The Killer Networking Mistakes Every Medical Sales Rep Must Avoid
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The Killer Networking Mistakes Every Medical Sales Rep Must Avoid

Networking is a crucial part of every medical sales career. Getting to know people who work in the industry you’re representing, as well as the one that you’re selling products in, is the key to your success.

However, it’s very easy to make mistakes while networking, ones that can have a highly negative impact on your career. Here are some of the most common errors, as well as ways to overcome them.

The Most Common Networking Mistakes

There are a number of networking mistakes medical sales reps make and some don’t even know it. These include:

Stop Judging

Being judgmental is among the most common networking mistakes. Whether you’re comparing yourself to someone and making yourself feel inferior in the process or you think the other people in the room are below you, being judgmental can prevent you from genuinely connecting with them.

Don’t be Quiet

You can’t actually network with anyone if you don’t speak to them. They won’t know anything about you other than your name if you don’t get into a conversation with the other people in attendance. Even if you feel uncomfortable and have issues with shyness or social anxiety, you’re going to have to find a few people to talk to in order to network successfully.

Uncomfortable Talk

There are several ways in which uncomfortable talk can quickly become a networking mistake. After all, there are topics you shouldn’t talk about in the presence of people that you barely know such as politics and religion. In addition, if you’re speaking with someone and they come across as rude or say things that make you uncomfortable, find a way to politely excuse yourself and find others to speak with.

Not Having an Objective

In a perfect world, you could have a conversation with someone and not have an objective in mind. Unfortunately, in order to network with others, you need to have a purpose.

This purpose won’t necessarily steer your conversation, but it will help you get to the point when needed. Before you enter the event, determine what your purpose will be and make sure it gets fulfilled. For example, meeting people or mentioning a particular product are good goals.

Not Fully Listening

It’s understandable that listening can be tricky when you’re in a room full of people who are all having conversations of their own. You might be tempted to listen in on what other people are saying or get distracted and stop listening to the person in front of you. However, this is a common networking mistake.

You want the person you’re with to feel as though you value them and this means listening to what they have to say. Otherwise, they might think you’re rude and you won’t be able to make that important connection.

Short-Term Approach

It’s common for more people to approach networking from a short-term perspective. They want to make that connection, utilize it immediately and then never think about it again. This is a common networking mistake. As it turns out, you actually need to think long-term when it comes to networking.

This means you want to develop relationships with the people you’re meeting that last in the long run. You want to actually connect with them and keep in touch with them. You don’t want to quickly get to know them and then disappear.

Never Following Up

In order to be remembered by the people you’re speaking with, you need to do some follow-ups. Otherwise, you’re making a networking mistake that will be difficult to overcome. The day after the event spend some time making follow-up calls or sending out emails, reminding them of who you are and what you discussed.

Not Keeping a Record

It sounds weird to keep records of the events you attended and who you spoke with, but these records can actually be a very valuable resource. After all, you might need to go back over the information someday, when the person’s name comes up in conversation or you have to use them as a source for something.


As you can see, there are many different networking mistakes that can be made by even the most experienced medical sales rep. In order to avoid them, you need to keep good records, talk to people, follow up on your conversations and know when to walk away when things get uncomfortable.

All of these things and more can help you successfully network with people who can help your career and since we all want to be successful, there’s nothing wrong with that!