Linda Hertz's Posts (148)

Sort by

Have you ever been in a place in your career or life where you just don't want to be?  Perhaps you are stuck in a job that is going nowhere, or maybe you are in a decent job, but it just isn't what you want to do in life?  It is difficult to transition to a new industry or job after one has built a 10 years career or longer in a particular occupation. You want to change and do something different, but that could present a significant cut in salary and starting at the bottom once again.  Does this sound like you or a loved one?

8294488856?profile=original

Without a doubt almost all people rethink where they are in life as they approach a mid-career point.  Some wish they could go back to college and start all over again and get a different degree or advanced degree to pursue an entirely different career altogether.  Others know they are in the wrong place and are miserable, yet when faced with the hurdles of changing careers, most will succumb to the status quo by putting their head down and continuing to plug away at a job and life they fell into or one they chose when they were a 19 year old Freshman or Sophomore in college. If this is you, then read on from someone who has been there and interviews people daily who face or have faced the challenge successfully.

It is with the wisdom of those collective souls I will share with you the 8 Steps to a Successful Career Change as you contemplate your own journey to a different and better life.  A midlife career change can be done!

If you have decided to continue on with this reading, I am assuming you are in the category of being dissatisfied with your career (or you are a spouse of one who is in that category and driving you crazy when they come home at night after a long day or week away at work!).   So first of all I must come clean and let you know the plain truth that I always tell my career clients,

Yes, a total career change could be a painful, even a VERY painful experience for you and your family. Yes, it will be scary. Yes, you and your family may need to make a sacrifice so you can make a career change, but if you make the changes now and do it right it can lead to rich rewards. Remember the old saying, No Pain, No Gain?  Focus on the gain while enduring the pain!

 

Those that are the most successful at transitioning to a new career have built a tight game plan.  First of all they have really dug deep into their own desires, wants and yes, intellectual abilities and skills.  If one thinks that student loans are risky for a new 22 year old recent college graduate, try on the risk level of a 33 year old married person with two kids to support or worse, a single parent!  You must reduce the risk level of your decision by understanding if you have the goods to be successful in attaining the additional education, as well as the demands of the new job. This is the just the beginning of building your career transition game plan, let's review the 8 necessary steps before you quit that day job!  I have written them in the order they should occur.  For example,  if you don't know number 1, then don't proceed to number 2.  Stay on the step you are on and work it out before you proceed to the next.

 

8294488299?profile=original

8 Steps to a Successful Career Change 

 

  1. Know Thyself, What do you really want to do in life?  What are your passions?  What type of work environment do you enjoy and why?  Identify what type of jobs or career would best fulfill those interests?  Can you intellectually handle the type of additional education that you may need to acquire for that new career?
  2. Family Support, Single people do not skip this section!  If you are married or living with a significant other this will affect their lifestyle and in fact, they may have to help bankroll your decision by carrying the full financial load for awhile or long while.  Single or married, it may involve moving back in with a relative (remember, I said this would be painful!). If your decision is affecting others, you must have their full support! 
  3. Know the New Career, Make sure you know if there are jobs for the career you are seeking and how much the starting pay will be and expected average income after 5 and 10 years. Is the job a growth position reflecting the future or a career that is at risk of going away or one of diminishing income.  
  4. Financial Plan, Work out the dollars and the numbers.  What are your monthly expenses, what is your household income or if living off savings, will it be enough to see you through?  How much will additional education cost to complete the program and project out the expected new income from the work you did in No. 3. Will you need to get a part time job while you go to school?
  5. Action Steps, By now this decision is becoming closer to reality and where your feet could be losing some of their warmth and in fact become cold feet!  A written action plan needs to be built with time frames for execution.  Make sure the time frame is reality and not wishful thinking; can you really complete that nursing degree or MBA within 2 years?  Build some slack into the action plan for the unexpected.
  6. Develop a Back-Up Plan, This is not an out-plan for not succeeding, but a plan if the money runs out or it looks like you need another year to execute your business plan.  In my case, when I started my business at the age of 49 with no income and a family of 5 to support, we had one year for me to make money in my new business or we would move, rent our house out to survive for one more year to either make it a go or go back and find work as an employee.  I am happy to say we never needed to do the back-up plan! The point is, we had one.
  7. Commit to the Plan, This could be the toughest step, this is where you re-examine everything again from step 1 through 7.  Everyone involved or who will be affected by your endeavor has to buy in and commit to the success of the plan and do whatever necessary to make the plan a reality.  It is a gut thing.  You are nervous and scared, but you decide to go for it come hell or high water; failure is not an option.
  8. Execute the Plan, You now have made the commitment and you know what and when things need to start happening.  So with all hands on deck, you take the plunge and execute your written plan. It's exciting, it's scary and it's exhilarating!  You are preparing to change your life and perhaps build towards living your dream. 

 

If you are thinking of a career change and feeling the sacrifices may not be worth the pain, then I must encourage you to have one other thought; if you don't do anything, you may be in the same place, same type of job with the same feeling of discontentment another 5 to 10 years from now or worse, until you retire.  On the other hand, if you just can't commit to doing what it takes, then don't.  Without the true commitment to do what it takes to succeed, you are surely setting yourself up for failure; a failure of truly trying to create the life you want and deserve.  

 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz Follow me on LinkedIn and on Twitter and join us on our FaceBook Page

 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today! 

Read more…

8294489076?profile=originalHi Linda,

I'm interested in getting into pharmaceutical sales and have the following qualifications:
1. B.S Biochemistry
2. CNPR Certified
3. Over 2 years of direct sales experience

Recent coursework with credits and certificates (will add to brag book) in the following:
1. Medical Terminonlogy
2. Pharmacology
3. Physiology

Some things that concern me are the following:

1. The sales experience is not Business to Business nor is it in a medical field.

2. I do not have awards for my sales experience because we are instead given more hours and small cash bonuses ( so nothing to add to my bragbook to prove my sales numbers)

3. I only have just over the minimum number of years in sales experience (just over 2 years)

4. I don't have a criminal record nor a DUI , however my credit score is bad due to outstanding debts from credit cards ( over 4 years ago now ) . I do not have a bankruptcy or any leins against me but it did show a negative credit history. 

5. My undergraduate GPA was not too high. I will not be including my transcripts as part of the brag book as it will potentially reflect negatively on me although it is from 6 years ago.

If all this means that I am only suitable for an entry level position I am perfectly okay with that.

Eric

REPLY: 

I have truncated your question for publishing, but I appreciate the other added detail you included in your original email.  In short, as everything stands currently in your life, it would be difficult for you to attain an entry level pharmaceutical sales position. You mentioned your undergraduate GPA was from 6 years ago, which would indicate you are not a kid out of college, but still early enough in your career to get on the right track.  I also applaud you for doing your homework, you appear to know the basics of what a pharmaceutical company (or medical device company) looks for in top notch candidates.  At this moment, you don't have it.  That said, you still have time to do what is necessary to make some changes and to start quickly!

Let's start with the most important changes you need to make right away.

Start Fixing Your Credit History

As you had mentioned in the original email, many medical device and pharmaceutical companies issue credit cards in your name via the company credit line. They have to pay the bill if you don't! In addition, you will be responsible for an overall travel expense budget that you must live within. Bad personal credit would be an indicator to a company that you would be a risk. You must begin immediately on getting this corrected. I personally love Suze Orman's advice (I understand some people are not a fan, but it has worked for my family for years).  Start with her article, The Best Moves to Boost Your Credit Score. You mentioned your bad debt was four years ago, but if your score is still low, you may need to hire an expert who can identify what you are currently doing or haven't done yet to get your score at an acceptable hirable level. 

Get the Right B2B Sales Job

You already know that your current job is not a "business to business" sales position and on top of it, not providing you sales rankings or annual sales performance awards. In addition, I would add that a B2B company has to be recognized by the medical sales industry as one that provides an EXCELLENT SALES TRAINING PROGRAM. I highly suggest your next career move is to find an outside B2B Sales job with a top tier company that provides all those attributes. I have written many articles detailing the B2B Outside Sales Companies we value (follow the link to my blog string on this topic); ADP, PAYCHEX, CINTAS to name a few. You must be aware that that your credit situation could hold you back on these openings as well, so work on that first!

I would not be concerned about your grade point at this stage of the game (yes, it is important and I do ask the question on my entry level or break into device sales openings when I get them), but if you don't have good grades then work with what you do have. Don't bring up your grades unless asked. If asked, then think of reason's why the grade point was "not too high" and perhaps understandable; for example If you paid for all or a large portion of your college expenses, you worked your way through school and graduated within 4 or 5 years or etc.,.  Remember, you have a BS in Chemistry, that is a tough major! Make sure you emphasize the difficulty of the major. Certificates are not important, just nice fluff.  So work on what matters and begin immediately turning around your credit rating and interviewing with the right B2B sales companies. 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz Follow me on LinkedIn and on Twitter and join us on our FaceBook Page

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today! 

Read more…

8294488689?profile=originalMy name is Derek and I have a very sincere and specific question for you. I'd like to explain to you my situation so the question comes off more clear and precise. I'm a 21 year old college student that is double majoring in sales/marketing. My freshmen year of college, I was striving to become an ER nurse, but changed directions the following year. I went into business, but knowing how competitive and social I am, I decided on sales. I reached out to any and all medical device sales reps that I could possibly reach (15+) of all different companies. Finally, I caught a massive break and was brought on board as an employee of a global medical device company.

I'm working alongside and getting mentored by a very accomplished manager within his distributorship. So for a year and a half now, I've been getting firsthand knowledge, and hands-on experience within this extraordinary field. I've marketed out to tons of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and podiatrists to try and schedule a lunch for my manager and I to attend on the hope of opening more new accounts. I attend every and all lunches I schedule and have had the opportunity to speak with surgeons pertaining to our product-- which is a bone growth stimulator. I have gone to over 30 patients homes to individually fit them with the bone growth stimulator along with educating them on the device. I too have experienced a conference for advanced technology among new scientific studies for my company. With all this being said, I've done just about everything a medical device sales rep does on a daily basis, except being in an OR room as our product is not used during surgery.

My question is, with all of this experience that will equal 2 years by the time I graduate this upcoming year, would I be able to apply to a big company such as Stryker, or Medtronic and have a real chance of really being considered for the position? Given that my age will be 22, I will have a bachelor's degree with a 3.65 accumulatedk GPA, and 2 years of hands on experience in this field, would I be a serious candidate compared to someone older than me and only having B2B sales experience? Thank you so much for taking the time to real all of this. I hope to hear back from you!!

REPLY:
Thank you Derek for your question. As I understand it, you have worked in more of a sales support function for a medical device company. You mentioned that you are perhaps working for a person who owns a distributorship. If that is the case, they would be distributing products for a medical device manufacturer and they have the rights to resell the product or services the product provides. In addition, the type of product you mentioned, bone stimulation, is a product that is sold to or marketed to patients via Physician offices directly (as you mentioned neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists). It appears you are conducting sales support activities vs. responsible for selling the products to the doctors by yourself and making commission. That is all great experience, but it is tough to compete for openings at the Medtronic and Stryker (top tier companies) with just that background and especially for a position where you would be assigned your own territory against a solid B2B sales person with usually 3 to 5 years outside sales experience (which most of these jobs, if they do accept B2B background, minimally require WITH top President Sales Awards). That said, there still are other ways to utilize your great work experience to build into those type of positions upon graduation!

