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Your Medical Sales Success Depends on Redefining Basic Communication Skills

Communication skills are the top requirement in job postings, according to a 2020 report from LinkedIn. There has never been a time in recent medical sales history that has challenged communication more. 

Because of the ways communication has changed this year, it’s more important than ever to get it right. Sharpen your basic communication skills to succeed in your medical sales job.

More than half of small business owners believe they will maintain increased remote working options for employees in the long-term, according to a recent survey from Intermedia. And with more permanent remote collaboration, the way medical sales reps communicate with their teams and clients must also change permanently.

While communication is a transferable skill, there are specific ways your communication must adapt in a primarily virtual workplace.

A year ago, communication included face-to-face meetings in the office, client outings, and networking mixers. Now, strong communication must thrive through email, video meetings, and instant messages. You must effectively use all of these virtual platforms to become a strong communicator in this environment.

The catch is, nearly everyone is rapidly gaining experience communicating in the virtual work world. To truly stand out when applying to medical sales jobs in today’s climate, you must take your basic communication skills to the next level:

Always assume good intent

One of the biggest challenges with written communication is that people will place what you’ve written into the context formed by their personal experiences. The way they interpret your message is not entirely up to you once you hit send.

To avoid miscommunication in a remote environment, you must go into any conversation assuming that your colleague has good intentions. 

For example, if you get an email that feels passive-aggressive, don’t assume that was the intended tone. And definitely don’t respond with your own passive aggression. Instead, pick up the phone and continue the conversation that way. Chances are, the sender did not mean to sound the way you interpreted them. 

Avoid miscommunication with clients and team members by diving deeper when you start to sense negative feelings.

Be transparent and timely

When you’re not meeting with your clients or team in-person, it can be challenging to make them feel like you’re sharing all of the information they need. As the environment and industry continue to shift, make sure you communicate with your collaborators as soon as things change.

Be upfront when you don’t have all of the answers. Both your clients and your colleagues understand that the current environment is volatile. Because the information you’re working with is constantly changing, you may not have all of the answers as quickly as you would have in the past. In these instances, just be honest. Make sure you communicate when you don’t have information in addition to when you do.

When in doubt, in a virtual environment, it’s often better to over-communicate. This keeps everyone on the same page when you can’t talk about a project in-person.

Be concise, personal

It’s easy to forget that you’re collaborating with a real person on the other end with remote communication tools. Even though instant messaging and team workflow tools make it easy to share information, you still need to remember to be personable.

Relationship-building is one area of communication that is made more challenging in a remote workplace. You must dedicate extra time to find opportunities to grow the personal elements of your relationships.

Collaboration tools are excellent for brief project updates, but medical sales reps must place additional effort on personal connections. Schedule time to chat with clients on video calls. Send your colleague an article you think might interest them. 

When you spend time on the individual parts, your collaborators will respond better to the impersonal back-and-forth when you dive into the work.


Ready to work on your communication skills? Check out these resources:

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