MedReps Women in Medical Sales
Women in Medical Sales

Top Women In Medical Sales: Be Bold, Determined, and Realistic

Women are outnumbered in medical sales. In fact, in the 2017 Medical Sales Salary Report, 70 percent of the respondents were men. In addition, the report found that women earn just 83 percent of what men do and that women make up only 30 percent of the respondents.

While this picture seems bleak, if you look for them, you will find highly successful women in medical sales. We’re talking to these professionals to find out what it means to be a woman in the field and what it takes to be successful.

After 25 years in the medical sales field, Heidi Kahn is no stranger to its struggles and triumphs. As a young job seeker fresh out of college, Kahn was determined to make her way into a medical sales career.

After approaching her doctors to find out the names of their medical representatives and cold calling reps to make connections, she continued being turned down for a lack of experience.

However, with determination and a strong will to succeed, Kahn found her way to success as a sales rep at Medline.

Here’s how she got there:

Be determined, but realistic

The road to medical sales success isn’t easy, but with the right amount of focus and determination, you can make it happen. However, you also need to be realistic about the amount of time and sacrifices needed to continue on in this rewarding career.

For me, it’s been about my customers and the job for 25 years because it’s part of who I am — it defines me. Dedication is key, and if you’re not fully involved or ready, it won’t work out for you or your clients. This means you have to keep pushing and moving on, even when sales fall through or the company makes major changes.

I often ask my mentees if they’re ready to give 150 percent of themselves seven days a week. This is an important question because it takes years to build relationships with customers and the more you’re in front of them, the more successful you’ll be. In fact, I just closed a deal that took me 15 years to build up.  

Don’t be afraid to show off who you are

Women in medical sales are often afraid that showing off who they are will set them back. Kahn has found customers and co-workers admire all that she has done as both a career and family woman.

I don’t see challenges specifically related to being a female. I think it’s actually a benefit. Customers see someone who is hardworking, has a family, and has been around for a long time and they respect my ability to multitask.

I even show off my family every year by sending out my holiday card — this will be my 26th Christmas card. My customers look forward to seeing my family every year, and I like sharing a piece of my life with them.

Find a quality company

Having the drive, determination, and personality to be a successful medical sales rep will only get you so far. You need a quality company with good people ready to back you up.

Go to a company with a great track record. Find a place with little turnover and where employees seem happy, have a good attitude, and aren’t complaining. If you find a place with high retention, it means employees are staying for a good reason.

The people within Medline have been the greatest assets to me and my career. Even though I’m out presenting and doing the footwork, I know I can go to them for questions, brainstorming, and support. If I need special pricing, or have a big deal to get ready for, they help me prepare so I can talk intelligently to my customer. The owner of the company has even been calling customers with me and is willing to help in any way they can.

Just go for it

Medical sales isn’t right for everyone, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Go for it. Healthcare is a great field, and you don’t know if it’s right for you until you try. There’s such a need because of the aging population, and it will always be around. If you love sales and think you can make a living of it, keep trying, persevere, and don’t give up.

What advice do you have for women in medical sales? Let us know!