3. Which type of medical sales career suits your personality?

medical sales confidant

Your instinct may be to follow the money, but before you start chasing a big money medical equipment or software jobs, you should consider which type of medical sales job is best suited to your personality. A higher average sales price may mean higher commissions, but it usually requires a “killer instinct” to be successful. On the other end of the spectrum, a pharmaceutical sales rep or consumable sales rep requires a different skill set; these reps must be more focused on building relationships and educating providers than closing a sale.

Are you a “closer” or a “confidant”?

medical sales closer

Big ticket items such as EHR software and surgical lasers require a different type of sales person than smaller items such as wound care products or laboratory reagents. High end medical equipment reps and software sales reps must relentlessly pursue the sale. The high dollar products involve more decision makers so these med reps must be confident giving presentations and negotiating terms with C-level executives and other high level administrators, as well as physicians and surgeons.

Because larger purchases are made less frequently than smaller items, these sales reps are likely to move on from a facility once the sale is closed. For this reason, they are less focused on building relationships or “making friends” and are perceived as much more aggressive in their sales techniques than their friendly pharma sales rep counterpart. Pharma reps and consumable sales reps will call on the same physicians repeatedly, continually refilling orders or reminding them of why their product is better than another. They must develop strong relationships with their physician clients and not be viewed as overly aggressive or intrusive. They seek to be perceived more as a friend or confidant than a sales rep.

Of course, if your personality falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, a job in distributor sales or medical device sales may be for you. These items typically require both a strong selling technique and relationship building skills as they often require ongoing follow up with physicians to refill orders or to demonstrate how to use products.

These are generalizations of course, but it will hopefully get you thinking about your personality and how it might fit with the various types of medical sales jobs.

Software Equipment Services Distributor Products Implantable Devices Consumables Pharmaceuticals
Electonic Health Records (EHR) Imaging equipment Off-site lab or imaging Catalogue of products from a variety of manufacturers Sutures and stints Injectables Traditional
Patient Flow Lasers Billing/payroll Aortic heart valves Medical disposables Specialty
Billing Anesthesia machines Operations/repair Screws and plates Reagents Medication delivery
Practice Management Software OR Practice Management equipment Recruiting Silicon implants Wound care Biopharma

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