Pharmaceutical Sales: What kind of person does the DM want to add to their team?

Friday, March 26, 2010 14:09

Pharmaceutical sales is one of the most sought-after careers in the United States. The competition is fierce. If you have landed an interview, you have what it takes on paper; but that alone isn’t enough. Your résumé may have gotten noticed and may have been pulled from those of over 500 applicants, but you may still be one of 30 or so candidates going for one opening. In that case, it is show time. Show your potential employers that you have done your homework, that you want to work for them, and that you have what it takes to be a successful pharmaceutical sales rep.


Put your thinking cap on

It’s important to think about what pharmaceutical sales managers will be looking for in a great sales rep. What type of person do they want to add to their team?  Your answers to their interview questions need to show them that you are the perfect fit for the job.  Here’s what they will be looking for in the ideal rep:


  • Communication skills. Show them that you are adept in both verbal and nonverbal communication skills, that you are an exceptional listener, and that you are willing to work to understand the physician and his or her needs. Prove that you are an excellent rapport builder and that you have the ability to connect with others to build friendships and alliances.
  • Organization skills. Convince them that you keep good records of activities performed. Demonstrate that you know how to prioritize and plan for the next day by knowing which physicians you’ll see and what incremental goal you’ll focus on with each of them. Tell them that you are flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities when they arise and that you have the ability to prioritize and to make the most of your opportunities.
  • Openness to guidance and constructive criticism as an opportunity to learn. Convince them that you are coachable and are eager to listen to helpful advice.
  • Loyalty. You will stand by your company despite issues and never speak critically about the company.
  • Ability to take ownership of territory. You will view your territory as your own business and provide leadership to others when necessary.
  • Problem solver/opportunity creator. You can help your physician solve his or her patient problems and address patient needs.
  • Good negotiation and persuasive selling skills. You can anticipate prescriber’s customers’ needs and wants through questioning techniques, rapport building, and patient population analysis. You provide exceptional customer service and act as a partner in serving the physician’s patients.
  • Ability to present information in a clear, concise manner. Demonstrate proving your assertions through “show and tell” and effective application of analogies and comparisons.
  • Ability to memorize and comprehend large amounts of technical scientific and medical information.
  • Determination and competitive attitude. You will work extra hours as needed and focus on goals until you achieve them. You have a drive to succeed and be the best. You exhibit a “get what you put into it” mentality in terms of time, energy, and effort. 
  • Teamwork skills.  Demonstrate your ability to work toward a common goal and to motivate and inspire others.
  • Positive, enthusiastic attitude. You’ll maintain a positive attitude no matter what and despite setbacks.
  • Professional appearance and conduct. You will represent the company well.
  • Confidence and motivation to be a self-starter. You do not wait for others to teach you what you need to know. Your “whatever it takes” attitude is obvious.
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One Response to “Pharmaceutical Sales: What kind of person does the DM want to add to their team?”

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