Scientists, like Sir Francis Galton, began classifying personality types as far back as the 1880s. While personality classifications have drastically changed since then, one thing remains — there’s no “Sales Representatives” category.
But, why then, do we continue hearing, “Being in the sales industry requires a ‘certain personality’?” This stereotype is frequently thrown around and is quite dangerous. Yes, medical sales employees need an outgoing, personable demeanor, but that doesn’t define their entire personality.
Both new and experienced reps need to understand they can succeed in medical sales by allowing their genuine personality type to shine through. To do this with your own career, however, you must first fully understand your own personality type, what it means, and how to use it to your advantage when connecting with customers.
So, let’s get started! Below, we’ll discover your personality type and empower you to effectively and intentionally apply it to your medical sales career:
Who are you — really?
Describing ourselves is harder than it should be. Writing bios and even cover letters is often uncomfortable because talking about yourself doesn’t typically feel natural. Most people play it safe and stick with vague terms. For example, on a resume, you may describe yourself as energetic, approachable, and optimistic.
Those are all great traits for a medical sales rep to have, but they’re just scratching the surface of who you really are, what makes you tick, and what draws others to you. To effectively use your personality to connect with customers on a deeper, more meaningful level and, in turn, create the ultimate successful career, you must dig in deeper — and even get a little uncomfortable.
To do this, start by taking Truity’s free TypeFinder test. Set aside approximately 15 uninterrupted minutes before beginning. Most importantly, be honest. You may even have to stop and think about an answer — and that’s OK. The more you learn about yourself in these 15 minutes, and in reviewing the descriptions below, will only make you a stronger sales rep.
Start the quiz below. Once you’ve finished, continue on to find out how to use your personality type as the ultimate medical sales tool.
This brief research version of our best-selling TypeFinder Personality Test is designed to help you discover your 4-letter personality type code based on the system developed by Isabel Briggs Myers. At the end of this quiz, we’ll ask you a few survey questions about yourself, your life, and/or your opinions about things.
Medical sales personality types
As a medical sales rep, you’re constantly building relationships. So often, salespeople find themselves altering their opinions and personalities to align with customers’ needs. But what you’ll find is that putting yourself on the backburner makes it more difficult to create the meaningful connections you’re after.
Now that you’re ready to put yourself first, you’ll be equipped to cultivate longer-lasting, genuine relationships with customers. Let’s take a look at how your personality type can propel your career forward:
INTJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging)
INTJ personality types are often known as ‘masterminds.’ However, if you’re not speaking up about implementing the changes you find necessary, no one will ever see your ‘mastermind’ ways.
Show customers just how much you care by using your in-depth knowledge to solve their complex problems — even if they’re not directly related to your products. As you help them become, overall, more productive and efficient, their trust for you and your products will naturally grow.
INTP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)
As an INTP, one of the most important things to remember about yourself is how you recharge — with some quality alone time. In the medical sales field, you’re around people all day long. Give yourself moments throughout the day where you’re simply by yourself. No phone, no lunch dates — just you and your thoughts.
Then, when you’re recharged, take that ‘architect’ mind of yours and show customers you understand the ideas and concepts behind their needs and their patients’ needs. Map out how your product fits logically into their already laid out plans and how it will enhance either their system or patients’ lives.
INFJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging)
You’re not focused solely on the sale. Instead, your goal is to help others realize their own dreams, potential, and abilities through your products.
Put that creative, nurturing side to good use by planning out-of-the-box meetings with customers or their staff. If you’ve found out the nurses love hiking, for example, ask them to join you on a nature walk. Let them discuss whatever’s on their minds, then bring in product discussions during a casual, light lunch or dinner, at another time.
Once you understand customers’ and their patients’ needs better, help them envision your plan to treat or solve their main pain points.
INFP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)
It’s your empathetic idealism that catches people’s attention most. Allow yourself to make decisions at work based on the feelings and values stemming from your empathetic nature. Stop-in spontaneously to offer a client a handwritten thank you note or birthday card. Find out the administrative assistant’s favorite flowers and drop them off on your way into a meeting.
It’s small, genuine gestures like these that set you apart from others. This is especially true when it comes to listening to your customers. Let your compassion take control of the meeting. Read the room and let customers speak on whatever is on their mind at the time. Remember, not every meeting needs to be product-focused in order to make a sale.
ENTJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging)
Time alone isn’t something you need. In fact, your energy feeds off of time spent with others. Use this to your advantage by strategically planning your day to fit as many customers in as possible. Without overwhelming yourself, you have the ability to take command of every situation.
Do this by touching base with customers and sharing educational materials. List out each logical reason, fact, and detail about how your product will positively impact their patients’ lives. When they come back at you with hesitations, give into your detail-oriented side. Go find the facts and organize another plan to help sway their opinion next time.
ENTP (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)
You’re the visionary of your group and it’s time to let that shine. It’s easy to feel insecure when you’re surrounded by other talented and intelligent medical sales reps, but giving way to your innovative ideas is exactly what will take your career to the next level.