3 WAYS TO BREAK INTO MEDICAL DEVICE FOR A NEW COLLEGE GRADUATE

  • Apply for Associate Medical Device Sales Positions; These position do require 1 to 3 years of outside sales experience and yes, they prefer medical sales background people, but they may just give you a break since you have been in a sales support position with bone stimulators. I went to Stryker's Career Portal just now and found an Associate Sales Opening in the Spine Division posted and this is their background requirement (note the minimum is 1 year in an outside sales role and they may be willing to accept your background as equivalent or even bring you in-house first in an inside sales capacity first):

From Stryker Associate Sales (Spine Division) actual job post:

"Education & Qualifications • University Degree - B.B.A. or B.A in business with an emphasis in marketing or health related discipline, Science, Kinesiology. • 1-3 years in an outside sales position (medical related fields is preferable) • Internal applicants with an equivalent combination of education, experience and performance over time at Stryker will be considered"

  • Apply to Second Tier Medical Device Companies for an entry level sales job BUT you must make sure they have at least 4 things or walk away: 1) a solid formal sales training program (one that is at least 2 to 3 weeks long that includes solid customer needs based training and best if they pay for a third party to administer it like Integrity Selling Program or equivalent), 2) assigned your own territory with 100% responsibility for all sales into that territory 3) sales rankings provided and top sales awards (like a President Awards) and lastly, 4) the company is a medical device sales manufacturer not a medical distributor.

  • Break Into Medical Device Sales via the B2B sales route with a top tier company we suggest (please follow the links I have inserted throughout this reply so you can see more specifics from my older articles), BUT I feel that this route should be your last resort given your current medical sales experience.

You have worked hard Derek for your degree while working in the industry you desire and I applaud you for what you have accomplished! I suggest using that same desire, self direction and fortitude to use approach number one above and search through every medical device manufacturer that offers an Associate Sales Position or even possibly an Inside Sales Position that has a direct career path to be promoted to an Associate Sales or even Outside Sales Role.

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

Recruiters Dump Resumes with These Stupid Mistakes

8294488457?profile=originalAre you applying to many jobs with your resume and feeling an eerie silence? Is it almost like you are throwing your resume into a black hole? Well, that may be exactly what you are doing if your resume reflects these often seen, but not spoken, resume mistakes.

Recruiters have to open hundreds of resumes a day from multiple sources like LinkedIn, Indeed.com and MedReps feeding into our email box.  We open each resume quickly and give most resumes a very quick 2 to 3 second look before a quick dump.  Those resumes that get a quick dump are often due to stupid mistakes on the resume:

STUPID RESUME MISTAKES

  1. No address at the top of the resume (sorry I am not going to figure out what city and state you reside in)
  2. Misspelled words (plural, meaning more than one) throughout the resume
  3. Non-professional resume template (someone free forming a resume on a word doc)
  4. Resume written in reverse time order sequence (putting their oldest job at the top of the resume vs. current)
  5. Resume written in the first person (ie: "I did this, I did that, I want a job that...")
  6. Using a resume template that is corrupted or is not in standard Word Doc format (preferred) or PDF
  7. Putting your picture on the resume (unless you are applying for a modeling job!)
  8. Failing to put your Educational level upon the resume (Degree, Certificates, Training programs and etc.)

In general, hiring companies that recruit candidates for high paying business and clinical openings expect to hire "smart people" and if the resume is not smartly written than that is the message being sent to the recruiter: the candidate is not that smart! 

I do realize some candidates do their research and can do an admirable job with a professional resume template, but most really don't.

I often ask candidates who send me a resume with one or more of the 8 Stupid Resume Mistakes (one of the few I may call for whatever reason),

8294488282?profile=original"Why didn't you hire a professional resume writer?"  

The answer always astounds me, because it is nearly the same.

"I didn't want to spend the money."   

My question to them and resultant answer is always the same.

"You are applying to a job that pays well over 6 figures and you didn't want to spend the money that could help you attain that job?  How could you afford NOT TO hire a professional resume writer?"

First and foremost paying someone to write your resume is an investment in your career and ultimately your future. You invested in a a college degree for the same reason's for far more money than a resume writer. A good resume writer will highlight your work experience and focus on your accomplishments in a professional format. If you have the talent to pen your own resume, please make sure you are not providing a resume with one of the 8 Stupid Mistakes upon it. Lastly, one must be careful selecting an industry resume writer (for your industry and type of position), but a good one could make the difference between getting an opportunity to interview or never getting the initial call! 

Disclaimer: I am not a resume writer nor am I promoting any one individual.

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

Will a Recruiter Help You Get A Job?

8294487878?profile=originalAs an Independent Recruiter, I know a Job Seeker is going to have a rough time finding a job if he sends me an email like this:

  • I just lost my job and I need a recruiter to help me find a new one, when can I talk to you?
  • Your lucky day!  I am a top sales candidate and here is my resume so you can find me a job.
  • Please call me, I want to discuss my resume with you for your openings.
  • I emailed you before, I want to tell you what type of job I am looking for.
  • Please help me get a job.

The answer is yes and no. We can help you find a job in a sense, but not with this approach and not in this way. These Job Seekers just don't get it! Let me share why and also save you a lot of time and increase your effectiveness at conducting your job search. I promise I will make it short and perhaps not too sweet (sorry). 

8294488091?profile=original

Recruiters have a job opening, much like an open hole on a childhood play workbench, we get rewarded when we find the right peg for the hole. So we are not searching for new holes for the peg, we are searching for new pegs for the hole that will be a fit. We get paid when we find that peg, because the person who owns the hole is paying us to fill it.  Simply put, Job Candidates are Pegs and the Job Opening is the Hole.  

I bet about now you are thinking, "Yes, and that must be why a lot of recruiters are A-Holes!" Sorry, but I could not resist and this article is not going to be published on the MedReps Ask Linda Column now for sure! Seriously, I get it. Those darn recruiters are not calling you back and just plain unresponsive!

I will share a recruiter secret I learned many years ago when I first opened my recruitment business from a very tenured recruiter at the time. This is what he told me and it will help you understand why you are wasting your time asking a recruiter to help you.

"A recruiter will go broke trying to find a job for a job candidate and you will also go broke talking to candidates you have no job for currently."  

In fact, I must give credit to this recruiter for the "Job Seeker is the Peg and the Job Opening is the Hole" example.  He was the A-Hole I got it from! Can you tell I am having a little fun with this article?

Over time I got it and I became an A-Hole too and I also stayed in business and prospered!  In addition, I have found a great number of Pegs a lot of Hole's they were a perfect fit for over the years.  So simply and sweetly put, 

Just send your darn word doc resume to the recruiter and merely put in the title "for current or future openings." That's it! 

Trust me, recruiters will call you if they have an opening that is a fit for you, because they are trying to fill that hole to get paid by their hiring client. In this way a recruiter can help you get a job as they try to make their own living. (additional articles on working with recruiters)

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294487652?profile=originalDear Linda,

Currently,  I am employed as a pharmaceutical sales rep (PSR) in Europe, in Germany to be more specific. I have over 15 years of experience in the field. We are in the process, my husband and I of moving back to the states  and I would like to continue in this profession, even though I don't have a bachelors degree. After some extensive research, I came across your website and believe this may help me during this transition. 

Would your recommend, I obtain the CNPR Certification?

What option would you suggest, or better yet how to I enter the US market, with my background? 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Nicole H.

Hello Nicole,

Your overall question is a tough one, "How does one transition from an overseas pharmaceutical sales job to a USA based pharmaceutical sales position?"  My experience is very limited on international job transitions in regards to the pharmaceutical industry so I decided to reach out to my long time contact and medical sales industry expert, Pat Licata, with 37 years of pharmaceutical and medical recruiting expertise who places direct and 1099 medical sales forces within the USA. 

8294486874?profile=originalThis is what Pat Licata had to say about the overall job transition strategy

I will tell you from my experience that career transitioning from an internationally based pharmaceutical sales position into the USA marketplace is a tough one.  The best route would be through a contract sales organization, like an inventiv HealthorPublicis Touchpoint Solutions.  You will not make as much money, but it could be the transition vehicle you need. It also opens the door for a possible opportunity to be hired directly by the company that has contracted the CSO (Contract Sales Organization).

Pat's additional job hunting tips:

  • Send your resume for sales openings to a CSO that require your clinical expertise.

  • Join LinkedIn and become a member of pharmaceutical sales and pharmaceutical sales recruiter groups to connect and  network with sales reps, sales managers and  recruiters in the pharmaceutical and medical space.

  • Utilize LinkedIn to share who you are and that you are searching for an opportunity in pharmaceutical sales and ask for help. I find LinkedIn members like to help and will refer you to other sales reps, managers and recruiters.

  • Sign up for www.ziprecruiter.com to expand your reach with pharmaceutical sales opportunities and you can also send your resume to hiring sales managers or recruiters.

  • I Invite you to join www.patlicata.com where reps can sign up for job alerts which will include direct and 1099 medical and pharmaceutical sales opportunities (sorry for the self-plug, but it may help you!).

  • Persistence and building a network of relationships in your market will help you today and for the next steps in your career. 

I thank Pat for her insight and I might add, that if your company is an international company, that the easiest route could be an internal international transfer within your own company or seek employment to a different international division of your current company.  I personally was involved with this type of situation when I was a RVP at Smith and Nephew (it can be done).

What About Those Pharmaceutical Sales Certification Programs? 

As for the answer to your other question as it concerns obtaining a CNPR Certification or ANY type of Pharmaceutical Certification Program. These certification programs are OFTEN a waste of money and effort, and can actually be a deterrent from pharmaceutical companies considering you for hire.

8294487673?profile=originalPat Licata summed it up very well:

All of these pharmaceutical certification programs are of no importance to my hiring clients. Five years ago, I reached out to multiple managers at high levels and field managers within their pharmaceutical companies, providing them a list of all the certification programs available. None of these executives recognized or valued outside certification programs.

Even now, I question whether these programs are valued. In fact, my pharmaceutical sales executives said that a company who is hiring will want to train the reps. If anything, they have to un-train sales representatives who have utilized these certification programs.

Pat Licata, with 37 years as a medical recruiter, nor I, with 36 years of medical industry experience, EVER received a hiring client request for a Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Certification trained candidate. NEVER. So we suggest not wasting your time and money on any type of certification program until you do YOUR homework to make sure it is a hiring requirement by the company:

  • Utilize LinkedIn and reach out to the Hiring Companies employees for verification of their hiring requirements; Human Resource Department, District Manager and Pharmaceutical Sales people.
  • Go to the hiring company’s website and read their pharmaceutical sales job post and see if a Pharmaceutical Certification is required or even preferred on the description.

Again, we suggest people who are still interested in these certification programs to do this type of research on their own and come to their own conclusions. You can view an earlier blog where I addressed the very same subject Do I Need Certification to Get Into a Pharmaceutical Job?

No College Degree? There Still May Be A Way!

8294487694?profile=originalLastly, on the topic of not having a 4 year college degree.  Unfortunately with mid-range to large pharmaceutical companies that is a "must," and also usually combined with previous pharmaceutical sales experience.

