Pharmaceutical Sales Secrets Revealed by Pat Riley
How do I get into Pharmaceutical Sales?
As a 6-year veteran of pharmaceutical sales recruiting,
I hear this question at least 77 times a day.
Breaking into pharmaceutical sales is hard work.
Throughout life, you learn "life rules" like "respect
your elders" and "wear a shirt at the dinner table".
Likewise, there are pharmaceutical job-hunting rules secrets.
Only nobody has told you them. However, I'm going to tell you
a couple of my secrets, but not all of them, because I still want
to earn a living in my industry of choice.
Speaking with a pharmaceutical sales representative
or district manager is probably the best way to break into the
industry. You want to build a relationship with existing pharmaceutical
sales representatives and district managers for several reasons.
The referral usually carries more weight than a resume from
any other source. Second, they know the industry and might be
able to provide you with a list of contact names (i.e., other
sales representatives, hiring managers, or recruiters. Working
through recruiters and career jobs boards should also be fully
utilized to maximize your job search efforts.
Accomplishments are crucial to a great resume
because they articulate your professional performance or results.
Hiring managers use your past performance as a key indicator
to predict your future performance (i.e., if you were a quota
buster in your last position, you will most likely be a quota
buster in your next position). Accomplishments should be objective,
quantitative, and measurable. Hiring managers like to see "dollars,
numbers, and percents" on your resume. Also, use bullet
points to set off your accomplishments. Do not bury your accomplishments
in paragraph form.
A pharmaceutical sales interview is like no
other type of interview. You must be prepared for the SITUATION,
ACTION AND OUTCOME type of interview questions. Situational
questions will be asked and your answers must include the actions
taken and the outcome of your actions.
For example: How did you turn around a "hostile" relationship
into a sale?
I inherited an account that had our equipment in it ten years
ago. The equipment, billing process, and the sales representative
were horrible and now the clients will not return my calls. He
said he would never buy another piece of " X " equipment.
First of all, I did not take it personally but listened, and let
him know I understood his ill will toward our company. Over the
next several months, he opened up to exploring how our company
had changed for the better. He allowed me to explore his account's
needs and demonstrate our solutions.
Ten months after taking over the account, I sold $$ worth of equipment
to this client.