Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

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Sincerely,

 

Linda Hertz


 

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Linda,

 

I am new to this site as well as the job hunt.  I have been with the same b 2 b company for over 4 years and am now looking to break into medical sales.  I have noticed that most companies or recruiters need awards and acheivements however my current company has pretty much done away with formal recognition of sales reps.  I have exceeded quota the past few years and have other accomplishments but cannot document anything other than exceeding quota.  Are there other ways to strengthen my resume in hopes of getting interviews, etc.?

Thank You,
Chris


Hi Chris,

 

Excellent question and people do ask me that all the time!  First of all I can give you some specific advice and then general advice too..both may help others.  First of all, I did look at your Linkedin profile and you should change up what you currently do to be more aggressive:

 

This is what you have:

"Consult, Advise, Execute and Deliver print projects to a wide variety of vertical markets with companies of all sizes. Provide solutions in digital & commercial print, direct mail, catalogs, print fulfillment, forms & labels and logistics." 

This is what you should consider changing it so (or something like it); "Business to Business Sales professional, selling print products and services to successful close producing top sales performance.  This includes selling to a variety of verticle markets from Fortune 500 companies to those in the Russell Index and smaller.  Solution selling (including strong financial component) in digital and commercial print, direct mail, catalogs, print fulfillment, forms and labels and logistics".

 

Remember that everything you put in  your Linkedin Profile makes your profile KEY WORD SEARCH friendly (so all key words need to be there!), in addition you want to get into a strong sales position so you must write up your experience with strength.

 

That said, now what to do?  Oh no, no rankings!  No doubt's about it...that is an issue, yes ALL top companies (and even the small ones) want proof that you can move the sales meter.  First let's work with what you have:

 

  1. Go back and get proof of the commission side of your earnings (year end pay stubs..electronic or otherwise that shows how much commission you made).  If you don't have that, get your W2...Salary vs. Bonus should be there.
  2. Create and excel spread sheet with a few columns; Yearly End $ by Salary, $ by commission, $ increase from year to year and % increase.  This will show how you perhaps got solid raises each year in base reflecting a great Performance Review (by the way, if you have those Performance Reviews...show them too), shows how you increased your sales commission.  Show that with ALL the Pay Stubs or W2 forms (black out your Social Security number please!) attached to the excel for proof.  If you have copies of the actual commission plan (how they decided how you got your performance money, put that in there too and KNOW how to explain it if asked).  If the plan says it will pay you 10% over last years number plus a 5% quota...pretty easy to see how you rocked the number in real terms.
  3. What if what you have does not reflect a great performance?  It appears you are young..so go back and start again...(one more idea to follow in no. 4), go swallow your pride and get a Copier Job that does rank and file and give awards and you do not take a job unless they provide that!
  4. There are certain companies that will hire Associate Reps., yes they make peanuts but it will give you a chance to get in to build your career to the big money.  Stryker is one that comes to mind that does that.  Go to my tab button on the site and hit Associate Medical Device Sales, Associate Orthopedic Sales and etc.
  5. Lastly, if your resume just does not look strong enough to attract attention on a Job Board or a Recruiters eye, then go to my Linkedin Series and follow the plan to Linkedin 106.  Forget Recruiters and Job Boards...I am going to update my old piece still on this Blog called Three Dimensional Networking..it is old, but still some good stuff there.

I hope this helps you Chris!  Good luck to you and I know you can make it happen!

 

Sincerely,

 

Linda Hertz

 

PS Thanks for the question!


Chris Moore said:

Hi Linda,

 

I am new to this site as well as the job hunt.  I have been with the same b 2 b company for over 4 years and am now looking to break into medical sales.  I have noticed that most companies or recruiters need awards and acheivements however my current company has pretty much done away with formal recognition of sales reps.  I have exceeded quota the past few years and have other accomplishments but cannot document anything other than exceeding quota.  Are there other ways to strengthen my resume in hopes of getting interviews, etc.?