Pat also added, "Some small companies and  1099 pharmaceutical or medical sales groups will review the candidate for related clinical sales expertise without having current customer relationships or a 4 year degree."  So perhaps your current 15 years of pharmaceutical experience would help you with these smaller players in the pharmaceutical industry.

In addition, Pat mentioned it would be good to place upon your resume any other languages, beside English, you may be proficient.

Pat and I wish you all the best in your quest to transition into the USA Pharmaceutical Industry.

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294486893?profile=originalWhat are medical device companies looking for in a candidate?  How can I shine during the interview? I need answers now and I just want to break into medical sales, but how? These questions and more came streaming into the top healthcare job website in our industry, MedReps.com, this past week and people want answers quickly!  

MedReps.com contacted me requesting that I change my Ask Linda Column approach from answering one question with a very long answer, to getting pithy with it and handle many questions with brief answers in one article. They said I had to think differently. Gosh I hate change, but boy do I love a challenge!  

Welcome to the Ask Linda Lightening Round!  

1)  What are medical device companies looking for in candidates?  

Each medical device company has something unique to their job and culture they are seeking in a job candidate, but there are some common themes that prevail amongst all:

  • The Basics, a 4 year college degree.
  • The right work experience, the resume reflects the companies MINIMUM job requirements.
  • Solid tenure (no job hopping), staying at most jobs for at least 3 years and no more than 3 jobs the past 7 years.
  • Top Job Performance, top sales awards, rankings and/or promotions within the same company.
  • Excellent communication skills (listening, answering questions succinctly with authority and on point).
  • Looks the part, professional appearance (dress and grooming).
  • Personable and a team player.

2)  What are some of the biggest challenges medical device companies face when recruiting sales people?  

  • The number 1 issue is finding Millennial Candidates who will stay at a job longer than a year or two!
  • Finding successful top sales performers who have the proof of their success (rankings and awards).
  • Finding people with grit who handle adversity in their work and grind it out to a successful outcome.
  • A tight job market right now where we have more jobs than qualified workers (low unemployment rate).

3)  What is the best way that candidates can differentiate themselves to shine in an interview? 

  • Do your homework on the company, the product, the customer's they service, their mission statement.
  • Do your homework on the open position and know who and what they are looking for in the right candidate.
  • Know what you bring to the table in comparison the right candidate the company is seeking.
  • Do your homework on the person conducting the interview utilizing LinkedIn (their career history and etc.).
  • Follow up, Follow up and Follow up with a sense of urgency to all requests by the company and recruiter.
  • End each interviewing by displaying your high interest, highlights of what you could bring to the company as discussed and agreed upon during the interview and ALWAYS ask if you are moving forward to the next step (or asking for the job if a final interview).
  • Always email a well written and thoughtful thank you note immediately afterward to each person that took time to interview you (no cut and paste generic thank you notes, make each unique and specific to the discussion!). 

4)  What’s the main piece of advice you would give someone wanting to work in the medical device industry?

  • It is difficult to break into the medical industry, most companies desire a very specific work history and background.  I highly suggest reading my Breaking Into Medical Device Blog String on this topic.
  • Do not quit a job unless you have a job lined up (never!).
  • If you lose your job NEVER take an extended period of time off, get right back in and job hunt for your next job.
  • Never give up, keep networking and become a master of how to utilize LinkedIn to further your search.

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

11 Tips on Mastering the Phone Interview!

8294475652?profile=original

Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Sales companies often require phone interviews with someone from Human Resources and/or the direct report hiring manager before granted a “face to face” interview.  This is a make or break step in the process of getting a job and it can be very limiting to your ability to making a good first impression.

Unlike a face to face interview, that is a multi-sensory interaction allowing the candidate to make a great impression a number of ways, the phone interview becomes very limiting. The phone interview limits the first impression to primarily auditory (other than a resume and perhaps a LinkedIn profile visual). Most Job Candidates do not realize that this really changes the entire playing field!

In any game, you must understand how to prepare yourself and your environment to optimize your chances to win. For example, top tennis players know the skill differences needed to play on a slow clay court vs. a fast grass court. Clay courts take away most of the advantages of a big serve, much like a phone interview taking away the visual advantage of “The Dress for Success” impression of the interview!

So how do you play the phone interview? The two most important ways are optimizing your interviewing environment and doing in-depth research on the company, the job opening and the interviewer.  It all comes together with just 11 tips on mastering the phone interview and ultimately helping you get to the face to face interview.

 

PREPARATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT

 

You want to make your environment comfortable, yet will psychologically still feel like a “work environment" helping you get the adrenaline going to maximize your performance and get you into your “work mode." I highly suggest not sitting in your robe with your fuzzy slippers, slouched on the couch with a martini swirling in your hand while you are interviewing.  

 

I have conducted many phone interviews and I can always tell when a Candidate was in an “overly” relaxed environment, even if they were just slouched on a couch. If I felt this was going on I would casually ask where they were and how they were situated and bingo, I was right most of the time. Now obviously some of these candidates incorrectly considered the interview “a chat” vs. a critical step in the interview process. I am sure most if not all of the job candidates would be utterly surprised to know that I could tell how they were physically situated for the interview (even if they were merely slouched in a chair).

 

The job candidate that will always stand out to me went beyond the mistake of just slouching in a chair and took phone interviewing mistakes to the next level. I once had a candidate who had burped several times during the interview. I finally asked him if he needed a drink of water even though I strongly suspected a drink of water was not what he truly needed. I was more surprised by his reply, “Oh no problem, I am actually relaxing with a beer while I am talking to you, since it is almost the end of the day. I am sorry, I probably should have waited until after the call!" By the way, I was conducting this interview at 3:30 in the afternoon when I WAS THE HIRING MANAGER for a medical device company! I cut the conversation short so he could continue on with his happy hour without being granted another interview step. 

 

Now obviously it was not difficult for me to spot the people who have started their “happy hour” during the phone interview, but you would be amazed how subtle environment changes do make a difference. Professional hiring managers (and Human Resource Managers) conduct these interviews all the time, we can tell when your body is in a reclining position or when you are distracted (even the slightest). Remember, what an interviewer hears is magnified many times over since there is no visual to distract them, every tone or sigh is picked up and amplified in meaning (positively or negatively).

RESEARCH THE COMPANY


Do research the company and the job opening thoroughly. This sounds silly and elementary, doesn't it? As a recruiter I provide the resources needed for my candidates to do a thorough research on the company and the job opening often days before the scheduled interview only to get a last minute call with these type of dumb questions;

"What was the name of the company again?" or "What Division am I interviewing for?" or "How big is the territory again and what is the money for this job?" or "What was the hiring managers name again?"  


I want to ask them in disbelief, "Are you kidding me?" Immediately I know I have got a problem with this candidate and so will the hiring manager.  So make sure you take several days before the interview to study up on the company (dissect and every piece of their website):

  • Understand the company history including how they were founded
  • Know their mission statement
  • Review the company's overall business model if a large company, be certain to focus in on the division you are interviewing.  It helps to understand how your division fits into the total picture overall corporate umbrella.
  • Know the company"s competitors and if possible, their market share within the industry
  • Know their customers (end users) and if in sales, the call points of the open position
  • Do know who the big boys and girls are at the top of the corporate ladder to get a feel of who is managing the big picture of each division
  • Do thoroughly understand the open position (skill requirements and etc. from the job description)
  • Do know who you are interviewing with and their position in relation to the overall company and specific to the open job (IE: direct report hiring manager or human resource person?)
  • Do look up your interviewer on LinkedIn (DO NOT invite them to link to you!); review their background, tenure and any commonalities you may have in your background for your knowledge only.
  • Have the recruiter give you the interviewers email address before the interview for a quick follow-up thank you note.

11 TIPS TO MASTERING THE PHONE INTERVIEW

Now let's tie this all together, you are ready to master the phone interview!  You now understand how important your interviewing environment and knowledge of the company are to the process.  

It is game time and let's put all this knowledge into actionable tips that will earn you the next step in the interview process:

  1. Have a hard copy of your resume and be prepared to walk through it to answer the interviewers questions
  2. Have a hard copy of the companies information on hand (like their products, job description etc.)
  3. Make sure you are in an area with great cell reception and never interview while driving!
  4. Interview in a quiet environment, even if that means finding a safe, parking spot to interview from your car
  5. If interviewing from home get Fido and the kids out of the room and remove any distractions. I highly suggest placing a note on your front door and on the doorbell that say's "silence please, no knocking or ringing at this time."
  6. Sit up straight and poised for action during the interview, it will reflect in your voice.
  7. If possible, have another device, like an iPad available ONLY if the interviewer directs you during the interview to access a web location.  DO NOT use this device for anything else.  Do NOT TEXT, EMAIL or surf the web while interviewing!  
  8. Have your smart questions prepared and ready to go for the interviewer
  9. Have Kleenex, bottle of water ready if needed and understand how to work your mute button
  10. At the end of the interview ask for the next step in the interview process indicates your high interest and ask if you are moving forward to that next step! (for sales people, this is equivalent to asking for the order)
  11. LASTLY and immediately, send a Thank You note via email to the interviewer indicating your interest and you look forward to the next step in the process (be mindful of correct grammar, spellings and etc.)

 

The person who usually wins the next step after the phone interview is the person who has put the time and energy into preparing far before the scheduled event. As is often said, "You only have one chance to make a first impression," don't let the phone interview prevent you from making a great one!

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294486700?profile=originalMrs Hertz

I have several of your replies to questions and truly value your opinion. I have had several interviews with Pharmaceutical companies and have moved into the final stage several times. I have tried and been trying to break into this field for sometime now. I just turned 40 and have nearly 15 years of sales experience from B2B and B2C.  I also have a BS degree. I was recently reached out by Lynx Pharmaceuticals. The recruiter said they require someone be certified.

Throughout my attempts, I have been advised for and against. The greatest advice against was the company will want to train me as they want me to sell. I am trying to determine if I should or shouldn't be certified. Can you advise me please?

Thank you

Brandon S

REPLY

Hello Brandon,

Thank you for your readership and kind words. Your question is a tricky one, because everyone who is a recruiter, those who are independent recruiters as well as those who work directly for the hiring companies, want to issue the classically HR and legally (EEOC) correct answer of, "All qualified applicants will be considered regardless of age, sex and etc.,."  I start with this to answer your question, even though that is really not what you asked. I will share later with you on what is perhaps happening on your failed job search in the pharmaceutical industry and tie it into EEOC and reality.  You just wanted to know if you should pay for one of those pharma certification programs.  

The short answer on that is, "NO to Pharmaceutical Certification Programs"  

Perhaps there is a pharmaceutical company that requires a pharmaceutical certificate, but you should inquiry the company directly for that advice (if that was a Lynx Pharmaceutical recruiter that informed you, not an independent recruiter, than find out specifically which certification program they value and DO YOU MEET ALL the other requirements).

In addition, you should do a google search and a LinkedIn search (and frankly a google search will direct you to open LinkedIn profiles) and find another person associated with Lynx to find more of a 360 degree answer.  I happened to do an open google search (providing an example of how to do this with Lynx) and found they have someone working as a Senior VP, but he is doing so as a consultant under the umbrella of his own business. That would be a good person to reach out to on LinkedIn. I learned from his LinkedIn profile, that Lynx is a Contract Sales Organization, which may be why they value some sort of certification (perhaps their own training program is limited?). If you need help, just ask me via LinkedIn and I will provide his name to you.

