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Anyone in Medical device/equipment or pharmaceutical sales on here?

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So some of you guys know I graduated college last month and have been career hunting. I’ve really been looking at medical device and pharmaceutical sales with my background and was wondering if anyone on here was in the field or had any insight? So far I’ve had quite a few introductory video and phone interviews but nothing in person yet in this field.
 

Havanaaddict

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Well all I can tell you is if you get with the right company you can make $$$$$$$ My neighbor worked his way up to having a teem working for him and he makes even more when they preform well. And for years he works most to the time from home or on the golf course!
Good luck I am sure you will find the right spot! But like Nacho Daddy said an internship may be a good place to start. When I was young someone told me a great piece of advice "When you start a new job go find the oldest guy there and befriend him and you will learn more then you can absorb"
 

Boudie

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Sales is the one profession that 95% of the people in the business underperform. A great salesman has unlimited earnings potential, a great salesman has unlimited drive and ambition. A great salesman doesn't understand rejection.

I think the first question to ask yourself is "do you have the personality and drive to be a professional salesperson"?

A salesman can sell anything from rocks to automobiles. They have the ability to quickly develop relationships with people, identify a need the potential client has and offer a solution. It's a numbers game, the more people you meet the better chance you have to make the sale

I think the majority of pharma sales fall into the salesman catagory. They see a lot of physician staff, provide samples, literature and the ability to quickly develop personal relationships get them in the door. Time in front of a physician is limited


But don't confuse salesman. and sales engineer

A sales engineer is in a business that requires a deep understanding of a product or concept and the ability to educate and be educated by clients so you can help engineer a solution.

Medical equipment, tools and devices such as operating equipment, transplant and specialty high end drugs fall into the sales engineer category. You are educating and working with the top levels of hospital and clinic management and physicians. You are part of a team selling a high end product to a fairly small customer base. Professional sales engineers need to have a mutual respect relationship with their clients.

Understand what your oportunity is and decide if it is what you want and can be good at.
 
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Sales is the one profession that 95% of the people in the business underperform. A great salesman has unlimited earnings potential, a great salesman has unlimited drive and ambition. A great salesman doesn't understand rejection.

I think the first question to ask yourself is "do you have the personality and drive to be a professional salesperson"?

A salesman can sell anything from rocks to automobiles. They have the ability to quickly develop relationships with people, identify a need the potential client has and offer a solution. It's a numbers game, the more people you meet the better chance you have to make the sale

I think the majority of pharma sales fall into the salesman catagory. They see a lot of physician staff, provide samples, literature and the ability to quickly develop personal relationships get them in the door. Time in front of a physician is limited


But don't confuse salesman. and sales engineer

A sales engineer is in a business that requires a deep understanding of a product or concept and the ability to educate and be educated by clients so you can help engineer a solution.

Medical equipment, tools and devices such as operating equipment, transplant and specialty high end drugs fall into the sales engineer category. You are educating and working with the top levels of hospital and clinic management and physicians. You are part of a team selling a high end product to a fairly small customer base. Professional sales engineers need to have a mutual respect relationship with their clients.

Understand what your oportunity is and decide if it is what you want and can be good at.
I’ve worked in sales my whole life, since I was in middle school. 20+ years at this point, in some form or another. Even today, I’ve still always got a hustle mentality. Not everyone is cut out for it, and less than 1% are truly successful at it. The rest of the people are just “placeholders”.

“Sales Engineer” sounds made up. It’s like the nerdy guy who helps a sales professional with the technical jargon that no one really gives a shit about, but only want to talk about it to test your product knowledge.

I don’t care what you’re selling - timeshares, shoes, jewelry, vacation packages, solar, cars, or houses. You better be knowledgeable about your product line, passionate about what you do, and ready to go above and beyond the rest of the turds in the toilet bowl if you want to be successful. It’s all the same - listening, understanding a client’s unique needs, and providing solutions based on their input.

Everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be “sold”. I don’t care if you’ve got 3 high level graduate degrees or 3 hours at a community college. Everyone’s time is “important” - not a single one of us want to feel like we’re wasting time. Your job is to cut through the bullshit, make a friend, and offer a solution to their problem.
 
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Boudie

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The more expensive and complicated the product the greater the need for an engineer's attitude.

I don't believe a person selling automobiles is qualified or necessarily has the skills to sell passenger jets.

My advice to the OP, based on 35 years in business and healthcare communications, is to understand the difference between the skills required for the different opportunities in the medical field.
 

Rupe

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I’ve worked in sales my whole life, since I was in middle school. 20+ years at this point, in some form or another. Even today, I’ve still always got a hustle mentality. Not everyone is cut out for it, and less than 1% are truly successful at it. The rest of the people are just “placeholders”.

“Sales Engineer” sounds made up. It’s like the nerdy guy who helps a sales professional with the technical jargon that no one really gives a shit about, but only want to talk about it to test your product knowledge.

I don’t care what you’re selling - timeshares, shoes, jewelry, vacation packages, solar, cars, or houses. You better be knowledgeable about your product line, passionate about what you do, and ready to go above and beyond the rest of the turds in the toilet bowl if you want to be successful. It’s all the same - listening, understanding a client’s unique needs, and providing solutions based on their input.

Everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be “sold”. I don’t care if you’ve got 3 high level graduate degrees or 3 hours at a community college. Everyone’s time is “important” - not a single one of us want to feel like we’re wasting time. Your job is to cut through the bullshit, make a friend, and offer a solution to their problem.
This advice is spot on. I have been a professional salesman for more than 35 years at this point but like @jasonatjl have been "selling" things in one form or another going back to age 10. I have worked as a salesman, sales trainer, product manager and sourcing specialist over the years and am now the national sales manager for an industrial automation company.

I don't have a lot to add to the above since it is near perfect advice so I will just list some of the things I have learned over the years:

- Be sure to build a relationship first. People still buy from people and 9 times out of 10 it is from someone they like. Do your best to find a common interest and engage in conversation outside of what you are selling.

- Product knowledge is very important. Knowledge builds confidence and confidence leads to sales. Understand though that to really understand your products it will take time as you run across new situations and applications. True expertise will come over time.

- You must be interested in the product you sell and actually believe in it. If you think what you are selling is crap, it will be much harder to convince your customer.

- NEVER bullshit your customer/prospect. if you don't know the answer to a question they ask, tell them you will find out and get back to them. Then MAKE SURE you get back to them.

- If you ever mess up, admit your mistake and apologize. People will respect your honesty.

- Say what you will do and then do what you say. In other words, promptly follow-up on any promises you make and DO NOT make promises you are unable to keep.

- First impressions are critical. I began my sales life as a car salesman and was taught that you could make or break the sale in the first 15 seconds. Excellent advice.

- Be mindful of the Customer's needs. If your only focus is on making money from the sale you will be much less likely to make the sale. On the other hand, if you focus on the helping the customer, he will happily spend his money with you.

- Listen twice as much as you talk. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Be sure to learn what your customer's needs and/or challenges are and find a way to solve them with whatever you are selling. Truly listen to what he is looking for and find a way to help him instead of just rattling off some pre-rehearsed spiel.
 
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I don't believe a person selling automobiles is qualified or necessarily has the skills to sell passenger jets.
Why not? I could absolutely sell you or anyone else a $100M jet / boat / home / whatever, as could any true sales professional.

Just because someone works in the auto industry doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to speak on sales since the process is the same, just a different product knowledge suite.

You meet and greet, needs assessment, demonstration, and trial close. Sure, that’s oversimplified, but next time you interact with a sales consultant, I encourage you to if you can identify these steps in action while they’re happening. Like I said, doesn’t matter what the product is.

BUT, this is EXACTLY why almost all people can’t make it in sales. The perception of what we do, who we are, and how we make a living. It’s hard having people tell you “no” - most people can’t deal with the “constant rejection”. People don’t like the idea that your income is directly tied to how much they spend. But that service is INTEGRAL, and you deserve to make a fair living off being a subject matter expert in your field.

Understand, I’m not talking about these scrubs who live paycheck to paycheck, barely covering draw. Some people last 30 days, others maybe 2-3 years in a real sales job where you “live and die by the sword”. But those people never have staying power. All they do is dream about getting out of their sales job, onto some other job where they get paid an hourly or salary rate.

And that’s why sales is such a hard job; the world runs on sales - businesses can’t generate revenue without it, which means no money for employees, facilities, equipment, etc.

The majority of “clients” don’t care about the technical jargon, they just want to know why they should have it, why it’s “cool”, and how it fulfills their needs. They may pretend interested, but a client will tell you EXACTLY what it would take to “sell them” on your product, if you know how to ask.

The ones who do “care” aren’t generally the decision-makers anyhow - they’re just getting the information to pass onto the actual decision maker who’s stroking the check to make sure that whatever you’re offering “checks the boxes”.

Hats off to anyone out there in the real sales world - ain’t no such thing as a “guarantee” or a fixed hourly rate. And I’m not talking about those brochure jockeys, dropping off pamphlets and swag” like pens and Post-It notes.

Get paid what you’re worth, not what someone else tells you your worth. You don’t work, you don’t eat. You don’t grind, you don’t shine.
 
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Boudie

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You guys are taking this personal. Go back to the original post. He asked about the different opportunities in healthcare. A starter job for graduates has always been pharmaceutical sales. When you get out of school with a degree there where always two opportunities always presented to you at a job fair. Selling investments and selling pharmaceuticals. Pharma sales is not the same as selling high end medical equipment. A pharma sales person spends their day trying to convince nurses and physicians to recommend drugs or order supplies. Their territory may include hundreds of individual offices. This is the type of sales you are discussing. It is "SALES" your personality and drive make you successful. Large companies hire hundreds of sales people in a year and cull through them to keep a very low percentage.

There are also opportunities for a different kind of sales. Don't want to call them a Sales Engineeer, fine call them something else. But their customer base may be limited to scores of clients. What makes them succesful is their ability to engineer solutions. It's not necessarily a numbers game, it's a percentage game. Time and resources spent on making these sales is measured in weeks/months and thousands of dollars.

Do you guys serious think being a good pharma salesman gives you the skills to do a take off for a fire alarm system in a hospital?
 
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Thanks everyone for great advice, I will take everyone’s thoughts and advice and use them to the best of my abilities. I greatly appreciate every single one of you guys who commented. Today after a month and a half of interviews I received my first offer in which I accepted. Not quite exactly where I was looking to go but it’s a start in sales, it is in the water treatment industry so mostly water purification. It is a commission based position which originally I wasn’t crazy about but going to give it a shot due to the commission structure and leads given to you.
 
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