Thank You,
Chris

 

 

 

Hi Linda,

 

This is all excellent information and thank you for taking time to explain your thoughts and recommendations.  I especially like the idea of possibly pursuing an associate rep opportunity, which would give me live field experience, etc.  

 

Thanks Again,  

Linda Hertz said:


Hi Chris,

 

Excellent question and people do ask me that all the time!  First of all I can give you some specific advice and then general advice too..both may help others.  First of all, I did look at your Linkedin profile and you should change up what you currently do to be more aggressive:

 

This is what you have:

"Consult, Advise, Execute and Deliver print projects to a wide variety of vertical markets with companies of all sizes. Provide solutions in digital & commercial print, direct mail, catalogs, print fulfillment, forms & labels and logistics." 

This is what you should consider changing it so (or something like it); "Business to Business Sales professional, selling print products and services to successful close resulting in top sales performance.  This includes selling to a variety of verticle markets from Fortune 500 companies to those in the Russell Index and smaller.  Solution selling (including strong financial component) in digital and commercial print, direct mail, catalogs, print fulfillment, forms and labels and logistics".

 

Remember that everything you put in  your Linkedin Profile make your profile KEY WORD SEARCH friendly (so all key words need to be there!), in addition you want to get into a strong sales position so you must write up your experience with strength.

 

That said, now what to do?  Oh no, no rankings!  No doubt's about it...that is an issue, yes ALL top companies (and even the small ones) want proof that you can move the sales meter.  First let's work with what you have:

 

  1. Go back and get proof of the commission side of your earnings (year end pay stubs..electronic or otherwise that shows how much commission you made).  If you don't have that, get your W2...Salary vs. Bonus should be there.
  2. Create and excel spread sheet with a few columns; Yearly End $ by Salary, $ by commission, $ increase from year to year and % increase.  This will show how you perhaps got solid raises each year in base reflecting a great Performance Review (by the way, if you have those Performance Reviews...show them too), shows how you increased your sales commission.  Show that with ALL the Pay Stubs or W2 forms (black out your Social Security number please!) attached to the excel for proof.  If you have copies of the actual commission plan (how they decided how you got your performance money, put that in there too and KNOW how to explain it if asked).  If the plan says it will pay you 10% over last years number plus a 5% quota...pretty easy to see how you rocked the number in real terms.
  3. What if what you have does not reflect a great performance?  It appears you are young..so go back and start again...(one more idea to follow in no. 4), go swallow your pride and get a Copier Job that does rank and file and give awards and you do not take a job unless they provide that!
  4. There are certain companies that will hire Associate Reps., yes they make peanuts but it will give you a chance to get in to build your career to the big money.  Stryker is one that comes to mind that does that.  Go to my tab button on the site and hit Associate Medical Device Sales, Associate Orthopedic Sales and etc.
  5. Lastly, if your resume just does not look strong enough to attract attention on a Job Board or a Recruiters eye, then go to my Linkedin Series and follow the plan to Linkedin 106.  Forget Recruiters and Job Boards...I am going to update my old piece still on this Blog called Three Dimensional Networking..it is old, but still some good stuff there.

I hope this helps you Chris!  Good luck to you and I know you can make it happen!

 

Sincerely,

 

Linda Hertz

 

PS Thanks for the question!


Chris Moore said:

Hi Linda,

 

I am new to this site as well as the job hunt.  I have been with the same b 2 b company for over 4 years and am now looking to break into medical sales.  I have noticed that most companies or recruiters need awards and acheivements however my current company has pretty much done away with formal recognition of sales reps.  I have exceeded quota the past few years and have other accomplishments but cannot document anything other than exceeding quota.  Are there other ways to strengthen my resume in hopes of getting interviews, etc.?