You can do this type of employee search exercise for all open positions too and verify what a company may or may not require in the way of certifications (and other job requirements) and be mindful of ALL other minimum requirements of the job.  

Now back to the proverbial smoking gun or as some would say, "The elephant in the room"; I think a more meaningful question for you to ask yourself before you invest in or in most cases throw your money away on a possible meaningless certification programs would be:

Why is it taking so long for me to break into pharmaceutical sales and why do I make it to the final rounds so often, yet not offered the job?

Therein is the more important question.  All recruiters are trying to find the MOST qualified person for each opening and some openings, frankly, want earlier career people. Those would be the job posts that say recent college grads or no more than 3 to 4 years of B2B sales. Clearly you would not fit into that profile and is that age discrimination?  Perhaps, but these jobs don't usually pay as much either, they are usually early career, lower paying positions and probably well beneath what a successful 40 year old is currently making.  That said, a recent college graduate can also be someone like my mother who earned a degree at age 48.  Would she have been considered or even hired for a recent graduate sales position? Well, therein lies the interpretation and if compliant to EEOC rules, the  answer would be yes, "She should be granted an interview and candidates like her, who meet all other requirements, should be hired."  We know that may not be (and dare I say often) not the case in the real world and I understand the frustration.  Let's move onto the bigger barrier for most people who are mid-career in another industry.

This is the conundrum of your situation and for those 40 and over trying to break into the pharmaceutical industry, or for any industry where their long term employment experience is not FULLY aligned with the job requirements:

40 year old applicants, with little appropriate or related industry background, are competing with other 40 year old applicants who meet, if not exceed, ALL the minimum and preferred qualifications of the position posted.

You mentioned that you have made it to a number of final interviews Brandon, but you can't compete with what you don't have in the way of experience when you are up against a pool of pharmaceutical experienced sales candidates.  

You can get all the certifications in an industry that are offered, but when you have not built a career with years of real world experience in that type of job and industry you will more than likely be beat out every time by someone who does.  

Think about it within your own industry and with your current companies B2B sales openings and those people who are placed in those positions.  Are any of them pharmaceutical sales people with no B2B sales background or long ago B2B sales background?  Exactly.  Same is true on the other side of the coin.  There are others more qualified.

Are the cards stacked against you? I think so. Do you quit looking? I think not. Many jobs are still found through friends and family or acquaintance's in a particular industry while you continue your current job search techniques. See who you know in the pharmaceutical industry and start there. Find who you don't know, as I did in my Lynx example and make new connections. I wish you all the best and hopefully you will only pay for a pharmaceutical certification when you investigate the company and have ALL the other skill requirements as well. All the best to you in your job hunt!

 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294486100?profile=originalHi Ms. Hertz, I am a grad student at UCLA (PhD Biomedical Engineering). Upon completion of my degree in July, I am very interested in medical device sales. I was wondering if you had advice for someone with a very strong technical background, but no sales experience. Regards, Peter B.

REPLY

Hello Peter and thank you for your question and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!  We sometimes do get medical device sales jobs that require a biomedical engineering background.  Also, sometimes new Engineering graduates do get that first job out of college in medical sales.  As a new Sales Trainer years ago I was assigned a very young engineer who had been interviewing initially with our parent company, a large chemical company, for an engineering position. Her interviewers found her "So bubbly, vibrant and full of energy" that they thought she may be better suited to the sales side of the business!  Looking back all these years later, they were right! Susan had a great career as a medical device sales representative and upward promotions into management!  

So as I reflect on your question, "How does a new Biomedical Engineering graduate can break into medical device sales?", I must say that I think there may be many ways to do so.  Let's do a quick review.

Biomedical Engineer Strategy for Breaking Into Medical Device Sales 

YOUR COLLEGE PLACEMENT OFFICE

  • You are graduating within a month Peter, run, don't walk to your college placement office and see what career resources are available to you now and over the summer.  Many campuses invite companies to conduct interviews on campus for career week.  
  • Look through the medical companies (Johnson and Johnson is usually one of them) and set up an interview for sales, not engineering.

UTILIZE LINKEDIN TO IDENTIFY HOT LEADS

  • Go on LinkedIn and try to find a person like you, a biomedical engineer, who was able to break into the medical sales industry.  Hunt for the talking heads who can share with you how they did it!  These are your Hot Leads.
  • Do use key word search and put "Medical Device Sales" and "Biomedical Engineer." I immediately found a biomedical engineer who started out of college as an engineer with Hill-Rom (link goes to their career page) for three years and then the moved her into sales! Now you have a lead!
  • Reach out to your identified Hot Lead contact and put in the subject of your Inmail, "Advice Please for New Biomedical Engineering Graduate."  People love to help college kids, they will tell you how they did it,  Remember to ask your hot lead if they could connect you to the right people within their company! 

IDENTIFY ALL THE TOP BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING COMPANIES

  • As you search each of these Biomedical Companies, see if they do have entry level Engineering positions and also if there would be a career pathway from engineering into the sales arm after a couple of years. It may be difficult to transition, but find out if someone before you has done so and determine the probability.

GOING THE "BUSINESS TO BUSINESS" SALES ROUTE

  • I have always directed right out of college graduates (business, political science, art majors and etc.) to go to a solid business to business sales job and get the training and after 3 years apply to an entry medical device sales job.  I have written many article on this approach and here is a link to all my related articles:

Break Into Medical Device Sales

  • Be aware that as a Biomedical Engineering graduate your entry level jobs right out of college probably pay far more than an equivalent Business to Business Sales job and I personally would only go this route as a last resort.

I am sure there may be other ways to crack into medical device sales than the above, but this should give you a good start and some direction.  Remember there is always one component that will help you get into the sales side of the business and it has to do with your personality and communication skills.  Most company cultures embrace the outgoing personality who exude energy and a "can do" attitude who welcome the challenge of approaching people and knocking on doors.  

As my former company told me all those years ago, "We have an engineer that should be a sales person."  There is something to be said about that and it should not be ignored.  If you find that you have the personality traits that would embrace the spirit of an outside sales person, then use those traits to do the same thing to find that first medical device sales job right out of college.  

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294486661?profile=originalHi Linda,

I am so happy to find that there is someone that can provide me some guidance to breaking barriers of getting in pharmaceutical/medical sales industry.

Recently I have been on various career sites seeking for a position in the pharm/med sales industry.  Although I believe I am a qualified candidate "Summa Cum Laude" BSN graduate that is experienced in real estate sales and community outreach, I find myself in a bind because I do not have B2B sales experience.  

I was fortunate enough to speak with one recruiter from one of the well known independent medical sales recruiters and that was only because a friend made the introduction via phone. The recruiter informed me that the best way to get in industry is to pursue a B2B sales career.  When I explained that community outreach is along the lines of B2B (because it involves me selling communities on company's proposed development plans, which is intangible and probably more challenging to do) that it should be considered.  Unfortunately for me, he disagreed with me.  

 

I took his recommendation and applied for a sales position at ADP and to my surprise they did not consider me to come in for an interview.  How do I get in for an interview when my resume clearly states my qualifications such as, Summa Cum Laude, BSN,  fluent in both Spanish and English with experience in outside sales?

 

I could really use your guidance here.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read through this and your feedback.

Regards,

Maria A

REPLY

Hello Maria, First of all, I agree with the recruiter you spoke to (you did provide the name of the firm to me privately and they are respected in the industry).  Any type of "influencer role" selling concepts to communities or fund raisers or even real-estate sales do not provide the work experience that the medical device sales industry values. Their are a host of reasons why they are not valued and that would warrant a separate article on that alone and perhaps I will write as a stand alone piece for a future article (I will provide a link to that article when written). Now to address the meat of your question and one that really struck a cord with me; How does one get a B2B sales job?  

Many medical device recruiters flippantly advise the unqualified for our industry to get a B2B sales job; we assume that is an easy thing to do!  In addition, we almost always direct them to ADP as our first company of choice out of the entire list of B2B companies for a number of reasons, like intense sales training and extreme pressure to sell by being held accountable via monthly sales rankings and yearly top sales award programs.  So let's examine the possible reasons why you may not have been invited for even a first interview, especially given your smarts, four year nursing degree and current community experience.

One reason is coming to mind right away; you are a nurse (a BSN with top academic honors to boot!) applying for a B2B sales job; ADP must know by now the medical industry loves to pick off their top sales people after a few of years of experience!  So perhaps they are onto a nurse applying for one of their sales roles.  One cannot negate that possibility and I don't think there is a way to counter that except applying to other less valued, but still very solid B2B sales companies as outlined in my older, yet still very pertinent blog, titled How To Break Into Medical Device Sales.   That said, there may be some other reasons your job application was not selected for interviewing. Let me explain further.

I just visited ADP's career page on their website ADP.com to review all their open jobs nationally to get a scope of the type of sales positions offered (at least currently open) and the requirements for each.  My findings were quite eye opening since they offer many types of sales openings that require different levels of experience.  This may not be all the different levels of sales openings they have, but enough were posted to give us an idea.

ADP Sales Position Levels-Job Requirements

  1. Strategic Account Executive: BA Degree with 5 years of B2B outside sales experience
  2. Outside Sales Executive: BA Degree or equivalent with 2 years of outside sales experience
  3. Associate District Manager: BA Degree
  4. Sales Apprentice: Minimum 2 years completed within a 4 year college degree program

I had not been to their career site in some time and it was an interesting exercise for me to see this array of sales positions. They may change the link over time, but their current ADP USA wide sales openings should help you perform this search for yourself from time to time. I do encourage you to look at ALL their job opportunities beyond just sales openings, sometimes getting into one department at ADP could help you transcend into the sales department as an "internal candidate" vs. an outside applicant off the street.

Given the above, I suggest the following strategy to still "break into B2B sales" (so funny, first time I have used that phrase!):  

  • Do check the level of sales position (title) of the ADP job you applied.  From the job description, it would appear you would qualify for the Associate District Manager or "perhaps" Outside Sales Executive" level position.
  • Again, highly suggest reading through my earlier article How To Break Into Medical Device Sales to find the other B2B sales companies to apply to open positions via their website.
  • Do use this same process I used with ADP to uncover ALL level of sales positions in other B2B Sales companies and apply to the position you would be deemed a best profile fit.
  • Do utilize LinkedIn to approach an ADP or B2B company's current employee or hiring manager directly to gain visibility vs. just applying on line (ADP does offer finder fees to employee's for people hired as an added incentive for this method to work too).

You did not mention if you are currently employed as a nurse full or part-time, but you may want to review my most recent Ask Linda Article that addresses Jennifer V.'s (an OR nurse) question:

I'm A Nurse, How Do I Break Into Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Sales?

Lastly Maria, if breaking into medical sales is truly something you desire, then keep going. "Keep knocking on doors", as I use to tell my sales team when I was a District Sales Manager. Choose your doors wisely and the more you knock, the more likely someone will answer the door and let you in when you least expect it. The fortitude of a true sales person is to keep going after rejection and altering ones approach until you "get to yes."  

