Starting out as a Pharmaceutical Representative

  • BY SALLY HODGKINSON
  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017

Over the years we have successfully placed many rookies into the Pharmaceutical sales industry. Our engagement with our candidates continues throughout the first six months of employment to ensure they are settling in to their new career. Staying in touch with our candidates once they are employed provides us with great insight into their positions which we can share with you. The more you know about the job, the greater your chance is of succeeding at interview. Here are some comments from our recent success stories:

Before applying for a role as a Pharmaceutical sales representative you must do your research. This is imperative as many hiring managers will ask you about this at the interview and it’s a common remark made by our placed candidates:

  • “Do your homework! If you have talked to other reps, it goes a long way. It shows you are keen. Get out on the road with a rep - any experience, if only a little bit, really helps”.
  • “Do as much research on the job as you can, speak to reps, know what you are in for. Be prepared for inundation of information. Be responsive to feedback and learn from it”.

One of the fantastic things about this industry is the fact that many employers will hire rookies and provide in-depth training:

  • “The support is unbelievable. Everyone in the team has offered to help. It was the best training I’ve ever had. It was very thorough and you probably only use 20% of the knowledge they teach you in the field but it’s good to know your stuff as there are doctors that tease you by asking lots and lots of questions”.

Like in any new role, most Pharmaceutical reps will encounter some challenges, some short lived, others ongoing. It is important you know what these may be:

  • “An empty diary was handed to me when I started. My target was 6.5 doctor visits per day and 2 pharmacies per day. I only had 2 appointments per week during my first few weeks!”.
  • “Initially getting access to Doctors was a big challenge. The training helps though as does support from your manager in dealing with rejection. Some reception staff and practice managers are tough but you just kill them with kindness”.
  • “Gaining access to Doctors through the receptionist can be difficult and frustrating at times. A great tool for pharma reps is the appointment booking site www.rxtro.com."

Our successful candidates would all agree that it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination, and everyone is happy when they eventually get there:

  • “I love the sales side! Every month or so you get to see the sales data come through and can start to see the impact from your efforts. I also enjoy being out on the road and not stuck in a hospital!”
  • “I enjoy the responsibility of making your own plans. You are trusted to run your job like it’s your own business”.
  • “I enjoy the types of conversations I am able to have with the Doctors. It’s intellectually challenging”.

Additional resources:

Click here - Pharmaceutical Sales - Is it the career for you? (webinar)

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