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Medical Sales Reps Want Recruiters to Stop Making These Mistakes

Medical sales reps are often known as being overly focused on their commission checks. This notion of being money-hungry may actually be hurting your recruitment efforts. 

Stereotypes sometimes help us better understand a group. But by believing generalized traits of sales reps, you’re targeting candidates using tactics that aren’t actually appealing to them. In fact, 61 percent of medical sales reps say work-life balance is more important than high salaries, according to our 2019 9th Annual Medical Sales Salary Report

To attract medical sales reps and convince them to accept your offer, you need to push the stereotypes to the side and understand the simple but powerful mistakes that are killing medical sales recruitment. Here are the mistakes you need to stop making today:

You’re overly focused on money

Greedy Gordon. 

This is the type of sales rep who is motivated purely by money and will do anything to earn a top-dollar commission. That’s why LinkedIn has named ‘Greedy Gordon’ one of the most relentless salespeople stereotypes. 

Medical sales reps want to earn a healthy living, just like the rest of us. However, money is far from the top of their list. Only 11 percent of respondents in our 2019 salary report noted money as the most important factor in their jobs. Along with work-life balance, they said both career growth and job satisfaction are more important than money. 

Emphasizing money throughout the recruitment process takes away from other career factors that medical sales reps want from a company. Give them a glimpse of their earning potential. Then, build full-blown branding strategies around how they can build happy and healthy personal and professional lives as part of the team. 

Show medical sales candidates: 

  • How they’ll grow as professionals and advance their careers. 
  • What their day-to-day will be like. 
  • The aspects that will make them a satisfied sales team member. 

You’re not showing work-life balance

These on-the-go professionals are changing the way they work. Successful careers aren’t solely defined as positions of power and six-figure salaries anymore. Now, people are more focused on careers that provide opportunities for them to be successful in their lives, as a whole. 

This change in focus requires you to go beyond listing work-life balance as a company benefit. Reps need to see firsthand how employees are taking advantage of policies that encourage a healthy balance. 

Reach out to hiring managers or current medical sales reps to find out what work-life balance struggles reps have faced. Then, have them detail how a change in policies and leadership support helped them overcome the battle. For example, encourage them to share a picture on Instagram of them starting the workday from home because the company offers flexibility in how people work best. 

You’re not showing product impact

“I learned that I needed more than money very early in my medical sales career. I needed to be able to help people and sell a product I truly believe in,” shared Erica Karlson, director of sales at Coapt, in a recent interview with us. 

A career in medical device sales gave her the passion and proof of product impact she needed. In her line of work selling orthopedics and prosthetics, it’s easy to see a direct connection in how these products are changing lives. 

No matter the sales field you’re recruiting for, the impact of what they’re selling must be shown to sales reps early on in the process. Show how your product is valuable to patients through testimonials. Allowing patients to share their personal stories will make reps want to dig deeper into the value of your product before they’re even hired.  

You’re making them feel underqualified 

Years of sales experiences, years of direct medical sales experience, awards received, how many times they hit their sales goals — this is all important information. However, the way these requirements are presented in job descriptions can make candidates feel underqualified for a role. 

As a result, you’re losing highly-skilled candidates with growth potential early on in the recruitment process. Consider updating your job descriptions to show your company is open to candidates with potential and the right personality traits. 


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