All you need is one "yes" to get to where you want to be, don't stop at one job application, keep going!  

 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294487089?profile=originalOne of the toughest jobs in a company is being the first line sales manager!  It is a challenge to drive sales numbers, manage a team of sales people and back-fill open sales positions (while you are trying to manage the open territory or territories too!).   

If you are a new manager, this balancing act can become even more stressful with a heightened need to delegate and prioritize your time. The goal is to maximize your time in the field coaching your current sale team to success and minimize your time interviewing deadbeat candidates.

 

4 Most Important Roles of a Sales Manager

  1. To identify and hire top sales candidates
  2. Coach and mentor new hires to produce top sales number
  3. Identify those with leadership potential, cultivate them and provide the resources to grow
  4. Promote those that rise to the top and EXCEED sales quotas and are recognized as leaders by others 

As a Regional Director, I would tell my team of District Sales Managers, "The trick is to find time to do both sides of the equation equally well; interviewing and selecting top sales talent, while still coaching and driving business with the rest of your sales team."

Knowing how to minimize your time interviewing a poor stream of job candidates for your opening(s) becomes the key to efficiently doing both tasks at hand; interviewing and coaching your current team of sales people to new heights.  

Selecting and "managing the right recruiter" can be a vital resource to a sales manager by filtering out less qualified candidates and presenting only the right candidates; the ones that have the possibility of being the next sales superstar.  This interviewing approach helps managers balance the time needed between interviewing and running the rest of their sales team to bring in current new business and sales numbers. 

You need to manage a recruiter as if they worked for you as an employee.  In addition, you must take charge of the interview process and clearly communicate interview time frames and goals that need to be hit for your anticipated hiring date.  If they don't perform within the first 1 to 3 weeks, you will let them go or hire someone else (another firm) to send additional candidates to the one's they already sent to you.  Getting this right will improve the quality of the candidates sent to you and if done correctly, you will have another vital member added to your sales team; a recruiter who is engaged and vested in you and your team.  (see no. 6 below).

Recruiters that have earned a trustworthy reputation with your company can be utilized as a “second set of hands”  to screen out unworthy candidates and reduce or even eliminate your time scheduling, organizing, communicating and needless interacting with job candidates.  Maximizing a recruiter can translate into having more time to be in the field driving sales numbers and coaching your current team of salespeople instead of wasting time with candidates who are not worthy of it!  The opportunity cost of spending enormous sums of time interviewing people that should never be placed before you is huge. Maximizing your internal and external recruiter could help insure that you only see the "best fit" candidates and ultimately find the talent that you can coach to be your next star employee and ultimately further your own career too!

 

10 Tips to Interview Only The Best Candidates

 

  1. Have an open position?  Notify your inside and outside recruiter right away within Human Resource guidelines.  The more time they have to recruit for you behind the scene's, the quicker you will get candidates to ultimately fill the opening to minimize downtime.
  2. Set and communicate interview time-frame goals: Your desire to have first round phone interviews, "Face to Face" interviews and each step of the interview process INCLUDING your actual goal date to hire.  You are setting your markers for performance and hold the recruiter to it!
  3. Call ONE outside recruiter that is your favorite and produces at least 5 to 6 quality candidates (you should strive to have at least 6 top people to interview at the start and never stop having new people sent until the position is filled AND background checks completed).  Give the recruiter one to two weeks to recruit on their own and if they don't produce enough quality people then reluctantly you must call another recruiter for additional resumes. Making a recruiter feel like part of your sales team is for a future blog and it is a skill that is vital to get the most out of your recruiter.
  4. Give written direction to the recruiter on the information you want them to extract from each candidate; you can even provide a Word Doc. template with the information you require and the order you desire it (IE; current salary, driving restrictions, measurable sales performance or etc.).
  5. Communicate the details of the opening EXACTLY; expected earnings (base, commission, car or etc.), benefits, EXACT geography and overnights of the sales position and why the territory or position is open (firing, expansion, promotion or etc.). Give realistic current and projected territory performance and commission potential.
  6. Communicate not only the minimum and maximum qualifications of the position, but most importantly who is "the perfect fit."  The information that is NOT included in the HR job description; the persona of the person who would be the best culture fit for you, your team and your company.  Remember, this person will be working for YOU, so what type of people do you like working for you? It is understood they need to produce.
  7. A great recruiter is indeed a match-maker at many different levels!  Help your recruiter understand the nuance of the perfect person so they know how to search for your holy grail candidate, they may not exist, but at least you have given them the high bar to aim for and the bar to judge all others against.  Give them several names of the top sales performers on your team or in your company and encourage them to review their LinkedIn Profile.  Why not show them what your top sales producers look like? You want one of those!
  8. Once you receive a resume from your recruiter give them positive or negative feedback ASAP and hopefully within 24 hours (it will help them continue your search for the right candidate).  The more constructive the feedback the better; it helps the recruiter to refine or even change up the search completely to better meet your needs. You may have even discovered that you want something different after conducting the interviews.
  9. Verbal communication at least once a week on candidates in process or declined that week will keep your recruiter engaged in your search and help them stay on target for the right candidate; set up a call every Friday for just 5 minutes! You will not only be vocalizing where you are in the process, but a summary of the candidate pool and if your recruiter needs to seek more candidates or you think you have your winner and a back up if it is near the final stages of the interview process (but make sure you have at least 2 to 3 you feel you could hire!).
  10. Use your Recruiter as your secretary; let them book the interview times, reconfirm the times, help with finding flights for the candidates, hotel interview locations and supplying your recruiter with non-company sensitive materials that each candidate needs to read or prepare (literature, case studies, role play's and etc.). 

 

Hiring the right recruiter and directing them in a smart way can truly maximize a Hiring Managers time. Make sure YOU and YOUR RECRUITER are hitting the deadlines you established for each step in the interview process. It is a two way street; DON'T be the one to drag the interview process or slow it down.  It is important to keep the momentum going with your current candidates. If you indicated you would be hiring within 8 weeks, then keep it going!  Don't lose great candidates to other companies or frankly, time for them to be unimpressed with your interview process.  

Great candidates will turn down jobs or reject the next step if they view a hiring manager dragging an interview process down, leaving them hanging or in the dark as to their forward movement in the process.  The way a hiring manager handles the interview process is a reflection of their overall sales management skills.  Good candidates see this as part of their interviewing process as they evaluate a company.  

Remember, good candidates want to work for good managers and they are viewing first hand time management and communication skills of the potential new boss. Make sure you utilize the 10 Tips to Interview NOT Only The Best Candidates, but to be the best sales manager to attract them, hire them and drive your sales team to success!

 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294486452?profile=originalDear Linda,
I am currently working as a nurse at a Hospital in Dallas. I have been applying to various pharmaceutical and device rep jobs within the Dallas area. My understanding is that this industry is very competitive and hard to break into.

I wanted to reach out to you to see if you could help me find jobs in the Dallas area in medical sales. I have experience working in labor and delivery, OR, and PACU units in the hospital. My career goal is to break out of nursing and grow in my career in medical sales or as a clinical specialist at a medical device company.


I have included my resume for your review and I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you soon.       Jennifer V.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

REPLY

Hello Jennifer, thank you for an excellent question that I do receive from nurses all the time.  Many ask about Clinical Support positions for the medical industry (that will be the next article after this one!).  Your question is about jumping into the heat of the battle and becoming a medical sales person directly from your hospital nursing experience. It appears you have lumped medical device sales and selling (detailing) pharmaceutical products together; you may be assuming these are similar types of jobs.  In fact, these are two very different types of sales jobs and I will first do a short and overly simplified explanation on the differences (so you can determine which one really suits your personality) and then drill down on how to transition from nursing to either type of sales position.  YOU are the one who must ultimately take charge to prepare and find a medical sales job and I have suggestions for you to do just that and as a spoiler, I saved the best suggestion for last!  

  • Medical device sales is a process of selling a device or disposable medical products and asking for a Purchase Order to get it billed and shipped. Thus, it is about asking for the order with many complicated steps in-between.  
  • Pharmaceutical sales is about getting a physician to prescribe their company's drug to his or her patient.  Some pharma sales people call only on doctor offices, others call upon the hospital (their goal is to get their drug on the hospital formulary) and sometimes a pharma rep. is a combo of both call points.

A medical device sales representative does not make a sale until they gain approval from a clinical decision maker, gain a purchase order from the facility they represent (hospital, surgery center, clinic , physician office) and it's shipped.  A pharma rep. gets a sale after "detailing" a product to a doctor and praying the doctor will prescribe their product to the patient and then ultimately get a sale as recorded by a pharmacy or hospital pharmacy within their territory.  Both types of jobs, medical device and pharmaceutical sales, are about selling a product but the point of purchase inherently makes the two jobs completely different.  Medical Device sales is usually seen as a much more aggressive sale and Pharmaceutical Sale a more passive type of selling via educating or detailing products for gaining prescriptions.  So first, decide which one you are better suited.

So how does a nurse jump into EITHER medical sales role right from their nursing job?  Well, let me be up front, it is a very difficult maneuver, but it can be done with willpower and refusing rejection.  In fact, those are the two skills you will need in either sales position!   I interviewed candidates for one of my medical device sales positions this past week and a few had been nurses in their past and have been very successful as sales people. I poised your question to them as well.  Collectively, with their knowledge and my experience as well, there seems to be three methods and, as they said, a bit of luck added in as well! 

GET TO KNOW YOUR MEDICAL SALES REPS

Do make sure you meet and great the sales people as they enter your hospital and introduce yourself and be friendly to them.  This may seem self serving, but they are there doing the same thing, meeting and being friendly to potential customers within your hospital to sell their products and/or service.  

  1. Ask them for their business card and your desire to be doing what they are doing for a living.  
  2. Ask them how they broke into the business.  
  3. Find out if they have Associate Sales Roles at their company or if their company hires nurses as sales people.  
  4. Ask for their business card and if you could connect to them on LinkedIn as you begin your quest to attaining a medical sales job.
  5. After you have an established business relationship, ask if you could be introduced to their manager when he travels with him or her in your hospital next time.
  6. Make sure YOU DO NOT violate your employers guidelines during this process.  Let's not lose the job you have or stir up trouble for the sales representative too!

KEEP USING JOB BOARDS and LinkedIn

We say in recruiting candidates for job openings, "It only take one candidate to fill a job".  This is said, because often our clients want 5 to 7 candidates to interview for a position, but we know only one person get's the job.  So on the other side of the coin; "It only takes one job for you to get a break into medical sales" so keep applying to jobs and looking for job postings that may be a fit.

  1. Keep using job boards and keep looking for pharma or medical sales jobs that may allow a nurse the opportunity for an entry level sales position.  Look for Associate Sales Positions too.
  2. Utilize MedReps.com and Indeed.com to set up job alerts sent directly to you with "Associate Sales Position" AND "Medical Sales" as key words.
  3. Be active on LinkedIn and have a picture making you look like a medical sales representative (dressed in business attire, not your scrubs) and reach out to District Managers and Medical Sales people alike employed by companies you are interested.

