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My Medical Device Sales Career

10 Things You Must Find Out During the Field Sales Ride Visit to Get To the Final Interview

I wrote an older Blog on the basics of how to handle the all important "Field Ride" part of the interview process.  For those new to this term, almost all medical device companies include the job candidate travel in the sales field for a solid day with one of their sales people or sales trainers.  This is a VERY important part of the process and usually is inserted into the interview between the first and second or third interview (yes, many top device companies have a 7 to 9 step process to get their jobs!).  Please do read my first article on 18 Ways To Shine During The Sales Visit, this new article was a long awaited-for part 2 to the earlier one!

The Field Ride is still a critical part of the interview and besides being on your best behavior, you must always keep in mind that the person you are traveling with IS THE EYE'S and EAR'S of the hiring manager.  Everything you do or say will get reported back to the manager.  In addition, this is yet another person you must win over by getting a solid thumbs up from them by the end of the day; they are the one reporting back to the hiring manager on what they think of YOU.  YES, one more person to close to get to the next step!  So do remember to CLOSE!  Get those closing questions out!

Now back to the main point of this article, the Field Ride is a great way for you to not only gather first hand information on the company, but also a true feel for the products, customers and type of environment you will be  working within (operating room, physician office, business environment, retail and etc.).  So make sure you squeeze every opportunity to gather what you need to help you move forward in the process!  

You might be asking yourself, "I don't know exactly what I need from that day, other than seeing if I will actually like the job."  That is true, that is part of it, but let's go deeper.  You should develop a list of what you may need in the future to prepare for the next steps in the interview process and a well thought out list of questions you want to ask your field host.  The questions need to be centered upon 10 main areas of focus.

10 Fact Finding Goals

Gathering information DURING the Field Visit to help you:

  1. Prepare for a possible role play with the hiring manager
  2. Prepare for a Business Plan that may need to be constructed for final interviews
  3. Understand the management style of the hiring manager
  4. Understand the company culture
  5. Understand the commission plan
  6. Understand the product and competition in the "real world"
  7. Understand the dynamics of the team of sales people who already report to the hiring manager
  8. Understand Sales Training from the ground level
  9. Understand how one becomes successful at this company and in this position
  10. Know if your Field Host is going to vote for you to go to the next step!

 

The key to finding out this information is in your diplomacy and having the questions positioned in a positive way so that it does not cast a negative impression upon you.  Let me give you an example.  When I was a hiring manager, I sent a candidate out with one of my field sales trainers for the day.  In an attempt to find out what my management style was, they kept asking questions of the trainer (who reported directly to me) that cast doubts upon their ability!  The one I remember asked of my Trainer was, "Is Linda a micro-manager?  Like if I don't get my paperwork in on time she will be all over me?".  Clearly we did not hire this person, my EARS and EYE'S in the field reported back to me they did not like THE WAY the candidate asked the questions; it made it seem like they didn't want to work too hard or even get the paperwork in on time!  The way the candidate positioned the questions reflected poorly upon themselves!  BONK..that person did not move to the next step! 

In my next article I will explain HOW to construct your questions that tactfully and artfully extract the information you need from the field visit, but is done in such a way that it will actually cast a positive light on you and help sell yourself to the field host as you try to CLOSE THEM to the next interview step!

 

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