To be or not to be a Medical Sales Rep?

To be or not to be a Medical Sales Rep?

To be or not to be a Medical Sales Rep?

The milion Euro question floating around Medical Recruitment Candidate circuits recently.

With all the recent changes over the last 2 years within Ireland Health Care – primarily the increase in Private and the HSE restrictions, this is a serious question to be considered for anyone looking to commence a career as a Medical Sales Representative.

To help answer this question, I will outline all the criteria now sought in 2012 in Ireland by Medical Companies when they are looking to recruit a Medcial Sales Rep –

  1. Medical Sales experience? – oh oh I hear you say – ‘how can I start a career in Medical Sales and already have the experience’? – good question and rather self answering – unfortunately, this is the first thing a Medical company will seek – good old fashioned Medical Sales experience – the day of the ‘Rookie’ is long gone
  2. A relevant Medical or Life Science Degree – this is essential. Some Companies will still consider relevant Business degrees.
  3. Relevant contacts in the Industry – ie Hospital exposure – it is very hard to knock on Hospital Theatre doors if nobody has ever met you or heard of you – in Ireland, it is all about contacts. This is not just about getting to the Theatre Sisters or Hospital Surgeons – Procurement is now equally important
  4. Territory knowledge – you need to know your territory – eg – Leinster Hospitals – how to plan them, get around them and get in front of all the Key Decision Makers (KDM’s) to make a sale
  5. Flexibility – this is NOT a 9-5 job – you need the flexibility to be able to present @ a Consultant breakfast meeting in the Beaumont Hospital @ 7am and may need that evening to present @ 8pm in Blackrock Clinic for the Night Staff  – you have to be married to this job, at least initially for the first year or two until you have mastered your Hospitals
  6. Knowldege – as in most things in life – knowledge is key – you need to know your Medical Product Portfolio at least as well as the Doctors you are detailing (selling) in to, if not, better
  7. You need to be comfortable in your own skin – this is a job that requires alot of time on your own, driving, in traffic or in waiting rooms – this is not the career for the ‘lonely’ type of person
  8. You need to be an out and out Professional – this is a highly professional selling environment and you do not want to be caught hanging around Hospital corridors exposed as anything then a Professional – this is down to how you look and how you come across
  9. You need to be able to have exceptional communication skills (yawn – I have heard this one before) In Medical Sales, communication skills means a uniques ability to listen twice as much as you talk – you need to be able to quickly assess your Clients needs rather then shove your Products down their throat
  10. Patience and Persistence – if you dont have them – forget it
  11. Competitor awareness – you need to know what the other side is offering and what you are up against
  12. Prioritising and organisational skills – again, these are not to be under stated – the ability to spend most of your time doing the things that will help relationship building turn in to sales is far more important then spending days on exceptional Office reports

Ths list is exhaustive and I could go on and on, but in short, if you do not possess all of the above, or at least 8 of them – have a think about another career rather then Medcial Sales.

It is tough and competitive and currently in Ireland, there are more experienced Medical Sales Reps then there are jobs.

So think long and hard before deciding ‘to be or not to be a Medical Sales Rep’

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