APPLY TO "Business to Business" ENTRY LEVEL SALES JOBS

Jennifer, you graduated two years ago with your BSN, you are a very early career person and you still have a window to apply to entry level B2B sales positions (I usually suggest this for business graduates who have graduated from college within the past 6 to 7 years).  You can make more money as a BSN in a hospital than in an entry level sales job, but these positions have excellent sales training programs.  If you stay with one company for 2 to 3 years with top sales, combined with your BSN and hospital experience, medical device and pharmaceutical sales companies will hop on your resume immediately when you apply to their job openings! 

It is important you select the right B2B sales company like ADP and PAYCHEX payroll services or Cintas uniform sales.  I have written an earlier, yet still valid, article on this topic: How To Break Into Medical Device Sales.  You may jump into this sales position (baptism by fire) and either love it or hate it, but you will know if you truly want to get into medical sales.  As a nurse, you can always go back to your hospital job in a second!

Ultimately a job candidate must take on the burden of finding their next job opportunity and in addition, make sure they are using an approach that is strategic given their current qualifications against those required of a position. In the situation of a nurse attempting to cross directly over into a medical sales position I would suggest doing all three strategies mentioned above simultaneously to increase the probability to a successful outcome.  

Please stay in touch and let me know if you were able to break the barrier of entering into the medical sales world; I will keep my readers informed of your career journey.  Safe travels!

 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294486066?profile=originalDear Linda,

I am a sophomore in college and I've recently been looking into a career in medical sales instead of going to medical school after undergrad. I would like your opinion on what exactly it would take to get hired into a medical sales job right out of college. Right now I am preparing for medical school with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Although I don’t doubt that I could persevere med school, I think I would thoroughly enjoy the challenge of a sales career as well as the relationship skills that I know are a big part of any sales. Would it be beneficial for me to minor in Marketing instead of Chemistry, or will the prerequisites for med school help to set me apart from other more experienced sales candidates?

                                                                                                                Thanks, Jordan G

REPLY

Hello Jordan, first of all, congratulations to you as a young sophomore in college looking ahead  to not only the college degree (undergrad and possible grad school) that you want to acquire, but also the "type" of job a given degree would prepare you for in the world. In addition, you are reflecting on your personality and the suitability of that occupation for your best career match; in this case, medical sales representative vs. physician.

I must first address your question on whether a particular degree would set you apart from an experienced sales candidate. The answer is no; nothing replaces experience in life, not even a particular college program. So let's discuss the best way for you to get some "exposure" to a medical sales occupation while you attend college and select a degree that will give you greater options as you make some important decisions about your life occupation!

I often suggest the best way for a college student to  learn about a job is to thrust themselves into the work environment of interest. In other words, placing yourself in a position where you can at least observe those who are doing the job or career of interest. Summer internships are an excellent avenue to give one this type of observational perch.  Some colleges offer summer internships related to the college degree or department for students who have declared a major, and most offer this after sophomore credits have been earned.

Unfortunately I do not know of a college that offers internship programs for medical sales. That said, I know several college students who have called a medical company and reached out to their Human Resource Department (or LinkedIn contact) to see if they would allow them to intern for inside sales or to work somewhere within their headquarters.

These students don't wait for an internship to be posted, they go out and rustle one up! This is an action that speaks volumes to headhunters and medical firms and is the spirit of a great future medical sales representative!  

I highly suggest you reach out to some key medical companies to see if you can get a job this summer. It would give you an insider's look at the company and experience in their company culture. Once in, if you are doing well, they will often let you do a ride-along with their local sales person or at least give you the ability to meet with them to see what it is truly like to be in the medical sales industry.

Often, if the company has identified you as hire-able talent, they will even let you attend a regional or national sales meeting, a sales training class, or even a trade show. Now you have placed yourself upon reaching college graduation as someone with additional education and experience as a new college graduate.

I have actually even witnessed, many times, a medical company creating an associate sales role for these types of graduates, if not minimally giving them an inside sales position with the intent to place the person in the field within two years of successful employment.

Now about your college major selection.

We often do get those people who wanted to become doctors and then decide they want to be a sales representative instead. There is a BIG difference between those two occupations! I would suggest getting an undergraduate degree that would line you up for EITHER occupation as you enter your sophomore year or, in your case, junior year.

If you are in a University that offers a pre-med program, then enroll in that and move forward. Most medical schools, from my understanding and this is not my expertise, appear to favor degrees in the biological sciences. We are not as picky when we interview candidates for medical sales, we want them to have a four year college degree (any degree). Yes, it would be great if they have a business degree or a biological science degree, but simply put, most of us don't care.

So why not pick a degree that will fulfill the medical school option and also give you the option to move into medical sales?  One degree, two options. Attaining a marketing degree or business degree would limit your options between the two occupations. Whatever your path, Jordan you are doing the right homework now as you contemplate the best strategy to obtain an occupation that would not only be fulfilling for you, but one you could build upon for the rest of your life.

Best of luck to you as you go forward with your career and college degree planning. This is an exciting time of your life and you have your whole life ahead of you. Our early life choices are important to creating a fulfilling and satisfying life. Once again, all the best to you as you begin this journey. You are asking the right questions.

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz why not invite me to your LinkedIn? View my profile and let's connect today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294484888?profile=original

Linda

I have been in the medical field for almost 22 years. Little hospital setting and almost 21 years in one field which is home health. I have done 3 years of daily nursing and the other 18 years as a marketer/sales. I am looking into going into another field like pharmaceuticals. I have put some resumes out and a recruiter has contacted me. He informed me that I would need to get CNPR certified before I can be considered. So, I am looking into taking the class and getting certified.

I market many areas in the rural and city. My accounts consist of so many different specialty doctors from orthopedics, urologists, neurologists, and etc... I have do much experience and I could also have several doctors write me a letter of recommendation. I don't have a BS degree and I feel that I have everything that it takes to land a pharma job. Do you have any suggestions for me to help me with this process and get myself in the door for a new career in pharmaceuticals?

Thank you, Christy

 

REPLY

Hello Christy,

First of all I commend you on trying to redesign your career after 22 years (or almost 22) in one area of the medical industry; namely on the patient care side, in Home Health, and in the community education side of the business.  Your question did not exactly identify your position within the  medical industry, but your title that I omitted did and I want to include that within this answer for our readers to understand your role.  

Your hurdles to break into pharmaceutical sales are huge, especially with any large pharmaceutical to even mid-sized company due to your lack of a college degree or even an Associate RN degree.  If you want to break into pharmaceutical sales, you would have to first decide if this is worth your time, money and energy to earn a college degree mid-career to just break into pharmaceutical sales. In addition, and I hate to admit this, but by the time you earn the degree it is difficult to for someone that may be in their 40's to break into pharmaceutical sales and especially without an additional 3 to 4 years outside B2B sales or some type of commissioned outside sales position.  You can count the years on top of the degree and ask yourself if it makes sense given your personal situation.  That said, if you want to earn the degree for just going back and accomplishing something you always wanted, then go for it!  My mother attained her degree at age 48 years of age and it was one of the happiest days of her life (I would like to think having me or my brother was THE happiest day of her life, but seeing the glow on her face wearing her graduation gown on the day of her graduation may have belied my thinking!).  So, go for it, but be aware of what it will do and won't do as far as getting your pharmaceutical sales job breakthrough. I do have one or two extremely strategic continuing educational plans that MAY give you a better chance of landing that pharmaceutical sales job and I will detail that out after addressing your other question about pharmaceutical certification programs (CNPR specifically) and their value next.

I must be up front on this, I am most concerned about the misinformation by the recruiter you spoke to concerning CNPR Certification.  Frankly, that certification is nothing I value as a recruiter and I personally feel is a means to part you from your money with no return on investment, especially for someone without a college degree.  I suggest you go to Linkedin and under advanced search (for finding people), put CNPR Certification or the company that promotes it NAPRx® in the key word section.  Look at where people are in their career that took that program and specifically those who do not have a four year college degree or those with a college degree but had no prior outside sales experience.  You may then determine on your own if you should spend the money.  Better yet, connect with them on Linkedin and get their opinion directly.  So, let me leave that for you to do your own research and decide if it is worth your hard earned money.

Lastly, as I mentioned, if you still really want to break into pharmaceutical sales and give it the old college try, then this is what I would suggest for you since you are already a LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse); go back to school and find an excellent 2 Year RN (Registered Nurse) program where credits could also be transferred to a 4 year college and apply towards a either a BS or BA degree. Yes you could get your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), but it may be easier to attain the BS or BA degree. While attaining your 2 Year RN Associates Degree, if you have to work, get an outside B2B sales job selling copiers, or ground floor position at ADP or Paychex even if it is in an administration position.  ADP and Paychex will have promotional opportunities into outside sales once you complete your four year college degree or may put you in outside sales as you close in on it and prove to be a valued employee.  The 2 Year RN background with a BS or BA earned while doing outside sales can be a powerful draw.  You could also work part-time as a RN as you attain the BS or BA degree and then transition to a B2B sales position.  I favor the first approach if you want to enter the business world as a pharmaceutical sales person since you have already been working as an LVN.  I feel this approach would give you the best shot to eventually breaking into the industry, but still no guarantees.  Either way, this plan should put you into a career path of higher earnings and almost guaranteed employment with the 2 year RN piece of the education and certainly open up multiple expanded career options. 

I appreciate your question and hopefully it will serve you well and my readers who may find themselves in the same situation.  My motto has always been, if there is a will, there is a way.  It will take work and time, but anything in life worth attaining always does.  All the best to you Christy as you decide your next step to attaining your goal!

 

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294484888?profile=original

Hello Linda,

 

I'm currently in the process of trying to acquire an associate medical device sales position in Phoenix Arizona. I have updated my resume accordingly and submitted all I can on med reps. I believe I have the skills and experience necessary to be successful at a medical device sales position. I would appreciate any advice and/or comments you have on my med reps profile. Please feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you very much.

 

LW

REPLY

Hello LW,

Thank you for an often asked question, "Is the best way to break into medical device sales through an entry level Associate Sales Role?"  First of all, let me define what most Associate Sales Roles are with those few medical manufacturer firms that offer them: 

  • These are typically entry level positions that have promises of a career path leading to a promotion into a full medical device sales position "IF" the candidate performs well over time "AND IF" the company happens to have an opening "AND" after review of other internal and external candidates.
  • Responsibilities for most Associate Sales Positions are confined to helping the person(s) in the role they ultimately desire, the medical device sales person who has the full responsibility for selling the products and exceeding their sales quota.
  • Most Associate Medical Sales Positions are not assigned accounts or territories that are measured with their own sales numbers and quotas totally isolated from the sales person they are supporting in the field.  

An Associate Sales Role is viewed by Recruiters and Hiring Managers as merely a position supporting a senior sales person by carrying a sample bag around doing the in-servicing (education) and promoting the use of the product to initiate or promote continued or increased sales in the senior person's account. It is viewed as a "sales support activity" position WITHOUT the responsibility of owning the sales numbers.  In other words, as an Associate Sales person, you won't have a measurable sales performance attached to your name for rank and file national sales rankings.

That senior sales person get's credit for the sales and he owns the sales numbers, you will be recognized within the company for helping him, but not given hard numbers you can call your own to market your sales and territory management abilities if you need to seek employment elsewhere.

