It can be a difficult, intensely competitive process for a medical technologist to move from the bench into medical sales. I have a great example of how Jenn did this (even beating out two other candidates with sales experience), and wanted to share the story with you so you can gain some insight for yourself:
Thank you! ...I have just accepted a promotion that will move me from the bench (I'm a medical technologist) into sales with my company. This opportunity will do wonders for my career options and my ability to keep providing for my family in this economy. The competition was intense. I made it through:
I studied for each step by reading everything you had to say and viewing all your videos. I went into the interviews armed with a brag book, a 30/60/90 day plan, and several letters of recommendation from current clients I already worked with that I presented as evidence of my ability to sell myself. It worked!
I found out later that there was a lot of behind the scenes political pressure to hire a candidate with outside sales experience,instead of promoting from within. There were at least two other candidates with sales experience I was up against. The hiring manager told me later that "You nailed it", "You overcame all our objections", "I was about to move on and wrap up the first interview when you brought out your plan and changed my mind" and that the VP told her after the second interview "She just closed this with no sales experience!"
Thank you, sincerely, for all your effort with your company, your blog, and your videos. Your insight helped me immeasurably. You make a difference in people's lives by doing what you do! ...I will be advocating for you on my personal blog as well as on twitter and in real life, and in the future should I need career coaching you are my go-to resource! Thanks again!
Jenn Mangino, BS, MT(ASCP) and now Key Account Executive!
Moving from the lab into sales can be hard work, but it can be done!
Here are links to two interview tools that Jenn used to get her medical sales job:
David moved from pharmaceutical sales to medical device sales despite some strong odds-- (1) this can be a difficult transition to make; (2) he had lost his previous job (so he was unemployed while looking) and (3) he was 51.
I speak to lot of job seekers who face these kinds of obstacles. If you've been laid off or fired, if you don't have the ideal experience for the job you want, or if you're on the far side of 50 years old, I hope you can take some hope and inspiration from David's story:
Hello. It's been just over two years since I purchased your consulting materials and I want you to know they were invaluable. Some quick background first: I was in pharma sales for 17 years and lost my job, so I decided to regroup and retool for a venture into the device arena. Your 30-60-90 day plan and accompanying strategies prepared me well. It helped me make it to the final interview with a leading device company, but I lost out to an internal candidate, and took a job with [name withheld] for two years and won two incentive award trips. Unfortunately, my contract was not guaranteed for renewal due to pipeline issues. So I reviewed your material again, and partook of your free webinars and this time landed a Medical Device job with [name withheld]. I just turned 51 years old this month, and succeeded against the odds. Your coaching and support materials were a pivotal part of my success. Thank you.
Congratulations, David! If you want to move into medical device sales, here's what David used:
Techs who transfer to sales usually either love it or hate it. Why? It's because the laboratory is a black and white world with absolutes. In the sales world, there are many more variables, many more maybes, and much more fluidity involved in dealing with people. The laboratory person who has good people skills coupled with that extensive technical background and who can deal with the uncertainty and constant change in sales jobs will be very successful.
So, if you've got the people skills and the technical background necessary for success in laboratory sales, how do you make the leap?
What do companies need to stay in business (and pay your salary)? Profits. That's their bottom line.
So how do you get employers interested in hiring you? Show them you're a 'Profit Machine.'
You may think that all sales reps are profit machines, because of the nature of the job--but that just isn't true. Not all sales reps consistently ring that cash register. That's where you'll find your greatest opportunity in your job search and interviews.
I wanted to share this with you--this job seeker used a 306090 Day Interview Plan and got the sales job on the spot. They didn't even interview the other candidate.
Peggy, these are the kind of emails you love! Just last weekend, I bought your 30-60-90 Day Sales Plan for an upcoming interview this past week. I appreciate your encouragement, assistance, tips and template. The sales position was down to two final candidates. I was the first to interview.