Thank You,
Chris

 

 

 

You are welcome and if the suggestions worked for you or perhaps you found another route to success, come back and share it with us; all the best to you!  Sincerely,  Linda Hertz

Chris Moore said:

Hi Linda,

 

This is all excellent information and thank you for taking time to explain your thoughts and recommendations.  I especially like the idea of possibly pursuing an associate rep opportunity, which would give me live field experience, etc.  

 

Thanks Again,  

Linda Hertz said:


Hi Chris,

 

Excellent question and people do ask me that all the time!  First of all I can give you some specific advice and then general advice too..both may help others.  First of all, I did look at your Linkedin profile and you should change up what you currently do to be more aggressive:

 

This is what you have:

"Consult, Advise, Execute and Deliver print projects to a wide variety of vertical markets with companies of all sizes. Provide solutions in digital & commercial print, direct mail, catalogs, print fulfillment, forms & labels and logistics." 

This is what you should consider changing it so (or something like it); "Business to Business Sales professional, selling print products and services to successful close resulting in top sales performance.  This includes selling to a variety of verticle markets from Fortune 500 companies to those in the Russell Index and smaller.  Solution selling (including strong financial component) in digital and commercial print, direct mail, catalogs, print fulfillment, forms and labels and logistics".

 

Remember that everything you put in  your Linkedin Profile make your profile KEY WORD SEARCH friendly (so all key words need to be there!), in addition you want to get into a strong sales position so you must write up your experience with strength.

 

That said, now what to do?  Oh no, no rankings!  No doubt's about it...that is an issue, yes ALL top companies (and even the small ones) want proof that you can move the sales meter.  First let's work with what you have:

 

  1. Go back and get proof of the commission side of your earnings (year end pay stubs..electronic or otherwise that shows how much commission you made).  If you don't have that, get your W2...Salary vs. Bonus should be there.
  2. Create and excel spread sheet with a few columns; Yearly End $ by Salary, $ by commission, $ increase from year to year and % increase.  This will show how you perhaps got solid raises each year in base reflecting a great Performance Review (by the way, if you have those Performance Reviews...show them too), shows how you increased your sales commission.  Show that with ALL the Pay Stubs or W2 forms (black out your Social Security number please!) attached to the excel for proof.  If you have copies of the actual commission plan (how they decided how you got your performance money, put that in there too and KNOW how to explain it if asked).  If the plan says it will pay you 10% over last years number plus a 5% quota...pretty easy to see how you rocked the number in real terms.
  3. What if what you have does not reflect a great performance?  It appears you are young..so go back and start again...(one more idea to follow in no. 4), go swallow your pride and get a Copier Job that does rank and file and give awards and you do not take a job unless they provide that!
  4. There are certain companies that will hire Associate Reps., yes they make peanuts but it will give you a chance to get in to build your career to the big money.  Stryker is one that comes to mind that does that.  Go to my tab button on the site and hit Associate Medical Device Sales, Associate Orthopedic Sales and etc.
  5. Lastly, if your resume just does not look strong enough to attract attention on a Job Board or a Recruiters eye, then go to my Linkedin Series and follow the plan to Linkedin 106.  Forget Recruiters and Job Boards...I am going to update my old piece still on this Blog called Three Dimensional Networking..it is old, but still some good stuff there.

I hope this helps you Chris!  Good luck to you and I know you can make it happen!

 

Sincerely,

 

Linda Hertz

 

PS Thanks for the question!


Chris Moore said:

Hi Linda,

 

I am new to this site as well as the job hunt.  I have been with the same b 2 b company for over 4 years and am now looking to break into medical sales.  I have noticed that most companies or recruiters need awards and acheivements however my current company has pretty much done away with formal recognition of sales reps.  I have exceeded quota the past few years and have other accomplishments but cannot document anything other than exceeding quota.  Are there other ways to strengthen my resume in hopes of getting interviews, etc.?