It is this later point that makes these Associate Sales Roles risky for some people, one is banking almost 100% that the Associate Sales role will result in a promotion to the full responsibility Medical Sales Representative role.  It is very difficult to market yourself from an Associate Sales Role to another company who has a full Territory Sales Manager position, you don't have the sales numbers and rankings to show your sales performance managing a sales territory all by yourself.  In addition, you will be competing with other job candidates for those sales openings who currently manage a territory as a full medical sales or B2B sales representative with top national sales awards.  So it is imperative to ask the following before the interview process.

When interviewing for these entry associate roles you must find out:

  • Is the Associate Role assigned a territory where only YOU are calling on the accounts and own the sales numbers and quota's with sales rankings provided monthly?  
  • Is the Associate Sales Person given their own territory with assigned accounts with no other involvement from a team member (not sharing sales with someone or supporting what really is someone else's account). 

If the answer is "No" to the above, then there are 5 questions you should ask yourself about the type of job and company you are currently employed to help you determine if an Associate Sales Role is YOUR best move breaking into the medical device sales world.  

5 QUESTIONS TO DETERMINE IF AN ASSOCIATE SALES ROLE IS BEST FOR YOU?

  1. Are you currently in an outside sales position selling in a Business to Business (B2B) Sales capacity that is recognized and valued in the medical sales industry (ADP, Paychex, Enterprise Rental, Cintas, Copiers, Shredding Companies).  
  2. Are you responsible for your own geographical territory and the sales it produces (with assigned and measurable sales quota performance)?
  3. Do you have forced sales rankings that proves your performance over others?
  4. Do you have yearly sales awards at your company (IE; Presidents Award for top sales people)?
  5. Are you working for a large widely known company that provides excellent industry recognized outside sales training and third party educational courses?

If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 3, then NO, an Associate Sales Role is not your best move. As a Medical Device Recruiter I can place someone who is a top sales performer into a medical sales opening where the company is open to hiring a B2B sales person.  These medical companies and won't touch an Associate Medical Sales Person unless it is for a like position (an Associate Role).  

If you answered "Yes" to all 5 questions and are currently a top sales performer then run from an Associate Sales Position.  If you have at least 3 to 4 years tenure at your current company, I can place you in a top company like Medtronic or Johnson and Johnson (a top caliber company) as a medical sales representative, why take a step back?

If you answered "No" to just the 1st question, then grab that Associate Sales Position, because you are either in an inside sales position or working in a gym selling fitness programs or etc.,.  Your best bet is to take the Associate Role and gamble that you will do well enough "AND" an opening will occur that will get you promoted into a medical sales role at that company.

If you answered "Yes" to the 1st question and a "No" to question 2 and/or question 3, then go for an Associate Sales Role.

So, the bottom line is,  if you currently don't have a measurable outside B2B sales position, then go for the Associate Medical Sales Position.  You don't have as much to lose and if, after a 1 or 2 years, you find yourself still stuck in the Associate Medical Sales Role, then go back and get a very strong B2B sales position with ADP, Paychex or etc.,. and then retrace back into medical device sales a few years later for the full Medical Sales Position (see How to Break into Medical Device Sales).

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz why not invite me to your LinkedIn? View my profile and let's connect today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294482078?profile=originalHave you ever been in a place in your career or life where you just don't want to be?  Perhaps you are stuck in a job that is going nowhere, or maybe you are in a decent job, but it just isn't what you want to do in life?  It is difficult to transition to a new industry or job after one has built a 10 years career or longer in a particular occupation. You want to change and do something different, but find that changing careers in a different field means a significant cut in salary and perhaps evening starting at the bottom once again.  Does this sound like you or a loved one?

Without a doubt almost all people rethink where they are in life as they approach a mid-career point.  Some wish they could go back to college and start all over again and get a different degree or advanced degree to pursue an entirely different career altogether.  Others know they are in the wrong place and are miserable, yet when faced with the hurdles of changing careers, most will succumb to the status quo by putting their head down and continuing to plug away at a job and life they fell into or one they chose when they were a 19 year old Freshman or Sophomore in college. If this is you, then read on from someone who has been there and interviews people daily who face or have faced the challenge successfully. It is the wisdom of those collective souls I will share as you contemplate your journey into changing your career and perhaps your life in the process.  A midlife career change can be done!

If you have decided to continue on with this reading, I am assuming you are in the category of being dissatisfied with your career (or you are a spouse of one who is in that category and driving you crazy when they come home at night after a long day or week away at work!).   So first of all I must come clean and let you know the plain truth that I always tell my career clients,

Yes, a total career change could be a painful, even a VERY painful experience for you and your family. Yes, it will be scary. Yes, you and your family may need to make a sacrifice so you can make a career change, but if you make the changes now and do it right it can lead to rich rewards. Remember the old saying, No Pain, No Gain?  Focus on the gain while enduring the pain!

Those that are the most successful at transitioning to a new career have built a tight game plan.  First of all they have really dug deep into their own desires, wants and yes, intellectual abilities and skills.  If one thinks that student loans are risky for a new 22 year old recent college graduate, try on the risk level of a 33 year old married person with two kids to support or worse, a single parent!  You must reduce the risk level of your decision by understanding if you have the goods to be successful in attaining the additional education, as well as the demands of the new job. This is the just the beginning of building your career transition game plan, let's review the 8 necessary steps (or questions to ask yourself) before you quit that day job!  I have written them in the order they should occur.  For example,  if you don't know number 1, then don't proceed to number 2.  Stay on the step you are on and work it out before you proceed to the next.

8 Steps to a Successful Career Change

 

  1. Know Thyself, What do you really want to do in life?  What are your passions?  What type of work environment do you enjoy and why?  Identify what type of jobs or career would best fulfill those interests?  Can you intellectually handle the type of additional education that you may need to acquire for that new career?
  2. Family Support, Single people do not skip this section!  If you are married or living with a significant other this will affect their lifestyle and in fact, they may have to help bankroll your decision by carrying the full financial load for awhile or long while.  Single or married, it may involve moving back in with a relative (remember, I said this would be painful!). If your decision is affecting others, you must have their full support! 
  3. Know the New Career, Make sure you know if there are jobs for the career you are seeking and how much the starting pay will be and expected average income after 5 and 10 years. Is the job a growth position reflecting the future or a career that is at risk of going away or one of diminishing income.  
  4. Financial Plan, Work out the dollars and the numbers.  What are your monthly expenses, what is your household income or if living off savings, will it be enough to see you through?  How much will additional education cost to complete the program and project out the expected new income from the work you did in No. 3. Will you need to get a part time job while you go to school?
  5. Action Steps, By now this decision is becoming closer to reality and where your feet could be losing some of their warmth.  A written action plan needs to be built with time frames for execution.  Make sure the time frame is reality and not wishful thinking; can you really complete that nursing degree or MBA within 2 years?  Build some slack into the action plan for the unexpected.
  6. Develop a Back Up Plan, This is not an out-plan for not succeeding, but a plan if the money runs out or it looks like you need another year to execute your business plan.  In my case, when I started my business at the age of 49 years, one kid ready for college and 8 year old twins at home, we had one year for me to make money in my new business or we would have to move and rent the house out to survive and for me to continue my quest for successful self-employment.  
  7. Commit to the Plan, This could be the toughest step, this is where you re-examine everything again from step 1 through 7.  Everyone involved or touched in your endeavor has to buy in and commit to the success of the plan and do whatever necessary to make the plan a reality.  It is a gut thing.  You are nervous and scared but you decide to go for it come hell or high water; failure is not an option.
  8. Execute the Plan, You now have made the commitment and you know what and when things need to start happening.  So with all hands on deck, you take the plunge and execute your written plan. It's exciting, it's scary and it's exhilarating!  You are preparing to change your life and perhaps build towards living your dream. 

If you are thinking of a career change and feeling the sacrifices may not be worth the pain, then I must encourage you to have one other thought; if you don't do anything, you may be in the same place, same type of job with the same feeling of discontent another 5 to 10 years from now or worse, until you retire.  On the other hand, if you just can't commit to doing what it takes, then don't.  Without the true commitment to do what it takes to succeed, you are surely setting yourself up for failure; a failure of truly trying to create the life you want and deserve.  

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz why not invite me to your LinkedIn? View my profile and let's connect today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294484888?profile=originalHi Linda,

I saw your article on medreps.com. I wanted to pick your brain because I am not sure how to get into the pharmaceutical industry. I have managed plastic surgery offices for the last six years, and have always worked in healthcare. I'm currently getting my MBA while overseeing a facility worth $3M in Manhattan. My MBA is in executive management, but I always have a state medical board license from Ohio in massage therapy (so I know quite a bit of anatomy and physiology). Lastly, I am in charge of sales as well where I work and have increased sales dramatically over the last few years. Can you give me pointers on how to get into the pharmaceutical industry? I would really appreciate it!

 

Thanks,

Erika 

REPLY

Hello Erika,

Sometimes people outside the medical industry lump any type of medical sales as "pharmaceutical" sales.  So I want to make sure that indeed you want pharmaceutical sales.  Forgive me if you already know the difference between pharmaceutical sales and medical sales (i.e. device, disposable), but I like to start with the basics just to make sure you are targeting the type of sales you want to do.  I understand that with your background of managing plastic surgery offices you may be aware of the difference. 

Pharmaceutical sales is usually "detailing" to a doctor a pharmaceutical sales product that needs a prescription. So in other words, you are selling him on the drug and the advantages of using that drug for a certain application (as well as contraindications), and comparisons to other drug alternatives (competitive drugs, generics or etc.).  In some cases, you may be introducing a new drug therapy altogether with no competitive equivalent (rare, but does happen).  That is the activity known as drug detailing, you are detailing the pharmaceutical indications and hoping the doctor will remember and prescribe YOUR drug to his next patient when you walk out of the office.  No sales until he prescribes it.  You wait for sales reports and wait and see if you made a sale from your detailing efforts.  You are trying to gain a verbal commitment that he will prescribe a product.  

Selling a medical device product or similar is about selling a product that is used by the physician or his staff during a procedure with a patient and does not require a prescription.  This can be as sophisticated as selling the doctor a cardiac device bought by a hospital or clinic for his use in surgery or as simple as selling tongue suppressors to him in his office.  It is a product that you need to ask for a PO (purchase order); a price, a quantity and terms of purchase.  No hoping for him to write a prescription, you leave the hospital or his office with a written order.

So, if you still want to get into pharmaceutical sales understanding the difference between detailing a pharmaceutical vs. selling a medical product then this is what I suggest.  Your massage therapy background or running plastic surgery offices is usually not a valued background to have to transition into pharmaceutical sales or medical sales for that matter.  

This is what pharmaceutical companies' value in background training:

  • Outside sales position with a large company (business to business ADP, Paychex or etc.)
  • Formal sales training a large company provides
  • Someone who has stayed in that company for 3 years with top sales performance and no more than 5 years (don't get entrenched too long in B2B sales if you want to transition to pharma).
  • A physical positive presence, looking the part with a positive "can do attitude" that attracts people to them.  I call it the Fortune 500 look of success, with a dash of humbleness and approach-ability. 

Erika, you may be thinking at this point, "Oh great, I already have 6 years invested managing surgery offices, plus an undergrad degree and earning my MBA.  I don't want to start over."  If that is your thought, I understand.  So try to work from the springboard you are standing upon currently and see if you can work your way into the pharmaceutical industry from a different angle.  

