manner bother you. Negative people are
> everywhere --try to ignore them and gravitate to
> those who are helpful.
> This was long and rambling but sincere.
> I hope you find what is best for your family.
Very well said. Too may haters on this guy's case. All he asked for was advice. Instead he got attacked by a mob of very superior sales professionals. Dangerous, cancerous types to a sales organization. Just reading their tirades tells me everything I need to know about their character. Character that is devoid of integrity. The only trait needed to be successful in sales.