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As a former pharmaceutical sales recruiter, my coaching clients believe it is odd when I declare that networking with pharmaceutical reps is the important thing to landing their first pharmaceutical sales interview, rather than merely calling a recruiter. But let's face it, if your manager can hire a sales pro recommended by his/her rep at a much cheaper fee than by way of a recruiter, then which you think the manager will choose?
And, although networking is apparently feared by many very first time pharma sales candidates, it is now increasingly easier to do throughout the last few years.
Why Sheer numbers, my friend! With over 100,000 pharmaceutical reps in the United States alone, chances are high that someone in your network of friends or acquaintances is just a pharmaceutical rep, or at the least knows one.
In my pharmaceutical sales interview coaching business, I've found that only the strong survive a career search in pharmaceutical sales. To put it bluntly, gaining your 1st job in pharmaceutical sales isn't for the faint of heart. You should be ready to "put yourself on the market" and not be timid about utilizing your network of friends/family or approaching pharmaceutical reps that you do not know.
Here's How exactly to Kick-Start Your Networking Activities and Land That Pharmaceutical Sales Interview:First Step: Send networking letters to everyone in your circle of family and friends. Inform them of one's fervent need to win work in pharmaceutical sales, and require further networking contacts.Second Step: Develop a following system of your network - who you've spoken with, the outcome of the conversation and if/when follow-up is required. That is important to begin right
away, as you will quickly have so many contacts it will undoubtedly be difficult to keep track of your following step.Third Step: Make a listing of your physician/physician assistant contacts. Your children's pediatrician,
your personal doctor, a household friend who is also a physician - all of these are perfect networking connections. Contact these individuals via phone, or write an informal note and leave it for them at their place of business.Fourth Step: Utilize your present relationships with office personnel in local medical clinics to supply networking contacts. Look for a copy ofthe local pharm rep association list, or at the very least for the names of 3-4 reps that work personnel love and trust.Fifth Step: Visit your neighborhood pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for the business enterprise cards of reps that frequent the pharmacy.Sixth Step: What about camping out in an active medical clinic all day, dressed in your finest? Don't be shy about approaching pharmaceutical reps as they make their way out of the clinic. Only take one minute of the time, and supply a 45 second "infomercial" of your education and career history that qualifies you for a pharmaceutical sales career. Finally, ask if you might contact them at another time that is convenient for them.Seventh Step: Arrive at a nearby Pharm Rep Association meeting and ask to be introduced at the beginning of the meeting. Rattle off your "infomercial" and request business cards, so that you may follow-up with reps at a later time. Chat with the reps afterward to ascertain immediate openings and make dates for later conversations.
Consistent Follow-Up: Follow-up through phone and email together with your contacts on a monthly basis to discover new openings and to keep the partnership "warm".Organized System for Tracking Activities and Next Steps: Track your progress every step of just how; utilize spreadsheets and update accordingly.
Build Relationships: Develop a personal relationship with each of your contacts. Remember and track the "small things", (as in your contacts'likes/dislikes, birthdays, names of household members, etc.) and utilize that knowledge to build an optimistic bond along with your networking contacts.
The aforementioned 3 tips can literally make or break your career search progress. Consider it practice for the pharmaceutical sales job you'll soon have - organizational skills, follow-up, and repoire-building skills are a huge component of pharma sales career success.
It's time for you to reflect...step back and have a look at the big picture. When you have a sizable network of pharma rep contacts (30-40 is good), you've passed your resume along throughout your contacts, and yet you're still not gaining interviews...your resume may be the cause. Your resume should be a robust marketing piece that showcases your skills/abilities/experience in ways that FORCES hiring managers to interview you! Think about a pharmaceutical sales resume writer to jump-start your interviews. Be sure to pick a resume writer with pharmaceutical sales industry experience, as this may ensure effective use of industry buzzwords and keywords...essential to gaining interviews!