Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

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Sincerely,

 

Linda Hertz


 

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Hello Linda,

Here is a question for you... with the job market like it is, how do the thousands of medical recruiters survive with only so many jobs out there?

Thank you
Fred
Hello Linda,

I am just full of questions today... I often see job postings (via recruiters) What is the fascination with "Greek life" and how does that add value to a candidate? I can understand military and college athletics but Greek life? What about those of us who worked full time through school?
Frederick Weber said:
Hello Linda,

Here is a question for you... with the job market like it is, how do the thousands of medical recruiters survive with only so many jobs out there?

Thank you
Fred


Hello Fred,

I don't have any specific numbers, but I will tell you that there are fewer recruiters in business now. Last year several recruiters e-mailed or called me wanting my previous company, RecruitBUZZ, to buy out their Hot Jobs or Career Builder contracts. Both of those job sites are very expensive and usually require a one year contract commitment with monthly fees. In addition, a recruiter friend of mine was launching her new business model last year for recruiters to join and she said 80% of the e-mails bounced back because so many recruiting firms had down sized or were out of business.

Pharma Resume Blaster (they blast resumes to those in our industry) indicated they had OVER 1200 recruiters in our medical industry on their list a few years ago and that has been reduced. So the answer to your question, is that they all are not surviving. In fact, there were some long time recruiters in our business who called and said that was it, they were done, not only was it hard to find GOOD open jobs, but the hiring companies were stacking 3, 4 or 5 recruiters on one job! These few lucky recruiters were over the age of 60 and could just close up shop and retire.

Fortunately many independent recruiters who have been in business for several years are surviving on filling fewer jobs and if they have any recruiters working for them, it is a reduced number. I also know of a few medium to large firms that went to smaller digs, to even moving their entire office staff to work out of their home! Also, without giving away all my secrets, the good recruiters have learned how to work the jobs differently. You cannot put in the effort for contingency jobs with more than 2 recruiters assigned to it...one will go out of business. Time needs to be spent working retainer or dedicated jobs.

Like anything else, a downturn in the economy will flush out the weak and the strong will survive. I plan to survive!

Thank you for your question!
Frederick Weber said:
Hello Linda,

I am just full of questions today... I often see job postings (via recruiters) What is the fascination with "Greek life" and how does that add value to a candidate? I can understand military and college athletics but Greek life? What about those of us who worked full time through school?

Of course this is my opinion Fred on why some companies prefer people who have joined a Social Sorority or Fraternity (as you call it Greek Life!). I must also come clean, I joined Pi Beta Phi way back during the horse and buggy era when I was at Michigan State University. The legal drinking age back then was 18, so the movie Animal House, might depict my era fairly well! I must also add, that I joined the house at the end of my Sophomore year so perhaps I can present both sides of it since it only occupied 50% of my 4 years at MSU!

Here are some of the more positive Greek Life experiences that really did help me in the business world and I think why some of the companies value people with the experience:

• Joining a team of people for a common cause; most fraternal orders support and encourage community involvement, my sorority hosted and worked multiple fund raisers for Muscular Dystrophy. That included, creating the event, getting it approved through the many layers of people who need to approve it: College Officials, National Sorority Governing Bodies, the Organization we were raising funds and the Community (as well as sometimes the police and fire department). Handling the money, accounting, recording and distribution.
• Each house has elected offices each year from President, Treasurer, Membership Chair to Social Chairman (of course I held that office, someone needed to plan the parties and collect the money!).
• We had to learn to live together and actually run the house. The house mother was there, but in our house we took active participation collecting dues, paying the bills and running a rather large sum of money.
• Lastly, the one area I personally felt was of value, and I can almost always tell when I hired someone young out of college who had fraternity background. They immediately knew how to work my Nurse and Doctor Dinners, they circulated, they chatted, they gathered leads and they made our customers feel at home. Fraternities and Sororities must have new Members every year to insure their continued existence and pay their bills. We always trained our new girls how to work rush week, the week all the new students would visit our houses. We were trained on how to work the room, we knew the names of those coming through the door and we had a rotation pattern of who and how many girls we needed to meet. That plays itself spot on in sales, especially working Trade Shows and company hosted events.

So Greek life does have its advantages in grooming some skill sets that can be transferred to the business world. When you have someone who worked, went to school and was in a Sorority with good grades, well that reflects someone who is a hard worker! We did have a couple of those in my house and one is an attorney today.

That is my take on Greek Life. Remember there are probably just as many people who do not like Fraternities and what they represent and I am sure there are many hiring managers who wanted nothing to do with them. I think as one progresses away from their college years it really means less and less, other than if you run into someone who was in your chapter! Then you do have something to talk about.
Question from Kim (last name withheld), sent me this question recently:

I was hoping that you could help me with cover letters, specifically one for recruiters and a basic one. I find myself spending too much time creating a totally different cover letter for each opportunity.