Thank You,
Chris

 

 

 

Linda Hertz Group Member Question:

 

Hi Linda,


Thanks for taking my question.  I have been a medical sales rep/manager for 10+ years.  In 2009, with the downturn in the economy, I was laid off.  After months of interviewing, I was offered a 1099 Regional Manager position with a small company and accepted it.  I was in no position to be picky and demand benefits.  Afterall, I had a family to take care of.  I am now after 2 years in this position seeking a new position and have been less than successful. 

I am wondering about a few things:  Should I note in the description of  my current job on my resume that I am a 1099 employee?  If I am contacted regarding a job and asked why I want to leave, is it ok to respond that I need the benefits?  Will I be seeen as a job hopper with only 2 years in even though my wanting to leave is truly legitimate?  I am also being told lately that I am overqualified for most rep positions I am seeking, and there are very little managerial ones out there.   So much for it being easy like it used to in this industry anymore.


Regards,

In a 1099 Rut

Dear 1099 Rut,

 

First of all I want to congratulate you!  You did what was necessary to have an income stream coming into your home (and perhaps even saving your home).  You mentioned months of interviewing and you did the right thing, you took what you could.  I have had candidates call me at the beginning stages of unemployment telling me they are holding off from taking anything less than what they had, then at the 6 month mark calling me back still waiting for the perfect job (now getting a little nervous) having declined a few offers they thought were not good enough at the time.  I almost always get that next call from this person another 6 months down the road and one year into the unemployment ranks with mortgage payments unpaid and their sad update;  "Linda, you were right, I wish I could get back those early job offers of the "not so perfect job", now they won't even hire me because I have been unemployed so long".

 

So again, congratulations to you! You are right, the industry is not as easy as it use to be but you have found a way to generate an income.  I am not sure what your previous employ looks like but as you approach 3 years in your current position the better, it is not as much of a big deal to have 2 years in if you have been with at least one previous company at least 5 years and you left for a better opportunity.  Regardless of the tenure, I suggest you NOT put 1099 employee on  your resume.  Your resume is an advertising piece to entice people to call you; you are not a tobacco company, you have no legal requirement to state disclaimers on your resume advertisement!  Does this mean one can out and out lie on their resume?  Of course not, you are not eliminating jobs on your resume, making up jobs on your resume or changing your dates of employ.  You are going to wait for the right time to share that information if no one asks the question up front.  This is not an exact science, it is like a sales call. 

 

My sales representative and I would conduct pre-call planning for different scenarios that MAY happen during a cold call when I was a Medical Device Sales Manager.  We would then just nod and say, "Ok, let's go and see which way this call goes, we know what to do in 99% of the situations we may be presented by the customer".  As you well know, a cold call makes you prepare for handling almost all types of objections and you practice how to handle each scenario IF IT ARISES to get a successful close.  Interviewing is very much the same type of situation, you prepare for possible scenarios or objections while you are in the interview and if it arises you pull out the scenario you have already prepared for and keep going until you either have a successful close (moving to the next step in the interview) or you know you have a road block that your customer (or interviewer) just can't be sold on; it happens.  So let's play this out in the interview process.

 

When the recruiter or hiring company calls you let them interview you, IF THE RECRUITER asks, THEN TELL HIM.  If he does not ask, then do not tell; your goal is to get in front of the hiring manager and showcase yourself.  IF THE HIRING MANAGER asks, THEN TELL HIM on the first face to face interview, if he does not ask I would suggest not telling him YET.  Close him to be moved on to the next step, If you get asked back to the second face to face, then you know the 1099 was not a factor in preventing you from getting asked back because you did not tell him. 

 

Now things get a little tricky, I highly suggest at THE END of the second face to face interview to ask the questions to close the interviewer to moving you forward.  If you hit it off with the hiring manager and he is saying, "Yes, you are moving on!",  then you can politely say, "That is wonderful I am truly interested in this career opportunity and it gets me back to a full benefits position".  If the manager picks up on that or nods his head, then say, "You did know that my job does not include benefits, right?".  You can handle it from there, try to stay away from using the number "1099" in the conversation unless you must.  You see if he loves you, you want to make sure he does not feel like you duped him by withholding the information any longer than you have.  If he was luke warm in moving you forward not knowing about your 1099 status I would let it go and see if you get invited back.  If you don't, then you know there is something else besides the 1099 status that could be preventing you from getting to the final step.  If this is happening repeatedly, then you need to do a self check up!  Yes, you could be interviewing for jobs that you are overqualified.

