If you come across advertisement looking for a pharmaceutical sales representative, and if you had seen a few of them, perhaps you would notice some common criteria. In fact, these are what pharmaceutical companies usually look for when recruiting new representative, or filling in vacant positions. Invariably, you will notice a mix of technical and ‘soft’ skills being listed. Such skills include selling, personal management, and relationship building.
If there is one important aspect regarding those skills worth mentioning then it is this: These skills can be trained. No one is ever born with them and even if they are, they still could use training to sharpen them.
Lets us briefly look at each skill in turn.
Without going into specific, selling skills will be provided once a person is recruited by a pharmaceutical company. Every company has it own training module. Even if a person was trained sales rep from another company, it does not mean that he would not be trained in his or her new company. In fact, such training is crucial because that person will be needed to blend into the new company’s environment. Whatever they have learned previously can be considered irrelevant.
Every sales representative is considered a manager in their own territory. Many companies nowadays have adopted this self-management idea due to time and cost constraint. In most cases, such management concept has yield good return, meaning, it requires minimal cost to implement and give higher return.
For example, rather than bringing in a sales representative from outstation, company can just hook them on the phone and by using the internet, sales rep can access slides or material being discussed. The rep can also volunteer their opinion over the phone right there and then, and makes the session more interactive without physically present.
Pharmaceutical industry has long been ‘people to people’ industry. Day in and out, sales reps from various companies come to visit healthcare providers, in private or public settings, to promote products ranging from drugs to diagnostic equipments. No matter what products they represent, the most important consideration for them is they are dealing with another human being, not thing.
And that makes people skills or largely known as relationship skills very important. It was said that knowing something about a customer worth more than knowing everything about a product. How true is this? Perhaps when it comes to dealing with human, one can readily see the impact.
Relationship really is the determining success factor.
After briefly being introduced to some of the skills needed to become a pharmaceutical sales rep, it is fairly obvious that these skills can be trained, and that makes going into such profession possible to many people regardless of their educational background. In fact, if one were to look close enough, none of these skills were offered as full-time courses in any high school or university.