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No Experience, No Problem. How to Teach Anyone the Art of Medical Sales

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“Keep yourself positive, cheerful, and goal-oriented. Sales success is 80 percent attitude and 20 percent aptitude.”

Brian Tracy, author and motivational speaker, understands the importance of who you hire, versus what they’ve done. However, this isn’t the popular opinion in many medical sales recruiters’ offices.

Because medical sales is a niche market that requires a strong will and selling ability, you’re looking for the most experienced people for the job. Some people even say sales isn’t a teachable skill. Instead, it’s a natural talent.

I won’t argue; some people were born to sell.

But only hiring those with experience and a natural ability to sell stops you from nurturing the best hidden talents. Sales is a teachable artform, and with the right tools, you can teach inexperienced reps to reach beyond their sales goals.  

Here’s everything you need to know about teaching the art of sales:

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Medical sales wasn’t created in a day. You’re surrounded by people who started with no experience, worked their way up, and are now excelling in the field. Use them to your advantage when teaching new reps.

Pick their brains for what helped them start in medical sales without becoming overwhelmed. Whether it’s courses, mentors, or frequent meetings, design a flexible plan for incoming sales reps.

Remember, any educational plan needs to remain flexible because every employee will have their own way of learning. Some will need hands-on education, while others will want to catch up by reading or taking e-courses.

In addition to medical sales training, look for courses and situations that will help them with crucial soft skills. Every seasoned rep understands the importance of empathy, listening, and problem-solving while meeting with clients. However, those who haven’t been in a sales field before will need guidance.

2. Let them jump in.

Every salesperson has their own unique way of building relationships and closing deals. New reps need to be immersed in the field to observe various styles of selling. Allowing them to dive right in and watch other medical sales reps at work gives them the opportunity to assess their own personal qualities.

Ask a few of your current team members to take their new co-workers out on the road. New reps will not only see them in action, but also have time to pick their brains while travelling between clients.

After each assigned ride-along, have individual meetings with your new and seasoned reps. Let them both share what they observed from one another. Additionally, ask your inexperienced employee to explain what areas they need help in the most. This will help you create an actionable plan without wasting time and money.  

3. Put the right tools in their hands.

Every job has a learning curve. So don’t get discouraged if someone without a sales background isn’t able to memorize every product detail by week two. An employee with high selling potential but no experience may just need the right tools in their hands.

Create pricing cheat sheets to help employees get started and comfortable out on the road. For those who aren’t quite ready to present on their own, offer presentation templates. As they become more comfortable, encourage them to start putting the sheets away.

Confidence from company leaders is the best tool you can offer any employee. This is especially true for those with no selling experience. That’s why it’s important to have an open door and always express the importance of asking questions. The faster they get into their own groove, the faster they’ll be selling their way to the top.

What advice do you have for teaching inexperienced sales reps? Let us know in the comments below!

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