I certainly appreciate all of the support and information you provide on your site.

Thanks,

Kim

MY REPLY:

Hi Kim,

Cover letters...I will tell you in the Medical Sales Industry Recruiters and Hiring Medical Sales Managers don't even open them. Yep, we don't even look at them. We are bottom line type folks and we want to get right to the meat, the meat being your resume to see your school and work history

That said, perhaps HR people look at them (they tend to be more detail oriented and making sure they follow the rules!)
I feel that cover letters are from a time when everyone had to send their resume in the mail hard copy and you would NEVER send it without a cover letter. The words themselves probably came from the fact that the letter would do just that, be a physical paper cover to the stapled resume to dress it up and gave one the opportunity to address the recipient as well (Dear Mr. X).

If you think about it, almost everything is sent via e-mail, the body of the email really becomes the cover letter where you can address the recipient and merely attach the resume.

If you are mailing your resume, I would still suggest a hard copy cover letter...but who does that these days? If you wish to view the Wikipedia definition and suggestion for content construction; here is the direct link: cover letter construction
Regards,
Linda Hertz
You can send me your question on Linkedin Confidentially and I will reply to you and repost here if it could be helpful to others. I will make sure I hide your identity (change the name, perhaps the years of tenure and etc.) so others can also learn from your question. Here is something I just received within the past few weeks from
Todd:

QUESTION FROM TODD:I have 7 years of sales experience in the Long Term Care industry, how do I get into the Acute Care selling? Recently interviewed for a Covidien position but since I had no Acute Care selling experience I didn't stand a chance. Any suggestions.....

Linda Hertz Reply

Hi Todd,

That one is tough because you are competing against those that do have the background. I usually suggest trying to get promoted to that side of the business within your own organization, but knowing your organization they don't have that type of Division! That said, I would interview with companies that want someone who will be calling on multiple call points; LTC, HH, MD, Clinical and Acute Care. If you can't get that type of job, then interview with companies that will hire you in their LTC side, BUT they have an acute care Division or opportunity (ideally within the same Division, we all know how hard it is to cross Divisional lines!).

I used that later approach with an older Division of Parke Davis (that is now long gone) in the disposable products arena when I was trying to break in; I called on all segments and I made sure I made the acute care side my expertise! Another company heard of my success from a Material Manager at a hospital and he called me and it led to my first OR Surgical job! You never know where the next job will come from, but you have to get a line of products (even if it is only 1 product) that places you ultimately in the spot you want to be in!

That said, you probably make a great deal of money in your current area (due to your tenure) and that is going to be tough to match if you use the above approach, but always look to where the job will lead. The initial money may be the sacrifice!

Off the top of my head, Coloplast, Smith and Nephew, Convactec and some Divisions of J&J may give you what you need in this approach.

Stay in touch and let me know if this works for you.

All the best!


Regards,

Linda Hertz
Question from KatyFrom: Katy (Linda Hertz Group Member)
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 2010 11:55 AM
To: personal email on Group
Subject: question about a recruiter

Dear Linda,

My friend who is job hunting in Florida had a disturbing conversation with a recruiter. He kept asking what every job in her background paid (in the vacinity of $100-$140) and then proceeded to say since she had never earned $180K--and his client's posting had supposed earning potential of $180K--that he didn't know if she would "get out of bed" for the job.

Her background (RN, ten years of sustained success in multiple markets/multiple products) demonstrates that she is high performing. What is an optimal answer if someone is making this case against a candidate?

Thanks,
Katy

Answer
From: Linda Hertz
To: To Katy
Subject: Hi Katy, sorry for the delayRE: question about a recruiter
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2010 09:50:10 -0700
Hi Katy,

So sorry for the delay and I would like to reconfigure your question (to hide identity) on the Ask Linda portion of my website too..ok?

If I understand this properly, the bottom line is that your friend is making 100K to 140K and the job she is interviewing for at target is 180K right? Not sure if it is a sales job but assuming so…that said, let me see if a situation I deal with is my Medtronic jobs. One Division pays 60K in base and the at plan is 137K to 142K with some top reps making 180K to 200K (and even if they don’t get out of bed, they should make at least 127K..is what the managers tell me). When I interview candidates who are making a total of 95K to 100K and their base is 55K….that is a NO GO, because they are going to make far more staying in bed with the Medtronic job than FROM THE JOB THEY CURRENTLY HAVE. The hiring premise is that in my example they want someone making a 80K to 110K in base and an overall 120K or so because they are going to feel the heat and drive the sales, the candidate is going to take the gamble that they are going to make far less in base and must have the drive to get up and go and not only hit the 127K but really go for that 142K plus nugget).

