Don’t Use Pharma to Get Into Medical Sales
I’ll tell you what really galls me. It is Recruiters who tell entry level candidates that the best way to get into medical sales is by starting in the Pharmaceutical industry. They will paint a rosy picture of doctor’s offices, clinical benefits,physician interaction, disease states, etc. And they know better. It galls me.
Now this is not a knock on the Pharmaceutical industry, nor Pharmaceutical sales. If you want a career in Pharmaceutical sales, it is a rewarding industry. But if you are using it as a stepping stone to get into medical device sales, you may be making a mistake. Here’s why:
Unless you are selling a Buy and Bill product, most doctors do not order pharmaceuticals. You cannot close them on any particular drug. The only thing you can do is influence the doctor’s decision to put your drug on formulary or to increase prescriptions. You are not directly selling the drug. Now this plays out when you try to include raw numbers and achievements on your resume. The best you can do is list contest wins, quarterly “awards” and some insignificant number based on spreadsheet sent out by the corporate office. And these numbers are not really indicative of your success, and medical device managers know this.
If you look at job boards, or Recruiter ads, many will say that Pharma reps need not apply. A majority of medical managers will not entertain Pharma reps because the perception is that the Pharma sale is a”soft sale” and that the sales reps are “soft sellers.” I’m telling you that 90% of medical managers will look for Business to Business sales reps from the major players- ADP, Cintas, Xerox, Pitney Bowes, etc rather than a pharma rep.
If you have a solid B2B background with a good track record and many accolades, you should not consider Pharmaceutical sales as a means to an end. You may be setting you career back a few years. Be careful!
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