 

I am fully aware there will be people who will say this is not being up front, at the same time I have had Job Seekers get the job regardless of a perceived "blemish" because they knew how to sell themselves and their abilities before they had to tip their hand at a possible blemish.  In the old days Corporate America was faithful and steadfast to their employee's and I would never have suggested the above scenario, BUT THIS is a different day and not so easy as you have stated.  Corporate America will fire anyone in a moment if the stock holders need to see more to the bottom line.  So I now suggest to my Job Seeker Clients that they must play the new game; be loyal to your family but not to your company, give them a hard days work but always realize they will cut you in a second IF THEY NEED TO.  In that vein, IF YOU try on the above ways of approaching the subject and you get axed the minute they find out you are a 1099 EVEN when they were sending you into finals...then don't offer it up unless they ask you point blank.  See how far you can get along in the process; typically an HR application form may be the trip up (you must complete it accurately). A background check will probably pull up your current status.

 

So what if you do all this and no go?  Then change course, find younger companies (smaller past start up phase, but still in the beginning stages) that will offer you a full employee package but are looking for people who don't mind taking the risk. Qualified successful medical sales managers are hard to find that are willing to take a risk.  Changing the pool of jobs you fish in, may help you get a bite and maybe even a bigger fish too!

 



Linda Hertz said:

Linda Hertz Group Member Question:

 

Hi Linda,


Thanks for taking my question.  I have been a medical sales rep/manager for 10+ years.  In 2009, with the downturn in the economy, I was laid off.  After months of interviewing, I was offered a 1099 Regional Manager position with a small company and accepted it.  I was in no position to be picky and demand benefits.  Afterall, I had a family to take care of.  I am now after 2 years in this position seeking a new position and have been less than successful. 

I am wondering about a few things:  Should I note in the description of  my current job on my resume that I am a 1099 employee?  If I am contacted regarding a job and asked why I want to leave, is it ok to respond that I need the benefits?  Will I be seeen as a job hopper with only 2 years in even though my wanting to leave is truly legitimate?  I am also being told lately that I am overqualified for most rep positions I am seeking, and there are very little managerial ones out there.   So much for it being easy like it used to in this industry anymore.


Regards,

In a 1099 Rut

FROM LINKEDIN CONTACT:

Hi Linda,

I live in the Boston area, I have 6 years experience in the financial industry and I am looking to transfer my skills to medical device sales. I have about 4 years of solid sales success in banking and mortgage lending. Do you have any advice for someone with my background? I am interested in diagnostic sales and was wondering if you knew of any compaines that hired people with no medical sales experience?

I appreciate any advice you could spare. Thank you in advance for your time.

 

Regards,

Mr. Financial

Hello Mr. Financial,

I can only say, if you thought the stock market has been difficult to play or perhaps mortgage lending to the many who no longer qualify, then you have met your match trying to get into the medical field with a financial background!  I feel there is always a way if you want to get into the medical device arena, but when you come from the financial industry I would suggest to forget Medical Sales Recruiters, Medical Job Boards and applying to hundreds of jobs (if you been applying to hundreds of jobs and no bites, or a bite that leads to no job..then you should stop).  Why?  Because as many of my Blogs indicate there are too many with the right background looking for jobs too!  Hard to compete with a person who has the right background for a job vs. someone who does not.  Unfortunately, yours is not.

 

Now that said, I did hear that Medtronic hired 1 financial background person and he is doing great, I also believe he did what I am going to suggest to you; network to the direct line Hiring Manager through a common connection or through Linkedin.  Old fashioned networking using all the web tools of today can get you there. 

