So you’ve done your research and you are confident that medical sales is the right career for you. But do you have what it takes to break into this competitive industry? And more importantly, do you have what it takes to be successful in medical sales?
You don’t just wake up one morning and go get a job in medical sales. If it were that simple, you wouldn’t be reading this ebook! Breaking into this competitive industry takes preparation, strategy, and persistence.
If you don’t currently have the sales experience and industry knowledge required by the job description, you will need to invest some time preparing yourself by interviewing or shadowing people in the industry and studying sales techniques.
But even this may not be enough.
The best way to prepare for a career in medical sales is to spend a few years working for a company with a formal sales training program. Once you create a documented history of sales success, you will be a very attractive candidate for medical sales. Of course, a few years selling copiers may not be what you had in mind as prep work, but if you are committed to breaking into the industry, this is a great way to start.
Once you identify the type of medical sales you would like to pursue, you should research companies that offer these products or services. Visit their corporate websites to find out more about them; they may even have job openings posted there. Look the company up on LinkedIn to see if you know anyone (or know anyone who knows anyone!) who works for them. Even if you don’t have any connections in common, you can still reach out to corporate recruiters online or by phone – just don’t become a stalker!
You can also research medical sales staffing agencies online. Most agency recruiters have public profiles on LinkedIn. They are usually very open to inquiries from candidates who have done the required prep work and are serious about breaking into the industry.
Niche medical sales job boards can also be critical in finding positions that match your interests. While many of these boards will charge candidates a fee, this is largely done to protect job posters from being overwhelmed with unqualified applications from candidates who have not done their homework. Consider this – if the same medical sales job was posted on Monster, the job poster would receive far more applications than they could ever hope to go through – a majority from people with little to no understanding of medical sales who simply see the salary range and decide to click "apply."
So while the fee on the niche boards may sting a little (especially if you are unemployed), consider it your entry fee to the relatively small pool of qualified candidates!
Once you begin submitting your resume and networking with industry insiders, you will need to develop a system for documenting your activities and follow up. A simple Excel spreadsheet can help you keep track of the companies you are interested in and the names of hiring managers and recruiters that you have emailed, spoken to, or left messages with. You should also keep track of when and where you have submitted your resume so that you will know precisely when to follow up with an email and then a phone call. This will help you stay focused and persistent (without becoming a stalker!). Also note phone interviews, face to face interviews, the date you sent a thank you note (and to whom), as well as any feedback you receive along the way.
A record of your activities will help you stay focused and easily see what steps should come next. If you have done all the follow up you can with your existing list of companies and recruiters, start searching for more to add to your list!