No Experience Necessary

Hopefully my blog on the medical device industry has interested some of you to want to explore the possibility of becoming a Medical Device Representative. It may seem that the industry is closed off to those that do not have any experience selling medical devices; however, I am here to ease your concerns.

As I stated in earlier posts, the market is starting to heat up and at any given time there are just so many experienced medical device reps out there so it seems that recruiters and hiring managers are just looking for warm bodies. Earlier in the year when the job market was soft, most recruiters and hiring managers were looking to fill positions with representatives that had experience selling a medical device in the same specialty. For instance, if you were a representative currently selling a non-invasive diagnostic device and did not have any operating room experience, it was very difficult become a surgical representative. Not even Pharmaceutical Representatives were about to break into medical device sales. Later in the year around late February or early March, I started to receive a few calls for experienced medical device reps, but the prospective candidate did not need to have experience the operating room to sell surgical supplies.

The good news for those who are looking to break into the industry is that all the openings that I am hearing about need no prior medical device sales experience is necessary. Still it would be to your benefit if you have some sales experience. One of my acquaintances who currently works as an EMT and nuclear testing technician was interviewing for a sales position with an Event Monitoring company. The hiring manager really liked my friend's background and experience, but was not hired because he did not have any sales experience. The hiring manager suggested that he go and work at the Gap for a couple of months to gain some sales experience and try applying again.

This is just one of several similar stories that I have heard. So if you are a Pharmaceutical Representative, you will be able to quickly transition into Medical Device Sales. If you are currently working as a medical technician, get a part-time job at a retail store to gain some sales experience. The key is to learn how a sale progresses. You should try gaining experience generating leads, demonstrating the features and benefits of a product, up selling, closing the sale and dealing with any returns. Also, the skills that you will develop in dealing with difficult customers and learning to deal with quota pressure will be invaluable. You will also learn skills that you just can't learn in a classroom or from a book, such as learning to be flexible, budgeting your time and above all, developing your sales personality. Additionally always keep your antenna up. By this I mean when you are selling another pair of khakis, try to learn more about your customer. I heard from another hiring manager that he once hired a salesperson from Nordstrom because that salesperson took the time to develop a relationship with the hiring manager and learned of an up coming hiring fair. That Nordstrom salesperson attended the hiring fair and interviewed the same hiring manager and was hired into a cardiac specialty position.

If you currently work in sales in another industry, such as banking, software or technology then try to learn as much as you can about the medical device industry - learn the vocabulary, find out who the key players are and stay tuned to this channel to learn more about what to expect in the Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Sales interview.

Best of luck.

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