Culture & Retention Recruiting

The No. 1 Thing That Will Make Medical Sales New Hires Stay

You’ve just brought a promising new medical sales rep on board. They’re perfect. You see them quickly connecting with co-workers, their passion is obvious, and within the first week, they made a sale.

It’s apparent they’ve quickly acclimated. You’ll continue to check in with them, but as for their new hire status, it seems they’re all set.

Until it all goes wrong and you can’t pinpoint the moment everything headed south. After about two months, you see their sales sparkle dull. This look is all too familiar and before you know it, they’ve handed in their two week notice.

Here you are — again.

Unfortunately, many employers miss a critical step during that new hire fight or flight stage. Even new hires who start out running need a soft place to land as they get their footing, discovering new challenges within the medical sales world.

This soft place to land is employer empathy. Before employers can help medical sales new hires effectively settle in for the long haul, they must understand them on a deeper level and proactively find new ways to connect and recognize their wants and needs.

Here’s how you can start giving medical sales new hires the empathy that will make them stay:

Understand them faster

It takes time to really understand someone. But if you take too long to learn more about medical sales new hires, they’ll become overwhelmed, feel underappreciated, and eventually move on.

Medical sales leaders need to understand in-depth information about new hires faster. It’s best to start by asking them more meaningful questions. Before crafting your questions, consider the times in your career when you were a new hire.

Put yourself back into each of those complicated and mixed feelings. Then, create questions (without assuming the answers) that you wish former leaders or employers would’ve asked you. Here are a few example questions to get your wheels turning:

  • What are your biggest concerns about this new role?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • What did you like least about or do you think inhibited your success at your previous job?

Bonus tip: Fill out an empathy map for each new hire to keep track of their feelings, fears, pains, and gains. This will help you look at the environment around them from their perspective to understand what needs to be changed to enhance their experiences.

Continue to be present

Most new employees feel welcomed and supported the second they walk through the door. Leaders and co-workers want to show them the ropes and ensure their success. This warm welcoming feeling all-too-often drops off after a few weeks. People get back into their own routines, leaving new hires feeling disconnected.

We live in a time when this type of communication drop-off will end a new hire-employer relationship quicker than ever. During the last recession, just a short of 10 years ago, medical sales employees were laid off (70 percent), couldn’t find a new job (74 percent), and couldn’t hit performance goals (65 percent), according to our recent report, The Truth Revealed: Is Low Unemployment Causing a Medical Sales Jobs Shortage?

With these fears still looming — and new ones brewing — employers must be empathetic to medical sales employees’ at all times. Decreasing your presence too soon will make new hires wonder what type of support they’ll receive when times get tough.

Give them tools for their success

Every medical sales pro has unique sales tactics, strategies, and needs. Generic sales workshops and packaged tools won’t help every rep reach ultimate success. The ultimate way to quickly facilitate a new rep’s success is to fully recognize their needs.  

From the start, ask them to lay out their needs — with no judgment from you. Open the door for them to discuss their own personal sales demons. What do they struggle with and what tools will help them overcome those obstacles? Where do they lack confidence and what training will increase it?

Show them your concern for the world around you

Medical sales reps don’t want empathy to begin and end with them. New hires want to stay with employers who focus on improving the world around them — not just the company’s bottom line.

The perception of business leaders, though, is declining in the eyes of many millennials, according to the Deloitte 2018 Millennial Survey. Millennial belief in business leaders’ abilities to improve the world around them is deteriorating. Survey respondents say they expect more from leaders and corporations — so now’s your chance to impress them.

Help new hires see what you and your company are doing to enforce positive change. Share corporate responsibility initiatives. Also, ensure you’re sharing every patient whose life has been positively impacted by the company’s products. Their stories and your company’s dedication to the bigger picture is what will solidify medical sales reps’ connections to your mission.

Bonus tip: Find out what your new hires are passionate about and show that you understand their desire for positive impact. Help them further their cause by sponsoring charity events, putting money toward a mission trip, or bonding as a team through volunteering together at the local shelter.