Although this career is open to all graduates, the following subjects may improve your chances:
You don't need a science degree, however, and a good number of medical sales representatives have a non-science degree. A business or marketing degree, for example, can be particularly useful, especially if accompanied by some knowledge of medical sales and what this involves.
You'll need to have:
-excellent communication and presentation skills
-an outgoing and persuasive manner and negotiating skills
-sales and customer relationship skills
-confidence and persistence
-patience and self-motivation
-analytical and planning skills
-a flexible approach to work in order to adapt to changes, for example in the healthcare system or product and drug formularies
-strong teamwork and networking skills
-commercial and business awareness.
A driving licence is essential.
In any setting, the process of selling involves contacting potential customers, identifying their needs, persuading them that your products or services (rather than those of competitors) can best satisfy those needs, closing the sale by agreeing the terms and conditions, and providing an after-sale service.
As a medical sales representative, you'll need to:
- arrange appointments with doctors, pharmacists and hospital medical teams, which may include pre-arranged appointments or regular 'cold' calling
- make presentations to doctors, practice staff and nurses in GP surgeries, hospital doctors and pharmacists in the retail sector
-organise conferences for doctors and other medical staff
-build and maintain positive working relationships with medical staff and support administrative staff
-manage budgets for catering, outside speakers, conferences and hospitality
-keep detailed records of all contacts
-reach, and if possible exceed, annual sales targets
-win new customers, as well as developing long-term relationships with existing ones
-plan work schedules and weekly and monthly timetables with the area sales team or discuss future targets with the area sales manager
-regularly attend company meetings, technical data presentations and briefings
-keep up to date with the latest clinical data supplied by the company, and interpret, present and discuss this data with health professionals during presentations
-analyse sales data to improve results and make sure resources are effectively allocated
-monitor competitor activity and competitors' products
-keep up to date with new developments, anticipate potential negative and positive impacts on the business and adapt strategy accordingly
-develop strategies for increasing opportunities to meet and talk to contacts in the medical and healthcare sector
stay informed about the activities of health services in a particular area.
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