Here are a couple of ideas for you to try (since you are in healthcare now):

  • Discreetly get a list of the pharmaceutical and I suggest also medical device reps. that are selling into your plastic surgery offices and approach them with your interest of doing what they are doing.  Ask them their background and how they broke into the business.
  • Ask who their sales manager is and if they could set up a call between the two of you.  Sometimes the manager is with them on a call; perfect!  Go up and introduce yourself and make sure they know of your interest and how they could advise you.
  • See if one of them (someone who bills a lot with your company) would allow you to shadow them for a day or part of a day as they make their sales calls to help you understand the business.
  • If you have a key decision maker doctor who you can trust and would support your efforts to expand beyond the confines of managing their business, see if he or she can leverage their vendor relationships to get you an interview with one of the companies they do business.  
  • Find out from your reps. if there are local, regional or national medical vendor fairs that are upcoming where they can get you a courtesy vendor pass from their company so you can walk the trade floor and solicit the companies present with resume and business card in hand.
  • Lastly, see if your MBA program has an affiliation with any of the medical companies for summer internships or entry level positions into their firms.  I understand that this may be difficult, since many are without pay or a stipend, but worth a look.
  • Go to Linkedin and see if someone from your MBA program or undergrad program is working in pharmaceutical sales and approach them as to how they did it and see if there are opportunities within their company; even if it is an inside position that could lead to an outside sales position.
  • Keep an eye out for local career trade shows, many pharmaceutical sales companies use these to find candidates and your MBA program may have a list of these trade shows as well.  Also, see if any of the pharma companies are listed as participants at your college's career center.

I am sure there are more ways to go about breaking into the pharmaceutical industry and remember, it only takes one contact that could get you where you want to go.  Hang in there and keep shaking hands and reaching out utilizing some, if not all the approaches above until you find that one person.  After all, that is what sales is about, banging on a lot of doors to get someone to buy or recommend your product. In this case, the product is you!  Good luck to you and stay in touch Erika, I would like to know what approach worked for you. You can do it!

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz please View my profile and invite me to your LinkedIn today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294475492?profile=original

See ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  

Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

THE LINE Not to Use with a Recruiter

8294488672?profile=originalI heard THE LINE 5 times today from job seekers.  If that wasn't enough, I opened 6 job candidate emails with THE LINE used in the opening paragraph!  Job Seekers obviously must feel using THE LINE will work with recruiters. Simply put; It doesn't.  In fact, it usually reflects the desperation of the job seeker trying to snare an interview!

Do you know what THE LINE is that will send the wrong message to a recruiter?  You may have used it yourself in the past (I hope not). Here it is, 

Just get me in front of your Hiring Manager, if I can just get in front of them they will see how good I am! I get every job that I have ever interviewed for!

Usually these candidates are seeking a professional job that they are not qualified for yet, in their mind, they are!  Yes the mind is a beautiful place, where all makes sense and all data points lead to a true and correct meaning to the creator. So in THEIR heads, they are a perfect candidate!  

Not because of what they do or who they are in terms of work experience, but because of the fine shreds of "related work experiences" combined with their incredible personal attributes (great looks, charisma, intelligence, drive or etc.) make them feel qualified, again in their minds, for a position they are not qualified or even sometimes note remotely qualified.  

Heady stuff indeed!  To put it simply, they want to be hired for a job due to their great potential and ability to learn the new job. THEY FEEL that due to their unique blend of experiences, education or personal attributes they are the perfect fit for the job opportunity.  They are talented people who feel they can learn quickly and what they don't know (like the skills sets required by the open job), they can easily acquire.  So, they don't know what they don't know, but guess who does?  The recruiter who is working directly with the Hiring Manager to match HIS or HER NEEDS for the open position. 

The recruiter was given a Job Order with a HR job description tied to MUST HAVE JOB EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS. Guess who takes the Job Order away from the recruiter not sending qualified candidates? Yep, the Hiring Manager or HR Manager.  If Recruiters do not send in what the job order requests, namely people who fit the job requirements, we get fired or our contracts eliminated for non-performance.

Human Resources and Hiring Managers are our clients, they have hired a recruiter to find people with not only the right work experience, but ALSO have a persona that is the right culture fit for their company.  A double whammy.   So no, just getting someone in front of the hiring manager without the required background will not get you the job, in fact, it may lose the recruiter (me) the job and future job openings with the company!

Back to my industry expertise: If you are applying to a Medical Device Sales job that is specifically requiring, no exceptions, MUST have previous medical device sales background selling into Acute Care (hospitals).  You are NOT Qualified if you have:

  • lab sales or pharmaceutical sales background. These are people selling test kits or prescription drugs calling upon a hospital or doctor office. These people do call upon the doctors offices and sometimes within the hospital setting, yet they do not understand how to sell medical devices. Pharma people do not have experience getting a PO (that's Purchase Order) cut within the hospital environment, nor the selling experience and political activity needed to work and leverage a formal Medical Evaluation Committee within GPO or IDN guidelines to push for evaluations that lead to a conversion win against competitors.

  • The classic "Business to Business" Sales background. These are people who feel that they know how to sell consumer products or business services to retail stores and won Presidents Awards. They are an aggressive lot (which I love) and they feel they should be able to snare an interview for a Medical Device Sales job based on their supreme persuasive selling skills; EVEN WHEN the Job Posting clearly states prior medical sales experience required.  

  • I almost forgot another group, the doctor who does not want to be a doctor anymore or is halfway through medical school and decides they would be perfect for sales given their clinical experience and the fact (in their mind) that selling any type of medical product to people like them is very easy!  (OK stop the laughter for those experienced medical device sales, lab sales or pharmaceutical sales people reading this!). Now these doctor folks are usually very smart people and they think that selling is not a skill or if it is, it is sort of a dumb skill they would learn very easily.  I usually just use this line with them,

"I am sorry, they want medical sales background."  Poof!  They say, "Thank you" very politely, and then quickly go away.  Just that easy!  Let's not tell these unhappy doctors about the skill needed to sell and close the deal! It will be our secret!  You know, the how to handle rejection secret!  

 

In summary, look hard and long at the minimum required job experience that a job post has outlined; recruiters have been hired to find THAT PERSON WITH that type of experience and usually the minimum experience is not the high bar for qualifying for a position.  The minimum qualifiers is the floor of experience that is minimally acceptable for our hiring clients.  We (recruiters) have been hired to find people that are at the high bar of their requirements!  

So next time you are tempted to use "THE LINE" with your recruiter or HR manager; "Just get me in front of your Hiring Manager, if I can just get in front of them they will see how good I am! I get every job that I have ever interviewed for!"  Make sure you are bringing at least the minimum goods to the table as it relates to the required work experience required.  

You see, just having a pretty face or dynamic personality alone will NOT get you the job.  Work experience matters!

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz why not invite me to your LinkedIn? View my profile and let's connect today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…

8294487865?profile=originalTimes have changed, and so have my articles that address the crafting and execution of the Perfect Thank You Note that follows a job interview.  A Thank You Note is required, as always, after each formal interaction with the company you are engaged with during the entire process.   That has not changed, what has changed is the speed in which they expect it and that follow-up speed after each interview step can be the difference between getting the job offer or not.

Certainly follow-up speed alone will not be the sole criteria used to judge your Thank You Note skill-set, yes it is a skill!  So I will incorporate a few points from my earlier and older Thank You Note articles that have not become outdated and include the new.

The Art of Mastering the Thank You Note:

  1. Upon completion of EACH interview step, field visit or plant tour (what ever your industry garners as part of the interview process), you must send a Thank You Note via E-mail immediately that very same day.  At this time I suggest NOT TEXTING A THANK YOU unless you are 100% certain the company's culture supports this type of interview communication.  Some companies consider it rude and a cop-out from putting in the time of writing a formal email thank you. This may change over time, but not enough companies are in that camp.
  2. If you are interviewing for a Sales Position, you must pump that Thank You Note out within an hour of completing the interview.  Sales people are hired for their sense of urgency and the ability to close a sale and hiring managers get to see that in the manner in which you handle the Thank You Note Process. Sales people, to get that type of speed, you usually must send it from your phone and with your spell check on immediately following the interview.
  3. The obvious is still the obvious, your Thank You Note must be well written; spelling, punctuation and grammatically correct.  Jobs that require a college degree expect you to have the ability to write as if you had one!
  4. Meaningful content rules!  The Thank You Note does not have to be a novel, a short paragraph or two is fine, but the content must be consistent with the spirit of the interview.  You thank your interviewer for their time and share your high interest level, but you then must make the note consistent to what was discussed during the interview.  If you feel the interviewer valued a certain skill-set or work experience that was revealed during the interview, then insert that within your Thank You Note as you re-sell yourself and remind them of that strength.  This personalizes the Thank You Note and sets you apart from all the other generic Thank You Notes the interviewer will receive from others.
  5. If you were able to close the Interviewer to the next step (this means a confirmed yes, that you are moving forward and the interviewer confirmed this before you departed the interview), then you need to reference that in your final statement. I.E. "Thank You for the opportunity for the next interview step, I look forward to meeting with  you again..." or whoever or whatever else is the next step you were able to gain commitment.
  6. Sign off with formality (yes still in this day and age):

                                                                   Sincerely,                                                     

                                                                   John Doe

                                                                   XXX-XXX-XXXX  (your cell no.)

                                                                   XXXX@GMAIL.COM

                                                     

If you are sending this from your phone, make sure your name and contact information is correct since most people have to add that in manually vs. auto signature.  Also, remember that most interviewers will be viewing your Thank You Note from their cell phone and will use your cell number to possibly auto call you from the cell number you typed in; make sure it is correct!  Make it easy for your Interviewer to contact you again if they wish.  

 

Many recruiters and Hiring Managers will tell you about candidates who were very strong during the interview process, but a botched or never delivered Thank You Note prevented them from either moving forward or even receiving a job offer after a final interview!  

Remember, if you are the lucky one to receive the coveted job offer, send that final Thank You Note for the job offer!  Make sure it registers the excitement of the moment and how happy you are they selected you!  Most new hires forget to do this. Don't ever forget to be thankful for the person or people who extended you a job offer that you accept.  That job offer could be the beginning of a new life and career path that you may not realize at the moment of acceptance.  Sometimes that realization may come to you many years later as you look back upon your career.  Be thankful for the possibilities they just extended to you.  It can be life changing.

This article written in Memory of Dick Witham, Former Western Director of  Davis & Geck, who passed December 13th of 2014.  Dick hired me in 1982 and gave me my career journey to be one of the first women hired as an Operating Room Sales Representative and promoted up through the ranks of the Medical Device Sales Industry in a time when women were not hired, let alone promoted.  THANK YOU for hiring and promoting me numerous times and being my trusted mentor for 17 years during our employ together and the many years afterwards during your retirement.  You are missed by me, all of your former sales and sales management team! RIP

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved  

SEE All Our Career Blogs.

By Linda Hertz why not invite me to your LinkedIn? View my profile and let's connect today! 

View Linda Hertz's profile on LinkedIn

8294473276?profile=originalSee ALL Our Career Resources at No Charge Today!  Linda Hertz Group: VIEW ALL USA MEDICAL JOBS!

Read more…