What’s not to love about pharmaceutical sales jobs? You get an outstanding salary with generous bonuses, you work a flexible schedule outside the confines of an office, and you even get access to a company car. Of course, that’s only part of the story. Pharmaceutical sales jobs can be competitive and difficult to get. Once you’re in, the day-to-day work can either be seen as “challenging” or “frustrating,” depending on how good you are at sales. Here are a few tips for landing (and maintaining) sales jobs in the pharmaceutical industry:
- Sell yourself.
For every open position, there may be as many as 150 applicants. There are more than 58,000 drug salespeople in the US, so you will have to set yourself apart from the competition if you want to be successful. The best way to get an “in” is to network with other people who are working the sales jobs you want. If you’re a likable friend, you are much more likely to be welcomed into the culture.
- Exude confidence and a positive attitude.
The meek need not apply to pharmaceutical sales jobs. These positions are for highly gregarious, friendly and resilient professionals. You will need to weather your fair share of rejections – not only applying for work in the first place, but also when you are out in the field trying to peddle the latest and greatest drugs. You want to have people skills like tactfulness and diplomacy.
- Know your science.
Some jobs require just a BA, while others may prefer an MBA. Either way, you should have a strong understanding and natural aptitude in science. Otherwise, the job can be a living hell. Working in the marketing department of the healthcare industry would be a great place to hop in and get your feet wet.
- Show an interest.
Before your interview, research the company’s products and mission statement. Have an idea of what you’re applying for and how your past work may have prepared you to be an asset for the company. You should expect several different interviews before getting hired.
- Find your motivation.
It can be lonely working out in the field all alone. Often, the biggest challenge is keeping yourself psyched up and motivated. You will also need to know where your time and energies are best spent. Most importantly, you need the mental stamina to remain as sharp at 6 p.m. as you were on the day’s first call.