Pharmaceutical Sales Secrets Revealed
By Pat Riley
"How do I get into Pharmaceutical Sales?" As a 6-year veteran
of pharmaceutical sales recruiting, I hear this question at
least 77 times a day.
Breaking into pharmaceutical sales is hard work. Throughout
life, you learn "life rules" like "respect your elders" and
"wear a shirt at the dinner table". Likewise, there are
pharmaceutical job-hunting rules/secrets. Only nobody has told
you them. However, I'm going to tell you a couple of my
secrets, but not all of them, because I still want to earn a
living in my industry of choice.
Speaking with a pharmaceutical sales representative or
district manager is probably the best way to break into
the industry. You want to build a relationship with
existing pharmaceutical sales representatives and
district managers for several reasons. The referral
usually carries more weight than a resume from any other
source. Second, they know the industry and might be able
to provide you with a list of contact names (i.e., other
sales representatives, hiring managers, or recruiters.
Working through recruiters and career jobs boards should
also be fully utilized to maximize your job search
Accomplishments are crucial to a great resume because
they articulate your professional performance or results.
Hiring managers use your past performance as a key
indicator to predict your future performance (i.e., if
you were a quota buster in your last position, you will
most likely be a quota buster in your next position).
Accomplishments should be objective, quantitative, and
measurable. Hiring managers like to see "dollars,
numbers, and percents" on your resume. Also, use bullet
points to set off your accomplishments. Do not bury your
accomplishments in paragraph form.
A pharmaceutical sales interview is like no other type of
interview. You must be prepared for the SITUATION, ACTION
AND OUTCOME type of interview questions. Situational
questions will be asked and your answers must include the
actions taken and the outcome of your actions.
How did you turn around a "hostile" relationship into a
I inherited an account that had our equipment in it ten
years ago. The equipment, billing process, and the sales
representative were horrible and now the clients will not
return my calls. He said he would never buy another piece of
" X " equipment.
First of all, I did not take it personally but listened, and
let him know I understood his ill will toward our company.
Over the next several months, he opened up to exploring how
our company had changed for the better. He allowed me to
explore his account's needs and demonstrate our solutions.
Ten months after taking over the account, I sold $$ worth of
equipment to this client.
Copyright (c) 2008, MedZilla, Inc. Re-print permission granted by MedZilla, Inc. http://www.medzilla.com/cgi-bin/redirect?experience
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