Advice from Tanya Hunt of BD
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.
Tanya Hunt started her journey in medical sales when she was just 23 years old. For anyone, jumping into a demanding field fresh out of college would be intimidating. However, after being hired by her current company, BD, as a sales consultant, she was immediately immersed in a training culture.
Even though Hunt studied pre-med in college, she came into the field with a minimal amount of knowledge about the industry and its products. But with determination, a willingness to put herself out there, and a strong sense of adaptability, Hunt is quickly building a successful career.
As a young female, Hunt knows the strong will it takes to make it in the medical sales field. However, it’s Hunt’s openness to being molded and desire to learn that gives her the skills to push forward.
Here’s her story:
Don’t let your lack of experience hinder you
Many medical sales recruiters are looking for experienced and successful medical sales professionals. This isn’t something that stopped Hunt from applying and finding a company that was right for her — one that values training.
There’s so much to learn when jumping into a new position or industry, so I’m very thankful I was able to join a corporation that provided a dedicated training program.
In fact, I was part of a new developmental program that expanded our learning beyond just sales. It included working closely with individuals in a variety of roles, such as marketing and R&D. This helped me understand the flow of the industry, and guided me to become a well-rounded medical sales professional.
Being young and lacking experience is challenging, especially in a world of difficult medical jargon. Going into a medical sales job at a younger age than most made me eager to learn. I emphasized my ability to be “moldable”, and BD taught me about their products and sales model without me having any preconceived notions about the industry.
Be open to change
From being interviewed in Orlando, Fla. to her first role in Chicago to a promotion in San Diego, where she currently resides, Hunt knows all about change. It’s this openness to change that has opened so many doors for her in medical sales.
Change is a fact of life in this industry, so it’s important to be flexible and try to embrace it. Whether it’s medical companies or healthcare facilities, everyone is looking to consolidate and cut costs. It’s important to be willing to go with the flow. Viewing change as an additional opportunity to grow, will make the job a whole lot easier.
I was initially nervous when I heard about the merger between BD and Carefusion, but I learned to accept the change and look at the positive aspects of it. In reality, you’re going to deal with change every single day in this field. Your days will be filled with unexpected hurdles, and it’s important to embrace that as early in your career as possible.
Put yourself out there
Before landing her first position, Hunt applied for several different jobs and went on countless interviews. Even if she wasn’t fully qualified for a position, she embraced the opportunity and was always striving to make new connections.
Put yourself out there! Ask thoughtful questions, and truly listen and embrace the knowledge you obtain from others. Network as much as possible. Many females have an innate ability to do this, so use it to your advantage. It can really help to propel your recognition and long-term success
Don’t let lofty qualifications stop you from applying for a position. If you can sell yourself for a role that you’re not quite qualified for, you will leave a strong impression on the company and individuals you interviewed with. Even if you don’t get the job, those connections will definitely be more inclined to want to work with you in the future.
Above all, Hunt puts a large focus on picking a company that’s right for you. She believes a company’s main goal is to hire valuable people and keep them. In her own experience, finding a company that offered training and mentoring to help guide her through the start of her career was key.
What advice do you have for young women hoping to jumpstart their careers in medical sales? Let us know!