Breaking into Medical Sales Featured

7 Skills You Didn’t Think You Needed for Medical Sales

The most apparent sales representative skills include clear communication, energy, charisma, and tenacity. Those and many other soft skills have allowed various individuals to enter the medical sales industry, each with a different educational and occupational background. 

When it comes to looking for advancement in your med rep career, however, you may find that those soft skills aren’t enough. After all, your competition for a raise, promotion, or new job probably broke into the industry with similar credentials. 

That’s why you must harness those less obvious skills to stand out from the crowd and prove that everything in your background has prepared you for the forward progression. 

Here are seven sales representative skills that you may not feature on your resume but that you can use to your advantage for advancement anyway: 

Entrepreneurial skills

Entrepreneurial skills enable you to tackle your on-the-job performance as if you were managing your sales like a business. Having the background knowledge to manage customer accounts, understand how to interpret data, and master connections with clients give you a significant advantage in your position. 

Degrees in business and internships with business owners also tend to develop the ideal attitude for sales. You can point to those past experiences to indicate where your drive, dedication to hard work, and thirst for competition originate. Then, address how you have transferred them to your career in medical sales to establish your preparedness for advancement. 

Mathematical expertise

That math minor you pursued may not have seemed beneficial in the medical sales industry initially. But sales representative skills in mathematics can be powerful when applied appropriately. 

For one, numbers speak louder than words. Many of your customers will be more responsive to hard statistics than any pathos persuasion regarding your product. Therefore, knowing how to understand and use numbers to your advantage does wonder for your sales strategy. 

You can also harness this expertise for your personal growth in your position. Take the time to look at the data from your sales process. If you understand what those facts and figures all mean, you are in the best position to notice which parts of your strategy are successful or need adjustment. 

Scientific aptitude

You don’t need a formal education in science to show off your skill in this area when marketing yourself for a raise or promotion. Maybe you took a few AP science credits, and the knowledge has stuck with you. It wouldn’t necessarily be wise to put that down on an application without explanation. But, with some clarification, it can help you stand out. 

State that you have a knack for scientific concepts. It doesn’t take you long to pick up on a new idea because it expands on what you already know. Highlight how you retain information well, and you can explain it to others clearly. 

It’s not enough to demonstrate to decision-makers that you fully understand the complexities behind each product and how they affect the body. Also, indicate how this knowledge has allowed you to get customers to trust you and that you’ve been able to explain how it all works without overwhelming them. 

Independent learning

If you are one of many candidates without a background in science, other significant sales representative skills, such as independent learning, can make up for it. 

The Indeed Editorial Team recognizes that product knowledge is one of the most important traits for successful sales reps. But remember, if it takes you a time investment to learn the necessary features of a product and how it works, that’s not a disadvantage. 

Scouring the web for reliable information about chemistry, biology, proper surgical practices, and more essentially makes you a research expert. Supervisors can throw anything your way, and you’ll figure it out. 

Take ownership of that power. Unlike many other skill sets on this list, it’s impossible to teach someone how to teach themself effectively. Before anyone shuts you down for not having the word “science” on your resume, prove to them how much more valuable you are for being self-taught. 

These women in medical sales prove success isn’t about a degree!

Visual design

An eye for digital and visual design goes a long way to sales representative skills in action. In this case, proper certification is somewhat irrelevant, as your work and its results should speak for themselves. 

It can feel silly to say, “I know how to make things pretty,” in an argument for advancement, but it is genuinely a valuable skill that many lack. A 2018 survey by Presentation Panda revealed that as many as 45% of respondents have struggled with designing compelling layouts, 41% didn’t know how to incorporate visuals. 

Besides, an appealing presentation can make or break customers’ attentiveness in a sales presentation. If you can draw that connection, decision-makers will have no choice but to take that component of your eligibility seriously. 

Public speaking

Comfort with public speaking is similar to the benefits of visual design. Although sales representatives are rarely required to hop onto a stage and offer a moving speech, those necessary skills transfer well to medical sales. 

Suppose you’ve mastered the art of public speaking. In that case, that implies you can hook an audience and captivate their attention for a length of time, harness communication skills to guide listeners to the targeted mindset, and maintain your authenticity throughout. 

All of this experience should be evident in sales pitches and presentations. Done right, customers will trust you, want to be around you, and agree with you when you say that your product is the right fit for their needs. 

Social Media Marketing

It may seem irrelevant, but experience in social media marketing can improve your approach to sales. After all, it requires social media specialists to listen to their audience and provide content to which they’ll respond. While your sales interactions are over video call or in-person rather than digital, the same needs apply. With this background, you’re accustomed to understanding what an audience wants and needs, which makes you better equipped to stand out to customers in the medical field. 

You’re also better at branding because of it. Social media requires consistency with the company’s voice and values to help the audience understand the personality. As a sales rep, you represent the voice and values of your company and your product each time you meet with a customer. So it may not be evident on the surface, but the same skills apply. 


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