For the interview, I was to make a presentation, present a 90 day sales plan, and have a sales call scripted out. I was pretty set on the presentation and sales script, but I was a little nervous about the 90 Day sales plan. I found your site online, and was convinced it was going to help me.
Well, Peggy, it more than worked! They were so blown away by the interview, the 90 day sales plan and the vision I demonstrated, they made me an offer right there on the spot. They didn't even interview the second finalist.
The CEO said, "This is the exact vision and energy I want for my company."
I don't think I would have made the impression that I did, if it wasn't for your guidance.
Thank you again for our brief, but very effective encounter!
If you want to make an impression like this and get the job in your next sales job interview, get my 30-60-90-Day Sales Plan now.
To stand out in sales job interviews, you must bring what will show the hiring manager who you are, what you've done, and what you can do for him or her.
That means you should bring your resume, your brag book, and your 30/60/90-day sales plan. In this video, I'll tell you why those things speak to your job skills and qualifications, and I'll give you tips and ideas for interview preparation and attitude so that you can show the hiring manager why he should hire you.
A good sales book will naturally help you with your sales job, but it will also help you with your job interviews (whether you are interviewing for a sales job or not) because interviews are all about selling yourself for the job.
What about sales training applies to your job interview success?
Learning how to discover what your customer wants (so you can give it to them)
Reading body language
Closing the deal
The motivation you get from a good sales book will boost your job search confidence, too.
Here's my list of the top 10 sales books to boost your performance in a sales job interview:
What's the most important sales job interview (and resume) tip?
Quantify Your Experience!
A sales rep's job is to make the sale. So if you're looking for a new sales job, your mission is to demonstrate that you can ring that cash register, and do it well.
Quantify your resume.
In order to get the interview, your resume should be a marketing document for you....your "brochure" that draws them into calling you for an interview. If you are in sales, the numbers you pull down (in terms of customers, dollar amounts of sales, sales rankings, and more) matter a lot. A sales resume is all about the numbers. That's what hiring managers are looking for:
What kind of numbers can you pull down?
What's your sales ranking? Did it increase?
What does your customer/units sold/profit growth look like?
What was your budget?
What kind of revenue have you generated? (Either in actual dollar amounts, or percentage increases.)
Landing your first job in sales (with no experience) can be difficult, but not impossible. Here are 3 great tips for landing a sales job:
1. Work the "Do-It-Yourself" plan.
Arrange a ride-along with a sales rep. See what a typical day is like. Ask questions about the job, find out how to be competitive in the job search and once you get the job. Get a few names to call from places they sell to.
Use the field preceptorship (job shadowing) to fill your resume with keywords that will make sure it's noticed by computerized tracking systems. Your resume should have a sales focus and also highlight your technical background in your field.
To get a recruiter's or a hiring manager's attention for a sales job, you need to pack your resume with keywords relevant to the sales arena you want. Recruiters, hiring managers, and Human Resource departments use computer searches and applicant tracking systems, searching with keywords to find resumes worth looking at further.
If you have experience, this should be relatively easy--but it would be a good idea to go ahead and check out job descriptions and listings to make sure you have the keywords they will use.
If you're new to the area and don't have much experience, you'll have to be a little more creative. (That does NOT mean you should lie on your resume. That's always a bad idea, and you're sure to be found out eventually.) You'll have to look outside of traditional job histories to get the keywords you need for a sales resume.
Sales job interviews are difficult, and your competition is fierce. That means that you're going to have to work a little harder to set yourself apart from the competition and win the job. Smart hiring managers know that all sales reps can talk a good game, so they are looking for the one who can also back it up.
Here are 6 tips that absolutely will help you impress the hiring manager and boost your chances of landing the job:
1. Research the company. A job-winning sales candidate will know:
what the company does
what its current issues are
what its goals are
where its products fit in the marketplace
who the competition is
Take in this information and use it to figure out how you can help them reach their goals....and then frame your answers to interview questions accordingly.