The job of a salesperson is to educate physicians and other healthcare professionals on new developments in the pharmaceutical industry and to introduce cutting-edge medicines and treatments. Looking to expand your sales skills in a professional environment? Are you interested in science and the latest and greatest technological advances? Become a medical visitor and work as an ambassador for the pharmaceutical industry bringing all the necessary medicines and knowledge to health centers and consumers who need them.
Part 1 of 3: Enter the Industry
Step 1. Get a bachelor's degree
To be a medical visitor you need a four-year degree from an accredited college or university. You can improve your chances by earning a degree in a related field, for example in life sciences.
- Earning a science degree will not only give you valuable tools to understand new developments, but it will also help you communicate with other healthcare professionals.
- Business courses are also a valuable way to gain sales skills.
- Generally, most pharmaceutical companies will consider a four-year degree in some area as this will indicate your ability to master new information and your discipline to move forward.
Step 2. Obtain your certificate or license
Voluntary certification as a Certified National Medical Representative (CNPR) is available through the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives. This type of certificate will give you the knowledge of a pharmaceutical product that sales pharmaceutical companies request and will educate you on the rules and regulations for selling products. You will also learn skills that will help you hone your sales techniques.
Every CNPR® certified graduate also gets access to a job search tool called the NAPSRx® Career Center - a government website that pharmaceutical companies review to fill openings
Step 3. Connect with university resources
While you're in college, you can start networking and tapping the industry by taking advantage of a variety of resources your campus has to offer.
- Attend job fairs. Some of the major pharmaceutical companies recruit directly from college campuses. Dress professionally and prepare for an on-site interview. Do whatever it takes to register early as some of these events have lists that fill up quickly.
- Use your career resource center. This valuable resource will connect you to helpful information about the job market and a career counselor who can assist you in working on your resume or career prospects.
Step 4. Get some sales experiences
As a medical salesperson, your career will revolve around sales. Thus, it will be necessary for you to be professional and comfortable when speaking with someone in person or when speaking in front of large groups when presenting information to close a sale. Having previous experience working in sales is a great asset to your resume.
Employers look for candidates who can be persuasive and have excellent communication skills. The more practice you have in sales, the more prepared you will be for the interview
Step 5. Network
Stay in touch with professionals at your university. Tell everyone you know about your career goals. Getting into pharmaceutical sales can be challenging as some companies only advertise vacancies when they cannot fill them through word of mouth.
- Talk to doctors and other health professionals and ask for the names of their medical representatives. If you have the opportunity, speak directly to medical representatives and district managers. A good sales representative reference is a better tool than your resume.
- Look for recruiters who work in the pharmaceutical field.
- Look for pharmaceutical job fairs where you can network in the industry.
Step 6. Stay up-to-date on industry news
Read annual reports, press releases, and stock market reports. Find out all you can about competing companies and products. Some good news resources are:
- FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research;
- LexiCom products and new information.
Part 2 of 3: Get a job
Step 1. Create a strong resume
Pharmaceutical companies receive hundreds of resumes daily, so yours should stand out from the rest. You must send your resume directly to the company you are applying to. This means that you will have to adjust your resume for each company.
- You should boost your resume by listing your accomplishments. Remember: this is a sales job. Ultimately you must sell yourself to every potential employer.
- Professional resume writers offer a service to help you strengthen yours. If you feel like it is difficult for you to do so, you can get help from them for a fee.
Step 2. Make a catalog of achievements
For medical visitors, a catalog of achievements is fundamentally a portfolio. Make copies of everything you want to include and scan the originals on your computer. Use the scanned documents to create a single file of your entire achievement catalog. You will not need to send it with every application. Once you get the attention of a hiring manager, let him know that you have a digital copy available. Create a physical copy and organize it professionally. Your achievement catalog should contain relevant letters and documents that represent your professional achievements. It includes:
- Table of Contents;
- Curriculum vitae;
- company positioning reports;
- performance evaluations;
- college records;
- recommendation letters;
- positive emails;
- marketing materials;
- continuing education certificates;
- photos of trophies, copies of plaques, award certificates.
Step 3. Get an interview
You can apply on the company's website; however, your best bet is to get in touch through your network connections and get the names of industry professionals to whom you can send your resume directly.
Step 4. Use your catalog of achievements in your interview
Take a physical copy with you and hope the hiring manager will keep it. During your interview, focus on drawing attention to your catalog of achievements by referring to a specific item within. Make sure you know him very well.
- Highlight your catalog of achievements and have it support your verbal responses. For example, your interviewer might ask you about your sales goals, so you can highlight a ranking report or performance evaluation from your catalog of achievements.
- The way you use your catalog of achievements during the interview can set you apart from the competition by giving the hiring manager a demonstration of your salesmanship.
Step 5. Get along well during the interview
Use your knowledge and understanding of the industry to support your verbal responses. Some questions will test your knowledge of the job itself, while others will be related to products or sales.
Show your enthusiasm for work. Share personal stories related to the medical field that could make an impression
Step 6. Apply for the job
Apply for the job at the end of the interview to demonstrate your outstanding sales skills. At that point, you might say something like, "Is there something about my qualifications that could prevent me from moving forward in the application process?"
- Ask when you can expect to hear if they don't tell you anything.
- Write thank you notes to each hiring manager you meet with. If they can't hire you, they may know someone else in the industry who can. Maintaining a professional relationship with everyone you meet is essential.
Part 3 of 3: Working as a Medical Visitor
Step 1. Understand your salary and benefits
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a medical visitor is $ 88,200 and most earn between $ 51,710 and $ 145,730.
- Medical sales representatives who work for established companies receive benefit packages that often include company auto, business travel, expense accounts, stock options, bonds, life and health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and retirement plans.
- Be sure to check with your company about the benefit options that are available to you.
Step 2. Excel in training
Most pharmaceutical companies provide on-the-job training for new sales representatives. Some companies even provide tuition reimbursement for continuing education courses in pharmacology and related fields.
As a medical visitor, you are expected to enroll in continuing education courses during your career
Step 3. Know your responsibilities
The majority of medical sales representatives work on committees in a sector. You will be responsible for scheduling and attending sales meetings with health and medical professionals, following initiatives, and working with new clients for your company. You will also be responsible for attending industry conferences, speaking at supplier events, and furthering your education as a medical professional.
- In addition to your sales duties, you will also need to conduct field research on behalf of your company. This will involve studying prescription patterns and monitoring reactions to new treatments.
- This is a job where there is advanced technology in a fast paced environment. Strive to excel in the intellectual challenges you will face and take pride in communicating exciting medical breakthroughs to consumers. Here you will have the opportunity to share new and sometimes life-saving treatments in the community.
- You will probably be responsible for setting your own hours and working independently. Since you will be working on commission, you may spend weekends and nights building contacts and networking for future sales.
Step 4. Make progress in the industry
With time and experience, you will have the opportunity to advance into administrative positions where you will supervise the work of new visitors. Push yourself hard, meet your goals, and pursue your education in order to climb the ladder in the pharmaceutical industry.
- The pharmaceutical industry is largely located in California, New Jersey, and parts of the Midwest, so candidates living in those locations may have an advantage when it comes to entry-level positions.
- People who have strong educational backgrounds in life sciences, business, and statistics are also interesting candidates for employers.