Be a Professional! What Does That Mean in Medical Sales?

You’ve heard it from medical sales recruiters.  You’ve heard it from your manager.  You’ve heard it from your medical sales colleagues.  “Be a professional!”  It sounds like good advice…in fact, it is!  But what exactly does it mean?  In this weeks podcast, Mace Horoff describes the attributes of professional behavior as it relates to medical sales.  Listen and assess yourself to see if you measure up to the standards of professional behavior for the medical sales profession.

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3 thoughts on “Be a Professional! What Does That Mean in Medical Sales?”

  1. I thought I’d comment as someone who generally really likes to talk to and support equipment salespersons and pharmaceutical reps. You men and women are important–you help us keep moving forward. Sometimes the stuff you sell is marginal, but that’s rare. Most of the time, the stuff you sell is a step forward in quality, technology, capability, simplicity and ease of use.

    My advice?

    Know the product beyond what’s written in the company brochures, and be ready and willing to learn from the questions that are asked by the customers. Admit immediately when you don’t know, and pledge to find the answer with the Engineer or scientific consultant and FORWARD this answer to the customer, almost like you are a reference librarian.

    Medical equipment and pharmaceuticals are not toasters, and to market them like they are consumer items is disrespectful to your product, yourself and your customer. These products they are often highly complicated entities, even if they are made out of plastic molds in China (in the event of medical disposables). Many of these things are put into and used inside of people’s bodies–your attitude of pushing the product must be in alignment with what is in the best interest of the patient and the physician and other health care staff.

    If the idea is to market the device or pharmaceutical in the best interest of the patient, it sets you (the salesperson) and the health care worker up to win all around, even if the patient has a bad outcome because—-you all had the best interest of the patient in mind when you “sold” the product to the health care organization.

    This (often) requires sales reps with previous backgrounds in medicine, like nurses, surgical techs and the like. I am coming at this comment from the point of view of an Anesthesiologist looking at equipment, just to be fair. I’m sure that many sales people that have not had a previous position in health care can flourish, however, it’s tougher to talk-the-talk, having not walked-the-walk.

    Perhaps there could be some type of “apprenticeship” a sales person could experience alongside a physician that could bring them to really understand their product? I have allowed one sales rep to shadow me frequently over a period of two weeks–I think his intention was precisely what I was suggesting–to understand his product from an aspect he couldn’t previously “get”. His device was a tracheal intubation device, and I have special expertise with most of these devices, including his.

  2. I’m sorry Mace this not correct at all.

    Medical sales professionals that see Doctors as a different type of professional are entirely correct.

    The reason is Doctors understand that the fundamental role of their profession is the discovery and creation of new knowledge. In other words, what’s fundamental is doing science not practice. For them and many others this is the definition of a profession. Since Doctors put into practice the findings that come from their science they consider themselves professionals.

  3. Actually, my last statement should be changed to the following:

    Since Doctors are part of a field that considers it’s fundamental role to be science, they consider themselves professionals.

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