Entering a competitive job industry like medical sales can be intimidating. When they finally get the call that they’ve been hired, it’s common for reps to accept the first entry-level medical sales salary offered to them. In fact, research at Zip Recruiter found that 64 percent of all job seekers accept the first offer they receive. That same report revealed that 40 percent of all employees are dissatisfied (or very dissatisfied) with their current compensation.
As a first time rep, it can be easy to hang your hopes of high earnings on commission potential. But don’t underestimate the security of a slightly higher base salary. The power of negotiation early in your career could increase your lifetime earnings by nearly $750,000 (Zip Recruiter) and will help support you while you build a foundation of understanding for the industry.
At MedReps, we recommend using these five tactics to negotiate your entry-level medical sales salary:
1. Know your worth
If you’ve been in the job search for any amount of time, it’s a big relief when you receive an offer. This makes it easy to say yes right away without taking the time to make sure the compensation package reflects your qualifications.
Using the MedReps’ salary calculator, you can easily identify the average, entry-level medical sales salary for reps at your skill level. You can also evaluate earning potential based on industry sector and the specific role you’ll be filling.
With this insight on where you stack up, you’ll be able to use data-driven arguments as you approach the negotiation process.
2. Understand current market trends
In addition to understanding your specific position, it’s also helpful for entry-level reps to have their finger on the pulse of the market. Ever-changing, it is beneficial to arm yourself with the most current industry data.
Use resources like the MedReps Salary Report and Payscale.com to gain an understanding of current earning trends. Start by focusing on average entry-level medical sales salary numbers. Then, expand your research so that you’re able to approach your potential employer with a future-focused mindset. If you can communicate your ideal career path as well as an idea of your ultimate professional goals it will show your interviewer that you are committed to growing — potentially within their company.
3. Take time to rehearse your talking points
It can be stressful to respond to a job offer with a salary negotiation request. Without proper preparation, nerves can easily take over, causing you to lose track of your argument and, potentially, bend more than you should. And it goes beyond finding data to support your argument.
Write down all of the reasons why you’re asking for a higher entry-level medical sales salary. With each point, clearly share any data that supports the number you’re requesting, and highlight where your accomplishments align with market trends and industry data. Even experiences outside of the medical sales field can make you a more valuable player, so highlight how your previous experience will make you a successful rep to drive home your worth.
4. Give yourself some wiggle room.
While it’s intimidating to jump into negotiations in the first place, it’s also crucial to understand the power of the process. That same Zip Recruiter survey mentioned earlier found that employees who chose to negotiate were able to increase their starting salaries by an average of $5,000.
But that doesn’t mean that you should just ask for $5,000 higher than the initial offer. Give yourself wiggle room by asking for a bit more than your target salary, using data to drive a reasonable and realistic request. When you do, your potential employer will feel in control because they’ll have room to bring you down, and you’ll remain within the entry-level medical sales salary range that you desire.
5. Know when to walk away and when to settle and accept
Your ability to remain confident in your worth is paramount to your career satisfaction. An employer who values your skills and experience will work through a respectful negotiation. If a potential employer won’t budge despite your research and clear arguments, and if you feel you’ve been flexible with your ask, stick to your bottom line and be prepared to respectfully decline the offer.
At the same time, knowing your limits along with your worth can help align you with the employer who best matches your career goals and expectations. Growth potential, company mission, and personal fulfillment can be just as valuable as your entry-level medical sales salary.
The biggest key to opening the conversation in a positive way? Approach the process with genuine humility. Be sure to lead with appreciation for the offer and excitement for the potential you see with the company.