Please let me know if that example touches upon your friends situation? If there are other details I am not getting , let me know too and thank you for your question!

Regards,

Linda Hertz

Katy's Reply
From: Katy
Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2010 9:01 PM
To: Linda Hertz
Subject: RE: question about a recruiter

Dear Linda,

Thank you so much for your detailed response-I appreciate your candor. My objection to this recruiter's response was merely that my colleague has been a consistent top performer, has her RN degree, has over 10 years of documented sales success in Cardiology selling pills, devices, and diagnostic DNA tests. She has made dormant territories successful and has ranked #1 nationally. So based on these criteria, I had to object to the recruiter's assertion that she "wouldn't get up out of bed" to succeed, build, grow business.

I understand your response, but maybe the recruiter was a bit limited in his assessment of her talent. She has made base salary of from $79 K (cardionet) to $95 K (novartis), making from $100-140k and is merely trying to move into her next position that can take full advantage of her passion for sales, marketing, and science.

Thanks again for the insights- I will pass them along to my friend. Please feel free to use the question anonymously on your site.

Enjoy your weekend! I know I am!(:

Katy

Reply
From: Linda Hertz
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 7:05 AM
To: Katy Subject: RE: question about a recruiter

Thanks Katy…also, I wrote a most recent article…if he is a recruiter that is plugged in AND he KNOWS the hiring manager he could be voicing what they may be telling them. We are the gatekeepers and if HR or the hiring manager says I don’t want "this and this and that" and we send them someone with all the items they said NO to…we lose the contract. I think my most recent article on 7 questions to ask your recruiter is still there on the front page www.lindahertz.com as of today's publish. (Here is a perma link to the article 7 Questions to Determine if Your Recruiter is Strong and Plugged in... for the Ask Linda readers on the website).

Perhaps your friend may want to copy it off…or if you wish there is a share button where you can send any of the articles to friends.

I am searching for a new company right now and I am ready to get rid of them….there is another side of coin that I plan on writing about too…!

Regards,

Linda Hertz

Question Today from Linda Hertz Group Member, Chris

Hi Linda,

I was interested in how we, as candidates, can do our due diligence to qualify an opportunity as "great potential" when uncovering information can provide such a cross section of positive and negative information? So I guess I'm asking, how can you weed through the horsehockey and find the truth? Do we place any value in blogs for this type of research? Seems like the place for whinning and mud slinging.

I became concerned while researching a company that I'm considering working for the amount of mudslinging was incredible. So, I just had to throw the question up for discussion. Sure, companies get into trouble, adjust, regroup and figure out how to get the ship back course.... and thank goodness, otherwise probably 30% of the jobs that we're gunning for wouldn't be available. But every good sales book out there tells us to do our homework...research....know our customer (hence Mack66)....so in doing so...do we create problems for ourselves by digging up this junk? And where is the truth so we can make the best, informed decision? As you know, even when you're sitting across the table from them....they don't always raise the veil? I know I"m throwing a lot out here. I really appreciate your input and knowledge as an industry insider perhaps?

Kind regards,

Chris



Linda Hertz said:

Sorry Chris for taking so long to get back to you but I wanted to write an article that would encompass and entire approach on how one measures up a new Job and the Company; I just just posted it hot off the press through the link: Is The New Job Loaded with Landmines For Your Career?

 

Obviously I have a lot more to write within this in-depth series.  My thoughts are this on your question and let me restate it (and please let me know if I am addressing this correctly).

 

How Does One know if a job is a good one when you are hearing a lot of bad chatter about it via Blogs and websites (maybe even hearing a rumbling in the street)? 

 

My answer is this...gotta know the source of the chatter.  If the chatter is coming from a CafePharma where no one wants to own up to their identity then you really don't know the source.  In addition, I have found that if a rep. is REALLY ticked off they will get on Blogs and hit it over and over again about how terrible a manager or company is to vent their anger!  I commented on an Indeed Blog (identifying myself) and pointing out that a company that was telling people that if they buy their Medical Certification for Medical Sales they would have a better chance of getting a job....IT IS BOGUS and I put it out there with my NAME ON IT.  All of a sudden they pelted me with numerous emails supposedly from different people TRYING to trash me...over and over they used different signature names that were clearly made up by the same person to try to give credibility to their sham of a company and discredit me!   So again, know the sender. By the way, I am going to address this company and copy the blog responses so you can see what a SHAM looks like!

