Just like any career there are some traits that make people successful at their jobs. Medical Sales requires the ability to make complex sales, while managing multiple call points and being familiar with technical products. There are many qualities that make a successful medical sales person.
If you are looking to break into the medical field here are our top 7 qualities.
2 Hard Working
4 Well Read
6 Excellent Follow Up
It comes without saying that ambition is a key indicator to the success of a medical sales person. Ambition drives people to do what is going to help them get promoted to the next level. Ambitious people will discover new ways to be successful. They are typically goal oriented and will strive to achieve their goals and attain the next level of accomplishment. This is a particularly great quality to have in a medical sales representative, because they are motivated by sales quotas and budgets. Meeting and obtaining quarterly goals is how they make their money and move up in the organization.
You can be the smartest person in the world but if you are not hard working you will probably not succeed. We consider working hard a great quality that goes hand in hand with success, especially in the medical sales arena. Sales is a numbers game and the harder you work the more sales you typically make. Of course you cannot just work hard without our other 6 habits. If you want your manager to notice you, nothing gains their attention faster than developing a reputation for being hard-working and dependable, the first one in and the last one out. An added benefit, you typically gain the respect of your fellow co-workers as well.
A diligent person shows signs of future success. Not everyone succeeds the first time they try something, especially in medical sales. It can take many meetings to get a physician group or hospital to try your product or write a prescription for a drug you are promoting. Diligent people roll up their sleeves and find out what needs the referral source has and figures out a way to get back in the door and make the sale.
It is important to be a well-read sales representative if you want to succeed. What you know can give you the edge in medical sales. Many of the products and pharmaceuticals can be complex and treat various medical conditions and diseases. The call points include physicians, nurses and other highly educated referral sources. It is important as a medical sales representative to not only learn the skills necessary to sell and take sales training classes, but also to read up on healthcare in general. Know about reimbursement, disease states and overall complexities of the healthcare market. Successful medical sales representatives are a partner to their customers and this can only be accomplished if you are well read.
Loyalty is a quality that helps propel a person to succeed. The medical field these days can be volatile and the ups and downs of sales can be discouraging to sales representatives. Representatives that are loyal to the company they work for and their managers show a true ability to succeed and trust in the process. Loyal people have confidence and remain committed to the product and company. Frederick F. Reichheld of Bain Capital, from Harvard Business School Press, believes loyalty is the hallmark of great leaders.
A person who has excellent follow up and always does what they say they are going to do makes for a great medical sales person. Many people have ideas and say they are going to do something, but most never seem to get it done. Medical sales people present data and often have to follow up with physicians on clinical updates and changes in reimbursement, making a person with consistent follow up more likely to be successful than their less reliable counter parts.
A person who is flexible and can change their approach to suit different personalities or even circumstances, like work hours, are on track for success in medical sales. Medical sales is a changing and often high stress job. Surgeries are scheduled very early in the morning and late in the day. Medical sales people have to be capable of working flexible and often long hours. They also have to meet the needs and understand the various personalities of their referral sources. People who can be flexible with their sales approach, as dictated by the personality and situation, are much more likely to be successful in influencing others and closing the sale.
Take this as good medical field career advice:
If you have the 7 qualities we can recommend you may be a great fit for a successful role as a medical sales representative. You can also take our quiz to help confirm this is the career for you!