One of the reasons people often give me for wanting to pursue medical device sales is that they want to work with a more professional clientele. In order to do so successfully, a certain level of professional polish is required. You need to be prepared to deal with highly educated and intelligent people such as surgeons, hospital administration and many other members of the hospital staff.
Hiring managers often tell me when they sit in front of a candidate during an interview, they ask themselves if they can imagine doctors in their territory wanting to do business with the person. If the person is arrogant rather than humble, the answer is usually an immediate “No.”
Here are a few of the other essential characteristics that lead to success, not only during the interview process but in dealing with customers in healthcare:
- Be overly prepared. This means knowing twice as much as you think you need to — about products, the company, the procedures, and having multiple back-up options. In the interview, you should have extra copies of your resume, a brag book and 30-60-90 day plan. Research the company and products so that you can ask in-depth questions about the products and hold an intelligent business conversation.
When dealing with a doctor, it means you know alternative solutions and competitive products, that you can anticipate needs and are one step ahead of everyone during a procedure. You should also do pre-call planning and research, so that you are not wasting anyone’s time by proposing irrelevant solutions.
- Wear appropriate attire. It’s worth reviewing suggestions on how to dress for an interview. It has a huge impact on the overall perception of the interviewer, likewise your customers. Conservative and neat are two key words here. Otherwise, you may instantly find yourself in a deep hole that is impossible to get out of.
As this About.com article “Dress for Success” notes, it’s important for women to choose “sparse make-up & perfume” for the interview. This is equally important on the job. Especially in sterile environments, heavy make-up or perfume can be perceived negatively.
Using the suggestions in this article, both men and women should perform an audit of their attire to see if they are on the right track. Enlist the honest opinion of a trusted friend, if needed.
- Chose your words well. Communication in healthcare should be intelligent, relevant and accurate. Healthcare professionals are highly educated and very busy. They need to get to the point quickly, and value information that will assist them in making the best decisions for their patients.
Medical device sales people need to be able to succinctly explain intricate concepts, products and techniques to these busy, intelligent people. In the interview, candidates who have a sophisticated vocabulary and communicate in a precise manner have an advantage, even if they don’t yet know all the medical lexicon. Rambling or coarse, unsophisticated language is perceived as a mismatch.
Entering and succeeding in the world of medical device sales requires the right preparation, presentation and phrasing. Are you polished enough to make the most of this step in your career?
Lisa McCallister specializes in recruiting for medical device sales and marketing positions with an operating room focus, such as orthopedics, electrosurgery, endoscopy and a wide range of surgical specialties. She has recruited two Rookie of the Year award winners. Connect with her on LinkedIn or check out her blog, MyJobScope.com.