You did it. You’ve entered the exciting and promising world of medical sales. Now it’s time to get down to business and figure out how to reach your highest earning potential. Yes, most medical sales professionals love their job because they enjoy making a positive impact in their clients’ and patients’ lives — but we all have to pay the bills.
What annual pay rate do you think you can possibly reach? A look at the top earners in our 2016 Medical Sales Salary Report found 14 percent of the respondents earn between $200,000 and $300,000. An additional 4% earn more than $300,000. That means a total of 18 percent earn upwards of $200,000 annually. While these numbers sound enticing, a lot of hard work and effort went into reaching top dollar.
You can turn these numbers into your reality too, here’s how:
Kill it in the field
Making your way to the top of the chain is one way to reach a well paying salary. Our salary report showed VP/Sales Director as the highest paying position of $209,082 on average. However, those earning more than that actually work out in the sales field. In fact, 63 percent of those earning $300k+ are out selling every day.
If sales reps aren’t the big leaders in the companies, how are they earning more than VPs? Commission is where successful sales reps are finding their large pay days. When looking for a position in the medical sales world, it’s important to look for employers who offer uncapped commission structures. From there, focus on building client relationships and serving their needs.
Enter the OR
I hope you don’t get queasy easily. Some of the highest earning sales pros are going into the OR. Forty-one percent of those earning $200k+ actually work in the OR selling surgical devices and providing clinicians with product information.
Before spending time on the application process, make sure you have the right clinical background and sales experience to back you up. Research a company to learn as much as you can about the products and study the surgical procedures they’re used in — the more you know when walking into an interview, the more valuable you’ll be to employers.
You can’t create meaningful relationships with clients sitting behind a desk, talking on your phone and sending emails. You’ll find those who earn $200k+ travel 25 percent of the time visiting new territories, meeting new clients, and reaching out to current clients — no matter the location.
Let current managers or interviewers know you’re ready and willing to put in any travel needed to be successful. If a new territory pops up or there’s a new client in an unknown area, volunteer to be the rep for the area. Taking the initiative to travel out of your way to meet with current clients frequently will prove to them you’re there for their needs — not just when it’s convenient for you.
Keep at it
Sales success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build trusting relationships with current clients and build your list of new ones. If you ask the top sales earners for their most valuable piece of advice, they’ll tell you to stick with it. On average, those earning more than $200k annually have 12.8 years of medical sales experience.
Learning the deep secrets of sales can’t be done in a classroom — it’s all about field experience. Finding out your clients’ needs, the best time of day to meet with them, how they like to operate, and even connecting with them over your kids’ dance recitals is the best way to build yourself up to an improved paycheck.
There’s no doubt a medical sales job can be stressful at times, and it doesn’t always provide the greatest work-life balance. But if you’re ready to put in the time and effort — you’ll reach the $200k mark before you know it.
What advice do you have for those trying to improve their paycheck in the medical sales field? Let us know in the comments below!