 

Now, let me give you the "other side of the coin" viewpoint; f you are seeing EXTREME blogging about a Job and company then I say, "time to get into action and find a CREDIBLE resource" (like someone who already works for the company using Linkedin or THIS website or ME).  You are a member here, I have 40,000 people in my database for resumes, 20,000 on the job board I Co-Own, MedRepCareers, and this growing resource of almost 600 people on this site!  All of these peole are in our Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry.  As a Member of the Linda Hertz Group, just send me a private email throught this network and I will tell you about the company and if it is strong or not...AND I will try to find you a contact who works for them or use to work for them and see if we can help you.

 

In short, if you see a lot of negative blogging...you need to check it out further along with the 19 points I outlined in the new Blog today.  Stay tuned, more to come, but hopefully this gives you enough to begin your research!

 

Thank you for your question so it could be shared with others!

 

Regards,

 

Linda Hertz

Hi Linda,


 


I was hoping you could provide some insight regarding a dilemma I'm facing. My background involves selling capital equipment, but I have an opportunity to sell an intangible product, dental lab services. The potential income is very good, but will recruiters such as yourself see this as a misstep later in my career when it's time for the next change. I'm also considering a spine asr position. Would it be better to make less money initially to get into spine? I'm torn b/c the lab base equals the total compensation for the asr. I greatly appreciate any feedback you may provide!


 


Thanks!

Member of the Linda Hertz Group


Hi Member,

I am assuming you are selling capital equipment in the hospital industry?  That said, you should be in a more experienced sales role, I definitly think moving to a DENTAL ANYTHING would be a step down (I am sorry if I am offending some Dental Sales People, because there are some excellent companies, it is just when one gets in Dental it is hard to get out of it!).  When you add Dental Lab Service I think that gives you some additional problems, pigeon holed into a Service sale vs. a Device Sale, unless you have had a good deal of capital equipment experience behind you!

 

I think that ANY position that you are considering for your NEXT move should not be evaluated "just on the intitial money", yes it is a factor, but you should also evaluate the position on the long term ramifications of that decision.  I know you are considering that from your question if Dental Lab Sales would limit your career options in the future.  What I would challange you to think about too is the following:

  • Would the new position place you in the industry you ultimately want to be in within 5 years?
  • Is there an internal career path within the company, that would lead you to a position or promotion within 5 years?
  • Is the industry a career growth industry for the future or a future dud?  Think a Pharma Job vs. a Job with Intuitive Surgical.  If you are young to mid-career, better be picking the companies that have the products and ultimately the jobs of the future!
  • What type of work do you enjoy or would enjoy most.  Who wants to do a job that gets you a great paycheck and job title but you hate every day you have to go to work! 

So ultimately, given the last point, you should do some homework that goes beyond the question of selling an intangible vs. a dental lab product.  Here is an earlier article I recently re-published that may help you!

Linda Hertz said:

Hi Linda,

 

I was hoping you could provide some insight regarding a dilemma I'm facing. My background involves selling capital equipment, but I have an opportunity to sell an intangible product, dental lab services. The potential income is very good, but will recruiters such as yourself see this as a misstep later in my career when it's time for the next change. I'm also considering a spine asr position. Would it be better to make less money initially to get into spine? I'm torn b/c the lab base equals the total compensation for the asr. I greatly appreciate any feedback you may provide!

 

Thanks!

Member of the Linda Hertz Group


Linkedin Contact Question:
 
Linda, I've noticed your helpful LinkedIn articles. Good stuff. I was wondering if you had an opinion on the best and most compelling way to change one's headline when no longer employed. For example, I am no longer at my company VP of Sales but I've kept my "present" status as if I was. Feeling now I should change it to something generic, but my concern is relevancy. Any thoughts? I don't want to hurt my profile by inserting what I see so often with folks who are unemployed, like "experienced sales person." Any ideas would be appreciated. Linkedin Contact of yours
 
Linda Hertz said: Hello Linkedin Contact,
 
I agree with you, putting UNEMPLOYED as your status is not good.  Certain words have negative connotation, "unemployed" is one of them.  I know others may disagree with this, but I would NEVER put unemployed on my status ANYWHERE.  Leave your Linkedin as present and begin to search out your new high level opportunity using the Trickle Down theory I explained in my last Linkedin 106 Article the no. 10 Card.
 
When you connect with a high level contact who is interested, merely send them your resume with your date of employ to replace "To Present" that is there now.  You MUST have your resume accurately reflect the situation. If you have been unemployed more than a year...things get pretty tough in this job market; I often suggest VERY experienced people to set up a quick Sole Proprietorship and establish a service business (although DO NOT USE THE word "consulting" in the company name or even your own name as the business title UNLESS you want this to be your last job of employ.  Putting Consultant on your resume is a kiss of death if you are older and REALLY want a regular full time job).
 
I hope that helps you and others in the same situation.
 
All the best,
 
Linda Hertz

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