There are many ways to get into medical sales. You can attend a special medical sales school, where you’ll learn relevant techniques and well-received lessons on how to sell devices, pharmaceuticals and more. You could also apply for jobs available at medical manufacturers straight out of college, hoping you’ll be one of the lucky ones called for an interview.
Looking for another option? You can always network your way into medical sales. How does this work? You’d be surprised at how effective this method is for making connections.
What is Networking?
Networking is the art of using your connections (or making new ones, as needed) in order to move ahead in an industry or even find a job. In this case, since you want to get into medical sales, you’ll need to get to know people who already work in the industry or have close connections with it. For example, you might want to get to know the sales manager at a pharmaceutical company or a scientist who works for the company. Then they can introduce you to others. The key to networking, above knowing how to use these connections, is how to make them.
Find Quality Connections
Not only do you need to find people to connect with, but they also need to be quality connections. What does this mean? You want to network with the people who can make a hiring decision or at least the ones who can influence the people in that category.
Sure, a receptionist might be able to get your resume in the pile to be reviewed, but they have little power otherwise. Someone who manages the sales team, however, has the power to put that resume at the top of the pile, as well as mention to the hiring team that they feel very strongly about that candidate.
Remember, it’s not just about who you know, but also what they do and how many connections they have. In order to network your way into a job, you need to know the right people: the ones with the power.
Discover Things in Common
Finding the right people to network with is only part of the job. Networking is about more than just saying “hi” and introducing yourself in the hopes the person will help you out. You also need to prove to them you’re worth knowing. If you find you have things in common with someone you want to network with, such as having attended the same college or spending time doing the same activities, then you already have something to talk about. The person will want to get to know you because you’ve proven you’re worth it.
Know When to Stop Networking
Another key to networking is knowing when to cease pushing yourself on people. Not everyone wants to network with you. They might be too busy to help or have other reasons for not wanting to assist you with your medical sales journey. No matter what, when they give off hints they’re tired of your presence, even if it’s virtual, it’s time to back off. The more you continue pushing, the more likely you’ll annoy them, which won’t get you anywhere.
If your virtual networking methods, such as LinkedIn, aren’t quite working, then it’s time to get to a conference. Conferences for the medical manufacturing industry tend to be held in hotels, complete with conference rooms full of posters, tables with information and more. Find a reason to attend, get some credentials and then spend time circling the room and getting to know people. You never know who you’ll meet.
Not only do the people who may recommend you for the job want to network with those who are qualified, but they also want those who are professional. No one wants to recommend a person who might embarrass them for the job. Make sure when you’re networking, even via text message or email, you avoid using slang and other words that are unprofessional. Also, remember you want to be on your best behavior and that means dressing professionally when meeting up to network in person.
Network Your Way into Medical Sales
You absolutely can network your way into medical sales, as long as you know how. It takes some work, but in the end, you’ll get the job you’ve been excited about for a long time. All you need to do is know the right people and work your connections gracefully.