To break into the pharma and medical sales industry, you need skills that will set you apart. Start your journey at HealthCare U and receive industry training that will help you open new doors!
Pharma and medical sales positions are highly sought after due to their reputation for having high earning potential, the opportunity for growth, and excellent benefits. Not to mention other perks like flexible scheduling and even the use of a company car!
The pharma industry itself is rapidly growing with no signs of slowing down any time soon. Anne Clayton, author of Insight into a Career in Pharmaceutical Sales, writes, “The pharmaceutical industry is among the largest, most stable, and fastest growing businesses in the entire world”. No wonder recent graduates are clamoring to this field!
College Students and Recent Grads Entering the Pharma and Medical Sales Industry
With four years of hard work logged and your degree in hand, you are out in the real world and ready to job hunt. On paper, you have the right qualifications, but gaining traction in the world of pharma and medical sales may prove to be tougher than you expect due to the recent boom in popularity.
How can you maximize your time and effort while trying to break into the pharma and medical sales industry? You’re going to need more than a go-getter attitude and confident persona. Companies are looking for candidates with technical knowledge and field-specific business competencies. Follow these three steps to hone skills and get more than a foot in the door!
Step 1: Research the Industry
The pharma and medical sales industry is huge. With many different career track options and possibilities, it can be hard to know where to begin your job search. Your first goal is to find out what companies are near you, what products they distribute, and what kinds of jobs are available.
Networking through your University
Start your research by leveraging connections you may already have. Check with your university or MBA program to see if they have an affiliation or existing partnership with any of the medical companies. A former professor or a university liaison may be able to produce for you a list of pharma and medical sales companies that are currently hiring. The university might even know of summer internship opportunities. Although they are usually unpaid, internships are an excellent way to learn the industry quickly while building valuable company connections. It’ll also look great on your resume!
Networking through Job Fairs
Seek out upcoming local, regional or national pharma and medical vendor fairs or career trade shows. Attending and walking the trade-floor will give you a chance to survey all the different companies and what they specialize in. You can ask questions and gather a wealth of industry information in this type of low-stress situation. There’s no pressure to interview or follow up, so you can be straight-forward and candid. Do come with business cards ready. Trade shows are the perfect place to network and create contacts. If you think you’re ready for a job right now, bring a resume to present to your favorite companies.
Remember, at their best, sales reps are passionate about their product. As you do your research, dig for details on the company’s product and their mission statement. Ideally, you want to narrow your search and land a position working for a company that has a mission you’re on board with and a product you can get excited about.
Step 2: Make Connections
Now that you’ve done your research, you have a strong grasp of the companies in your region and the opportunities available there. But what can you really tell about a position from the three sentence summary on the job posting? You need to learn about a day in the life of pharma and medical sales reps!
Shadowing in the Pharma and Medical Device Sales Industry
The best way to understand the day in the life of a sales rep is to shadow one. Your college’s career center may be able to help you coordinate this, or you may have to cold call local companies yourself. The experience is a valuable one, so don’t skip this step! How often have you begun a new job only to find out that it’s not at all what you expected?
When you shadow an experienced sales rep, you’ll get a sneak peek into their daily grind. This is the time to pick their brain and ask them questions like:
- What do you do in a typical day?
- What are you personally responsible for and who do you report to?
- What hours do you usually keep?
- How would you describe the stability and stress level of this position?
- What do you like most about your position?
Shadowing a sales rep and spending time with them will also help you make connections. You’re making a connection with someone who can keep you posted on job opportunities and refer you to other professionals in the industry. This is also one way to start picking up on what skills you will need in the field, such as key communication skills. Shadowing is great for experience, but also for more networking.
Step 3: Get Industry-Specific Training
While a college degree is pretty standard criteria for a pharma or medical sales position, most companies look favorably on candidates that have further industry training. College students and recent grads have a solid foundation in universal sales techniques, but getting into pharma and medical sales require a specific skill set.
Convenient, Affordable Online Training
Don’t worry, you don’t need to pay for more college classes or spend months struggling through the trial and error method. There’s a better way! HealthCare U is a dynamic sales training platform that offers relevant, industry-specific courses and training opportunities. Because it’s available exclusively online, you can access it anywhere, anytime.
HealthCare U for College Students
Designated specifically for healthcare reps, HealthCare U is easy to use and offers a wealth of actionable information.
Aspiring pharma or medical sales rep can be tough. With more training, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence you need to jump-start your career. Industry-specific training can give you the edge that will help you land your desired healthcare sales role. In no time you’ll be ready to prepare for your first interview! Check out our courses and other materials to start your journey to pharma or medical sales.