By Ralph Steeber, CEO MEDSEARCH
Here are nine important character traits that candidates are well-advised to hone and exhibit during the job interview process:
• Communication Skills – The skill to make a good presentation and engage your audience is critical. The ability to listen attentively and speak clearly are the foundation of healthcare sales.
• Concise and Direct Style –A physician’s or healthcare professional’s time is valuable and you don’t get much of it. It is important for you to be able to distill information down to its essence.
• Responsive and Proactive Thinking – The healthcare marketplace is always in flux with products and situations changing constantly. To separate yourself from the competition, you must be able to think well on your feet and develop market-based strategies to serve your clients.
• Decision-making Abilities – You will be an advisor, but also a decision-maker. Throughout the interview process, it is valuable to demonstrate your ability to handle accounts and clients in a firm and assertive manner.
• Self-confidence (without arrogance) – You must have the professional and personal confidence to call on highly educated professionals and work with them as peers. It’s important that you don’t feel intimidated…however it is equally important that you aren’t so confident as to seem abrasive.
• Organizational Skills – The ability to manage your time and your territory are essential in healthcare. Sales territories are generally quite large in healthcare and organizational skills are as necessary as sales skills. Record-keeping and administrative paperwork must all be handled efficiently.
• Energy – Sometimes you need the stamina of an elephant plus the energy of a rabbit. Days can be long and demanding. You must be mindful of your own health and well-being.
• Mental Acuity – With continually changing technology, today’s healthcare rep needs to be able to absorb highly technical data concerning existing and future products.
There is one final trait that is especially important: Tenacity
Sales professionals know that you do not make a sale with a single sales call, phone conversation or letter. It’s a process that involves taking steps over time to achieve an outcome. This is also true of your career.
A successful career change into healthcare sales does not happen overnight. It is a process. A stick-to-it attitude is necessary. The rewards, however, can be extraordinary.