 

The only other thing I could suggest is to kick start your career all over with a strong BtoB sales job and plug in 2 to 3 years of top sales performance.  This BtoB would be copiers, ADP and etc.,.  I know not a desirable thing to do when you have been in a professional environment like the financial industry, but I had to put it out there.

 

Whatever you do, DO NOT THROW your money away on those RMX or whatever they call it medical sales certificate courses or medical sales schools.  They cost a fortune and no one cares about them!

 

I hope that helps you to a degree, combined with my other articles.

 

Regards,

 

Linda Hertz

 

Mr. Financial Replied via Linkedin:

Subject RE: Advice for a sales pro breaking into medical device sales

Hi Linda,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate you sharing your insight and your professional advice. I am the type of person who likes the facts, even if they are not what I want to hear. I'm glad you gave me an honest answer about the difficulties in this type of career transistion and the truth behind those medical device sales programs. You have saved me a lot of time! If there is anything I can ever do, please don't hesitate to ask.

All my best,


Mr. Financial

Linda Hertz said:

Hello Mr. Financial,

I can only say, if you thought the stock market has been difficult to play or perhaps mortgage lending to the many who no longer qualify, then you have met your match trying to get into the medical field with a financial background!  I feel there is always a way if you want to get into the medical device arena, but when you come from the financial industry I would suggest to forget Medical Sales Recruiters, Medical Job Boards and applying to hundreds of jobs (if you been applying to hundreds of jobs and no bites, or a bite that leads to no job..then you should stop).  Why?  Because as many of my Blogs indicate there are too many with the right background looking for jobs too!  Hard to compete with a person who has the right background for a job vs. someone who does not.  Unfortunately, yours is not.

 

Now that said, I did hear that Medtronic hired 1 financial background person and he is doing great, I also believe he did what I am going to suggest to you; network to the direct line Hiring Manager through a common connection or through Linkedin.  Old fashioned networking using all the web tools of today can get you there. 

 

The only other thing I could suggest is to kick start your career all over with a strong BtoB sales job and plug in 2 to 3 years of top sales performance.  This BtoB would be copiers, ADP and etc.,.  I know not a desirable thing to do when you have been in a professional environment like the financial industry, but I had to put it out there.

 

Whatever you do, DO NOT THROW your money away on those RMX or whatever they call it medical sales certificate courses or medical sales schools.  They cost a fortune and no one cares about them!

 

I hope that helps you to a degree, combined with my other articles.

 

Regards,

 

Linda Hertz

 

Email Question from Member today..Dave

Hi Linda,

I am a member of your site and love it.  When you are answering a posted ad and you have been out of work such as I have for 3 weeks now is it best to just send your resume and cover letter or can I send my letter of recs and references as well?  Or does it depend on the situation?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Regards,

Dave

Hello Dave,

Happy New Year and thank you for your appreciation for OUR site!  If you do reply to an advertisement with your resume, a Word Doc. Resume only application is fine, especially if it is to a recruiter..we NEVER open a Cover Letter Document; we get right to the meat and potatoes...do you have the experience and work tenure to do the open job at hand?

As far as the reference list...NEVER send that out with your resume and cover letter.  Why?  Because you have just handed a Recruiter or Hiring Company a list of great ADDITIONAL Prospects to call for that open job.  You may think well my Manager or reference aren't qualified or wouldn't be interested in that job so who cares?  I will tell you, because I have done it before!  When I get a resume that has references at the bottom of it or a document with a list of references (mind you unsolicited from me and strangers who I have never talked to), I do take a look at the resume and I also take a look at the references...the references may be a fit too...OR they may know of other people that would be a better fit than the person who sent the resume and all that information.

Keep your references to yourself UNTIL the hiring company requests them!  

Thanks again for the question and I hope that helps you and the rest of the other Members within our group!

Good Luck on the Job Hunt!

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