Lend a hand in the office when you see a way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a system. Do your research first, then let company leaders know the logic behind your innovative solution. The same goes for customers. Even if you see a way to fix something within their office that has nothing to do with a product, offer-up your opinion. Customers want to see you’re concerned with them and their patients as a whole.
ENFJ (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging)
Your teacher-like qualities are best put to use in teamwork settings. Think of your customers as part of your team — the most important part. Encourage their growth by offering educational materials on your products, industry trends, and other information that’s beneficial for their mission.
You also have a strong intuition about people — listen to it. Use this ability to read the room, understand where clients stand, and what their ultimate missions are for patients. Use this intuitive information to creatively position your product and show customers how it supports their goals.
ENFP (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving)
With an ENFP personality type, your success as a medical sales rep relies on ensuring you have a strong belief and passion in your product. It’s critical that you find a field and product that are consistent with your values. Once this is accomplished, your creativity and growth will expand, allowing you to be the best possible medical sales rep.
Discover what motivates you most. What products make you feel imaginative and truly inspired? Do you feel comfortable and able to be creative in hospitals or clinic settings? Allow your innovation and creativity to take over from there.
ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
You’re a natural-born protector and medical sales is the perfect outlet for you to ensure people are well-cared for and safe. However, your need for order and well-defined tasks means you’ll need to use the right tools to keep yourself balanced.
Ask leaders to help provide the structure you need to achieve small tasks and long-term sales goals. Use organizational tools that allow you to create daily tasks and give you the power to mark them complete. This will help you feel you’re accomplishing your duties, even in a world that’s as unpredictable as medical sales.
ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)
Your goals are based on creating aesthetically pleasing environments and experiences for people. This means to excel, you must first decide where you can be personally engaged in your work and surrounded by a pleasant physical workspace.
Consider, for example, the surroundings in a hospital or ER setting. The environment, in general, is hectic. Doctors in the ER are engaging with patients while you’re in the room, and the aesthetics tend to be displeasing. In your case, doctors’ offices are a better place where you can work one-on-one with customers and you have more freedom to create calming, creative experiences for them.
ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
You like a clear-cut path to solving problems logically. While this is a pro, it’s important that you use your meticulous nature to your customer’s advantage, not just your own.
This means, it’s OK to follow the protocols and do the paperwork, but be sure to gather as much information as possible in one meeting or call. You’ll be able to follow through on your end, feeling satisfied in completing tasks, without constantly calling on customers.
If the unpredictable nature of medical sales makes you feel disorganized, focus on the parts of your career that you’re in total control of on a daily basis. Keep your office space organized, always have important references and contacts available in your vehicle in case they’re unexpectedly needed, and give yourself a few moments of quiet time throughout the day.
ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)
As the ‘craftsman’ of the crew, you’ll excel in a technical, hands-on environment — like in medical device sales. In this type of environment, you’re more than a sales pro. Medical device sales requires you to also troubleshoot device issues and constantly be on the go monitoring your products.
ESFJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging)
Your interpersonal skills are what make you an ideal medical sales rep. Your power tool will be both in-house research and customer follow-ups. With these, you’ll be able to directly observe how your products are improving patients’ lives.
In turn, you can use these important details to weed out any uncertainty from customers’ minds. Help customers meet their needs by creating structured sales plans created specifically for each individual.
ESFP (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving)
Your exuberant love for life is contagious. In your career, it’s important to find that perfect balance between being the center of attention and allowing customers to take the spotlight. The best way to do this is to ensure you’re tuning into their needs.
Use your personable nature to show how you can relate to customers or even their patients. Then, sit back and let them share their own personal stories. As you connect on a deeper level, you’ll quickly see how you can solve their problems, hands-on.
Take it a step further and find ultimate success by becoming an advocate for your customers’ patients. Take their concerns and problems back to company leaders and the research and development team to further assist in their needs.
ESTJ (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
At times, people may have misjudged you as bossy or controlling. In reality, you’re simply trying to make sure everything is done properly and in a timely manner.
Let customers know your intentions are to ensure they receive products that are right for their patients. No matter what, stick to your instincts. Remain persistent and always fight for your customers. You’ll quickly gain their trust and be seen as one of their top reliable medical sales reps.
ESTP (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving)
Your adventure-seeking self will excel in the medical sales field by utilizing your quick, but logical reactions. Customers appreciate your flexibility and desire to immediately resolve their problems.
Put your quick-thinking to good use by presenting facts of the moment. For example, if customers offer objections, repeat the realities of their patients’ situations and give them facts, resources, and direct examples of how the product has resolved other people’s concerns.
Now that you’ve fully analyzed yourself, take a step back. Reflect on areas in your career that come easily to you and those that feel more draining. How do they connect back to your personality type? No matter what combination of letters you fall under, this type of self-awareness will help you continue to grow into a successful medical sales rep.